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TOPIC: Info Please ?

Info Please ? 30 Mar 2000 21:16 #289

  • ddilts399
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I am trying to find as much information as possile about the theater industry. I have subscribed to Boxoffice, NATO News and have purchased the Motion Picture Almanac. I am looking to either work a business plan to purchase an existing circuit or start building dependent upon the age of theaters in the circuit. I need more financial info, booking, screen to population support. Expected revenue per screen by population. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Info Please ? 30 Mar 2000 21:34 #290

  • Ken Layton
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It would not be a good idea to start building theaters right now. All the major theater chains are hurting money-wise because they built TOO MANY theaters. The markets are saturated. You'd be throwing your money away. Try buying one theater and fix it up. This is not a "get rich quick" industry.
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Re: Info Please ? 31 Mar 2000 09:44 #291

  • Mike
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Hello DD; I'd agree with Ken on most except there's always opportunity out there. Small circuits want to sell out. Mini-majors get rid of what they consider non performing theaters, and indies are always available. We purchased an existing theatre with two screens and a vid rental in the lobby. We sold off the vids and added a third screen and it makes money. We're big enough to keep a multi away. But hardly big enough to attract a multi on the other hand. Most companies consider small towns to be in the 100-250,ooo person range. The largest city in Maine is 62,000. I'd suggest buying one safe theatre and learn the business. While the reading is good there is no subsitute for hands on. Where are you located? Plan to attend Show East and West. You'll learn a lot there! Kepp asking questions and I'll do my best to answer specifics.
Michael Hurley
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Re: Info Please ? 31 Mar 2000 10:29 #292

  • ddilts399
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I am in the midwest and have been talking to the marketing director of the circuit. Most of the towns where they have locations are in the 15,000 - 50,000 population. Most of the theaters are aging. Several rumors are coming internal that the biggies are looking to move in if they do not build. Thats why I mentioned the possibility of a build. Ideally I would like to get the circuit and build where necessary to keep the big guys out. I know at this point since I have n experience I would rely on the people who already run things to keep it going while I learn the ropes. They currently have about 15 locations scattered in small towns here and there. The major questions for me; is there enough revenue to quit my current profession to learn this and support the family !
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Re: Info Please ? 31 Mar 2000 14:21 #293

  • MovieGuy
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DD- Does your family like Macaroni and Cheese? Hold onto your day job, run the theatre as a part time job. You won't get rich over night. Have you ever worked for a theatre? If not, find a pt job doing anything to get the into the flow of the industry. Don't jump into it head first. Its a dog eat dog industry.
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Re: Info Please ? 31 Mar 2000 15:17 #294

  • Mike
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DD/ 1. Do you have the financial background to purchase a small chain of fifteen or so existing theatres? 2. Do you have access to $ to build ahead of competition? If the answer to the above is 2 X yes then you need #1 an accountant to make sure that their numbers are good and reliable and if you can afford to purchase and run profitably. That level of business would demand a very serious acconting firm. Why are thse people selling? They may know something you don't. Make double damm sure that you get serious non-compete agreements covering all family relationships and partnerships: they might be planning to unload on you and build new with your money. That would hurt my feelings if it was me! Think about bringing in experienced good help @ managing theatres. You'll need it. I'd buy existing sites at fair market value because you can always expand and protect your territory but building brand new you'd be going after territory already served so you'll be in a war from day one. That's fun and you'll meet some very well financed characters. There are a lot of consultants in the biz. Take a look through Film Journal/Box Office for them. Keep thinking.

[This message has been edited by Mike (edited March 31, 2000).]
Michael Hurley
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