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TOPIC: my intro

my intro 22 Aug 2006 22:51 #20707

  • (sha)
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this is my first time posting here. ive been looking around for a few days and i decided to register. i have found some really great info that i couldnt find anywhere else. okay so first off i wanna say that im only 17. i turn 18 next month. everyone says that i am too young, but i refuse to listen to them. well my dream is to own a movie theater. in town near where i live there was a movie theater for years, until it got sold to some people who turned it into a church. thats why i want a movie theater. because i want to bring something back to that town. so i guess thats it,for now. (sha)

if you build it, they will come
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Re: my intro 22 Aug 2006 23:49 #20708

  • MovieGuy
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Welcome aboard! You are never too young or too old to get into the biz.
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Re: my intro 23 Aug 2006 04:25 #20709

  • (sha)
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thanks. im glad someone said that!

if you build it, they will come
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Re: my intro 23 Aug 2006 14:28 #20710

  • sevstar
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Bought and opened my first theatre at 20.

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Re: my intro 23 Aug 2006 15:14 #20711

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Really Sev? That's pretty amazing. I, for one, love to hear everyone's stories about how/when/why they got into the theater biz. It takes a "special" kind of person, for sure! We should start a "How did you get started in the biz?" thread.

Hey Sha, if you live near a college or university and can enroll in a business class, a lot of times they require you to create a business plan as a class project. This would be a PERFECT opportunity to create a business plan for a theater, which is going to be the first step. It would be really helpful to have a professor help you along the way.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: my intro 24 Aug 2006 04:32 #20712

  • (sha)
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umm i had planned on taking business classes for this semester, but i just wasnt able to because things came up. everyone tells me that i need business classes and thats kinda bringing me down. do you guys think that is a problem?

if you build it, they will come
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Re: my intro 24 Aug 2006 08:42 #20713

  • leeler
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I have an MBA and frankly, the vast majority of what I have learned is not applicable to running my theater. That being said, however, some things I've learned DO become useful, and business plan writing is one of those instances. You'll also need some help in getting your financial books set up and business classes will help you along the way for that. I would suggest at least a handful of business classes from your local community college if you're serious about this. A couple of intro classes will do wonders for your chances for success. You sound eager to move forward, but don't rush. If I was 17 again I'd do a WHOLE heap of things differently. Enjoy it.

"What a crazy business"
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Re: my intro 24 Aug 2006 11:38 #20714

  • Mike
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I quit college (business major) after 3.2 days, sold my books, moved to Boston. I have been in biz for myself , numerous businesses, for 30+ years. I regret not taking Excel (though there were no computers in 69!)/ business planning, finance/etc. etc. 80% of small biz fail in the first 5 years. That barely addresses the pain and suffering those 80% will go through as their hopes, dreams, money, often their home and property, and self confidence go up in smoke. 17 or 60; you should be learning and traing and no training will better prepare you for any life you choose than basic business training. Even a monk needs to balance his check book. Running a theatre is complex, start getting the biz tools now.

Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re: my intro 24 Aug 2006 12:32 #20715

  • puzzlegut
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Everyone here has already made some good points. Even though it's not necessary to have a college degree or take a bunch of business classes in order to run a movie theater (especially since they aren't going to tell you how to book movies, what the terms will be to get a print, etc), it would be a good idea to make sure you familiarize yourself with business because any small business owner needs to know about money, advertising, business law, accounting, etc. Without knowing these things, your rate of failure would increase; although sometimes even with the best education, many businesses fail.

Are you in your senior year of high school? If so, can't you sign up for business classes during the spring semester? Also, if you school has a chapter of Business Professionals of America, you could join it. Do you plan on going to college? Depending on what your major is going to be, you could always take a few business classes there.
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Re: my intro 24 Aug 2006 17:33 #20716

  • BECKWITH1
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It is certainly possible to run a theater without having extensive business classes and a degree. However, it does help.

Also, the main barriers to entry in this business boil down to MONEY. If you have money or someone hands you a theater on a silver platter then you can skip the business classes and learn on the job. However, most people who want to be in the theater business do not have those advantages. They have to raise the money somehow and acquire enough experience so that someone else will lend them the money. This is where the business plan comes in. You cannot get financing without it. Even with a solid business plan you will struggle to find someone to back you. It helps to have experience in the industry that you wish to have someone back you in. They want to know that you are not going to be learning with their money and making (possibly) expensive mistakes. Chances are that you are not going to be able to acheieve your dream right away. So take some steps to help it become possible. Reading all the information on these forums is a good first step. Then start gathering experiences that will help you make your dream come true.

I spent years working in the audit/accounting/tax preparation/accounts payable and payroll fields through my full time jobs. While I also have a bachelors degree from an excellent college I draw most on these experiences. My husband has years of experience in fixing mechanical and electrical equipment. I don't know how I could operate a theater without his skills. My husband and I also built 2 houses together which added to our combined store of knowledge of financing and construction. Over the years we built up good credit and assets which were necessary to buy our first theater. My husband got jobs working in theaters as both a projectionist and a manager. I helped and learned also. Our first theater was a single screen. 6 years later we bought a 4 screen. We can now both do this for a living.

Unfortunately, life is not always fair and we will need to find another location next year as a major chain is building a megaplex in the mall nearby. This will make it impossible for us to obtain first run films. While we will be forced to run film after they are done with it (2nd run or moveover) our lease payments on this building are too high to make this a viable option. At least our extensive experience helps us plan for the future and how to handle this business problem.
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Re: my intro 25 Aug 2006 12:28 #20717

  • John Pytlak
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"Life is the best teacher" --- IMHO, people thinking of getting in the theatre business should try to get experience working in theatres of the type they eventually hope to own.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Cell: +1 585-781-4036 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: my intro 25 Aug 2006 13:21 #20718

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Well, when I suggested taking a business class, I meant ONE business class just to learn the basics and develop a business plan. You certainly don't need an MBA. I agree with John in that it would help to work in a theater as well. The problem may be finding a job in a theater of any kind though, depending on your area. There is a list of applicants waiting in line for jobs at all five of our local theaters.

I think if you work in a theater WHILE taking A business class, you would be light years ahead of attempting to start one on your own from ground zero.

I'm on my fourth business because the first three failed, but I wouldn't trade the lessons I've learned for anything. In every instance, you learn more from mistakes than successes. Just be prepared for those mistakes, because they WILL come. Just dive right in and use the experience of others as a guide.

Unfortunately, we're not taught ANYTHING about finances in High School, which is something everyone needs to know, but they sure make certain we learn the Periodic Table of Elements by heart. Now THAT is valuable knowledge we use every day. Geesh.
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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