Banner
Home Forums Movie Theaters The Lobby how to start a movie theatre
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: how to start a movie theatre

how to start a movie theatre 14 Aug 2014 09:51 #41297

  • Mike
  • Mike's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 5079
  • Thank you received: 45
  • Karma: 16
Free advice thoughts on how to start or take over or re-open a movie theatre.

I get a lot of emails and phone calls asking me to help and much as I’d like to spend hours every week giving succinct and amazingly helpful direction I simply do not have the time.

This is a business, the movie theatre business, where people have a dream to “start their own theatre”… etc. etc. I get that and understand that sentiment very deeply. The first thing I do when I want to know about something is I study up and read like crazy, I’ll order a couple three books on a subject but in movie theatres there’s no such books. So… where to start?

Here are my top things to do before you start asking people specific questions.

1. Spend hours reading forums topics on bigscreenbiz.com. Most basic questions have been answered repeatedly and in depth. That’s one reason why people do not respond when a general question like “How do I get movies?” is asked. It’s been asked and answered many times and all you have to do is read. www.bigscreenbiz.com/forums/home.html?defaultmenu=76
2. Check out Film-Tech and their forums… heavily tech but very helpful for understanding your industry www.film-tech.com/main.php
3. Subscribe to Box Office, Film Journal, Screen Trade and order a dozen back issues of each.
4. Once you have done all that… contact a theatre owner with a theatre like the one you want to have who is at least 50 miles away from where you want to start/ restart/ buy your theatre. Take him/ her/them to dinner and ask if you could
“trail” at their theatre for a couple nights, pump your new friends for as much advice as possible.
5. Consider hiring a theatre consultant. In a real business you will spend many thousands of dollars to get started. If you cannot afford a consultant to help you start a business you know nothing about you probably do not have enough capital to start a business.
6. Don’t get miffed when business people who are very busy making a living do not have time to stop everything and help when you have not done at least 1-4 above. Why should they work harder than you for your dream?
7. Attend a regional theatre owners convention or Show East or Cinemacon.
8. Then start your business.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
The administrator has disabled public write access.

how to start a movie theatre 14 Aug 2014 13:21 #41298

  • Joelamite
  • Joelamite's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: 0
Mike - probably just a coincidence that you posted this today - I just sent you an email after reading the information on your consulting page.

Great advice in this post, and I look forward to learning as much as I can in the forum and moving forward with our plans.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

how to start a movie theatre 14 Aug 2014 13:22 #41299

  • BusyBee
  • BusyBee's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 194
  • Thank you received: 10
  • Karma: 7
Good advice. Hope you pinned this to the top.

I bought a theater that was already operating, and thought I already knew a lot about the business. In retrospect, I knew so little! For the first couple of years I spent almost all of my waking hours either in the booth (35mm) or on this forum, film-tech and various boxoffice sites learning everything I could. I learned straightaway that this is not a hobby-- it's a serious, time consuming, expensive business.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

how to start a movie theatre 14 Aug 2014 13:42 #41300

  • Joelamite
  • Joelamite's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 2
  • Karma: 0
So BusyBee - Has it all been worth it?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

how to start a movie theatre 14 Aug 2014 16:20 #41301

  • Andrew Thomas
  • Andrew Thomas's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 245
  • Thank you received: 18
  • Karma: -9
I guess because I started in the digital era, I don't see quite the way BusyBee does. It's a really easy business to operate, and I'm only here a lot because I enjoy being here. Our place has also been profitable from day one, allowing me the opportunity to take a pay check out of the revenue the theater was bringing in since our first round of paychecks went out.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: heartofglass

how to start a movie theatre 15 Aug 2014 14:44 #41302

  • BusyBee
  • BusyBee's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 194
  • Thank you received: 10
  • Karma: 7
Yes, it's worth it. Our business is solid, reliable and secure. But I don't treat it like a hobby, which is what I think a lot of people are wont to do.

Andrew is right that our experiences are totally different. Sometimes I forget how much times have changed in such a short time. The business I run today is drastically different than the business I ran even just 5 years ago. The lessons I learned in the beginning were hard-earned, but a lot had to do with running a booth and being a good showman. Today, there is no running of the booth and therefore showmanship is different. My stresses then were mainly equipment maintenance/failures, perfecting my picture on screen, taking care of the precious film and adequate staffing when I needed people upstairs and downstairs all the time. Even training a new projectionist was a HUGE task, so I couldn't just hire/fire on a whim. As a manager of personnel that added an additional delicate layer of stress. And when you're open 365 days a year, you can't do it alone, I had to have competent projectionists.

