Banner
Home Forums Movie Theaters The Lobby Seeking advice on running first or sub run.
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: Seeking advice on running first or sub run.

Seeking advice on running first or sub run. 17 Nov 2003 17:01 #6747

  • unastrike
  • unastrike's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
I'm at a bit of a crossroads right now in my conceptual stage... whether or not to run first or sub runs.

We're going to be opening up a 3 screen cinema/grill establishment in our town. Pop of about 50K+, semi-college town (community and technical college), two other theatres (both Marcus) in the immediate area. One 4 screen and a 10 screen multi-plex.

Now, considering I'll only seat around 100-150 per screen, my original plan was to go strictly sub run so as to not compete for prints with the multi. Not only that, but it seems that a majority of cinema/grill/cafes/pubs run sub as well. I figure that there must be a good reason. So... that's what I set my sights on.

I may be changing my views, however. See, the multi-plex here very often gets two prints for larger movies. Showing them on two separate screens. And more often than not, they're doubling up prints on the rest of their screens. I think they should play nice and share. =)

What do you guys think? With a good booker, would it be possible for me to compete? The general consensus around here seems to be that sub run is a tough business to succeed in. Well, seems to me that getting first run prints would be a challenge for my type of business.

Any advice? Words of encouragement? Dream shattering remarks? I welcome it all... you guys know your stuff.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seeking advice on running first or sub run. 17 Nov 2003 17:15 #6748

  • BECKWITH1
  • BECKWITH1's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 769
  • Karma: 0
In my experience you are better off being on the highest run that you can be. However, it sounds to me like you will have difficulty getting first run prints. Don't think that you can have one of those two prints at the Marcus Theaters. Booking doesn't work that way. You will have to go head to head with them in competition for each film title. Unfortunately, you have fewer seats which will make you less attractive to license and fewer showtimes unless you plan on seating 4-5 times per day. You also will have difficulty with the leverage exercised by a large corporation with many screens. By all means contact a booker to find out whether you could possibly be considered far enough away from the Marcus theaters to be in your own competitive zone.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seeking advice on running first or sub run. 17 Nov 2003 19:24 #6749

I was running our first run theatre until we bought this sub-run. They are different. People who pay the higher price spend more on concessions and ticket price. They also expect more for their money in the presentation and surroundings.

People go to see a specific movie at first runs. Often here at the sub-run they go out to eat and go to a movie. Don't know what movie until they get here. Those are the older folk. The others are the young couples with children who can't afford to take themselves and their three kids to the first run.
Sub-runs are difficult because with so many screens to fill the large cineplexes hang on to the movies until there is something to replace them. This leaves a very short time between sub-run release and DVD release. Can't blame the studios they make as much off the DVD as the movie release and want it out while still fresh in everyone's mind.

If you are going to survive in sub-run you have to cultivate a loyal customer base. Families and old folks like me. (This might be different if you live in a town with a large university nearby.) Now how does that fit into your demographics for a grill? 18? to 30 singles and dating couples? I haven't been to a grill/theatre yet so I don't know how they market or to what customer niche.

The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seeking advice on running first or sub run. 17 Nov 2003 21:27 #6750

  • Roger
  • Roger's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Boarder
  • Posts: 63
  • Karma: 0
At the only cinema cafe in my state I'm usually one of the youngest people in the crowd when I go there (I'm 27). Most are in their 40's or above. It is a two screen sub-run. They charge $5 per ticket and have only one show per screen per day (at 7:00 P.M. except on Mondays when they are closed). On Friday and Saturday no one under 21 is permitted in the theatre. On other days no one under 12 is permitted. I imagine they are doing well with this as they have been in business since 1985 and just added that second screen a few years ago. I think that they probably make most of their money off food, not off the movie tickets.

[This message has been edited by Roger (edited November 17, 2003).]
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seeking advice on running first or sub run. 18 Nov 2003 02:35 #6751

  • revrobor
  • revrobor's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 1079
  • Thank you received: 20
  • Karma: -4
Why would you want to try to compete with the corporate big boys for the same films?

There is plenty of product out there that is not playing at the multiplexes. Classic, foreign, art, "family" and yes, some "moveover" (sub-run) product that has life left in it should do well for you. The reason so many houses fold is that they're all trying to play the same thing. A good booker will work WITH you rather than dictate to you.

You need to establish yours as a "specialty" house that offers certain types of product on the screen and GOOD food at the grill at a reasonable price consistently. When you do people will know that they can always see a certain type of product at your theatre and have dinner too. You are offering the public a "unique" experience and need to promote that. You will be doing the promotion for your house rather than attempting to ride on the coat tails of the distributors promotion. But it CAN be done. Good luck.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seeking advice on running first or sub run. 18 Nov 2003 16:13 #6752

  • lemonice1
  • lemonice1's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 31
  • Karma: 0
I have heard that some distributors are more reluctant to let cinema grills show their first run films. If you are in a competitive area, the odds are not in your favor to get the first run films you would like. I remember a while back when Episode II came out there was a discussion on this site about how Lucas would not allow wait staff in a theater that was showing the film. I believe the link is: http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/000787.html

-Brandon
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Seeking advice on running first or sub run. 19 Nov 2003 09:52 #6753

  • unastrike
  • unastrike's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: 0
Wow... wonder how he feels he has the right to dictate that sort of thing. Movies weren't that great, George.

I suppose a lot of my decision would depend on whether or not I'm considered to be in a competitive zone. The concept, in of itself, has always baffled me. I mean, I've seen theatres within a handful of blocks from one another playing the same titles.

I hate to contact a booker so early in the game... and besides, we're still debating over two different locations. Then again, it couldn't hurt. And might give me a better understanding as to what I'm up against.

My wife and I have been going on a tour, of sorts, to various movie grills. We're scheduled to hit the Fox Bay Cinema Grill this weekend. (www.foxbaycinemagrill.com) Now they play first run... and they've got two other theatres within a mile or two. I'd ask the owner how they do it, but I can't get a reply from them either by phone or e-mail. Groovy.

Hey, thank you guys for all the replies. It does wonders to get a different perspective. And thanks for allowing me to pick your brain. I really do appreciate it.

Now... can anyone suggest a good booker that would be willing to take some time and talk with me for a bit? =]
The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.229 seconds
attraction attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction