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TOPIC: Does anyone own their own amusements?

Does anyone own their own amusements? 12 May 2006 07:33 #25066

  • Pieman
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Does anyone here own their own amusement machines or do you hire them from someone or have someone place the machines and pay you a set fee?
Does anyone not have any amusements in their foyer?

We recently had a company put 2 machines in our foyer for a set fee, but he took them out saying they didn't earn enough for him. So we bought one of the chocolate prize redemption machines to try out ourselves. It does really well. We're thinking about buying a second machine
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Re: Does anyone own their own amusements? 12 May 2006 13:21 #25067

  • BurneyFalls
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I have one game in a small area next to the lobby. I own it and the proceeds buy me lunch once in awhile--it doesn't get used much. The benefit of having someone put machines in your theatre is that they change them out occasionally making the new games attract more attention and hopefully, more use. Also, the company will service the machines at no additional cost to you.
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Re: Does anyone own their own amusements? 12 May 2006 15:37 #25068

  • dsschoenborn
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We have our own vending machines to vend small item candy. It a kid has change in his pocket he will spend it if they have a chance, so give them the chance.

We had video games when we had restrooms in the basement and they did OK. We don't have room now since we have moved the restrooms to the main level.
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Re: Does anyone own their own amusements? 12 May 2006 23:13 #25069

  • Ken Layton
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Remember that if you buy your own equipment that you are responsible for all licenses required (city, county, state), maintenance, and insurance (in case someone gets hurt while using/playing your machines).
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Re: Does anyone own their own amusements? 13 May 2006 05:15 #25070

  • rodeojack
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I had my own machines for years. If you get much traffic around them, it can work out for you pretty well. However, owning your machines means you have to deal with any service issues, vandalism, wear & tear and the ever-present problems with kids plugging the slots with anything they think might substitute for a real quarter.

The games can also get stale after awhile

We went with a game company that Ken is associated with. They provide and maintain the games, and rotate them as necessary. For me, the percentage deal was much better than getting to keep all the money, but having to deal with all the problems.
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Re: Does anyone own their own amusements? 13 May 2006 10:51 #25071

  • Mike Spaeth
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Watch the percentage deals though. On any coin-op not involving redemption, 50-50 is a minimum split.
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Re: Does anyone own their own amusements? 13 May 2006 13:18 #25072

  • rodeojack
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Watch the percentage deals though. On any coin-op not involving redemption, 50-50 is a minimum split.

True... but (my opinion) I don't think 50/50's a bad deal. Those games are expensive... and even though they may certainly pay themselves off eventually, the cost of maintenance has got to go up as they age and become less popular. To me, the 50% is worth being able to call someone else to deal with all the problems.

I used to have a pinball game in my place. It did pretty well, but (being mechanical), it always had one or two "things" that didn't work quite right. It probably could have done better, but fixing it every time it went down wasn't all that high on my list of priorities. So... there were days when it just sat there, turned off. The games I have now are much more reliable, and I can concentrate on selling popcorn... which I'm much better at!
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Re: Does anyone own their own amusements? 15 May 2006 11:03 #25073

  • jimor
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I was once a technician and repaired games for years, and while a lobby isn't a bar (unless you are dumb enough to serve alcohol), let me tell you that the damage that a machine can suffer at the hands of young patrons is amazing! Are you electronically sophisticated and know of suppliers of parts who will sell to you? No? Then do not own the machines yourself. They cost thousands new, and in busy places they grow stale quickly and then do not earn their keep. If you have a spot well away from the auditorium doors where the game and kids' noises will not matter, have a games operator place them for you. They will keep track of when to bring in a new one, as well as licenses and permits. Let them have the headaches; you have enough with the cinema!
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Does anyone own their own amusements? 15 May 2006 13:08 #25074

  • MovieGuy
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I'm with jimor on this one. Let the vendor bring in the games and deal with the licenses and repairs. I also used to work pt for an amusement company in our area. I don't recall ever being sent out to any theatres, just bars, arcades, food service, etc. Do you know how to fix a down game?? Can you afford the repair costs? No, leave it to the pro's. Any vendor that pulls games has a reason, No $$$$$$ coming in from the location. The games can generate $$$$$$ elsewhere. I believe we split 50/50 with most locations, and took care of the repairs too. I hate theatres that have an arcade room. Even with the volume turned down, its the kids that are making the noise, or just hanging out. If you do have a gameroom, put in a few survailance cameras attached to a vcr, do cut back on loitering.
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Re: Does anyone own their own amusements? 15 May 2006 19:06 #25075

  • Mike Spaeth
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We do games. I was just saying not to let the operator offer you any LESS than 50%. 50-50 is what most will do. Sometimes 55% or 60%
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