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Booking Fees Question 19 Feb 2009 11:22 #30919

  • terken
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Hello All -

I've been a frequent visitor to this site for years, but its my first time posting. I am currently working on a business plan to renovate and reopen a 12-screen theatre in the Atlanta area. I'm a 17 year veteran in the biz and decided its time to make the jump and take on my own business. Of all the data I've been compiling over the past several months (and its ALOT), I can't seem to find a clear source of information on booking services - specifically booking agent fees. Can someone give me a range of these costs and how they are derived (i.e. are they fixed or variable based on gross?) Does anyone have a recommendation for a booking service that handles the Atlanta area? (there are so many listed in the directory!)

I appreciate your help, and I look forward to posting more questions throughout this process. Thanks!
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Re:Booking Fees Question 19 Feb 2009 14:22 #30922

  • revrobor
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The fees vary from booker to booker. You'll just need to inquire of the individual bookers. In the past I used Frank Rash of Theatre Booking Service. He's in Nebraska but will book anywhere. I liked his work because he booked my single screen just the way I wanted and went out of his way to see that I was satisfied. He charged me $150 a month and would keep me booked a month in advance.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Booking Fees Question 19 Feb 2009 14:45 #30923

  • Barry Floyd
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My theatre is in Tennessee, but my booker is in Ohio. He charges us a flat rate per screen per week.

I've spoken with other theatre owners whose booker takes a flat rate plus a percentage of the boxoffice gross. Unless you really trust your booker, I'd find a booker who opts for the flat rate. An unscruptuolus (sp?) booker could tell you he's got you a deal with X studio for Y percentage, and in actuallity he may have bargained you a "Z" deal with the studio, and he pockets the difference.

Our booker sends us the invoices from the studio, and although we mail the checks to the booker, we make the checks payable to the studio.

A booker can definetely make you or break you. I've had the same booker for the last five years and I've been very happy with both the terms he's been able to negotiate and the service he and his staff have provided.
Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee
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Re:Booking Fees Question 19 Feb 2009 22:15 #30928

  • slapintheface
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I have a 3 screen and pay $900.00 per month .Worth every penny!
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Re:Booking Fees Question 19 Feb 2009 22:49 #30929

  • cuemarks
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After our booker retired around 1995 we started booking our own movies. It has been interesting dealing with different film company booking agents. Come to think of it, many of the independents in my area book their own movies. Cuemarks
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Re:Booking Fees Question 20 Feb 2009 03:11 #30937

  • Alan_G
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It's been nearly six years since I was co-owner of a small theater in the Atlanta area. We used Annette Ashurst of The Ashurst Agency in Fayetteville, Georgia for our bookings. They're the very first entry in the Film Booking Services section of the Directory here on Big Screen Biz. Give Annette a call.


Alan G
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Re:Booking Fees Question 20 Feb 2009 11:37 #30939

  • terken
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Thank you all for the useful information. You guys are great! I'll keep you posted...
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Re:Booking Fees Question 21 Feb 2009 21:27 #30950

  • Narrow Gauge
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Book for yourself-I love it and no one will advocate for your theater more than you. I much prefer booking myself than having a booker and the filter that comes with it.
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Re:Booking Fees Question 21 Feb 2009 22:39 #30951

  • slapintheface
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Booking is good for yourself is you are in a clear zone.I have 78 screens in 15 miles you need a great booker.
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Re:Booking Fees Question 22 Feb 2009 17:44 #30954

  • cuemarks
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Good point , I could see a good booker being the only way to go in a situation like that. cuemarks
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Re:Booking Fees Question 23 Feb 2009 11:25 #30955

  • Mike
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I book 4 theatres, two of my own. I believe in booking my own theatre. But I know what I am doing and I studied long before I took it over. If you are new to the business the last thing you want to take on is booking. More than the mechanicals of the booking process you will need your booker more as an advisor to make sure you don't screw up. The theatres I book currently other than my own are in a weekly booking fee structure with a decling rate as they get up to speed and require less communication and time. One I went into completely understiood that I am teaching them all I know and they can choose to swim when they are ready. You should expect to pay a little more if you are asking to be taught the booking business to take over yourself.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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