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TOPIC: art flicks

art flicks 26 Feb 2001 10:52 #1317

ok, There is a new art house preparing to open in our town. they are coming to me for advice on certain things.(since I am the only experienced one in town. The guy that is starting this has no experience other than getting prints on 16mm from Swank out of st louis. He is planning to get the art flicks 35mm as they hit the national release.Is it feasable for him to only run these on fri, sat and sun or will the studios laugh at him.(being that booking is the only phase I have not done yet)


I told him he would prob have to run them more than that. Its a one screen set up in a fairly small market.

this guy has the idea and the money but no knowledge of the industy.
(He could give me hos money and I can proceede with my six screen)
any comments welcome
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Re: art flicks 26 Feb 2001 14:49 #1318

  • Avalon
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Most newer art house stuff is going to need a 7 day run. no getting around that. once he has a name and proves he pays his bills, he might get to play some of the esoterics less than that. tell him to get a booker that knows art stuff. many people open art houses thinking, "Gee, i can do a Kubric week." Meanwhile, back on planet earth, there are $300 minimums and $100 shipping bills from Reel Easy, PER FILM. One must do one's time before one gets to do what one wants -- someone once said. so, until he proves he's created a market for art film in his area, he'll be playing by their rules: 7+ day runs, older stuff, waiting for the prints, etc. A booker can help expedite that.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: art flicks 26 Feb 2001 15:48 #1319

Thanks for the input Avalon, I found out he has gotten a booker who specializes in art booking and he plans to run 7 days if need be.
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Re: art flicks 26 Feb 2001 17:01 #1320

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My partner and I opened an Art Cinema last year. It has been a success. His only experience was with the collage film program. I have 15 years in the industry.

When we opened, we thought that we could get away with only being open for the evening shows during the week and run Matinees on the weekend. He thought that he could take Thanksgiving and Christmas off. I informed him otherwise. The older patrons insisted that we be open Matinees during the week. (They bitched incessantly.) It took us a couple of months to be able to do it but we are now open 4 shows per day, 8 days a week, 400 day per year.


Also the studios get involved. "If you can't run 5 shows a day, we will give the film to UA." or "If you don't run our dog of a film clean (not sharing a screen with another film) we will not give you our plum picture next month." If you open a theatre in a competitive zone, you have to compete or die.

Also, when we ran the numbers, we couldn’t make a single screen work out. We have a five screen and it isn’t enough. We need eight screens. We have had to pass on so many films because we don’t have room. There are 38 screens on this town and we need more at our complex. There are still films that will never be played in this town.
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Re: art flicks 01 Mar 2001 19:35 #1321

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Has this person done some serious demographic research to determine if there are enough people in the market to support a full-time arthouse? Specifically, what % of the population over the age of 25 has a college degree? Is there a local college or university community? Is there a strong performings arts presence in the area? These are just a few of the questions that need to be asked. An independent theatre's ability to secure art film product in a timely fashion is directly tied to the theatres ability to deliver a gross. If you can't gross, you'll move to the bottom of the priority list in terms of getting prints. Sorry is this sounds harsh, but that's the reality of the biz.
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Re: art flicks 02 Mar 2001 13:40 #1322

This is this man's dream for ten long years he has run the local "film society" showing art flicks as they become available on 16mm. because the chain in town would not book them when they first released them. i used to manage the chain theatre and I know why they never booked them. This guy has delusions of grandure but being that they have set up as a non profit organization tied to a museum I am wondering How he is going to pull this off. I am willing to help but I am not getting sucked in to this one.
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