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TOPIC: drive-in split

drive-in split 09 Jun 2003 20:42 #23927

  • Roger
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Hi all,

I've been reading these forums for over a year and have read a lot about the percentage of a film's take that a theatre pays to the film company. Though I have never owned a theatre, I've been looking for a theatre for sale and currently I'm looking at a drive-in. Thus, I have 2 questions I don't think i've seen here before (forgive my repetitiveness if they have already been asked).

Drive-Ins seem to all show double features. How is that money divided up? Does the operator have to split it 3 ways (the theatre, the studio that made film #1, and the studio that made film #2 as well?)

Also, how can a drive-in stay in business showing movies weekends only for 6 months a year while it is closed for the other 6 months like many seem to do? Are these money-losing propositions? I'm not looking to make much money (I'd be fine with breaking even) but I don't want a money-losing venture.
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Re: drive-in split 09 Jun 2003 21:51 #23928

There is one around here that rents videos the rest of the year.
And one that is only open during the season they however do not play double features.
and they make enough money because they are the only theatre in their area (30 miles from comp.) and are famous for ther cheese burgers (in fact they just celebrated 50 years)
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Re: drive-in split 09 Jun 2003 22:56 #23929

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Drive-in film rentals for their double feature programs are split if both features aren't from the same distributor. If both films are from the same distributor, they are generally booked as a combo... both pictures for 35%, or 40% or if first run maybe 60%. Drive-ins generally pay a lower film rental then hardtops. It wasn't always that way, but currently is. If the two films are from different studios then each one gets a different percentage. Usually, one film is first run, and the 2nd feature subrun. In many cases a new 1st run will open every two weeks with the previous first run staying and becoming the 2nd feature. The top feature will command 40, 50 or even 60%, while the 2nd feature will get 10 or 15, and sometimes even as low as 5%. Subrun drive-ins will often pay 25% for the first feature from studio A, and 10% for the 2nd feature from studio B. I've heard that it is not unusual to tell a distributor that there film will be the 2nd feature which then goes for 10%, and then book another companies feature also as the 2nd feature for 10%. Total film rental - 20%.
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Re: drive-in split 10 Jun 2003 12:28 #23930

  • Barry Floyd
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Not only do you have to take into account the film percentages at drive-ins, you also have to consider the age of the existing drive-ins operating in your area.

Many of these "long-opened" drive-ins were paid off years and years ago, leaving no debt service on the income (with the exception of the property taxes). You will find in many places the drive-ins are now either owned or run by someone who's parents or grandparents originally built the place. Not always, but many times. I would be able to make a "gazzillion" dollars a year at my place if we had NO debt to service.

If properly managed, promoted and maintained, a drive-in theatre is still a viable business, but keep in mind the property taxes will only go up.
Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee
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Re: drive-in split 10 Jun 2003 21:47 #23931

Barry you are correct about the long paid off drive inns. That is the case here. In the cheese burger drive inn I think its more a Hobby for them instead of their " day Job"

BTW Barry how is your project going?
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Re: drive-in split 11 Jun 2003 10:39 #23932

  • Barry Floyd
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How's our project going.... slow.

The grading guy is still NOT done. He said it would take him about 5-6 weeks.... he started the last week of February! Although I'll have to admit, it's rained here pretty much at least once or twice a week. It's really the weather that's slowing him down.

The screen is UP! Looks pretty damn cool too if I do say so myself. For close to $40k, it ought to!! Can't say anything bad about the screen company or the guys who installed it. It was a first class professional job all the way.

We've had to go back and borrow more money to get the project finished. We're awaiting the phone call this afternoon from the bankers.

The concession stand/projection contractor is ready and waiting for the grading guy to get out of the way.

Looks like mid to late August before we'll get open. Just in time to miss all of the summer block-busters!!

We've got some recent photo's of the construction progress on our web-site @ www.stardustdrivein.com - then click "PHOTOS"

Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee

[This message has been edited by Barry Floyd (edited June 11, 2003).]
Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Lebanon, Tennessee

Stardust Drive-In Theatre
Watertown, Tennessee
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