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TOPIC: is there such a thing as "second run"?

is there such a thing as "second run"? 25 Aug 2009 09:12 #32185

  • Mike
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In the old days of not so long ago films did not go to DVD or video very quickly and films transitioned to "second run" and dollar houses. These days it seems to me that there is very little of this. These days: You might play older films but the window for you to play them is from the time the local plex lets them go until they come out on DVD. If your theatre is down the road from a multi plex you generally can not get a print until the big dog lets it go. Then you can pick it up. Am I right on this? And of course you can play a lot of art stuff as the competition is not very strong. Does second run and dollar houses still live?
Michael Hurley
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Re:is there such a thing as "second run"? 25 Aug 2009 11:23 #32190

  • slapintheface
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I believe you see less of it for the sheer fact its not economical to run big multiplex as 2 nd run. If you lease a theater ,electric,ins,payroll,phone,wokers comp and film rental whats left on a $2.50 ticket.Not much..
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Re:is there such a thing as "second run"? 25 Aug 2009 11:26 #32191

  • rodeojack
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They have all disappeared from my area. The closest thing to second run here is when I pick up something I didn't open and run it as a second feature at my drive-in.

Other than chain-owned first-run theatres (not all of which are doing well), we have two "art" houses. One has been around forever & does a good business (good location, too). The other is one of those small downtown houses, too close to a Regal multi. They've been trying art, but all accounts are that they aren't doing well.

There are a couple of $2-type theatres in the Seattle-Tacoma area. Both are in strip-mall locations, long ago passed over by the multitudes of shoppers. If you need a population that large to keep one or two discounters alive, that might possibly say something about your chances in a smaller area.

Don't forget... Redbox is getting a lot of titles around the time that DVD stores are, if not just after. Overhead for one of those gadgets has to be a lot lower than keeping the doors open in an old multiplex.
Last Edit: 25 Aug 2009 11:27 by rodeojack.
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Re:is there such a thing as "second run"? 25 Aug 2009 15:24 #32193

  • RoxyVaudeville
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I certainly can't speak for other areas of the country, but we still have a decent number of 2nd run theatres here in eastern Pennsylvania. I book a number of them.

We had quite a few 2nd run multi-plexes from the early 90s thru about 2005, but they ALL have gone out of business. Only the old single screen subruns that have been around for 50 to 75 years remain. It seems that only single screen theatres can make it as a 2nd run, while only multi screen theatres are successful as first runs. Why is that? To be successful as a 2nd run you need a large population base to draw from, but you also need to be different... not just the usual shoebox theatre. That's why older single screens work better. The older and more architecturally unique, the better. Product is another reason. There aren't enough good pictures to fill several screens. In the summer... sure. Around the holidays... yes, but the rest of the year it is a challenge just to find one decent grossing picture sometimes.

The old theatres if kept up or restored create a movie going experience that you can't get at a multi-plex. Flashy marquees, beautiful architecture, classy chandeliers, plush stage curtains and draperies all add excitement to the movie going experience. However, the building isn't everything, a uniformed staff, soft colored lighting slowly dimmed at the beginning of the show, a preshow of one or two trailers with appropriate daters, and possibly a cartoon... with NO preshow ads all add to that wonderful old time movie going experience.

You put all that together along with a price of $5.00 or less and people will come. The lower the price, the better. I do it with a $3.00 ticket price, and refreshments where nothing exceeds $3.00 as well. However, in order for them to come, people have to know that you exist, and what it is that you have to offer. That's where promotion and publicity comes in. Your theatre must stay in the forefront. It must constantly be in the news in a positive manner. You also must be envolved in the community. Make your theatre not just a movie theatre, but a community center, and the community will partake.

What it takes can be summed up it just one word... SHOWMANSHIP.

I've been running my theatre for almost 40 years, and I have posted many articles about what I have done to promote this theatre. It has provided me with a comfortable living. What more could I have ever ask for?

I'm still convinced that 2nd run theatres can be sussessful, but it takes a lot of work and the correct formula. I outgross many first run theatres, and all the other 2nd run theatres in the state. A number of 2nd runs have opted to adopt my formula, and in every case the closer then have come to imitating it the more successful they have become. And this has been with my blessings. They are theatres that are not in direct competition with me. They are people that came to me knowing of my theatres success and were interested in purchasing their community theatre and wanted advice on what to do. It is my desire to help save as many single screen small town theatres as possible. I would therefore allow them to spend time to observe my operation, to teach them what they need to know to carry out a similar success in their town. I'm happy to say that it's been working.

So yes... there still are 2nd run theatres, and they can be successful, but they must be promoted. You must sell sell sell. Sell your pictures, sell your theatre, sell your envolvement in the community. As one editorial writer posted in Exhibitor Magazine, back in the 50s when TV was closing thousands of theatres across America, you must sell your theatre, or sell your theatre.
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Re:is there such a thing as "second run"? 26 Aug 2009 08:24 #32200

  • rufusjack
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In our area of approx 75,000 people we have had a 4-plex operate as 2nd run for some time. From Jan 09 till tomorrow, Goodrich had operated a older 4-plex at the mall as a discount (both theaters wer/are $3 a ticket wiht the Goodrich theater added a free small (46 oz) corn as well.

The Goodrich theater is also across the mall parking lot from a newer 8 plex that Goodrich has. Previous to Jan '09, all 12 screens they operated where first run. Their lease ends at the end of the mo. for the 4 screens. So I am going to assume that the 4-screen operated as a 2nd run was not popular since they are closing it down.

As far as the other longer running 2nd run....I recall about 8-9 years ago before I got into this business the operations manager for the hotel that onwed that theater on multiple occasions had begged me to take the theater off of their hands. So I have no idea how that theater does. I know they give free passes to hotel guests so that kinda of muddies things up a bit.

In the KC area there are a few multiple screens 2nd. I recall one even having 2 prints of Dark Knight at one point.

www.globecinemas.com/Cinemas/noland_fashion.htm
www.globecinemas.com/Cinemas/metro_north.htm
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Re:is there such a thing as "second run"? 10 Sep 2009 16:03 #32288

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Roxy,
I would love for you share your formula for success with me. We are a single screen on our town's Main St. We seat 900 and our theatre is a nice place with lots of atmosphere from the 1940's. Could be a little nicer, but we don't have tons of money to put into it, but the community likes it as it has been there since 1941. An 8 screen moved in about 3 years ago about 2 miles away on the outside of town and we have struggled since then with tryng to do live shows and a few movies and such to keep the bills paid. Need a solid plan that I work. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Re:is there such a thing as "second run"? 12 Sep 2009 19:39 #32309

  • RoxyVaudeville
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elvislvr

If you do a search here at bigscreenbiz using my handle RoxyVaudeville, you will find all my posts over the past 10 years. Everything I could possibly tell you should be there without me having to retype anything.

However, if you still have questions, and wish to contact me to discuss this further, e-mail me and we can arrange to have a phone chat.
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