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TOPIC: How many seats in your 1 or 2 screen cinema?

How many seats in your 1 or 2 screen cinema? 08 Sep 2005 13:02 #10846

  • Karla
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I am working with a community group that wants to open a movie and stage theatre in our small isolated town. We ahev no cinema right now and we have no performing arts venues at all. I'm trying to figure out what our best plan for the theatre will be:

1 large auditorium with a stage and seating for 200-500 people
or 2 screens, 1 being larger and having a stage and the other being smaller and just for movies.

I think our trade area is around 10,000 people and the nearest theatre is 2.5 hours away.

Thoughts or advice? How many seats/screens do you have in your small town theatre? Do you have the ability to have live performances?
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Re: How many seats in your 1 or 2 screen cinema? 08 Sep 2005 18:10 #10847

  • SamCat
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Hi Carla

My thoughts are get as much variety as you can. Plays and movies would be better than just one ot the other.

My thoughts would be to try to get 3 screens on there including one theatre with double curtains for plays.

I have heard though that theaters need a stage behind the screen for props and maybe toilets/ change rooms.

I heave also heard that they need rehersal rooms.

But anyway you could maybe go 200 seats, 150 seats and 100 seats.

I have seen some cinemas with 40-50 seats that are nice as well. So you can play around with the numbers a little.

Anyway that's just my thoughts hope it can help.
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Re: How many seats in your 1 or 2 screen cinema? 08 Sep 2005 21:36 #10848

  • BurneyFalls
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Two screens would be nice in my small towns, but right now I am having a hard time picking just one movie for each theatre that I think might do well.

My two single screens have 252 seats each.

A stage for live performances would be a plus.

I personally dislike small auditoriums.
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Re: How many seats in your 1 or 2 screen cinema? 09 Sep 2005 10:33 #10849

  • Karla
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BurneyFalls, do you feel like 252 seats for your single screens is enough, too many, or too few seats? (hmmm, I feel like goldilocks all of a sudden)
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Re: How many seats in your 1 or 2 screen cinema? 09 Sep 2005 12:32 #10850

  • ttroidl
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We have 390 at one single screen, and 600 at the palace in Hamburg single screen.

and the mother of overboard was the hollywood in gowanda with 1200! Single screen
tony.
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Re: How many seats in your 1 or 2 screen cinema? 10 Sep 2005 12:56 #10851

  • BurneyFalls
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Even though many of my seats aren't usually filled, I don't look at it as having too many. I just like the feel of the medium-sized auditorium over the smaller ones. When all my seats are filled, it feels magical in there. I will concede though that it would probably be much more economically beneficial to have two smaller auditoriums.
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Re: How many seats in your 1 or 2 screen cinema? 11 Sep 2005 00:03 #10852

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Karla,

I have a 557 seat single screen with full stage facilities, and that is hardly enough to make live presentations work. If you wish to bring in touring acts, it is difficult to make the numbers work with that little seating, but if you're going to do local programing, theatre, concerts etc. it's a nice comfortable number.

As SamCat suggested, you will need full support facilities to do stage presentations, a 15' deep by 30' wide staging area as a minimum (more is much better),an overhead flyloft for flying the movie screen and hanging curtains, backdrops and scenery. Wing space on each side of the stage. An orchestra pit for about 10 musicians. Several dressing rooms & rest rooms, 3 at least, 4 or 5 is much better. A green room (performers lounge) is nice. An acessible load in area to the rear of the stage. If you're going to be doing plays with a stock company a scene shop and scenery dock for building and storing scenery would be a major plus.

A 2nd smaller auditorium to keep the movie patrons coming during live shows would be nice as well, but I wouldn't give up support space for the live theatre just to get that 2nd screen, otherwise the live theatre will never work well, so why even do it. If you're going to do live theatre, do it right, or don't do it at all.
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Re: How many seats in your 1 or 2 screen cinema? 12 Sep 2005 09:42 #10853

  • Mudbrother
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Karla,
we have 477 seats in our one-screen historic theatre. We have a stage, but not much in the way of backstage, dressing room, green room, workshop space. We have managed to do small productions, but they are rarely profitable. Primarily we do movies with the occasional music concert.

We do book special acts and market them to schools (and then have a public showing.) And these do well. The concerts do well, but have a narrow profit margin.

However, we have great success with rentals.

I agree with Roxy though, 2 auditoriums is great, and having the support areas are very important. Running as a multifunction facility can require a lot of compromises, so I think it's important to decide what your bread and butter will be.

Rance
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