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TOPIC: 1st and 2nd runs

1st and 2nd runs 15 Dec 2006 00:58 #25253

  • juise15
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Is it possible to show 1st run features if you are mainly showing 2nd runs? I know there are a couple of films I would like to get (some of which may not come to the first runs here).

I might even want to be cheaper on those first runs than the bigger theater chains. Can I do this? Are the fees and such higher for this?
Justin Toney
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 15 Dec 2006 12:29 #25254

Please, please read the archives.
Since 1987
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 15 Dec 2006 13:52 #25255

  • juise15
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I have tried and havent been able to find anything

[This message has been edited by juise15 (edited December 15, 2006).]
Justin Toney
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 15 Dec 2006 15:20 #25256

  • BurneyFalls
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All your questions can be answered as yes.

New films on the break will generally cost you twice as high a percentage as those a month or so old. ie, 70 vs 35%.
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 17 Dec 2006 00:23 #25257

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ok, just need to make sure i get them in time so I dont end up showing a store release/
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 17 Dec 2006 12:16 #25258

  • leeler
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I show film anywhere from three to ten weeks after the break. This is usually one to three months prior to the DVD release.
"What a crazy business"
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 17 Dec 2006 13:05 #25259

  • muviebuf
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Generally you have to pick one policy and stay with it - especially in terms of pricing. The studios will not permit you to be all seats $3.00 subrun one week and then all seats $5.00 first run the next and then back to 3.00 again.
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 17 Dec 2006 13:44 #25260

  • BECKWITH1
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Whoa! You need to step back and find out what you can do before you get yourself in trouble. First of all, in my personal experience no theater is a second run or moveover theater by choice. They are what they are because they can not be first run. This is a very important distinction because you will need to find out whether you have the option to be first run before you put together a business plan that includes first run pricing and foot traffic.
Just because you want a film does not mean that they have to license you for it. You may find that what you want and what you can get are two very different things. I don't think you want to find out the difference after your financial future is already hanging out there in the wind. If you haven't asked the previous manager (who may or may not know what is really going on) or the former owner, you need to ask a booker whether you have the option to book first run prints or art film prints. Do not commit yourself to anything unless you know the answer to these questions. If the answer is that you can only book after the other 2 first run houses are done running the film then you need to get a good idea of how long that may be and figure out a business plan that realistically deals with how many people are going to come to your theater after they could already have seen it for many weeks in a first run house. People do not prefer to wait to see a picture in a second/moveover theater in great numbers. The market is much smaller. Rent that makes sense for a first run theater would kill a second run theater.

The reason that you should ask about art film prints involves your question about film that never comes to the first run houses. Just because they are not running it does not mean that you can get it. In the first place, they may have the right of first refusal over you which means that they can say that they will play it in the next few weeks and keep you from getting it. In the second place, there are very few prints available for manu art film prints and a fair number of art theaters competing for the prints also. The distributors will place those prints in the established art film theaters in each market. You probably aren't the established art film theater so you will be getting the prints as second run art film which is an even smaller market than second run mainstream prints.

Now, I would also like to deal with the comment that we often hear on this forum from newbies. The comment goes something like this "The previous operator was a low life who didn't care about his theater and just ran it into the ground." While I suspect that this comment could be partially true in some cases I believe that is it over-used by people who have no understanding of the theater business. It doesn't matter if the local community wants to believe that about a closed theater. It does matter if you are committing your future to a particular theater. The theater business is an expensive, capital intensive business. Most business owners are very willing to repair and upgrade their businesses. They understand that part of the business involves fixing things that the customers break maliciously, and things that break just due to years of use. They also want to keep their business thriving by installing devices that either make the business easier or better to run or make the customers happier. However, the cold realities of the theater industry often stop those things from happening. It is a matter of good people with good intentions not being able to carry out their plans. So if you find yourself falling into the habit of belittling the former owners of a theater you are considering, you owe it to yourself to delve very closely into the economics of the theater. It may have nearly bankrupted the former owners. You don't want to find yourself in a similar situation. Tread carefully.
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 18 Dec 2006 14:24 #25261

  • Avco
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BECKWITH1

That was a Very Good post on the matter.

You summed it up nicely.
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 18 Dec 2006 17:50 #25262

  • rodeojack
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VERY well put!
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 19 Dec 2006 00:32 #25263

  • juise15
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Yes it is run down, this is coming from previous employees of the theater was well as managers. Have you seen the pictures? They are at http://s129.photobucket.com/albums/p227/cheapcinema/

The story is that the place was once a 1st run, however in the early 90's United Artist got rid of theaters under 6 screens (and later those under 10), and they became a bargain house.

Just a side note, my church owns the old UA Cinema 6 that was closed when they decided on removing all buildings under 10 screens.

But the deal is that we are only a block from a community college with about 10,000 undergrads. I have been doing community reasearch for about 2 months now asking people what they think of the theater and all reactions are:

1) We dont like sticking to the floor
2) It smells like it is 500 years old
3) we cant hear the sound

The guy who owns it doesnt care what happens to the place, nor does he care how people feel so the place has fallen apart.
Justin Toney
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 19 Dec 2006 00:53 #25264

Beck,
http://www.cinemacity.ca

This company just built a new 12-screen multiplex with stadium seating and reclinging chairs, as a second run theatre.

They are hugely successful with both theatres in Winnipeg.
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 19 Dec 2006 01:19 #25265

  • juise15
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That is very cool, and they even charge more than I was planning on doing.

Eventually I would like to have a party room or 2 myself but that is just wishful thinking. But I know that being a college town, college kids are always wanting a way to save money and have a good time.
Justin Toney
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 19 Dec 2006 09:57 #25266

  • Avco
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What other shots of the theatre do you have? Those are the same old limited shots of the theatre. Do you have any of the auditoriums and screen shots?
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Re: 1st and 2nd runs 19 Dec 2006 10:16 #25267

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unfortunately that place is so dark that the rest didnt come out. What do you need to know?
Justin Toney
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"Inspiration is only a thought away"
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