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TOPIC: Where did you get funding to start your theater?

Where did you get funding to start your theater? 17 Jul 2009 10:49 #31911

  • rufusjack
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This seems to be a topic for that comes up from time to time. I will go first.

We took over the operation of a twin theater in the fall of 2006. The theater has been pysically around for approx. 30 years but had only been in operation for probably half the time the preivous 10 years before we LEASED the property.

We intially spent approx $30,000 for sound equipment and concession equipment. (The theater had film equipment and screens and seats) That money came from a home equity loan.

6 mos later we replaced seats for $5500 paid with credit cards and property owner gave $100 per mo. rent concession that lasted for 15 mos. before lease was redone.

We remodeled last summer to add a 3rd screen and spent $27,000 paid for by 50% from cash flow and the balance from credit cards.

We are in the process of adding space to the theater right now for a new lobby, concession area, and to add a 4th screen. I am expecting this to run $13,000 which will be paid for from cash flow. (About half of the projection/sound equipment that will be used was bought last year when the 3rd screen was added).

For us no SBA loan was available as we had no equity in our home for collateral.

Who is next?
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Re:Where did you get funding to start your theater? 17 Jul 2009 14:57 #31913

  • Mike
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Two ways: we had enough money for a large down paymnet and did a conventional mortage. Pre anything goes! Later we did substantial construction and needed a re-fi as it cost + 140K. In my othe rtheatre I first leased and did the substantial improvements from cash, then I bought the property on a owners financing mortage and later re-fied with a bank for more cash to do other stuff. Fairly conventional.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re:Where did you get funding to start your theater? 17 Jul 2009 15:31 #31914

  • dsschoenborn
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We bought with owner financing. ( relatives ) They originally bought with a loan from the local bank. We have done lones with the bank since then for improvments so as to not use up all our $$ on hand. The bank we use is local owned so that make a big difference in service and loan consideration for projects like these.

Our other theatre is done with a lease and we used a bank loan to get $$ to buy equipment etc.

I have talked to a bank about getting investors too at some point for a very large project. Check with samll business banks they know people who will listen to a good business plan and help finance a building especially if it helps there town. Of course they will expect a better return on their money than if they had it other places.
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Re:Where did you get funding to start your theater? 17 Jul 2009 15:48 #31915

  • leeler
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we bought our theater/home from a theater group who was formed to renovate and get their theater back up and running. They obtained some grant monies (one from the state and one from the local gaming commission) that helped to repair the roof and begin the remodeling. We gutted the building and bought used and new equipment/screen etc and remodeled the upstairs for our home with the help of a state run financing authority. When digital comes around we will most likely have to get an equity loan or refinance the entire loan.
"What a crazy business"
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Re:Where did you get funding to start your theater? 17 Jul 2009 19:44 #31916

  • Keweler
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25% savings & family loans
5 % City Loan with low interest
70 % Normal bank loan guaranteed by USDA (Rural area development fund)
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