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need your expert advice! 13 Oct 2000 19:31 #14461

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I know this should be posted under help, but it seems as tho' all the veterans hang out here-so where else to ask for advice.

I'm researching opening a 2-screen cinema, about 300 seats, in my small hometown- about 12,000 pop in the area. (competition 45 minutes away) Having a hard time estimating income and expenses for the bank business plan. I realize there are alot of variables, but can anyone give me some rough estimates for ticket and concession sales, as well as expenses (outside of the loan). Also, any advice on ways to cut costs in building (I have to build-no viable buildings in good locations) as well as places I shouldn't skimp on? Thanks! This site is a God-send by the way!
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Re: need your expert advice! 15 Oct 2000 16:44 #14462

  • Avalon
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i would seriously consider waiting to do anything in this industry until the smoke clears from the toppling multis. since i never listened to that advice, why should you?

What's the demographic of the area?
Rural, farming, rich reclusives?
a twin might be a little ambitious for a 12k pop.

you might be surprised what buildings can be turned into theaters. mine used to be a truck garage . . . .
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: need your expert advice! 15 Oct 2000 18:40 #14463

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Thanks for the tips. I guess I still don't know enough about the industry to see what the effects of the big guys trouble would be on me. Care to elaborate?

I am in a rural mill town. The only things we have now are a McDonalds, a few other restaurants, and a lot of bars. A community straight out of your favorite country song! Wal-mart is moving in next year. I was thinking 2 screen because the theater owner 45 minutes from me has a 7-plex (independant) and told me I should have at least 3 to be competitive. I'm not sure I can even afford 2. How do you single screens do it? First or late runs? Can/do you piggyback?

I am now checking out some existing buildings that just came on the market in a great location. We have a seriously depressed market right now and it's a great time to pick up real estate, but I wonder how much it cost to convert an existing building per sf. Any special features I should look at for easier conversion?

Thanks again!
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Re: need your expert advice! 15 Oct 2000 18:54 #14464

  • Ken Layton
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The Franklin Plaza twin theater in Shelton, Washington was built by converting an old telephone company warehouse. It already had high ceilings. All that had to be done was was build an extension to the front of the building which became the lobby & snack bar on the bottom floor and managers office & supply storage on second floor. I can provide pictures if you want.

Ken Layton
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Re: need your expert advice! 16 Oct 2000 15:39 #14465

  • Mike
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Hi Susie; to decide what to build you need to know what you have. IDS performs demographic studies for about 150.00 based on the intersection of where your site is located. Just the basicn report will get you all you need to know. 1-800-795-7483 and no I don't get a commission! If Wal-Mart is coming it's because there's enough people and money. If there's enough for Wally there's enough for a movie theatre. 2 screens is too small and 3 may be also. I have a 3 and I'm currently looking down the road a a teriffic train wreck as 20 great films start up in the next 3-5 weeks with no way to play them all. Also: reset your browser to look at the the last 100 days postings in the forums and you shall be more informed than you can comprehend. If you tell me exactly how many people you have 1-5-15 miles out from your site (ids will give you all that) and the exact mileage to the next theatre we can help you more. Best/ keep on/here's another company called caci http://www.demographics.caci.com Mike Hurley

Mike Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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Re: need your expert advice! 16 Oct 2000 19:32 #14466

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Mike-

A dem. study actually has been done already by the town. I will call them tomorrow to get exact figures. I remember the town manager telling me that 14,000 cars pass through the intersection a day. His next prject was to bring in a cinema so he's very willing to help me with whatever he can. There's a 7-plex independant (the Narrow Guage in Farmington) 38 miles away. His pop. is less but they have a university that supports his size. I have a Hoyts 53 miles away, 10-plex, I think. A Flagship-10 is about4 miles from that, so they are competing. I also have a 3-plex in Bethel at 37 miles away, which is not doing very well from what I hear.

I have the option of building new here in Mexico, or crossing the bridge to my neighboring town and getting an existing building in the business district. The Big factor is MONEY!!! To hear that you did yours for 230,000 is amazing. The market is very depressed here and buildings are cheap, but there is nothing large enough to support a 3 screen ready to convert. I've had an architect quote me around 500,000 to build a 7500 sf building which just includes to building, none of the projection equipment, chairs, etc., etc., etc.!!

So, in light of my competition and my lack of funds, I was thinking of trying to convert a smaller size building with a single screen and augment it with a full arcade (foos, pool, etc) for the teens, as well as some home cooking (pizza, cookies,) to go with regular concessions.

But I bow to the authority of this website and appreciate any and all input! I have learned sooo much here (I've read just about everything from popcorn toppings, to bag-in-box, to advertising projection equipment) this site is a the best!
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Re: need your expert advice! 18 Oct 2000 11:26 #14467

  • Mike
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Let's see......... the population figure is important as people in your town will def drive 37 miles. Narrow Gauge John is a buddy of mine so I won't advise the competition angle too heavily but... you will live and die on the population inside of a 10 mile ring from your theatre. More screens is better than one. Smaller theatres means you can put more screens in a building. I too advise trying it in a downtown with existing buildings. Bigger the better. I like the idea of food and rec stuff in your locale as you'll probably need the tie in. Contolling the hang out scene will be a challenge. Make sure you seperate the movies from the pool table so no sneaking and back and forths go in/out. Don't ever underestimate the gold that is in a college town: they go to the movies! Best/ Mike
Michael Hurley
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Re: need your expert advice! 03 Mar 2007 13:41 #14468

  • dec804us
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Hi Suzie,
Just wondering 7 years later if you built your movie theater. I am considering getting into the business & am asking questions.
Wanda
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