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TOPIC: new theatre

Re: new theatre 04 Feb 2001 01:03 #14609

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Film payments?

I always pay by corporate check, and mail the check and box office statement just under 30 days which was the normal proceedure when I entered the business thirty five years ago. Thirty days has always been considered an on time payment in any business dealings that I have done throughout my life as a theatre owner, as an architect, and as a real estate owner/landlord or anything else that I've dabled in over the years. I never have prints held up reguardless of how many shows i've played from any given distributor unless one of them is over thirty days old, and that I never do.

As a booking agent myself, I have found that my newer accounts, those within the past ten years or so must often pay within fifteen days, and must pay picture by picture before they can book another picture, and in some cases (Disney and Miramax) pay by certified check. I don't have to do that since I establihed credit decades ago before most of these policies were put into place.

The more I think about this, the older I feel. Come to think of it, of all the people that I deal with at the varios studio branches, only ONE is left that was in the business before I was. I often tell some of these younger branch managers and sales people how things were done years ago and they don't know what I'm talking about. But, I must give them credit, they seem to respect my experience, and treat me well, and often call me up to seek information about how things were done.
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Re: new theatre 04 Feb 2001 01:24 #14610

  • RoxyVaudeville
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In regards to bookkeeping:

I agree completely with Large when he says to keep vigilant books. Even in these days of computers, I still use the old fashioned "cut-off cards" that were used in the fifties, and the forties, and maybe...who knows, back in the thirties and twenties as well.

They are a large hard stock card, yellow in color, one for each distributor, that has a line for each picture played and has space to record the playdate per week, number of days playes per week, the percentage payed, the amount paid, the date of the check, the check number, and the date you mailed the check, as well as space for credits or debits for when films are settled later at different terms. It takes a minute to fill out each time you make a film payment, and then you have a complete record of everything having to do with each film. They sure do come in handy when a distributor says they didn't recieve a payment or box office statement. They also help THEM to follow the paper trail and discover THERE mistake.
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Re: new theatre 04 Feb 2001 08:36 #14611

  • ragtopzzz
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Thanks to everyone for all the great feedback so far!

What do most of you average for number of admissions you sell as a percentage of your total seats X total shows? For example, if you have 2 screens, 100 seats each, and you show 3 times a day, 7 days a week, you (in theory) could sell 4200 tickets every week. I'm guessing that you won't ever sell 100% of those, but is it reasonable to expect that you will ususally sell 25% of those? 33%? 50%?
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Re: new theatre 04 Feb 2001 11:14 #14612

  • videodrome
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first off, thanks for the payment feedback...now, another question:
there are 2 second run theatres, and one large stadium seating theatre in my city (both owned by cinemark) they all use platters, and have offered to train me work the projection...should i still consider going with reels, since most of you find it more reliable? someone mentioned to me that since i am thinking of only having a single screen theatre, i should look into having 2 reel projectors in case one should act up; any comments?
thanks in advance:)
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Re: new theatre 04 Feb 2001 15:23 #14613

  • Large
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As to the question of percentage of seats sold, I think a more reasonable percentage is 15% - 20%. We are working towards 20% as a goal. I knew of some cinemas in Asia that opened to 80% attendance, but they had never had cinemas like that before. If you are averaging 50% then great, but is your audience comfortable? If you were at 50% you would always be paying the distributors, 90% of your gross. If I were selling 50% of my seats, I would be down at the bank looking for a loan to expand.

If I were building a single screen, I would only put in two projectors with no platter system. I would use 6,000-foot reels with an automated changeover. This would simplify my life, speed up film handling and ensure that mechanical breakdown didn't shut me down. Now I would never build a single screen if I were looking to make money. My personal minimum is a 3-screen theatre. Then I would use platters. I might build one large auditorium and a couple of tiny auditoriums but it would be three nonetheless.

P.S. If you are taking over an existing theatre, it is more economical to use whatever is already there.


[This message has been edited by Large (edited February 04, 2001).]
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Re: new theatre 04 Feb 2001 15:48 #14614

  • Mike
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I just started reading Hannibal..... there's a line in there about Starling and the FBI "You will love the Bureau but the Bureau will not love you." That's the distribs for you as well. Actually it's more like being sickeningly, madly, obsessed and in love with someone who barely remembers your name. Unless you have multiple sites and many, many screens the realtionship is essentially one way: you need them and they don't need you. Collectively yes. Individually no. So protecting the relationship is your job. PAY ON TIME. Nothing is more important. If you want to have people answer the phone, take your calls, get you prints, be your friend YOU CANNOT BE A PAIN IN THE BUTT. #1 is PAY. We regularly send to new film buyers we deal with a Welcome basket with press clips, post cards, articles, a T shirt (yes they like goodies as much as anyone) and CANDY. Whatever works. Of course remember this: What have you done for me lately? The distribs get ticked when you don't play their pictures. Don't forget that their job is to place prints in theatres. Sometimes I have caved to a sales pitch as a favor. Some of them will actually ask you to take a pic "as a favor" (which ain't a good sign!) and I remind them of it but all of that will always be THEN and Monday morning is alway NOW!

Mike Hurley
www.bigscreenbiz.com
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: new theatre 04 Feb 2001 16:44 #14615

  • RoxyVaudeville
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videodrome:

Concerning your question about putting in reel to reel verus a platter may I suggest that you visit my post of Jan 31st in the "Lobby" under "Recommendations".
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Re: new theatre 27 Apr 2001 22:11 #14616

  • GRAND_CAMEO
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Try Cinex! They'll provide you with a quote for free! All you need to do is say what kind of projection equipment you want (close to new, new, very used, etc.)!

Tell them your screen number and they'll send it off! They're great!
http://www.cinex.net



[This message has been edited by GRAND_CAMEO (edited April 29, 2001).]
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Re: new theatre 19 Mar 2007 00:56 #14617

i am also wishing to start a theater and I wanted it to be like a theater I went to as a kid where they showed first run movies at a discounted price( they still do this Sand springs 8). How do you get permission for this.
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