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TOPIC: New digital installs and no 3d?

Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 30 Jun 2012 00:59 #38772

  • Keweler
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"Have you had any of your theaters drop 3d capabilities in the last year?"
Why would anybody do that? Unless you have the technicolor system and changeover to digital, I see no reason especially now that the studios allow you to run 2d/3d on the same screen. Still, just the mere existence of this thread is proof that 3D lost (a lot of) steam. 2 years ago it was unimaginable (for most) to go digital without 3D.
Just do not lie to your customers about this and certainly do not lead them to believe that you are having to pick up the whole $60k per screen when you are getting a VPF.
I don't understand this. I get loan and I have a plan on how to pay it back. Do I owe my customers full disclosure? My mother loaned me money for the down payment to pay for my theater. Should I tell everybody that? I carry the risk. If VPF's don't come for whatever reason I have to come up with a different plan. If I don't I loose my house. This is the biggest investment in this theater ever. That's what I'll tell my customers.
Jay
Last Edit: 30 Jun 2012 00:59 by Keweler.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 30 Jun 2012 02:05 #38773

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Keweler wrote:
Just do not lie to your customers about this and certainly do not lead them to believe that you are having to pick up the whole $60k per screen when you are getting a VPF.
I don't understand this. I get loan and I have a plan on how to pay it back. Do I owe my customers full disclosure? My mother loaned me money for the down payment to pay for my theater. Should I tell everybody that? I carry the risk. If VPF's don't come for whatever reason I have to come up with a different plan. If I don't I loose my house. This is the biggest investment in this theater ever. That's what I'll tell my customers.
Jay

This is for those who are seeking donations from their customers to help pay for the digital transition. Let's say you spend $200k for digital and other upgrades and you expect to get anywhere from $120-$160k in VPF and you tell your customers you are hoping to raise $150k. I have a problem with that. I only know of one theater doing that.

I also have a problem with a theater saying they spent all of this money on their digital conversion and fail to mention that the studios are helping pay for it. A staff person from my 8 screen competitor said such a thing in trying to justify their high prices. We know that a 8 screen in the top 2000 locations will get a significant chunk of their conversion reimbursed with the VPF. AND how much labor are they going to save going forward each year? I would be in this situation the cost of this theater's conversion over 10 years is zero.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 30 Jun 2012 02:36 #38774

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This is for those who are seeking donations from their customers to help pay for the digital transition. Let's say you spend $200k for digital and other upgrades and you expect to get anywhere from $120-$160k in VPF and you tell your customers you are hoping to raise $150k. I have a problem with that. I only know of one theater doing that.

100% agree. Don't ask for more then you actually spent, everything else is fraud.
I also have a problem with a theater saying they spent all of this money on their digital conversion and fail to mention that the studios are helping pay for it. A staff person from my 8 screen competitor said such a thing in trying to justify their high prices.

See my answer above.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 30 Jun 2012 17:43 #38776

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Keweler wrote:
This is the biggest investment in this theater ever. That's what I'll tell my customers.
Jay

I agree but you also owe it to tell them that the studios are expected to reimburse for a significant part of it. That is what I have said when it comes up in conversation. Otherwise you are misleading your customers.

or you could not even bring it up at all (the cost side of the digital conversion).
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 14 Jul 2012 20:04 #38862

I am also not installing 3D when we convert our three screen at the end of August. We are in a unique position in that we operate the only other theater in our market (35 miles away), which already has Dolby 3D. We occasionally open major releases at both theaters, one in 3D and one not. The ratio of what option our customers are choosing is generally tracking with the national trend: The percentage of people who see a movie in 3D is dropping. A very recent example for us is Spiderman 2D = 60% and Spiderman 3D = 40%. To be fair, there are other local factors that may be causing this specific split, but the point is that ratio has been trending in favor of 2D.

The other reasons for skipping 3D are in line with what others have stated already in this thread (extra cost, cleaning and collection, etc). I can also confirm that the studios are still very aggressive about booking 3D. Occasionally, they used to threaten to not allow a 2D booking in our three screen, if we decide to pass on 3D in our single (35 miles away!). Thankfully, this no longer happens.
Last Edit: 14 Jul 2012 21:37 by PopCornPusher.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 15 Jul 2012 01:17 #38865

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PopCornPusher wrote:
I am also not installing 3D when we convert our three screen at the end of August. We are in a unique position in that we operate the only other theater in our market (35 miles away), which already has Dolby 3D. We occasionally open major releases at both theaters, one in 3D and one not. The ratio of what option our customers are choosing is generally tracking with the national trend: The percentage of people who see a movie in 3D is dropping. A very recent example for us is Spiderman 2D = 60% and Spiderman 3D = 40%. To be fair, there are other local factors that may be causing this specific split, but the point is that ratio has been trending in favor of 2D.

The other reasons for skipping 3D are in line with what others have stated already in this thread (extra cost, cleaning and collection, etc). I can also confirm that the studios are still very aggressive about booking 3D. Occasionally, they used to threaten to not allow a 2D booking in our three screen, if we decide to pass on 3D in our single (35 miles away!). Thankfully, this no longer happens.

How much is your 3d upcharge?
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 15 Jul 2012 02:13 #38867

3D upcharge is $2.00. 3D Adult Admission is $10.50. Should I consider removing the upcharge so that all general admission prices are the same? Would this really increase attendance? I could also split the screen with 2D and 3D shows, as the studios are now allowing it. Seems like a silly thing to do after spending the money on the Dolby equipment and glasses.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 15 Jul 2012 04:22 #38868

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So you still had 40% of your customers want to watch 3d enough that they were willing to pay more. That sounds like the demand is still there to me.

And a good chunk of your customers are going to choose 2d no matter what.

