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TOPIC: I spent $65 to see The Butler/Competition

I spent $65 to see The Butler/Competition 25 Sep 2013 01:12 #40306

  • bpk
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Sorry, I just had to say it. Unbelievable. Last night my wife and I went to the only theater in town playing this film, and with the $25 admission, we had one glass of wine, one beer, one medium popcorn and one box of Sno-Caps....and it was $65 (if I could insert caps I would). This theater has 8 screens and is the only multi-plex in town (we have one single screen theater as well). Surely there must be room for competition. My city has well over 350,000 in the city proper, not to mention the surrounding area. I guess if I had a question it would be how much does price drive your customers? At $65 a night, I'm lucky to get to the movies once a month.

Sorry for the rant, just had to share.
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I spent $65 to see The Butler/Competition 25 Sep 2013 03:56 #40307

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Don't apologize. While I'm retired from the business I love I am aware that prices have gotten WAAAAAY out of line. Perhaps your choice of theatres was part of your problem. Did you have to attend a "cinema pub"? Could you have waited until it hit another theatre as a sub-run even if it meant driving a little further? I think prices do drive the customers but many theatre owners (especially the corporate big-boys) don't seem to understand this. Don't hesitate to write the company that owns the theatre you attended and register your complaint. It probably won't do you any good (many owners today don't pay any attention to their customers complaints) but perhaps you'll feel better.
Bob Allen
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I spent $65 to see The Butler/Competition 25 Sep 2013 13:44 #40308

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I would hope you paid $ 25 for 2 tickets , not 1 ..
For those who don't own Theatres let me give you a list of the bills we have monthly/weekly .
I have a Twin no giant multiplex ..
Expenses
Payroll $7,200 month
Water $1,300 mo
Electric $2,200 mo
Film rental 52% of gross
Insurance $590,00 mo
Phone $390 mo
Worker comp 350 month
Rent $7,200 mo
Shipping $185 mo
Maintenance $650 mo
Cleaning supplies and paper $ 215.00 mo
Advertising $780 mo
Concession supplies ?
Last Edit: 25 Sep 2013 13:48 by slapintheface.
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I spent $65 to see The Butler/Competition 25 Sep 2013 16:25 #40309

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How much does price drive customers? I would say it is an important part of most consumers' decisions. If you had two options to see the same movie, and one cost $12.50 per ticket and had high priced concessions, while the other cost $8.00 per ticket and had lower priced concessions, you would probably choose the lower cost option.

That assumes that all else is equal. All else meaning availability of the desired movie, cleanliness, location, picture and sound quality, crowd size, parking, public awareness of theater, and so on. If you open a theater with lower prices, it will entice customers, but what if your location is in a bad part of town, or a long drive, or there is an echo in the auditorium? What if parking is in a dark lot, or the lines are always very long? What if the floors are sticky and roaches have been seen climbing the walls? What if you just don't have the movie most people are wanting to see, but the theater across town has everything that's hot?

Slap is right that expenses can be high. It's not always so bad as he has shared. In most categories, my theater expenses were much lower than those he cited. One can only assume that some of that is based on a higher volume of customers than I had. Some would be based on location of the theater and population of the area. So, reading expenses without knowing more information does not necessarily make a complete picture. For example, I'm sure my water bill was less than $100 per month, but his being $1,300 could simply be driven by large numbers of customers using the restroom... a good problem to have when you key on the phrase "large numbers of customers."

Still, Slap's numbers shed light on why theaters charge as much as they do. Now, can you operate the kind of place that will be able to at least maintain an "all else is equal" kind of status without having bills so high that you too will end up charging a couple $65 for a night of entertainment and refreshments?

That's what writing a business plan is for. Do the best you can to come up with realistic numbers. You don't want to just write something that will impress a banker or investor to give you a loan. You need something that will be useful to you.
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I spent $65 to see The Butler/Competition 25 Sep 2013 17:58 #40311

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Slapintheface, what's the square footage of your building? And, why is your phone so expensive? Do you have a dedicated T1 line or something?

And Lionheart, great comments as usual. The theater I went to is the newest VIP-style, dinner and a movie place, which means you pay for that plushness. These guys will be my main competitor but I am hoping to draw in guest with better quality films, better service and more of a "locally owned" feel. We will certainly be able to compete with them in regards to sight and sound.

Another question. This theater is about 4 miles from where I am developing my space. While this other theater focuses mostly on main stream fare, and I will focus on art house with the occasional main stream flick, how will I be able to compete with them to get films? This company has over 400 screens. Will the big distributors offer me the same films as this competitor?
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I spent $65 to see The Butler/Competition 25 Sep 2013 18:20 #40312

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Get yourself a booker. If he books for many theatres the distributors are likely to treat him as a chain. I'd recommend Frank Rash 402-223-5119. He books for a lot of theatres all over the country and is known by most of the distributors.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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I spent $65 to see The Butler/Competition 26 Sep 2013 03:51 #40314

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My theatre is 12,000 sq feet with 2 auditoriums with
350 seats and 185 seats .
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I spent $65 to see The Butler/Competition 30 Sep 2013 21:35 #40320

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mid range cable TV is +/- 75.00 per month, smart phone with web access is about 100.00 per month, internet at home is +/- 30-50.00 per month .... what I don't get is why if someone cannot afford a beer a wine a popcorn and a candy they are buying all that? It's not required. All you need to see a movie is a ticket.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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