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TOPIC: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"?

Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 24 Mar 2012 22:13 #38156

I'm not talking about a traditional theatre but a Draft House style business which shows films. Not first or even second run movies, but art films, cult classics, small independent films, etc. Profits would be made off food and beverage sales, with no cover/admission charged. One feature per evening, and maybe additional midnight shows on weekends. How would you go about licensing something like that?
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 24 Mar 2012 22:35 #38157

  • Mike
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I was going to start a thread on this very subject. I heard a story on NPR about a theatre called Popcorn Noir in Easthampton, Mass. www.google.com/search?q=popcorn+noir+eas...ial&client=firefox-a and that is exactly what they do. www.easthamptonpopcorn.com/ in the interview they said "we pay lisc fees but we are not allowed to SAY THE ACTUAL NAME OF THE MOVIE." See their listings to understand. So they will say something like "Killer shark ravages beaches!" or "Woody Allen movie. Fruit monkey's like!" etc. I will talk to my bookers but I have a feeling it will be an ofdd sort of booking. I know in booking classics for dvd play it was a minimum of 150.00 and up. maybe for a week that's not bad. Their intention was to make money only from food, beer, wine. Sounds interesting and might be a good idea. I'll do a little reporting.
Michael Hurley
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 24 Mar 2012 22:47 #38158

  • Mike
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www.facebook.com/popcornnoir?sk=wall their facebook page for popcorn noir
Michael Hurley
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 24 Mar 2012 23:37 #38159

  • revrobor
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Mike wrote:
www.facebook.com/popcornnoir?sk=wall their facebook page for popcorn noir

I would think any image from the film is copyrighted and requires permission or licensing from the distributor in order to print it.
Bob Allen
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 25 Mar 2012 00:07 #38161

Too bad there isn't a film licensing organization similar to what ASCAP and BMI are for music licensing, where businesses can pay a flat annual rate based on the size of their facility, which would cover unlimited screenings of any movies released on DVD.
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 25 Mar 2012 01:55 #38162

  • Ozzy
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Hmmm - intriguing. I'd like to find out more about this too. So far, my research indicates that you have to be a non-profit organization to show movies this way but I'm not really all that informed about licensing so I am very interested to find out how they are doing this.

After two years of negotiating, I am getting closer to buying a historic theater . . . I will definitely share details if it goes through but I don't want to jinx it!
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 25 Mar 2012 17:33 #38167

  • Mike
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on their web site it says that you can buy a membership and that a day pass is free but you must sign in as a visitor for that day when at the theatre. Perhaps it is about a "club" or some such thing? Have not heard back yet from them.
Michael Hurley
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 26 Mar 2012 00:18 #38169

  • AllenD
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Ozzy and The Old Showman are correct.
I don't believe a commercial theater "draft house" that draws in customers with movies, even with out a cover charge, can show movies using a non theatrical license. The studios will book DVD's legally through a booker or via a theater's regular studio reps.
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 26 Mar 2012 02:13 #38170

  • rodeojack
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I would agree. The "club" or non-advertised concept sounds a lot like what others describe when booking non-theatrical licenses through Swank.

You might be able to book something on a flat-fee basis. Those are still around, but certainly nothing that carries a percentage. Well, maybe that's not totally true. The studios insist that you can charge whatever you want, and that's true. However, they do have a "minimum per-capita charge", which I would bet they'd insist on. That means you can charge... or not, but you'll pay a minimum fee per customer regardless.

Unless you can find something useful in the public domain, you should plan on developing relationships with all the studios. Even if you're getting your material out of a Red Box machine, you'll still have to license the performance to be legal.
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 26 Mar 2012 02:57 #38173

  • rufusjack
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This place is changing movies every day a couple of times a day-15 different movies this week. No way are they selling enough food to be paying much of anything to the studios.

This place only has 20 seats. I also see Disney/Pixar movies as ones they have played.
Last Edit: 26 Mar 2012 03:09 by rufusjack.
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 26 Mar 2012 11:09 #38174

  • AllenD
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Of course it doesn't matter whether there are two admissions or two thousand, license fees must be paid.
The tactic of using Disney/Pixar films is a huge mistake for a commercial theater. Some of these films are available to schools and libraries but not to movie theaters.
"Don't mess with the mouse" is something taught to exhibitors and it is true.
I would encourage new business owners to not follow this strategy.
AllenD
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 26 Mar 2012 22:13 #38178

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rufusjack wrote:
This place is changing movies every day a couple of times a day-15 different movies this week. No way are they selling enough food to be paying much of anything to the studios.

This place only has 20 seats. I also see Disney/Pixar movies as ones they have played.

Yeahhhh..... Well, I guess strange things do happen, but this doesn't sound like any licensing arrangement I've ever heard of.

Think I'd want to know more before suggesting anyone go this route.
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 27 Mar 2012 13:04 #38181

  • Mike
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I spoke with a smaller distrib and they said "doesn't sound possible" and thought it was a violation. I reached out to Popcorn Noir via phone and email but have not heard back. If they are just pulling a fast one and being cute it seems like a really bad idea to do national radio interviews. :)
Michael Hurley
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 27 Mar 2012 18:22 #38184

  • Mike
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communicated with owners. They have a club with members and most of the club has nothing to do with movies. it's one room with 20 seats. Their primary focus is food and private club activities.
Michael Hurley
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Re: Licensing films for FREE admission "Draft House"? 27 Mar 2012 18:38 #38185

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Mike wrote:
communicated with owners. They have a club with members and most of the club has nothing to do with movies. it's one room with 20 seats. Their primary focus is food and private club activities.

ha!

Really? By looking at their website and facebook page, I see the place as being a very much about watching movies.

They also have the words "Movie Theatre" in the about section of their facebook page.
Last Edit: 27 Mar 2012 20:41 by rufusjack.
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