Banner
Home Forums Movie Theaters The Lobby Seriously considering opening up shop
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Seriously considering opening up shop

Seriously considering opening up shop 05 Jun 2000 11:27 #416

  • tkp42
  • tkp42's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 0
guys,

i've started this new thread to ask a few specific questions.

i've found a location here in danville. it's a smallish warehouse that has two parking lots nearby.

it's also in a HUBzone, a historically underdeveloped business zone, according to the small business association.

i know there's money available for small biz's, and i'm gathering info now.

the posts i've read before seem really helpful. what i'd like to do, though, is throw out my idea for you all to pick apart.

i want to open the theater as a casual place. i want couches and tables/chairs instead of traditional seating. i also want to have a smoking section.

i'm not sure what to do about concessions. i've read some posts that say that's where you make your money, but i'm not sure.

if i start this thing, it would be me working all the time with maybe a few friends helping me out. can't afford much more.

so, drink machines, snack machines, and maybe a small popcorn maker (of course.)

and i would allow outside food and drink because i won't have the resources at first to provide anything more than a smile. =)

anyhow, i want to show classic films, second runs (are they the "sub runs" you all mention?), and maybe one new but hard-to-find release.

i want to set my film times earlier than the current theaters do. so instead of starting at 7 or 7:30, i'd start at 6 or 6:30. then the next show would be at 8 or 8:30, followed by 10 and then 12:15 a.m. (so the 2nd shifters could come out.)

let me know what you think.

my town could support this type of theater, if i could just get it going!!

i want to charge $1 or $2.50 at the most, so folks could go on cheap dates.

is that plan unreasonable? i don't know much about this -- and the only projector i've ever run was a small, old one reel job -- nothting like the huge spindle thingies most folks use.

help me, please! i want to do something cool for danville, but i don't want to get in over my head.

thanks so much!
tonya



tonya pettigrew
theater-owner wannabe

find me on yahoo messenger: xphile.rm
tonya pettigrew
theater-owner wannabe

find me on yahoo messenger: xphile.rm
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seriously considering opening up shop 05 Jun 2000 13:40 #417

  • Avalon
  • Avalon's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 405
  • Karma: 0
guys,

>Some women run theaters now, too. I even met one, once.

i've started this new thread to ask a few specific questions.

i've found a location here in danville. it's a smallish warehouse that has two parking lots nearby.

>Mine is built in an old truck garage.
www.peak.org/~avalon

it's also in a HUBzone, a historically underdeveloped business zone, according to the small business association.

i know there's money available for small biz's, and i'm gathering info now.

the posts i've read before seem really helpful. what i'd like to do, though, is throw out my idea for you all to pick apart.

i want to open the theater as a casual place. i want couches and tables/chairs instead of traditional seating. i also want to have a smoking section.

>good luck with the fire department. i think you'll find used theater seating less of a pain.

i'm not sure what to do about concessions. i've read some posts that say that's where you make your money, but i'm not sure.

>I sell everythign in cans and bottles. avoides the health depatment inspections. i have an old manly popcorn machine that works very well and i sell corn in paper bags.

if i start this thing, it would be me working all the time with maybe a few friends helping me out. can't afford much more.

so, drink machines, snack machines, and maybe a small popcorn maker (of course.)

and i would allow outside food and drink because i won't have the resources at first to provide anything more than a smile. =)

>make sure they know that bringing in food is taking oney from your pockets.

anyhow, i want to show classic films, second runs (are they the "sub runs" you all mention?), and maybe one new but hard-to-find release.

> get a booker and see what they think.


i want to set my film times earlier than the current theaters do. so instead of starting at 7 or 7:30, i'd start at 6 or 6:30. then the next show would be at 8 or 8:30, followed by 10 and then 12:15 a.m. (so the 2nd shifters could come out.)

>try and see. i think you'll end up doing more traditional times.

let me know what you think.

my town could support this type of theater, if i could just get it going!!

i want to charge $1 or $2.50 at the most, so folks could go on cheap dates.

> good luck getting films on precentage at that price.

is that plan unreasonable? i don't know much about this -- and the only projector i've ever run was a small, old one reel job -- nothting like the huge spindle thingies most folks use.

> learn the projectors and how to fix them. you need the funds to get a reliable presentation. don't event hink of openign without it.

help me, please! i want to do something cool for danville, but i don't want to get in over my head.