So why not offer both? Split the show times up evenly. Since you made this conversion, you should be doing enough business to offer at least 2 shows a weekday and 4 or more on the weekends.

It is about making customers happy. But like I have said before, if you do not have the competitive pressures that many theaters have, you can be less customer friendly by NOT offering 3d because it is so much easier, have as few showtimes as possible, have only 2 concession lines, and the list goes on. Fuck the customer who wants to see 3d, they can drive 35 miles to see it in 3d.

If you look at Leeler; he runs his theaters as if he has a competitor right across the street when he is his ONLY competition. Same thing with the Astro 3 in Marysville KS. While Mike chooses to run 14 shows a week of Ice Age 4, the Astro 3 runs 35 shows of Ice Age 4 and you guessed it in 2d and 3d. And Mike grosses at least 40% more.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 15 Jul 2012 15:44 #38870

Rufusjack - I am slightly insulted that you are implying we don’t care about customer service due to lack of competition. You are not familiar enough with our theater and operations to make such an assumption.

Most business decisions can’t be made simply in the name of customer service. I would love to replace our existing seats and carpet at the same time we convert. Would these things improve the moviegoing experience for our customers? Yes. Does it make financial sense to make these improvements right now? No. My community would not be well serviced if we were to take on too much debt and go out of business.

I am choosing to not get 3D for the following main reasons: decreasing demand, cost of equipment (poor return on investment), and poor presentation.

So 40% of our market saw Spiderman in 3D. How many of those customers would have prefered to see it in 2D but were unwilling to drive 35 miles? Quite a few, and more importantly, in increasing proportions. At the heart of it, I think the reason for this trend is that wearing glasses and watching a darkened screen is a poor experience in comparison to watching a bright and vibrant 2D screen. Also, current 3D technology is essentially tricking the brain - and the more and more often we watch 3D movies the less effective that trick is becoming. I am offering better customer service by offering a better presentation.

As for splitting a screen with 2D and 3D shows, it just doesn’t make sense to order 3D equipment with this intention. Does 3D deserve the 7:00 hour, or should it be relegated to the 4:00 and 9:00 hours? Will one to two 3D shows a day yield an acceptable ROI? I think it’s possible that the screens that are splitting are probably just trying to cut their losses, and if they could go back in time they would choose to not get 3D.
Last Edit: 15 Jul 2012 16:08 by PopCornPusher.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 15 Jul 2012 20:46 #38871

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Insulted?

Why not be proud of the fact that you chose to buy/lease a theater that did not have competitors that others would? If you have followed my posts over the years you will have known that I often encourage prospective theater owners to purchase theaters that do not have any competition for 30 miles. Why? Do I really need to spell it out to you?

Are you telling me that if you had another theater within 5 mins of you, that was newer, with better seats, more showtimes, and 2d/3d options; that you would not run your theater differently?

The level of competition dictates how businesses treat their customers. How is the customer service at the DMV?

Every significant theater chain offers both 2d & 3d showings to their customers. Why? People want the option? Or are all of these theater chains just run by ignorant people? In my area, theaters in towns of 6000 people and less are running both 2d and 3d. The Astro 3 is in the 3300 population town of Marysville, Ks.

If I ran the Astro 3, I would not run 35 shows a week. I would run much less.

If I had no competition, I would probably do just 2-3 midnight shows a year. At one point the Astro 3 was running all first showings at midnight. We had about 20 people for midnight Avengers. Half of those people would have come to see it the next day but I ran it at midnight so the other 10 would not be tempted to see it somewhere else.

Would I be offering a lower level of customer service? YES Why, because I do not need to. It is business.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 15 Jul 2012 21:21 #38872

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dude, chill out, he can run his business how he wants to and you can run yours the way you want to.

I have no competition for about an hours drive in any direction here and I bust my butt for my customers. Why? Because even though I don't have movie competition I have plenty of competition from everything else in the world. Treat them right and they will be more likely to return. that means everything from giving them options and added showtimes to thanking them for coming. they chose to patronize your business and that means everything. Bend over backwards for them and give them everything you can
"What a crazy business"
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 15 Jul 2012 22:10 #38874

leeler wrote:
I have no competition for about an hours drive in any direction here and I bust my butt for my customers. Why? Because even though I don't have movie competition I have plenty of competition from everything else in the world. Treat them right and they will be more likely to return. that means everything from giving them options and added showtimes to thanking them for coming. they chose to patronize your business and that means everything. Bend over backwards for them and give them everything you can

I agree with this philosophy 100%, and this is how we choose to operate our theaters. We never take our customers for granted. We took over our theater about 8 years ago after it had been closed for a year. The reasons it closed are numerous, but one of the biggest ones was horrible customer service and bad policy. Management was so frequently rude to customers that we still hear stories of mistreatment!

As for 3D, I just don't see how choosing not to invest in it equates to poor service. My customers would love it if I retrofitted our theaters to stadium seating. Am I doing them a disservice by not doing so?
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 16 Jul 2012 13:03 #38876

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over the last 3-4 years... I can count on one hand how many people have asked us to get 3-D or have expressed a desire for it. We are a very popular summer place as well,,, coast of Maine... need I say more. The idea of not providing 3-D equating with poor public service is laughable. We don't have AC: for at least 10 days a year it's really hot. Is that poor public service? We do not sell nachos. We do not have video games. Etc. etc. Our theatre is known for exceptional service: it's what we are known for. Bottom line: If there was a huge demand, or even a minor demand, we'd have added it.
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 16 Jul 2012 21:25 #38881

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I think not having 3 D or air conditioning is a great way to save money.
Bob
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Re: New digital installs and no 3d? 05 Sep 2012 14:44 #39109

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we do have excellent heat!
Michael Hurley
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