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TOPIC: Single Screen Attendance

Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 03:24 #39209

I am currently looking at a single screen theater with a lot of potential and am having trouble trying to come up with an idea of how many annual ticket sales it can achieve. I am trying to figure out if it is worth pursuing or not. The theater is recently renovated and in very good shape. It has 100,000+ people within 10-14 miles, but also has 3 other theaters within that area as well. The population and theater count both expand when you take the next 15-20 miles into consideration (population more than doubles and another theater gets included). There is also a military base somewhat nearby as well, but there will be at least 3 first run theaters closer to it than this one will be. I was looking at running it either as a mid-run or sub-run theater which would help with the direct competition, as all of the other theaters are first run, but that is still quite a few theaters to compete with. The theater I am looking at has been renovated to function as a dinner theater, which helps it some with uniqueness, however there are two other cinema eateries within the area as well, so it is not too much of an addition. The business model I have planned for the theater will add a uniqueness that no other theater around will have, so that will help, however that model will add an additional expense to the theater's operations, therefore I need to know if it will bring in enough customers to offset that increased expense and still allow the theater to be financially successful.

Basically, this all boils down to attendance. In your experienced opinions, about what annual attendance levels should I expect with this theater?

Thank you for your input.
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Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 05:27 #39210

  • slapintheface
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I know you say 3 theaters but how many screens ?
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Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 05:31 #39211

A 6-plex, a 12-plex, and a 16-plex All first run.
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Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 06:30 #39212

  • revrobor
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Don't run the same thing all the other theatres are running. Be unique by being different. There is plenty of foreign, art, classic and faith based films out there.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 16:16 #39213

  • Andrew Thomas
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From my research, seems like there are already too many screens...
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Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 16:33 #39214

True, there are a lot of screens, but they are all first run. There are no mid-run or sub-run screens at all, which is where I would go with this theater. That should make some difference in the analysis, right?
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Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 18:28 #39215

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Your odds of success are very slim with that population and amount of screens . I never want to be a dream buster so I apologize in advance . Second run ventures starting these days have even a
A smaller chance of success .
Last Edit: 19 Sep 2012 18:29 by slapintheface.
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Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 18:55 #39216

I understand your analysis if this was going to be a traditional sub-run cinema, however I believe that you have to take the theater's uniqueness into account when compared to all of the other more traditional first runs around. Would a unique theater, which offers a greater experience for less money, do better than what you are currently saying? I personally think so. I am looking at the Joy Cinema and Roxy's post in 2010 about unique single screen sub-runs and how they can be successful... My question for this topic was not exactly will it work, but what kind of annual attendance could I expect? Any ideas on an estimated number?
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Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 19:46 #39217

  • RoxyVaudeville
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About Entertainment

I would suggest that you contact me directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we can set up a time for a telephone chat to discuss your plans.
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Single Screen Attendance 19 Sep 2012 20:04 #39218

  • lionheart
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It would be very difficult to estimate attendance in this situation, but you could start with some simple assumptions. First, it seems like not long ago that I read that the average American now goes to the movies about 4 times per year. If your area has a population of 100,000, then that would equal about 400,000 admits per year. If there are 35 screens in the area, then 400,000 divided by 35 is 11,429 admits per screen. Of course not all screens will be average. You could assign a weight to each screen. I would think a first run theater would come closer to being average than a theater who shows later run movies. If you look at industry statistics, the vast majority of tickets for any specific movie are sold in the first few weeks up to maybe a month after the release. What is it? Maybe 90%? And, since the competing theaters are multiplexes, they will sit on any successful movie until after sales have completely fallen off.

So, even if your unique concept will draw customers, you have to consider whether or not it will still draw them when 90% have already seen the movies you will show. If the concept is based on food service, then you will be depending more on the restaurant side of the business. I don't have any idea how to estimate number of customers for a restaurant. You need to get even more specific with statistics for a more unique arrangement. However, I would start with the assumption that you will have to work hard to get your numbers up to the average of 11,429. If that will make you a profit, then maybe it would be worth it.

But, honestly, if I were to go out to eat at a movie theater, knowing that this kind of place is not known for low prices, I would certainly want to see something I hadn't seen before. If I were just going to the movies, I might wait to see something at a lower priced place, especially if it were fun or unique. I think that is the appeal of later run theaters... they usually cost less.

Roxy has modest prices and offers a unique experience people enjoy. If you can do the same, then you might be successful.
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Single Screen Attendance 20 Sep 2012 00:16 #39220

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The theaters listed as successful have all been around for years. I don't believe if they were to start those same operations today,on theaters that were closed, they would be as successful. Name 2 single screen successful sub run theaters opened in the last 2 years ??
.
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Single Screen Attendance 20 Sep 2012 01:28 #39221

  • rufusjack
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How about making this into a case study. Start out by telling where the theater is and we can go from there.

I would not be too concerned about someone stealing your idea as there are not many people opening single screens today.

Much of what you are asking about depends on the existing market. Knowing where this theater is can help us with what you are asking about.

I am eager to see what makes this theater unique. Can you elaborate on that?
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