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TOPIC: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business?

How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 09 Feb 2012 22:23 #37826

  • JPRM
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Here's an issue I haven't yet run into in my theater quest. I've found another theater I like, and the owner is hoping to sell just the business. He's the current lessee, in other words, and doesn't own the building.

Any thoughts on this? It's just a one-screen and will need digital, but the location is great for a second-run theater. And the lease itself is quite reasonable.
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Re: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 10 Feb 2012 01:10 #37827

  • trackfood
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Well, the value probably isn't very high. The current projection equipment is worthless, because of the need to upgrade to digital. There is no property included. Basically, the business and concession equipment are the only things of value. Also, a single screen building designed as a movie theatre offers very little other uses, without major remodel. You would have to ask yourself this, If he closes, are there really going to be people lining up to purchase this business?
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Re: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 10 Feb 2012 04:22 #37828

  • revrobor
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I would not buy a theatre without buying the property and building. Also it's a little early to call 35mm equipment worthless.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 10 Feb 2012 05:46 #37829

  • slapintheface
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revrobor--- have to disagree with you on both points above. In 6 months no single screen is going to be able to get a print of anything even close to the break. 2nd no way should anyone be buying single screen or twin theaters unless they money to burn. Those theaters stay up for sale for years and years and if they have old sloped floors forget it.
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Re: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 10 Feb 2012 08:22 #37830

  • jacker5
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Very true there ARE plenty of single and twins out there for sale for ridiculous prices. With the kiss of death being 35 mm projection and slope floors. Yet they still have the same price as if it was 10 years ago! They will end up closing and losing everything if they dont wisen up and either convert or cut there prices for a quick sale!
Plus a lease...mmmm would never go with that! Talk to the landlord and see what price he has in mind for the real estate!
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Re: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 10 Feb 2012 08:26 #37831

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Hmmmm. I'm not crazy about buying a business such as this without either buying the property or just taking over a lease. But I do see a certain value in this particular business due to its location. In that sense it's not terribly different from a restaurant in a great spot. Whether I want to pay what the current operator is asking is another question.

One element of this that always comes up though is the one-screen factor. For obvious reasons, I'd MUCH rather have 2 or 3 screens. But I have to say that this particular market is probably one of the better places to be if you run a one-screen theater. There are quite a few here, independently owned, and they all seem to be doing pretty well. I get the feeling that theater folks in various other parts of the country have a hard time wrapping their noggins around that.

So, before y'all jump on me for that last statement, remember that I said I'd MUCH rather have two or three screens.
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Re: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 10 Feb 2012 17:49 #37833

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Not every theatre owner is thinking "on the break" or even close to it Slap. What will bring people into the theatre is quality entertainment and not stadium seating Jacker5.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 10 Feb 2012 20:20 #37834

  • paulii_2000
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@JPRM - This theatre you speak of sounds like the one I was trying to purchase. The reason I didn't was because of what they wanted for it and I didn't want to pay a 500% profit on it when it still has 35mm projector. I would love to know if this is the same theatre. I may email you if thats ok.
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Re: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 10 Feb 2012 20:58 #37835

  • JPRM
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Absolutely, paulii. You can reach me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you'd like to drop me an email. Thanks very much.
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Re: How Much to Pay for a Theater Business? 17 Mar 2012 09:40 #38065

  • SamCat
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For one screen I do not think it is worth anything.

You might have to ask for the profit and loss. If the earnings are less than you would earn working for someone with the same amount of hours then it is not worth anything.

I would also factor the cost into the digital projector into some of the profit as well. And as some one said above talk to the landlord and see if he is happy.

Often one screen I believe would not be worth the effort. Even if it was in a capital city. So check the books and just be very careful. As money and time is easy to lose and hard to make.
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