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TOPIC: Purchasing prints vs. rental

Purchasing prints vs. rental 15 Apr 2001 03:43 #1487

  • david
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Hi all.

I'm completely new to all of this, but was playing around with some ideas.

First off, I was wondering if it is possible to purchase film prints outright to be shown in a theater, instead of the usual 50% or so rental fee. My basic idea is to stock favorites in a film "library" so that the screenings are varied and people could select movies for private group screenings.

Also, how practical would it be to replace the standard theater seats with sofas, couches, and comfy chairs? The idea is to try to make going to the movies as comfortable as watching a DVD at home. But, instead of watching Citizen Kane or Full Metal Jacket at home on a 32" screen, you could have all the conveniences of home with a 20' x 15' screen.

Instead of the usual concessions, we would have a lobby cafe with gourmet treats and beverages. One of the best theaters I've been to, the Little Theatre in Rochester, NY, has the Little Cafe where they have art displayed on the walls and live jazz on the weekends.

Is this feasible? Is it practical or potentially profitable? Anyone else doing anything like this?

Thanks in advance.

David
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Re: Purchasing prints vs. rental 15 Apr 2001 12:18 #1488

  • Ken Layton
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Purchasing prints does not give you the rights to exhibit those prints. It's called copyright infringement.

As for putting in couches, forget it. If you make your theater like someone's living room, why should the people leave their own living room to pay money to sit in your living room? And if people did show up at your "living room" they'd bring their own snacks, too.
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Re: Purchasing prints vs. rental 15 Apr 2001 16:11 #1489

  • trackfood
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You cannot exhibit a movie if you buy a print. You do not own the rights to show it. As far as couches,etc. some of the big chains have tried this.They call it Premium Cinema,or Luxury Cinemas. They put in fancy chairs,couches, leather loveseats etc. They usually have upscale concessions, deep fried foods,white popcorn, cappuccino, fancy ice cream etc.Typically, these theatres even get a higher $$$ than normal screen. The concessions are more outrageous than normal. Depending on your area/market it might work, might not. I would say not, because you are getting a limited clientelle, fancy folks that want the fancy seating and concessions. You cannot have as many seats as traditional theatres. General cinemas has recently closed many of their premium cinemas. I don't see it working out. Lots of costs,not much $$$ just my opinion.
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Re: Purchasing prints vs. rental 15 Apr 2001 19:47 #1490

  • david
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Thanks for the input. I really wasn't sure of the whole film purchasing/renting bit. How hard is it to locate older films, whether cult classics like The Blues Brothers or classic classics like Cassablanca?

I'm located in South Florida which is kind of short on art-house theatres and certainly has a very large population (over 1 million). Does this change anything in your opinion or is the idea doomed before it starts?

Thanks again.

David
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Re: Purchasing prints vs. rental 16 Apr 2001 02:07 #1491

  • Bird
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David, maybe this might clear up your questions about rental/purchasing prints. As you know your normal newer releases/ art/ second run films run as a split % that you must give.
However, older films ARE available to show without a % split. Certainly not everything is available, but if you wanted say Antz for a kids summer camp, or American Beauty for an Oscar week, they may be available for about $150-300 flat fee per week. (Fee is totally dependant on the movie and the deal you work out) Any profits above that amount you keep outright.

Don't know if that helped or not
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Re: Purchasing prints vs. rental 17 Apr 2001 05:49 #1492

  • Mike
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Hi David.... films can be bought easily and there are publications/newpapers speacializing in that field/ I don't have the name here.... EBAY has them for sale all the time... but how many people have a 35 projector. However: everyone else made the very clear legal point neophytes don't grasp easily that owning a print... even if legal ownership can be documented (and some prints are never legally sold)... does not convey any right to exhibit the film for ticket paying customers. If you really want to feel the wrath of God try that with a print from any of the major distribs and you'll feel the power. But why bother? The prints are mostly all there for the rental. Flat fee, 35 % or whatever... it's a whole lot easier and cheaper to let them own the print... who wants to see any movie more than once a year????? If that!

Couches...... the places I've seen this done were funky. That's fine if all you want is people who don't mind sitting on funky used couches. But even funky folk have an aversion to suspicious stains. Just get yourself some comfortable theatre seats... spread them out more, thrown in hassocks! Hell if I know. People like to sit in theatre seats my friend. A theatre near me used to have couches in the front until they discovered that teen's heads would slowly sink down followed by loud breathing and grunting noises. And suspicious stains.
Best/ Mike

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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