Bulgarians Favor Cinema over Museums - Survey

Culture | May 21, 2011, Saturday // 15:15|  views

The building of the National "Ivan Vazov" Theater in downtown Sofia. File photo

The average Bulgarian hardly ever visits museums and libraries, favoring the cinema and the theater, according to data from statistical surveys conducted by the National Statistical Institute, NSI.

The surveys are providing information on activities of museums, theaters, libraries, cinemas, radio and television programs and film productions.

Their main indicators and coverage are designed in accordance with methodological requirements of UNESCO and Eurostat.


Cultural institutions are museums, theatres and music groups (performing arts) and libraries.

1. Museums

At the end of 2010, Bulgaria had 201 independent museums with 6 320 thousands museum items. In comparison with 2009, their number has decreased by 13.0%.

Museums are divided in two main groups - historical museums and specialized museums (including art galleries).

In 2010, there were 91 historical museums with 4 715 thousands exhibits and 110 specialized museums with 1 605 thousands exhibits. Museums of art (art galleries) were 38 with 169 thousands exhibits.

Museum visits have decreased from 4 373 thousands in 2009 to 4 253 thousands during the last year, or by 2.7%. Visits in art galleries as had the lowest share - 442 thousand persons (only 10.4% from all museum visits).

Total revenues of museums in 2010 (BGN 34 406 thousand) were down by 7.6% compared with 2009 while the budget subsidy for museums open to the public has increased by 3.0%. In 2010, museums have received about 2% from their total revenues from European programs and projects.

In 2010, there was a slight increase of museum employees compared with 2009, from 2 432 to 2 500 - 2.8% (68 persons). At the same time the number of researchers and curators has decreased by 2.5% (23 persons).

Performing arts

In 2010, the country had 73 theaters with 11 449 performances visited by 1 677 thousands viewers.

Compared with 2009, the number of performances has increased by 3.7% and visits - by 4.1% (66 thousands). The average number of visitors per theater in 2010 has increased in comparison with 2009 from 20 to 23 thousands, and per performance – from 146 to 147 persons.

From different types of theatres, dramatic theaters have the biggest share - 41, with 5 703 performances in 2010 or 6.9% more than in 2009.

In 2010, Bulgaria had 51 music formations - 6 philharmonic orchestras, 27 professional folk troupes, and 18 orchestras. The number of performances has increased by16.1%, compared with 2009, while the visits increased by 40.4%.

The total number of concerts was 713 with 341.5 thousands visitors, with pop, rock, and folk concerts having the highest share - 147 concerts with 192.5 thousands visitors.


Statistical surveys cover libraries with library collections of more than 200 thousands items.

At the end of 2010, there were 47 such libraries in the country with library collections of 34 781 thousands items (books, newspapers, magazines, brochures and other library documents).

In 2010, there were 220 thousands library users, which is 5.6% less in comparison with 2009.

Library visitors have also decreased - 26 thousands less or a decrease of 0.9%.

In 2010, the National library "St. St. Cyril and Methodius" had 7 753 thousand library documents. In comparison with 2009, this number is up by 57.6 thousands.


Audio-visual activities cover the activities of film production, cinemas, radio and television programs.

1. Film production

144 films were produced in 2010 (full-length, short-length and medium-length films). In comparison with 2009, the number of all kind of films produced in the country has increased by 30.9% (34 films).

In 2010, the produced documentary and educational short-length and medium-length films were 86.

The number of feature short-length and medium-length films in 2010 was 17.

The share of motion pictures in 2010 was 9.7% from the total number of films, down 3 points, compared with 2009. 11 feature full-length films for the cinema network were made in 2010 - 3 more than 2009.

Television films in 2010 had a share of 69.4% from the total number of produced films, which is by 16.1 points more than in 2009.


The number of operating cinemas in Bulgaria during the 2006 – 2010 period continued to decrease and at the end of 2010 reached 42, or 36.4% less than in 2006.

In the last three years, there was an increase in the number of screens, reaching 151 at the end of 2010, as a result of the building of new modern cinemas with modern technology.

In 2010, the number of moviegoers increased by 36.7% and tickets revenues - by 44.5%, compared with 2009. In 2010, the average ticket price was BGN 7.94, or by 5.7% higher than in 2009.

The higher price for a ticket was registered the Region of Pleven, followed by Stara Zagora, Veliko Tarnovo, Plovdiv and the city of Sofia.

There were 11 working cinemas in Sofia with 1 720 films showed - down 5.4% compared to 2009. Out of them, 240 were Bulgarian films, 627 - European, 656 from the US and 197 from other countries.

Radio program activities

In 2010, radio operators (86 radios and radio nets) have broadcasted 674.4 thousand hours of radio programs, which is 7.2% less in comparison with 2009.

In 2010, musical programs had the biggest relative share of radio broadcasts - 40.2%. In comparison with 2009, this share has decreased by 2.1 points.

The share of news, commentaries, sports news and forecasts was 11.8% of all radio broadcasts, which is 1.3 points more than 2009.

In comparison with the previous year, there was an increase of the share of 'Factual/Informational' broadcasts - from 7.8% to 10.7%. By contrast, the share of 'Educational' broadcasts and broadcasts for 'Art and Culture' has decreased by 0.6 and 0.2 points in 2010.

In 2010 compared with 2009, the share of 'Children's-Youth's' broadcasts has decreased nearly in half (from 31.1 thousands to 16.6 thousands hours). At the same time the 'Entertainment' broadcasts share stays constant - 3.1%, while the share of the 'Light Entertainment' ones decreased by 0.3 points.

In 2010 the share of advertisements was 3.5% from all broadcasts, or 1.3 points less than in 2009.

Television program activities

In 2010, there were 100 registered and licensed Bulgarian TV operators, which have broadcasted 660.8 thousands hours of programming.

The number of TV program hours was down 4.9% in comparison with 2009.

'Fiction' programs (cinema, television or video works) had the biggest relative share - 34.3%. It stayed constant in comparison with 2009. The share of 'Music' programs has increased from 17.8% in 2009 to 19.5% in 2010, or by 1.7 points. At the same time the share of 'Information' programs has increased by 0.8 points; the share of 'Education' programs was up 0.3 points (1 339 hours), while the share of 'Information/Entertainment' and 'Youth' ones has stayed constant - 3.8% and 0.7%, respectively.

In year 2010, 'Children' programs were down by 1.8 thousands hours (11.1%) in comparison with 2009.

The relative share of broadcasted advertisements in the last year was 5.2% from the total broadcasted programs – down 0.1 points (2.7 thousands hours), compared with 2009.

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Tags: museums, theaters, libraries, cinemas, radio, television, programs, film, productions, concerts, NSI, activities


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