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TOPIC: reopening a theatre

reopening a theatre 19 Jan 2004 09:34 #7214

  • Blue sky
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I have been reading all the archives and talking to booking agents. My biggest concern about reopening this 5 screen theatre is being able to charge what I want and only paying commission on the actual ticket price, not on the standard $6.50. Another concern is that I want my theatre to be more of a family theatre that shows mostly G, PG, PG-13. I want to be able to choose the R's. The nearest theatre is 9 miles but travel time to it is 23 minutes. It is a 10 screen with high prices. I know that the area where I am located will draw people, I'm just hung up on that ticket price thing. We have done surveys in some of the local businesses and have found that people are only willing to pay $4-5 for a ticket. Can anyone help me resolve this? Can I charge what I want and only pay commission to the film company based on the ticket price only and not on the base price of $6.50? Also, it is realistic to be able to outfit each screen with equipment, seats and screens for $25,000 each? Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: reopening a theatre 19 Jan 2004 12:06 #7215

  • tratcliff
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Sounds like you will need to make your theatre a "move over" theatre, like mine.
I have an historic 2 screen.
There is a 6-plex in town that is first run.
They charge $6.25.
I get the films right after they drop them.
I charge $3.50.
I pay an average of 35-40% rental, and it is based on the $3.50 price ( or $2.50 for kids).

Also, I do not show any R rated movies.
I am only able to get away with that because I am a move-over and am not forced to take any particular movie (usually).
Although I will probably end up making an exception to the R rated policy to show "Passion Of The Christ".

Tony Ratcliff
Ohio Theatre
Madison, Indiana
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Re: reopening a theatre 19 Jan 2004 13:32 #7216

  • Mike
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I own two theatres and both at at 6.00/4.00 for srs/3.50 kids and all tiks at matinee.

I have a friend who owns a 7 plex and his is 5.00/3.00 for kids/3.50 srs./ matinee @ 3.00

There is no standard such as you describe.

We did get in a tussle with Sony because we have "buck night" Tues @ 3.50 all seats and they demand that in that case we pay on the normal night rates so we now keep track of kids-srs-adults and report separately.

In other words charge what you want.

IMHO everyone wants to go first class and nobody wants to pay. Of course everyone near you wants to go for 4-5.00, people in hell want ice water.

With a stand alone 5 screen you will be a first run usually. You need to set your prices so that they are lower than your neighbor theatre but not too cheap to hurt you. If they are 6.00 go to 5. If they are 7.00 go to 6. Seniors not being a very big part of the biz and not being as poor as kidz I would set it 1.00 higher than the kids at least.

25K per screen? sounds light to me. That would be 125K. I just did a 2 screen for 200K. But it needed all new baths/concession/marquee/etc. Do the estiomates first based on what you need: the resulting number will be the numbers you work from. Gud luk!

Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
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Re: reopening a theatre 20 Jan 2004 12:40 #7217

  • Blue sky
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Thanks for the reply guys. Mike: there is a standard set for a cheaper ticket price in my area. there is an independent theatre about 18 miles from here that charges 2.50 before 6 and 3.50 after 6 for all shows. they have always shown first run and they are always packed. We drive there to see our movies because we can save 12.00 for our family. The people in my area are already conditioned to driving to that theatre to see movies. If I have to charge 6.50 they will still drive there to save $$. This theatre started with 5 screens and just added 3 more. It is the same distance from the 10 screen I mentioned as we are. I wonder why the big boys haven't given them any flack because I know this theatre pulls business from them. Is it only because they are in a different town? I am concerned that even if the film company gives me the O.K to charge 3.50/4.50 that the big boys will complain and then I'll be forced to raise my prices. I don't want to do sub runs because there is already one about 20 miles from here and besides, people can still drive to this other theatre I mentioned and see first runs for 2.50. Is this a realistic concern? I am wondering if any independent owners can give me any advice on this. Also, is anyone willing to talk with me on what I might expect from this investment, in terms of income. From what I have read, a lot of the owners say there isn't enough money in this business, but that makes me wonder why so many of them usually own more than one theatre. there is no income info out there that I know of. I also know no one can make a projection like that w/o knowing my area, my business know how, etc. but even a ball park would be helpful. thanks
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Re: reopening a theatre 20 Jan 2004 20:00 #7218

  • wimovieman
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I own 5 single screen very small town theatres, all are first run (except 2 that are "low grossing" with Fox) 1 is $4 and $2 for any showing, 2 are $2.50 and $4.50 for any showing, and 2 are $5 and $3 evenings, $3 for matinees (all prices were historical, so I did not change.

I am not sure about other states, but in my state the film company can not tell us what to charge--just that, as Mike stated, they want their percentage on your higher ticket prices during evening shows if you are discounting. This is covered in all the master contracts that you have to sign. I do feel that it might be hard to get a first run movie on the break if you are charging too little, but I have never had a problem with the prices I charge.
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