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TOPIC: 4th of July

4th of July 11 Jun 2008 18:18 #19022

  • jenhelene
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This is our first year operating as a theater. A lot of people in our area (or should I say, United States), go to watch the fireworks at night on the night of the 4th. It's a Friday this year.

Do you guys (smaller theaters) have your last movie at about 7pm so it wraps up before dark? Are there a lot of patrons that want to go during (or even after) the festivities?
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Re: 4th of July 11 Jun 2008 20:45 #19023

  • leeler
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we've had some luck on 4th of July but not great.

2004 Shrek 2 Very Good Attendance
2005 Star Wars 3 Low Attendance
2006 Over the Hedge Low Attendance
2007 Pirates 3 Medium Attendance
2008 Wall*E Better be damn good attendance

Kind of depends on the movie. My hope is that it can be a family affair (like Shrek 2) and people will make a nite of it.

our shows are at 7 so people will be able to see fireworks afterwards

[This message has been edited by leeler (edited June 11, 2008).]
"What a crazy business"
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Re: 4th of July 12 Jun 2008 00:20 #19024

  • rodeojack
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Some drive-ins actually set up their own displays. Over here, it's the opposite.

Several cities, and a couple of large businesses have some well-organized shows, which operate from barges out in the bay. People set up along the roads throughout the day... it's a huge party.

Unfortunately for me, the party is 5 miles from where my theatre is. An 800 car night will be reduced to 10, simply because of the holiday.

So... we don't open on that night, no matter what day it happens to be. After 22 years, it's a fact of life we've long since accepted.

Besides... it lets us go to the party, too!
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Re: 4th of July 12 Jun 2008 19:27 #19025

  • tratcliff
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We always close after the 7pm show on fireworks night, which is always a Saturday here.
Not only will no one come to a 9pm,
but it would be cruel to make employees miss the fireworks. AND me and my family go to the fireworks as well!!
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Re: 4th of July 12 Jun 2008 20:33 #19026

  • BurneyFalls
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My theatre in the town where the fireworks occur is always closed on that night. I keep the other theatre in the next town open.

That weekend is a huge event weekend here. I sell hot dogs, soda, popcorn and candy, during the parade that goes by in front of the theatre. That is my only income that day there.

[This message has been edited by BurneyFalls (edited June 13, 2008).]
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Re: 4th of July 13 Jun 2008 11:54 #19027

  • ttroidl
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Same here, We always Closed the Grandview on the 4th because everyone was going to be at the beach for the fireworks displays anyways!

not saying we wouldn't have had anyone but certainly not enough. and generally a week or so befor the 4th people start bringing in their own fireworks that we had to try and chase down when they start firing them off with a lot full of kids and people! (not to mention cars with leaky gas tanks just ready to go BOOM!)

Ah yes, the fun the magic and the memories!

tony.
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Re: 4th of July 13 Jun 2008 22:35 #19028

  • slapintheface
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I hate to start....Close 4th of July even on a FRIDAY!.This might be the most crazy thing i have read on this site.
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Re: 4th of July 14 Jun 2008 10:25 #19029

  • puzzlegut
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Since we're normally only open on weekends, there have been only 3 years in which we were open during 4th of July. In 2002, we opened Men in Black 2, and we did 2 shows at day (5 & 8PM) and had less then 50 people total for the day. In 2003, we had Rugrats Go Wild and we did our regular 8PM show with only about 30 people. In 2004, we opened Spiderman 2 and had two showings; our first show did about 130 people, and our 8PM showing did about 150.

So I guess a lot of it will depend on what film you will be showing on that day. We're going to be opening Wall-E the previous weekend and plan on doing at least one showing of it on 4th of July.
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Re: 4th of July 14 Jun 2008 11:29 #19030

  • slapintheface
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Since when do we close when we have only 5, 10,30 or 50 people.We are there to serve our customers.1 or 1000.....
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Re: 4th of July 14 Jun 2008 22:13 #19031

  • jacker5
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Sounds like a public service announcement! Very well said!
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Re: 4th of July 14 Jun 2008 23:01 #19032

  • trackfood
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I can see both sides of this. Its hard to pay for employees etc, when there are few patrons. But, it is nice to be consistent and stay open. Our theatres only closed on Christmas eve. We ran shows thru 5pm, then were closed for the night. In 15 years, we only closed TWO other times, when we had an extrememly bad blizzard and there were many FEET of snow everywhere, and the other being on 9-11 when everything seemed to shut down that day.
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Re: 4th of July 15 Jun 2008 13:49 #19033

  • jenhelene
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I can definitely see both sides as well. We have had to make adjustments in our hours and the days we are open to serve our patrons as well as not lose too much money. There are many days when we only see 20-30 people walk through our doors, and that doesn't bother us. When we see a pattern of only 5 or 6 people, well, we need to rethink our business plan. It's a trial and error for each individual theater in each different part of the country.

I have found that as long as people KNOW IN ADVANCE what the showtimes will be, on which day, they are fine. We started closing on Mondays, and everyone has adjusted and plans around that.

Perhaps if we choose to close at around 7pm, we will offer some later showings on Thursday night. That seems like to be a good compromise.
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Re: 4th of July 15 Jun 2008 14:03 #19034

  • Mike Spaeth
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I agree with slap - you can't make money if you aren't open. Why close on Mondays? Hire a relief manager so you can still have the day off but not go dark. The theatre business is a 365-day one...
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Re: 4th of July 15 Jun 2008 14:31 #19035

  • slapintheface
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do you open for holiday Mondays??
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Re: 4th of July 15 Jun 2008 18:27 #19036

  • BurneyFalls
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Until you have lived and operated a theatre in a very small town, you have no idea what a weekend-long major event like the 4th of July or the County Fair is like. So, call me crazy if you want, but I like going to the Fireworks and mingling (often with a grandkid or two in tow) with the thousand or so people (mostly customers of mine) who are there for the fun and games before the Fireworks begin. Then I settle down with my family right before the Fireworks begin and enjoy the event like everyone else-- including everyone who works for me and their friends and family.

Not every theatre has the population base to be open 365 days a year. If you did an analysis of every theatre in the country you would conclude that the numbers simply do not justify a theatre in many communities that have them. In those cases, the theatres are there for the community more so than for the money. Why do you think Regal hasn't moved into those towns?

More power to those of you who have the population base to justify multiple showings 365 days a year. I applaud and respect you, but don't bash us because we don't follow your business plan.
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