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TOPIC: a few questions that i cant find answers to

a few questions that i cant find answers to 20 Jun 2007 17:13 #15407

  • (sha)
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so, ive looked around many times and still cant find answers. i only have a few questions, so if someone could answer them, i would appreciate that.

my first question is... does age matter? im 18, going to be 19 in a few months. i know there is alot of stuff to do, but i know i can do it. everyone tells me that i am too young.

my second question is.... college, is it something that is really needed? my cousin has a degree in business and ive been asking her and she doesnt know. someone said that college cant teach someone how to run a movie theater, and i had to think about that... truth is, they dont really. so, is it possible to run a movie theater if you have no college or degrees or anything? of course, i would get help from my cousin and other people in my family.

so those are my questions, college and age. those are the main things i worry about.

if you build it, they will come
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 20 Jun 2007 18:03 #15408

  • LanceC
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In my opinion, at your age, you should continue your education. Even if it is a two year degree. If you want to run a business, then you should study business administration or some other business related courses. While you are in college...do the best that you can. Study your butt off, and get a part time job at a theatre. Shovel popcorn, tear tickets, work harder than anyone else for less than you should. Do extra shifts as long as it doesn't interfere with your studies. Most of the people here on this board that have theatres, put in more time than just a 9 to 5 for two reasons. 1. they love the business, 2.they take pride in their business and presentation as it reflects on the owner.
Do not be naive to think that at 18, you will qualify for loans, negotiate film deals, negotiate leases, negotiate insurance costs, deal with employees, fix projection equipment, scrub toilets, clean up vomit, make 60 to 70K a year and retire fat and happy. This business is a labor of love. To answer your initial question do you need to go on to school? Yes. Can you do all of this at 18 to 19, probably not, but you could if you start now, and study and learn. Do a poll and ask here how many of us either have another job, multiple theatres and another job, retired and bought a theatre. You would be surprised at the answer. Good luck
lance
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 20 Jun 2007 19:00 #15409

  • Narrow Gauge
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Purchased theater at 23 having worked in the biz since 16-worked 2nd job for 7 years before I opened a multiplex and could afford to work only one job.
No at 19 with no theater experience you will certainly not get your dream financed. However If you are independently wealthy than you can get just about anything done if your willing to spend enough.
Listen to Lance C -get some experience and then follow your dream.
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 20 Jun 2007 23:34 #15410

  • rufusjack
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I am going to be a bit different here. But first my background: I have two bachelor degrees and a MBA. I have also taught at local colleges.

IMO, at 18-19, go get a job and mature a bit for a couple of years before you go to college. For most people college is not terribly important unless you want to get into the conglomo corporate world.

I taught mostly adults in college and they were a helluva lot better students than I was.

I beleive it to be a bit odd that society is asking 18 year olds what they want to do for the rest of their life. I know I wasted alot of time and money (still paying back student loans at age 38 but I had a bitchin' stereo and furniture when I was in college).

If you want to own a theater someday, definetly go work in one and bust your ass that way.

There is nothing wrong about NOT going to college right out of high school. But definetly get a job and get a taste of the real life and don't let people imply that you are a loser or not smart by not going to college right now.
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 21 Jun 2007 09:39 #15411

  • cft
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I am a strong advocate for education having not finished my degree. I've been in TV for 20 years and that degree has somewhat held me back from getting out of the biz. I'm going back to school for business so I can open a theatre and am considering quitting a very good job to work part time at a local multi to learn the ropes. I wish I could go back to when I was your age! I agree with the guy above, get your two year degree in business while you work at a theatre. When you go to a bank to ask for money you will be able to back up your business plan with valuable experience in the biz. Also, you may start working at the theatre and decide it isn't the direction your life should take. That's ALWAYS a possibility to consider.
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 21 Jun 2007 11:51 #15412

  • rodeojack
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I would also advocate staying in school, but maybe for a different reason.

You're on your own now, but haven't a firm grasp on where you're going. Get back in school. Even if you don't go in there for a specific reason, the environment will give you a lot more options to consider than reading the help wanted ads in the paper will.

On whether to go right into college or work "in the field" for a couple of years: I see Rufusjack's point, but my experience with my own kids was a little different. They went to a school where college was an underlying goal. Because of that, they graduated with a clear view of what was ahead of them, and acceptance at the university firmly in-hand. Still, two of them changed their majors, and one didn't declare her direction until well into her second year. They didn't worry about that, because they already knew the first year was set up to give them that option. In the end, all have done well.

