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TOPIC: New Ideas

New Ideas 09 Jul 2001 13:32 #22982

  • poppajoe
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Here's what we do for promotions. There is the advertising in the local newspaper, the distribution of fliers to local merchants, and of course the marquee advertising at the theater. Does anyone do anything different to draw in patrons? Would like to hear some suggestions.
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Re: New Ideas 09 Jul 2001 14:16 #22983

I did a discount trade with local restraunts and other busineses take a ticket stub get a free desert. bring your recipt from xyz and get a small corn with purchase of a Large drink. Something to that effect. It workede fairly well just don't over extend yourself
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Re: New Ideas 09 Jul 2001 22:08 #22984

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This is my first post so I need to explain something about our theater. We are a single screener in the outlying suburbs of a major city. Since we operate in the shadow (1/2 mile) of a Regal 8 plex and 7 miles from a Regal 16 plex we are unable to get first run movies and operate as a moveover theater (when the 8 plex is done playing a print - we can get it usually). Advertising is a serious issue with me since it is so expensive and we are not the major players in town. Our "local" paper does not have a devoted readership in my town because it comes from the county seat which is the smaller town and doesn't really seem to cover the territory. Most people get the major newspaper from the big city - they charge $140 per inch for advertising space! We are only listed on Friday when the Friday entertainment section is in. We also run Friday and Saturday ads in the "local" paper and have a real deal with the newspaper for the smaller big city to the east $104 / mo 7 days per week coverage with all other theaters. Needless to say - it is hard to get the word out.

I fax every service that is free - Hollywood Online,smaller weekly magazines, the local school district communications office, anybody that wants to know. I am currently studying the possibility of gathering an e mail list of our regulars who would want to get an email every week telling them what is coming in on Friday - we don't know until Monday since we get the leftovers.

We do have the obligatory phone line and announcing machine and we have given away at least 5000 refrigerator magnets with our theater name and phone number - 19 cents each I believe. We think this might be the most cost effective advertising we have ever done.

While we have tried the free popcorn coupons and setting up a deal with other merchants in town they don't work as well as they would if we were the only game in town and didn't get the movies later.

We just try to keep the people who like us happy and telling other people about our wonderful friendly service, flowers in the bathrooms, Dolby Digital sound, consistently good film presentation and did I mention CLEAN theater?

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Re: New Ideas 19 Jul 2001 09:27 #22985

If your haveing trouble finding a printed means to advertise your theatre you can do what I did, simply make your own. If your theatre is anything like mine, you always have employees who have nothing to do on their free time, put them to work writeing your own newspaper/flyer/magizine. Its a good way to get people to know your show times and any promotions you may be running. Local businesses are usally more than happy to display your newsletter (for the compensation of a few passes). I even have plans to start a home delivery where hardcore movie goers will pay the price of a envlope and a stamp and get the newsletter mailed right to them! Also to generate some revenue from your newsletter if you get a big enough following go to some small business owners and ask if they will advertise in your newsletter. This has worked for me and I hope for Y'all too.
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Re: New Ideas 20 Jul 2001 20:18 #22986

  • Mike
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The single greatest cost effective advertising for us is our weekly e mail to almost 1200 patrons!

I like the magnets!!!!! I can see mine already!

And I love the flowers in the bathroom! Wow,

Mike Hurley
Michael Hurley
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Re: New Ideas 20 Jul 2001 23:44 #22987

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Advertising is becoming a real problem for independent theatres that are in or near large cities or major markets as newspaper rates are becoming completely out of reach.

Smalltown weeklies are great, usually well read and inexpensive. You can actually put a decent size ad in for a reasonable cost. An ad that can even help sell the picture rather then just tell what's playing and when.

I'm hoping that the website will become the most important advertising medium, but so far the impact seems minimal... not nearly the number of hits that I thought that I would be recieving after 15 months of operation.

Telephone answering machines are very important. I sometimes think that more people call then look at the paper.

I think the e-mail is a great advertising source, but I haven't made the effort to collect a large list as of yet.

If you are in a small town (ours is 10,000 pop), I still believe the best and cheapest advertising is your marquee. In most small towns if your theatre is located on the main street, almost everyone passes your theatre several times a week, many people every day. Make that copy stand out, and if you have room... put up the showtimes as well... especially if you are a single or a twin. If you have a large marquee, don't ever consider replacing it with a smaller one. Maintain the lamps and neon. Keep those flashers and chasers working (or add them). They were put there for a reason and that reason still works. It draws attention to your place, unlike any other business in town. The only expense you have is an hour per week labor to have the copy changed, and the electric to operate it. The cost to light it is minimal... believe me I know. There are few marquees in this nation larger then mine, with more neon or bulbs or with more chasers and flashers then I have and it only costs me around $4.00 a day to run mine. So put that marquee to work for you. Don't just put the title up... if there is room, put the stars names up as well. Advertise any special policies on your marquee. "Now thru Thursday", "One day Only!", "Final Day", "Bargain Day", "Air-Conditioned", "Free Parking", "Date Night", whatever it is that you are doing can go up on the marquee attraction board(s). NOTHING will make as much impact for so little financial investment. Make your marquee work for you.

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Re: New Ideas 27 Sep 2001 11:30 #22988

  • take2
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Our local theater runs a trivia contest that is written into an emailed newsletter. Good way to advertise, especially when your out with someone at the theater and you flash your ticket and get in for free. I would guess it gets those movie buffs to sign up for the email, so they can get a chance at a freebe. Everyone likes something for free.
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