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TOPIC: new theatre

new theatre 24 Jan 2001 19:09 #14594

  • videodrome
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i'm looking into opening a new theatre...i have no idea where to start, equipment...film purchase(renting) where to buy projectors, and screens, movie seats..etc...how to install speaker/sound system, etc...any helpful information would be needed. sorry for not expanding on my request...thanks in advance!
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Re: new theatre 25 Jan 2001 12:01 #14595

  • dr
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Hi Videodrome, welcome to the site. Just wanted to point out to you that you can learn a lot from the posts that have been made in the past here. You look back as far as last year if want. I'm sure you'd find some answers to questions you might have and may bring new questions to mind that you could post for responses.
Again, welcome to our site and good luck in your theater venture.
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Re: new theatre 25 Jan 2001 18:47 #14596

Video:

When it comes to seating I am your Guy....I am Seating Guy!!! OK, so I can at least answer some, if not all of your questions. Either ask away here, or Email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Seating Concepts has been in business for 75 years and makes a variety of seats for all budgets. And the best thing is advice is $$$$FREE!So ask away.
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Re: new theatre 31 Jan 2001 11:38 #14597

  • ragtopzzz
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I am also interested in starting a movie theatre and I have started to research equipment, distributors, etc. Does anyone have a way to come up with a ballpark figure for what it costs to start a movie theatre? I realize there are a lot of variables to consider that will impact the cost, but I'm not sure exactly what to consider or what "formula" to use. I appreciate any input that anyone may have!
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Re: new theatre 31 Jan 2001 23:42 #14598

get a quote from a equipment dealer.
get a quote from a contractor.
It all depends on the screen count and auditorium size and type of equipment you put in.
My project looks like about 3 to 5 million
6 screen
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Re: new theatre 02 Feb 2001 09:59 #14599

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Thank you. Any idea where I might be able to get a copy of a "typical" movie theatre's financials (P&L, balance sheet, etc)?
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Re: new theatre 02 Feb 2001 21:34 #14600

  • Mike
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Finacials are very hard to come by. View all with a skeptical eye. What you can do is try to estimate your gross by computing how many tickets you expect to sell plus the concess stand. After that it's all minus. Figure 50% for film rental as an average. All other costs are about as basic as running a snack bar.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: new theatre 02 Feb 2001 22:55 #14601

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do you mean 50% of total costs???
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Re: new theatre 03 Feb 2001 01:40 #14602

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NO...He means 50% of ticket sales goes for film rent on the average for first run theatres. 40% for 2nd run.

In other words if you sell $200,000.00 worth of movie tickets for the year you could expect to pay $100,000.00 for the rental of the movies.
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Re: new theatre 03 Feb 2001 06:10 #14603

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Is 50% a good number for independent, foreign, and classic films? Some of my research suggests that average film rental costs may be lower if you aren't handling as many major-Hollywood-studio movies...
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Re: new theatre 03 Feb 2001 10:17 #14604

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roxy, and mike, thank you for your replys. aother question, when exactly do you pay for the rental of the movie, and how...credit card, cash, money order??? what is the most often used method of payment, as well as payment time?
thanks in advance!
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Re: new theatre 03 Feb 2001 14:09 #14605

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When we opened our 5-screen art house, we budgeted 40% for film rental. I think we averaged out the year by spending 41%, which isn't bad. When I worked for first run 12-plex it averaged out to 55%. There's your range.

We always pay by check and you must send a check each week for film rental. We always send a check for the agreed upon film rental percentage. I know a fellow who only sends a check each week for 35% of the film rental and lets the studios bill him for the rest. He says that about four times per year, they forget to bill him. I know another fellow who has found that a couple of studios will accept credit cards for settling film rental. When they do, he uses his frequent flyer bonus card so as to build up miles.


But the most important thing is to send them a check for at least 35% each week. That way they will come to love and trust you. Then you will find it easier to book films in the future. Remember that the big boys don't settle until months down the road and owe the studios millions. If you send them a check each week and settle fast, then sometimes you can beat the big boys out of a print.

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Re: new theatre 03 Feb 2001 18:13 #14606

  • Avalon
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And never forget, even if you are good and send in your $$$ every week, some moron is going to screw up (not the word i wanted to use) your bill. that means you get to spend hours digging up canceled cks and faxing them to teh company (and expect no thanks or apology). Some film companies have made double billing a fine art. I once got a bill that was sooooo screwed up, i ingored it too long (since it took days to untangle) and they yanked a booking -- FOR THEIR MISTAKE! most of the mistakes are made by people who couldn't care less that you are trying to make a living, and care even less that you had to spend your personal time doing their work for them. If i lived closer to L.A. i'd find out the idiot's address who fu. . . , i mean screwed up my last bill, show up at their house some weekend and say, "Since i had to spend my last weekend doing your job due to your incompetence, this weekend your goign to detail my car, then you need to come down and scrub the floor in my auditorium." never, ever forget, if it is a choice between you and a buck, the movie companies go for the buck. This is not a business for those who think the everybody is out there to help.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: new theatre 03 Feb 2001 18:16 #14607

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I just noticed my "Cynicism" warning light is flashing after that last post. Sorry about that. This is a wonderful business, but it is a business.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: new theatre 03 Feb 2001 18:54 #14608

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Yes, it has happened to us. One time a film company sent us a large bill. We did the research and discovered that not only had we paid in full but that the film had settled at a lower rate and we asked for a refund.

Sony is so paranoid about being paid that when you are just starting out, they demand a $1,500 deposit before they will send you a print. So one film did so poorly that the deposit was way more than the film rental so we asked for the money back. We could have left the deposit for the next film, but we were making a point. So they sent us the money back. Now January rolls around and they send us a 1099 form for the refund as if they were actually paying us for something! We called Sony and told them that that wasn't income.

Keep vigilant books. You should be able to tell someone, while they are on the phone, when you paid them and how much.
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