There's something to be said for maintaining momentum by going right back to school... though taking a break for awhile might also have its merits. Spend some time thinking that out, then act on your conclusions.
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 21 Jun 2007 13:25 #15413

  • Mike
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The school of hard knocks is an all inclusive one. Anyone of any ang is welcome to jump right in. No 18 year old, or anyone else for that matter, wants to hear this but there are a lot of mistakes and missteps and hard knocks directly ahead. You will make most of your screwed up decisions and mistakes as a younger person than as an older. The likelihood of screwing it up due to inexperience is enormous. That said: maybe you are that one in 10,000 guys and you'll succeedd like all heck. Either way: Winston Churchill said " Never, never, never, never give up."

Michael Hurley
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 21 Jun 2007 13:28 #15414

  • Mike
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It is proven: more money is earned if you have more education. I would suggest take all the busines and finance and communications courses you can get your hands on.

I quit college after 3.5 days in the midst of Business Math 101 thinking "I'll never use this!" Act in haste, repent at leisure.

Michael Hurley
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 22 Jun 2007 15:57 #15415

  • (sha)
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thanks everyone. i appreciate all that.

well this might be kinda long......

im still thinking about going to college. ive wanted to since i was a kid. but for the last year or so ive had so much trouble with them. i somewhat feel like ive already ruined my chances at that, thats why i was asking if it was impossible to get there without college. ya know.

yeah i know about all the mistakes and everything. thats one thing ive heard alot about. but its said that you have to fail to succeed. trust me, i know im gonna make mistakes and i know im gonna mess up somewhere.

i would love to get a job at a theater. ive tried, several times, several theaters. the one that is closest to my house, i have put in applications time after time. even before i graduated high school. and ive been graduated a year, i honestly dont know what im doing wrong.

at one time i had this thought that if a bank or someplace like that wouldnt give me a loan then i would find some other way, like getting loans from other people that arent from a bank. ive seen people do that before. i know its going to take alot of money, i know that. but i told my family that im willing to pay for this for the rest of my life cause i know i would have it and thats the only thing that makes me happy. plus, i know lots of people that are paying off for something, and have nothing to show for it. thats how i look at it. ya know.

of course, i would try to learn everything that i need to know, some way or another. and i know i dont know how to run a business, but i have several people in my family that know how to do everything. i will not go in this alone, if thats what everyone was thinking. and my cousin has a business degree and she isnt doing anything with it. i will find lots of people to help me. is that possible?

another thing...... i do love the business. being at a movie theater is like the only place that i can actually be myself. does that make sense? but i dont care about the money, i honestly dont. plus, i would love to go to work. i would spend all day there if i could.

anyways, nobody asked me what i wanted to do for the rest of my life. they didnt have to. i know this is what i want to do, i seriously cant see me doing anything else. thats where i belong, i just know it....

if you build it, they will come
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 22 Jun 2007 19:31 #15416

  • BurneyFalls
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Have you actually talked to the owner or manager at your local theatre or have you just filled out the applications and turned them in? I get a lot of applications I never look twice at. I want someone who is truly interested in the job, not just the little money they will make.

If you have talked to them, maybe try it again, but this time offer to volunteer for a set period of time (two to four weeks or whatever you can afford) so they they can get to know you and your work ethic. Then say something like you would like the opportunity to be considered for a job there after your volunteer time is up and they have gotten to know you. Tell them that you would like the opportunity to work your way up the ladder from janitor to concession sales, to projectionist and include whatever steps they have in between.

I can't say why they will not give you a chance, but I will ask a couple questions. How is your appearance? Do you look professional when you go in to seek employment? Are your clothes clean and appropriate for the situation? Do you have visible piercings or tattoos that turn employers off? Is your handwriting legible? Just my opinion, but I want someone who will begin a sentence with a capital letter--not doing so indicates to me someone who is lazy with the English language and possibly lazy in the workplace also. That may not be the case, but first impressions are very important.

Just put your best foot forward and try for the best first impression possible.
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 24 Jun 2007 23:58 #15417

  • (sha)
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no i havent talked to the owner, i could barely even get them to talk to me about getting an application. and i am very interested in the job, which is why i keep filling out applications and turning them in. everyone tells me that i need to turn in another one, but i think after three, then what is the use? but i know i am more interested in the job than most of the people i know that work there. all they care about is the money.

i would love to volunteer but i just cant cause i actually do need the money. but if i was still in high school it would be no problem. ya know.

plus, nobody likes the way i look. seriously nobody. but the people at the theater never really see me, so i dont think thats it this time. another thing, they have uniforms so why would that matter anyway? and i dont have any piercings or tattoos. my handwriting is okay too. trust me, when its something important like that i will use capitals and everything. im not lazy just cause i dont use capitals on the internet...

honestly i hate first impressions. cause usually with everyone i know, they dress up and act all nice just those few times when they have to, but then they are the lazy people that just want to do whatever they want.

if you build it, they will come
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 25 Jun 2007 01:33 #15418

  • RoxyVaudeville
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As many here have already said, the more education the better. It will be helpful, BUT is not a MUST to be successful in the theatre business.