>you'll be in over your head no matter what you do. it's a great oppertunity to learn how to swim.

thanks so much!
tonya
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seriously considering opening up shop 05 Jun 2000 19:29 #418

  • Ken Layton
  • Ken Layton's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 860
  • Thank you received: 4
  • Karma: -1
Here in Washington State, smoking ANYWHERE in a theater is against the law! Best to check your local and state FIRE CODES and with your local fire dept. Regulations vary from location to location.
My advise is to NOT allow smoking or you'll be ordering a new screen every year. Don't forget that any draperies or fabrics in a theater must have fireproofing applied (and a certificate stating that fact displayed with your business license.
YOU ALSO NEED INSURANCE!
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seriously considering opening up shop 05 Jun 2000 20:27 #419

  • tkp42
  • tkp42's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 0
ok, ok... smoking is out. =(

y'all are right -- too many laws to consider.

any other advice???

thanks!
tonya pettigrew
theater-owner wannabe

find me on yahoo messenger: xphile.rm
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seriously considering opening up shop 05 Jun 2000 23:45 #420

  • RoxyVaudeville
  • RoxyVaudeville's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 889
  • Thank you received: 16
  • Karma: 3
Tonya,

I think back 32 years ago when I opened my first theatre in a small town in Pennsylvania. I know just what you're going through, but I think things have changed dramaticly since then. I don't think it's as easy now. A lot more regulations, a lot more competition, and an industry with a totally different mentality.

The cost of converting an existing building can easily run from 50 to 75 dollars a square foot or more(This does not include equipment). It all depends on what you want to accomplish. How many screens? How many seats per screen? Sloped floors or flat? Stadium seating? What do you want to do in the lobby space? Just sell tickets and refreshments or have room for tables and chairs for a coffee shop? A space for video games? What kind of finishes on the walls, floors, ceilings? Will the projection room be on the 2nd floor or just raised 4 or 5 feet above the main floor? Rest rooms...tile or painted block. You are opening a new theatre, therefore everything must be handicap accessible.

Equipment will include projectors, sound systems, CD player, screen(s), speakers, dimmers for houselights, makeup tables and rewinders, splicer, reels and dozens of small items. The box office needs ticketing equipment for either standard tickets or computer ticketing. A counter with cash drawers, price signs and show information board. A chair or stool. You need a janitors room for cleaning equipment and supplies. A storage room for concession supplies.

The concession stand (which you should not do without) needs counters with candy display case, popcorn popper or warmer (or both), drink dispensers, and an area for soda tanks or boxes, an ice machine, refrigerator, lots of storage space, cash registers or computer terminal . Out front you need some sort of marquee or attraction board to announce your present films to the public, and located somewhere where it can be well seen. Poster cases for current attractions as well as coming attractions.

And don't forget that you need an office, as well as all the furnishings needed there...desk, chairs, filing cabinets and of course...a safe.

Have I covered it all...No not by any means. These are just some of the more important items that will need to be aquired and planned for when designing and building your theatre.

Don't forget heating and air-conditioning? The design of your theatre will have a major impact on the cost of all your utilities. It will be important to design everything for the best efficiency in order to keep your overhead costs as low as possible.

What will all this cost? That is difficult to say. It will depend on the cost of labor in your area. Are you going to use new or used equipment? New seats will run around $100 to $150 per depending on size and style. Rebuilt in excellent condition can be had for around $40 per. You can often find good seats in a closed theatre for as little as a dollor apiece, but you have to take them out, transport them, store them and reinstall them at your place when needed. Projection and sound equipment can be purchased used for an entire booth (per screen) for as little as several thousand dollars, or aquired new for 50 to 75 thousand per screen. It all depends on what you want...the minimum to get by, or state of the art?

I have a booking account where the exhibitor purchased a closed theatre from the town for $500.00 (yes..five hundred), then split it into three screens doing all the labor himself (he and his family). He went to closed stores and aquired the ceiling tiles and grids for free before demolition. Likewise he got wall curtains from closed theatres for free, as well as the screens and frames, old poster cases, lobby furniture etc. When he was done he had a beautiful tri-plex theatre and only spent $150,000.00, and this included an apartment upstairs where he and his wife live. In this area most people spend that much just for their home. He now has both. It's almost like he bought a house and got a theatre free.

