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TOPIC: Expandable?

Expandable? 03 Jul 2000 13:28 #475

  • Mike
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Our theatre is a downtown 3 screen. There is no place to expand. We're considering going into a old warehouse and adding 3 more screens. It's a mile away, next to a big supermarket. It would essentially be like adding a second non competing theatre that we would book as one. Double the electric, heat, insurance, etc. What are your thoughts? Know anyone who's done anything like this in a small town?

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
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Re: Expandable? 03 Jul 2000 15:26 #476

Mike:

Our company operates three theatres that are located within a block of each other (2-4plexs, 1-twin). Your cost is going to be higher because you will have to double the amount of staff you currently work including management, and the increased normal business cost of operating two buildings. We have no problems with customers going to each of our theatres and designed a newspaper ad that includes all three theatres. If the numbers work, I don't think being in separate buildings is going to make a difference to your customers. Are there no buildings beside you or across the street. If you could build across the street or down a couple of buildings, you can save money by sharing staff on different show times and maybe using the same management. www.ourshowtimes.com
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Re: Expandable? 04 Jul 2000 22:04 #477

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Mike,

I looked you up on the map and what a place you live in! My mother comes out there in the fall and goes sailing with the schooner fleet. The Louis R. French specificaly.

My second thought after thinking about a management exchange for a week, was how about a three-six plex in a nearby town? That way you wouldn't be diluting your action in your town and you would be on your way to creating a mini empire!

I don't know what the population and demographics are but it just might work. It would have the added benefit of scaring away the competition. If they see you have one successful buisness going they may go after you. But if they see that you aren't afraid of protecting your territory, then they may leave you alone.
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Re: Expandable? 09 Jul 2000 18:46 #478

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Expansion is at least part innoculation against competitors. In the town the Lewis French sails out of, Camden, there's a well run art house, a few more miles and there's two theatres with a total of 10 screens and a blood bath happening. Plus: I hate to commute! I like not putting more than 5 miles on my car most days! So.... I went and looked at this space: 160 X 58 which is good size for 3 screens or so. The guy wants 12.00 per sq ft finished. Not with seats and proj equip or anything movie like. Eeek. That's nearly 8,000.00 a month! I pay 2300.00 mortage for our three screen! I can't even begin to think like that. Next door has always been the best option but on one side I've got tax shelter freaks who keep an empty building on purpose and the rst forget it. Plus; we're already maxing out the parking. Oh well... thanks for the suggests and I'll keep it posted.

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
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Re: Expandable? 12 Jul 2000 09:21 #479

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I went and looked at a place and it has low ceilings. Not real low but not movie theatre high. +/- 12-14' ...What's the lowest you feel can work for a smaller theatre? The available spaces all have low ceilings. Does anyone have experience in smaller theatres?

Mike Hurley
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Re: Expandable? 12 Jul 2000 11:36 #480

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I built a 100 seat art house in a 3000 sq ft building with 15' ceilings. i laid it out so one person can run a full house comfortably and i don't have the booth automated. 15' is as low as i would go with a 12 x 22' screen (10 x 21' image scope). my rent is high (location), but my overhead is very low. one employee works when i don't. heating hits a high of $100, cooling works with two swamp coolers and a series of fans and thermostats(this is the NW, not too many really hot days). What makes us work is that I am the one the public is generally dealing with -- whether bitching about the popcorn or being served the popcorn -- and we book very carefully. open three years and about 1/2 way toward paying off all building costs. but, we're very personally oriented. we allow outside food as long as they clean up (no problems wiht this and separates us from the multiplexes), i stay away from stuff that brings in the usual crowd of kids. the kids that do come in are great -- be they punks or nerds. i'm tapped into all ethnic aspects of this college town, so we bring in the latest Asian, Russian, French, etc. stuff. works for me here. i would be careful about applying my formula to a first-run house . . . .
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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