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two screens or one... 30 May 2004 21:40 #8323

  • criterion
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Hey guys, it's Dan the "I'm trying to start an art-house twin" man. I've got a question for you guys... do you think two screens are better than one? If you had the space, wouldn't you want to add as many screens as possible?

Our main investor, who also happens to be the building owner, is concerned that we're sinking too much money into the two-screen model, and for good reason. He realizes that our project would be much more attractive to banks if our initial costs were lower, which makes good since, but after looking through our equipment quotes I don't know if we'll really be saving all that much money.

Our initial booth equipment cost is $50,000 for two screens... now, if we cut one of those screens out, I'd say we'd save ourselves about $20,000, but at the cost of halving our seating capacity and movie selection. I know that you also have to add in the additional cost for the second auditoriums construction infill and additional rent, but don't you think a second screen is worth at least $30,000? Just curious to hear your guys thoughts on it.

BTW, I'm on the "two screen" side, so please don't crucify me.
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Re: two screens or one... 30 May 2004 23:17 #8324

  • RoxyVaudeville
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In first run or art, more screens are always better... only in subrun are less screens better, and in many cases in subrun only one screen is best.
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Re: two screens or one... 01 Jun 2004 08:40 #8325

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Thanks Roxy... I'm surprised more people haven't chimed in with their two cents.
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Re: two screens or one... 01 Jun 2004 09:17 #8326

I think it depends on your location the art house here that i am the tech for has problems drawing a crowd for one screen so a second would be futile here.


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Re: two screens or one... 01 Jun 2004 09:22 #8327

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What are your demographics, GTE? Our theater would be located in a downtown area surrounded by 3 colleges (total enrollment slightly less than 40,000)... the metropolitan area of our city is just shy of 390,000. There are currently no other art-house theaters in our town... just 2 first-run and a really nasty subrun on the other side of town.

[This message has been edited by criterion (edited June 01, 2004).]
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Re: two screens or one... 01 Jun 2004 11:00 #8328

hi,

demos City 25,000
tristate area 250,000
lots of rural area (cows and tobacco)
no other art house no close colleges.
just a badly managed first run
and my first run project that is coming soon.
this is a wierd town and the art house was the dream of a few people who think that everyone wants to see what they wnat to see so they built their own art house. It does ok depending on what the film is but it would not warrant two screens here.


you have the college crowd which I think you would do well and probably need that second screen.
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Re: two screens or one... 02 Jun 2004 20:16 #8329

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As a true arthouse guy, I say more screens is always better.

It's a really tough time right now in the art world because not much is really working too well. You'd think that would loosen up the rules a little and encourage creativity. Nope! Absolutely not. All the companies are cracking down about screens gotta be clean in the hopes that something hits. Also most companies don't seem to be making the second batch of prints on most titles, so they are trying to service the entire country out of a small print inventory.

For those of us in secondary markets that means every Monday is a crap shoot. Maybe you'll get a print of your planned booking or maybe it'll be pushed back. Makes doing your job as a marketer tough.

The good news is there are a few nice surprises along the way. SuperSize Me didn't start out huge like we expected, but its doing rock steady business. Modern Times (the new digital restoration) has hit a nerve and is doing well for us. The right classic with at the right time in the right context.

Anyway, this is a long ramble to say that the art market is way to unpredictable to put all your eggs in one basket or put your fate on one roll of the dice each week. With two screens you at least double your chances of having something that is working and you may have the option of combining a couple of things that are winding down so you can open something new. Yes, the up front capital costs are greater. But you are spreading the exact same employee, plant and utility costs over more potential films to attact more audience members. More choices also helps build your core base by giving them more frequent reasons to come back. And that is what it is all about, because the art house filmgoer is a much more frequent filmgoer if the product is available at a well run theatre that dedicates itself to that programming. If he or she has to hunt for it scattershot at the mainstream plex and be subjected to hordes of unruly teenagers, then he or she will either lose interest or wait for video.
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Re: two screens or one... 02 Jun 2004 22:36 #8330

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Large, you are the man.
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Re: two screens or one... 02 Jun 2004 23:12 #8331

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Large? I thought that was Ky.
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Re: two screens or one... 02 Jun 2004 23:49 #8332

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Large is of sailing off the coast of Maine and visiting our nations capital. I'm home running the theatre. Ky
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Re: two screens or one... 03 Jun 2004 08:49 #8333

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Whoops, sorry Ky... I got confused. YOU'RE the man!
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