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TOPIC: Finding info on particular theater

Finding info on particular theater 21 Jul 2006 10:51 #13041

  • raydrah
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How would you find out why a particular theater closed and how much business they had? Is there something with the city? My husband and I are kicking around the idea of opening a art/classic film theater. There is a closed theater in town that apparently was doing the same thing. I'm curious why it closed. Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!
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Re: Finding info on particular theater 21 Jul 2006 11:08 #13042

  • rodeojack
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I think the challenge will increase with the length of time the theatre's been closed.

The property owner would probably know a lot about its final days, especially if he/she ran it personally. Still, try to get any info from the last operator backed up by a second source, as they may have a chip on their shoulder from the closing.

The city/county might also know some things, especially if the closing was due to anything surrounding codes... structural condition, etc.

Check in with the local paper. The theatre was probably a regular advertiser. Whether they ran ads for each day the theatre was open or just on the busy weekend days might say something.

If the place hasn't been closed too long, have a booker check with the studios. They might have records about the theatre's past performance, though some of them don't have that information readily available after a couple years or so, and getting them to dig will probably depend on who you (or your booker) know(s).

Finally, take anything you don't get on paper with a huge grain of salt. Memories can be colored by how the community feels about a reopening. A mediocre place could be fondly remembered as a boxoffice powerhouse by a city official who wishes it was open again (possibly generating local tax revenue)... or a totally useless dump by someone who might have been tossed for one reason or another.
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Re: Finding info on particular theater 21 Jul 2006 15:57 #13043

  • raydrah
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Thank you so much! That is great information and now I have somewhere to get started.

Thanks again.

[This message has been edited by raydrah (edited July 21, 2006).]
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Re: Finding info on particular theater 21 Jul 2006 16:19 #13044

  • Mike
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1. the theatre former owner/operators/employees

2. the neighbors

3. whatever distrib office that deals with your area will have a wealth of info: call Miramax-Fox Searchlight-etc. etc.

4. call an arthouse over 50 miles away: they will know everything that happened

5. ask the manager of the local first run: he'll know what happened

6. find out who transports film for that area: they will know what happened

7./ find out who serviced the equip: they will know what happened

8. landlord: if there is one/ get a tour and look around/ write down phone #'s of service/Coke/Pepsi/ repairmen/etc.

9. your local real estate professional

10. Chamber of Commerce

more?

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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Re: Finding info on particular theater 22 Jul 2006 00:37 #13045

  • raydrah
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mike:
<B>
more?
</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

NO more please! I'm already behind! Thanks for the leads. Out of all of those people, I'm sure someone has the story. I need to get busy!
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Re: Finding info on particular theater 22 Jul 2006 11:22 #13046

  • Ken Layton
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If your city has an "admission tax" then they would have tax records on the ticket sales.

[This message has been edited by Ken Layton (edited July 22, 2006).]
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Re: Finding info on particular theater 26 Jul 2006 09:19 #13047

  • Mike
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oh wait......you can also fairly accurately predict attends by doing population studies. Often that's better than looking back at how an incompetent ran his / her theatre.

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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Re: Finding info on particular theater 26 Jul 2006 09:34 #13048

  • raydrah
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Thank you all for the help, but unfortunately I just found out that someone is opening a new theater in the fall that will be doing pretty much exactly what we were planning on doing. There is no way that our town could support two theaters like this and we couldn't begin to compete with the budget this new theater has.

Back to the drawing board!
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