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TOPIC: New Owner

New Owner 12 Oct 2003 12:20 #6465

  • Cappy
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I hope I am not boring anyone here, but I need some advice. There are 2 small theatres that have recently closed due to large multiplex competition. The owner also owns other businesses and I assume just is trying to off load the "old" business that he hasnt really put any heart into for years. The area in question here is a beautiful coastal resort area with shops, resturants, 2miles of atlantic ocean beach, many full time residents with some $$$ and loads more summer time residents both full time and rental. A 19,000 student university is 10min away as well.

I have had visions of reopening the 3 screen cinema as an "art/indie" theatre. Running foreign, independent, etc. films. As well as fine first run if I can get them. My question is, I have never been in this business and have no idea if its even financially feasible. Does a cinema make any money? Investing is not the issue, just the return.

Any comments greatly appreciated and pointers to folks in the know greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: New Owner 12 Oct 2003 13:40 #6466

  • Large
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Yes, cinemas can make money. But there is an economy of scale issue; single screens are a dying breed. Three-screens seems to me to the bare minimum. We have 5-screens and wish we had 8. It would seem to me, entirely possible to run Art/Indy in the situation you described.

First step is to contact a booker and discuss the issue with them. With the booker you may wish to run some census information. Art/Indy works well with a higher educated population. Collage students are good and retirement communities are good. Only about 10% of the populace goes to art films. You need to have a sufficient population to make that 10% worthwhile. The booker will be able to tell you if you will be able to secure product and the like. How good is the big plex about showing art. If they frequently show art, then it might be rough for you. If they are ignoring art, then there is your chance.

Read every thing in the Frequently Asked Question section of the Forums and then you may ask us anything.
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Re: New Owner 12 Oct 2003 21:03 #6467

  • Roger
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Being from nearby, I know what theatres you are talking about. I think the three screener you mention, which I think closed in July, may be a good opportunity since the nearest art cinema is about 30 minutes away. Did the other one you mention just close recently? Last I had heard it was only a possibility to close?

The owner of those two is renovating his third theatre in the state into a cinema cafe and I had heard that he'd said he could do the same with the two you mention. That being the case, is he even willing to sell, especially considering I think he has put in quite a bit of money to renovate the theatre since he bought it 5 years ago, and the fact that if he wants to open the second one he wouldn't want yours nearby in competition with it?

That being said, I believe this is an opportunity you should go for. I am about 2 hours away and would love to help in any way I can. If you want to chat more about mthis please e-mail me using the mail link at the top of this posting.

[This message has been edited by Roger (edited October 12, 2003).]
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