These are some of the things that you will need to think about. You mentioned that there are other theatres in town...tell us about them. How many screens? How old? Chain theatres or independent? There policies?

The more we know, the more we can help.

I hope this has been of some help...and not too scary.

PS. Don't forget...ALL of your profits will come from your refreshment stand. I know this is difficult to believe, but it is the truth.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seriously considering opening up shop 06 Jun 2000 00:00 #421

  • tkp42
  • tkp42's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 4
  • Karma: 0
whoa.

okay -- the other theaters in town are not chains but two of them are carmike affiliates. (or maybe they are a chain??) they don't advertise themselves as anything other than the names: Riverside Twin and the Plaza Twin.

all three theaters are old. two of them are owned by the same company. (riverside & plaza)

the third -- Ballou Park 4 -- is going under, at least that's the word on the street. i have a friend who knows the owner, who suggested i buy the theater when this guy retires.

that might be my best bet. it's an older theater that originally had 2 screens but was converted to 4 screens about 6-10 years ago. can't remember.

and then there's the rumor of a megaplex coming to danville. actually, there's a rumor that 2 are coming to danville, which doesn't make a lot of sense.

i figure that if people want to see the newest flicks, they'll pay to see them at the megaplex (which we don't even have yet).

the niche i'm trying to fill is the 2nd- 3rd- 4th time fanatic who wants to see a film more than once while it's still in the theaters. (people like me!)

i want to offer a cheap alternative so folks can see good movies over and over.

also, i've looked at the franchise info for cinema grills. they're just way too complicated. (www.cinemagrill.com).

would someone check out their estimated cost sheet under franchise information? is that accurate? i thought projectors cost way more than that.

but i like the idea of combining a theater and a restaurant. danvillians LOVE eating out. i think we've got more restaurants than anything, actually.

anyhow, most people on these forums say food is the way to go to cover costs. i worked at a coffee shop for a while here, so that part doesn't scare me as much as raising the money to do this thing.

so, if i could combine some sort of "southern cooking" (that's big down here) with movies, i think people would really enjoy it.

i'm going to talk to the small business development center people sometime soon, to talk to them about this and work on an official business plan.

and i got an email about contacting theater consultants and bookers. i didn't even know those things existed!

thanks for all the help so far.

keep it coming!!!

tonya =)
tonya pettigrew
theater-owner wannabe

find me on yahoo messenger: xphile.rm
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seriously considering opening up shop 07 Jun 2000 10:47 #422

  • Mike
  • Mike's Avatar
  • NOW ONLINE
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 5032
  • Thank you received: 44
  • Karma: 15
Hello Tonya... Wow. You're asking a lot and it's all over the range so let me start at the beginning. I've been a serial businessman starting biz's since I was 26. Most of the worst mistakes I made were in my formative years. Little things like not realizing that the taxes I was witholding from emplyoees was not mine to use... the #1 thing you're missing is business experience, unless you've got a masters in biz admin that you did not mention. It sopunds more like you want to have fun, be a service, and keep your costs low. That's fine but fairly incompatible with business. Business is that thing that goes on behind the curtains of illusion that is showmanship. While all of us here love the movies and film and showmanship and exhibition and that incredible feeling of serving people in the greatest storytelling medium the world has ever seen: WE ALL HAVE TO PAY THE BILLS AND MAKE A LIVING. Start from there. You mention friends? Any chance of a team effort? Buying...better yet leasing..that failing 4 screen sounds good. Forget not selling food. You can stock your concession stand for the cost of a couple used seats by visiting Sam's Club. Non profit? Think about going that route with a community group backing. Best/ Mike
Michael Hurley
Impresario
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seriously considering opening up shop 22 Jun 2000 13:05 #423

  • take2
  • take2's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 271
  • Karma: 0
So, how are your plans coming along? I think that a casual theatre as you have planed is a great idea. I do think you could still probably get away with charging a little more for admission. I hope that your plans come to pass. Keep us posted. I've seen others try this same kind of idea and they seem to be doing okay. For myself I prefer the traditional theatre because of the atomosphere. For me to go to a movie and sit on a couch is to much like staying home. Well, good luck!
The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.291 seconds
attraction attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction