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TOPIC: The stages in the life of a dollar earned at your boxoffice/

The stages in the life of a dollar earned at your boxoffice/ 26 May 2002 13:48 #23275

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I'm wondering whether someone would take me by the hand and lead me through the steps for handling cash received at the boxoffice and concession counter. Assume I don't know anything (my wife will vouch for that). I'm interested in techniques which enhance efficiency and security. What steps does $1 from boxoffice go through before it's out the door to the distributor and how long does that take? Similar query for concessions. Are boxoffice & concessions placed in separate accounts?

Thanks in advance for bearing with this one.
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Re: The stages in the life of a dollar earned at your boxoffice/ 26 May 2002 14:28 #23276

We made separate Concession and Box office deposits daily, some times twice daily.
This keeps the money separted so that the distribs can't come back and say that some of the concession money really belongs to them. Accounts were not separate but the deposits were identified. (we wrote it on the deposit slip.)
Frequent pulls from all cash drawers is a must several times a day in order to maintain some safety from internal and external theft.

Our payments to the distribs were handled by corporate so I don't know how often they paid.( it depends on contracts and terms for each movie) Prob net terms of a certain amount of days after your run ends. Roxyvaudville can help on this question Concession invoices were on 30 day terms so they were paid every 30 days.
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Re: The stages in the life of a dollar earned at your boxoffice/ 26 May 2002 15:12 #23277

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Thanks.

I've seen references here to counting rooms. Where are these typically located? Who does the counting? How many times? Is change sorted into paper rolls (or is that old-fashioned)?
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Re: The stages in the life of a dollar earned at your boxoffice/ 26 May 2002 16:44 #23278

Counting rooms are usually located as far away from public acess as possible either upstairs in the projection level or hidden in the depths behind the concession stand.
If you are a large theatre you have a mgr that is in charge of counting rooms and you have a small support staff and that is thier only function count and make depsoits.
If its a small operation then its the owner or mgr that makes the pulls and deposits.

Deposits were done on an as needed basis in order to get the cash put away to increase safety.
Usually coins are sorted into paper rolls quarters being recycled back into the cash drawers and nickels dimes and pennies being shipped off to the bank.

at first the theatre I was at had to buy all kinds of change from the bank then they rounded every price to the nearest quarter after sales tax so that quarters was all we had to get from the bank.
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Re: The stages in the life of a dollar earned at your boxoffice/ 26 May 2002 19:34 #23279

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Speaking generally, "counting rooms" or "cash offices" need to be very secure, but it's good to be in a place where the person counting (or "balancing") can see where the money's being taken in. Often this person is in charge (head cashier), and will want to keep an eye on "the floor". You also do not want to bury the entrance to such an office in a secluded area where a would-be robber could slip in unnoticed. Make it secure, and in sight (the entrance, not the cash).
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Re: The stages in the life of a dollar earned at your boxoffice/ 26 May 2002 22:54 #23280

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The theatre business is much like any other business where up to 30 days is considered an ontime payment, but after that it's "Past due". However, your credit and history of payment may determine when your payments will be due. When you first start out some suppliers may want payment COD or before the next order if that order is less then 30 days since the last order. Once you have established yourself and have made regular ontime payments over a reasonable period of time, the 30 day rule will apply.

The only payment that doesn't follow that rule of thumb are the film payments. Does that surprise anyone? As I have been in this business for many many years, I can atest to the fact that 30 days was the rule for film payments as well, and still is for me. Many of my booking acounts have been in business for less then ten years and are forced to follow a different set of rules. Today film rental payments are often due differently from picture to picture as well as from distributor to distributor. On blockbuster movies a 14 day or even a 7 day pay is often the case. The payment is due within 14 or 7 days after the finish of any given week. For most run of the mill movies they expect payment before they will release a print for the next film from there company or 30 days, whichever is first.

Of course there are also those dreaded advances and guarantees. An advance is when you are required to put up money before recieving the film with that amount then being credited towards the final bill. If your final bill is less then the advance then the balance is credited towards your next picture. A guarantee is when you must guarantee a minimum amount that you will pay for the run of a film. If your film rental as based on the percentages, 70, 60, 50 etc. do not add up to the guarantee... tough! They get to keep the rest. Avoid guarantees if at all possible or keep them as low as possible. We here in Pennsylvania do not have advances or gurantees as both are illegal by law as set forth in the Pennsylvania Motion Picture Fair Trade Practices Law. Some distributors (namely Sony) have a clause in there contract that requires you to have a separate bank account just for their film rental, and that it be deposited there daily with them having access to withdraw it directly. Yes, that IS in there new master contract... however, I know of no one that does that. Everyone just ignores it, and thank god they do.

I,like GTE only use one bank account, but also list B.O. and Concession separately for accounting purposes. Concessions are usually paid on 30 days as well, but again depending on your case history you may be required to pay before the next order if that is less then 30 days since the last one.
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