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TOPIC: Old Theatres

Old Theatres 23 Oct 2003 13:30 #6568

  • Hendrick
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Are old theatres in rural towns wise investments? The population of the area is @9000 and I don't believe there is a theatre for @30 miles. The condition of the theatre is unknown at this time. It does have a single screen and a balcony. It is located on the main downtown strip and has been vacant for sometime now. Any suggestions would be great.
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Re: Old Theatres 23 Oct 2003 16:36 #6569

  • RoxyVaudeville
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It sounds like something worth looking into. A 9000 population could be enough to sustain the theatre. I would doubt that it would create a full time income for you.

The condition of the theatre and its equipment will be a major factor. If it will not require a large investment to reopen, and the overhead kept low, I would think it has a chance.

What is the community where it is located like? If it is progressive with a sizable business district that will certainly help. If it is located in a run down business district it will be difficult to get people to go there.

Do you know the size of the building? How many seats? Is there a stage? You don't want it to be too large or it will eat you alive in overhead.

The fact that is has a balcony suggests that it is pretty old. Old theatres can be beautiful theatres, but expensive to keep up.

If you have no idea of the seating capacity of the theatre, I can look that up for you. If you wish not to publicly mention where it's located, you can e-mail me and I can get you that information as long as it was built before 1950.

I would certainly take some time to investigate it further. It could be a diamond in the rough, or then again... a fly in the ointment.

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Re: Old Theatres 23 Oct 2003 21:57 #6570

  • BurneyFalls
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My single screen in a town with a population of about 4,000 is going to make a profit this year for the first time in six years. Why did it take so long you may ask? Well, it was like an endless money sucking pit: new screen, new dts sound, new speakers, new amps, new processor & booth monitor, new seats, new sign, new platter, new soundhead, new heating and air conditioning (three units), new bathrooms, remodeled concession area, new lense, new automation, new dimmer, new interior lighting, new roofing, lots of paint, and plenty more new stuff, but I am not done yet. Everybody in town loves me though and I have enjoyed nearly every minute of the experience. So if you aren't independently wealthy or earning a retirement income like I worked many years in another completely different profession to get, be very, very cautious. But, it can be fun and very rewarding. Maybe the place you are looking at is better equipped than mine was. Good luck.
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Re: Old Theatres 24 Oct 2003 15:16 #6571

  • LanceC
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Burney...
Must be those slide ads that put you over the top to PROFIT!!
way to go!!
lance
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Re: Old Theatres 26 Oct 2003 00:17 #6572

  • BurneyFalls
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Lance,
No, still haven't put up the ads. The slide projector isn't working now. It gets stuck on a slide and won't move.

Great news. My theatre was awarded BUSINESS OF THE YEAR tonight at the Chamber of Commerce Annual awards dinner.
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Re: Old Theatres 26 Oct 2003 16:24 #6573

  • LanceC
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Burney,
Congratulations. Finally all that hard work and sweat pays off. Way to go!
lance
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Re: Old Theatres 26 Oct 2003 19:09 #6574

  • revrobor
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Congrats Burney!

I hope to be back among the active in the not too distant future. I am waiting responses on three theatres whose owners contacted me. One here in Oregon and two in another state.

And Hendrick, check it out. For someone with talent and a passion for the business it could succeed as long as you make it a theatre that serves the whole community and not just a limited demographic.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: Old Theatres 28 Oct 2003 10:06 #6575

  • bemily29
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I'm faced with 2 difficult options for an arthouse theatre. 1) I have a 7,000 wide open sqft space in a great location totally up to code. But it only has 13' ceilings. 2)I just "found" an amazing historic movie palace down the street in the back of a building with a few apartments and above a little asian grocery store. Velvet walls, gargoyles, original seating, projection booth. I think it closed down about 30-40 yrs ago. A private developer wants to buy it and renovate it. Its got a huge balcony and i couldn't get downstairs to see how many seats below on ground floor. I'm wondering if i could subdivide it into 2. I think the costs could be outrageous but he doesn't seem to think so if we bootstrap it. Thoughts? The city is 110k+ with good surrounding towns. 2 universities.
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Re: Old Theatres 28 Oct 2003 10:11 #6576

  • John Pytlak
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Renovating that old movie palace would make it something much more special than what you could fit into 7000 square feet of flat-floored space with only a 13-foot ceiling. With 13-foot ceilings, you would be very limited for screen size, as you need to maintain sightlines and not have standing people cast shadows on the screen.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Cell: +1 585-781-4036 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: Old Theatres 28 Oct 2003 13:26 #6577

  • outaframe
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BEMILY <> John is 100% correct: 13' ceilings just aren't enough... It takes 20' (or very close) at the screen end for a decent sized screen with masking/space under and decent sight lines... The old classic with the huge balcony sounds like an ideal candidate to piggy back an over/under twin screen (or maybe more) into, and your population figures sound very encouraging for what you have in mind...
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Re: Old Theatres 29 Oct 2003 00:55 #6578

  • Ken Layton
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Forget about the place with the 13 foot ceiling---it's no good for a theater. Go with the old theater instead as you'd have alot better chances to come up with a working theater.
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Re: Old Theatres 29 Oct 2003 11:40 #6579

  • jimor
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Please tell us the name and location of that old movie palace and we may be able to get you a lot more info about it. (or just E-mail me if you prefer = This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) Jim member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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