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TOPIC: Finding Booking Histories & Grosses

Finding Booking Histories & Grosses 06 Jun 2002 15:19 #23327

  • Barry Floyd
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I have found a small drive-in located in Tennessee that is currently for sale. The asking price is low-enough that I could write a check for the place and have it paid for completely in full. It's currently open and running, but located 86 miles from home.

I've been advised by several other drive-in owners to get ahold of a copy of this theatre's "gross box-office" numbers to see what kind of business the place is doing.

The current operator (who is NOT the owner) is renting the place on a month-to-month basis (with no formal lease agreement). The realtor said, "You can either rent the place to the current operator... or he could be out tomorrow."

According to the realtor.. the current operator says he keeps no formal books for anyone else to see. He's currently showing sub-run product (more than likely on flat rental terms), and the money probably all just goes in his pocket.

Some of the other drive-in owners have suggested that I contact a local film booker and ask them to pull the records for this theatre. The other owners have also stated that by doing so could alert someone in the business to the property and it could be sold out from under us.

What's the best way to go about doing this?

We are going down to this theatre all three nights this weekend to get a feel for the place and see what type of crowd it currently attracts.

Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee
(Drive-In Theatre - Start-Up)
Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee
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Re: Finding Booking Histories & Grosses 06 Jun 2002 23:57 #23328

  • Rialto
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Do you have a film booker? If so, do they subscribe to EDI (Entertainment Data)? EDI collects grosses nightly on over 25,000 of the nations 37,000 movie screens. Most large chain theatres report to EDI. Many smaller regional and local exhibs report when they are in competitive zones. I have no idea if EDI tracks drive-ins or not. They do track subruns. You can order a theatre history report. I'm not sure what it costs, but I find it a good investment for the knowledge you gain is invaluable and hard to obtain from any other source. You can check out EDI's web site at www.entdata.com By the way, contacting EDI really shouldn't tip anyone off.

Another way to track business is to sit outside (discreetly) and count cars or patrons who come. Some simple math will give you an idea. However, you need to do this over a number of weeks to be able to get a feel for how the film product mix changes the level of business. Then there's the seasonal thing.

Good luck!
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Re: Finding Booking Histories & Grosses 27 Jun 2002 19:57 #23329

  • Mike
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When we were looking at a theatre we simply called the distribs like WB, Sony, etc. and chatted up the sales guys "How much did they do?" and they'd read me a list of films they'd played, the week, the gross. I was not looking for definitive info but a feel was great. Last night as we pulled carpet out of the place the former popcorn gal came in and gave me an earful on how they did, and what shows did well, etc. That was worth it's weight in gold! Find the person who ran the concession and they'll tell you more than anyone!

Michael Hurley
Impresario
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