What you really do need, which has also already been discussed here is to become employed in a theatre where you can learn the business firsthand. The best place for that is NOT at a chain owned multiplex, but at an independently owned theatre, where the owner not a manager can teach you the ropes once you have proven your sincere interest and dedication. To be successful operating a theatre you must become a showman, and most multiplex managers (and even owners) have no idea what that word means.

You have said that you have tried, but have never even been called in for an interview. You also state that "nobody likes the way you look"... what do you mean by that? The way you dress? Your grooming? Do you think that you are too big or too small, or unattractive in some other way? There is much you can do to improve your appearance if you think that is where the problem lies.

What you need to do is to find out where the manager or owner hangs out. Where does he or she go for lunch or for coffee breaks. Find an opportunity to get involved in conversation about movies or the movie business with that person. I often hang out at a local coffee shop where I get into various discussions with the regulars, and often I get asked about movies or the theatre business. A young high school student started coming in there about 7 years ago and would often become involved in conversations with us old timers. At first he didn't interest me at all as a possible employee even though he told me he would like to work at the theatre. After a year or so he actually asked me if I had an opening. My first thought was to say no, but then I thought, even though he doesn't have the appearance that I usually look for when considering hiring, I decided to give him a chance. It was the best decision that I could have ever made. He is now in college and has been with me for about four years and is one of the best employees that I have ever had. Persistence pays off.

As far as age, don't let that bother you. It's what you know and what you do that is important, not how old you are. I started working in theatres at age 16 and had my first theatre at age 19. My 2nd at 20 and my 3rd at 21. The 3rd one is the one I still have today 37 years later. Over the years I have had 18 theatres. 15 indoors and 3 drive-ins.

I had no money when I started in business. My total investment was under one hundred dollars. I know things have changed and many would say that it could not be done that way today. Wrong, it can and will happen again. When I retire someone will take over this theatre. It will most likely be someone that has worked for me for a number of years and has proven themself worthy. It might be someone who works for me now or someone yet to join my staff, but someday when that person proves their dedication to this theatre, this community, and to me, and I feel they are ready, I'll turn the reigns over to them. They will not need any money. I'll either lease the theatre to them or hold the mortgage for them. If they are the right person, I'll do whatever it takes to set them up in this business.

All they have to do is win my confidence.

If it can happen here, it can happen elsewhere... you just need to find that right situation.


[This message has been edited by RoxyVaudeville (edited June 25, 2007).]
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 29 Jun 2007 07:59 #15419

  • Pieman
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Sha. To help get the job at the cinema you need to be smiley and happy, be confident. Wear appropriate clothing, be clean and well groomed and most importantly show up when they aren't busy putting shows in. We sometimes get people who show up dirty and smelly, wearing ripped clothing or bellies hanging out etc. Answer questions in yes or no grunts. And showing up right when we are really busy. These people don't get a second look. Write yourself a good resume to hand in, don't rely on their application forms. If they always seem busy, phone and ask for an appointment time. Good luck
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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 05 Jul 2007 15:39 #15420

  • rdetzler
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I have a degree but little love for college. If you dont know why you are going, dont waste your money. If you want to be the CEO of a major firm, an engineer, a software developer or any other such thing that legitimately requires years of training go for it. You dont need a college degree to run a theater.

That said unless you have a pile of money to get yourself started you dont have a chance at 18. No bank will talk to you. You have no credit history so no suppliers will talk to you. Without experience and a well thought out business plan you are not doing anyone any favor by taking their money. Remember that you are taking investors money to make them money too. I make a good living and it still took me close to a year to screw together the financing needed. If you fail using family and friend money you will never look at yourself the same way again.

Mike is right about most of us. Most of us with theaters have other jobs as well. I knew nothing about the industry before I got in, just loved the theater and had a good background in concert promotion / production.

I have hired plenty of scruffy looking kids. Most of my crew are complete film addicts. Unless you come in and are ready to talk film and music you are not working for me. Part of what I do is create a place for people like yourself. Not only can they field strip and repair my Brenkert BX-80s (we have one mounted on a stand just for practice), but we hold film camps and shoot short films and commercials for fun. (We are shooting a Heinz 57 commercial for a contest right now). My customers understand that our theater is not about a bunch of apple faced kids selling popcorn. They know and understand that my crew will always be in the film industry and that they were probably fixing broken seats or splicing film 10 minutes before they were on concessions. We are all about the industry because all of us love it. You need to get in with a group like that, take some night courses and learn your way. Forget about working for some corporate googleplex, you wont learn a thing because they arent there to teach.


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Re: a few questions that i cant find answers to 06 Jul 2007 00:15 #15421

  • rodeojack
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Well said!
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