My stresses now are deferred maintenance on this historic building, marketing, developing new revenue streams (merchandise, special screenings, etc). I'm actually a business manager now not a projectionist that manages the business on the side.

As far as this thread goes though, I'm glad Mike put these resources together for the people who think running a movie theater is simple. Those that think projectors are cheap, that running old films exclusively is a good idea, that reopening a closed old theater is going to be simple and straightforward, that booking films is a simple as making a phone call or two. So many people come here thinking that you just pay a rental and play a movie. They don't know about licensing and how complicated it can be. Disney, for example. MLA's, clearances, guarantees, all those lovely hurdles. It's simple now, but it wasn't in the beginning.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

how to start a movie theatre 19 Aug 2014 08:57 #41319

  • Mike
  • Mike's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 5079
  • Thank you received: 45
  • Karma: 16
From: Alin Covaci
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:44 AM
To: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Subject: Re: for a small help
hello dear sir , need a small help to open a second run theatre, we need to know from wich will get licence for showing movie, how much will cost, and how much will be the windows for screenig after first run cinema.All the best
AlinC
***** Where are you located? Mike
****** Hi ,, can you help me with this information if you have time. thanks in advance Alin All the best
2014-08-18 10:55 GMT+03:00 Alin Covaci >:
hi , again i am locate in Romania/Europe/,we want to open here in other country if is possible to avoid dci specification system becouse the price is to hight, please give as some information. thanks for your time Alin


Hello Alin/ I can help a very little but I do work for a living and I get many letters like yours so…. First… my very best greetings to you in Romania. 2nd everything is always local. So what works in the USA may not be applicable to Western Europe or Eastern Europe. In this case I feel very sure that without DCP you cannot have a popular films/ first run/ such as at www.grandcinemadigiplex.ro/. However there are many NEW smaller/ local/ lesser known movies that are distributed on DVD/Blu-ray so that is a option for you. Also you could show older films that are now out on DVD/Blu-ray etc. Either way…to learn how to do this you need to make friends with a small local theatre 100 KM away from where you want to do your theatre. Attend cinema operators conferences… there are many in Europe…There are small boutique theatres running like the one I described in the USA. They run them almost like a club/ nightclub that instead of disco or bands they have movies/ food/ bar/ etc. Anyway… that is all I can say that might help you in Romania. Here is some further advice… Best of Luck…. Mike

Free advice thoughts on how to start or take over or re-open a movie theatre.

I get a lot of emails and phone calls asking me to help and much as I’d like to spend hours every week giving succinct and amazingly helpful direction I simply do not have the time.

This is a business, the movie theatre business, where people have a dream to “start their own theatre”… etc. etc. I get that and understand that sentiment very deeply. The first thing I do when I want to know about something is I study up and read like crazy, I’ll order a couple three books on a subject but in movie theatres there’s no such books. So… where to start?

Here are my top things to do before you start asking people specific questions.

1. Spend hours reading forums topics on bigscreenbiz.com. Most basic questions have been answered repeatedly and in depth. That’s one reason why people do not respond when a general question like “How do I get movies?” is asked. It’s been asked and answered many times and all you have to do is read. www.bigscreenbiz.com/forums/home.html?defaultmenu=76
2. Check out Film-Tech and their forums… heavily tech but very helpful for understanding your industry www.film-tech.com/main.php
3. Subscribe to Box Office, Film Journal, Screen Trade and order a dozen back issues of each.
4. Once you have done all that… contact a theatre owner with a theatre like the one you want to have who is at least 50 miles away from where you want to start/ restart/ buy your theatre. Take him/ her/them to dinner and ask if you could
“trail” at their theatre for a couple nights, pump your new friends for as much advice as possible.
5. Consider hiring a theatre consultant. In a real business you will spend many thousands of dollars to get started. If you cannot afford a consultant to help you start a business you know nothing about you probably do not have enough capital to start a business.
6. Don’t get miffed when business people who are very busy making a living do not have time to stop everything and help when you have not done at least 1-4 above. Why should they work harder than you for your dream?
7. Attend a regional theatre owners convention or Show East or Cinemacon.
8. Then start your business.
Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
Impresario
The administrator has disabled public write access.

how to start a movie theatre 08 Sep 2014 15:39 #41381

Are there any good books you would recommend? Specifically about drive-ins. I managed a drive in 7 years ago and want to open a new one that won't be taken over by walmart. I know the industry has change greatly and I'm excited to rejoin!
The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.188 seconds
attraction attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction