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TOPIC: Second Run Vs. First Run theaters

Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 30 May 2010 22:28 #34081

  • Gorski
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Hello,

I'm thinking of opening a six screen, second run/art/foreign film theater in a town with 60,000+ people. After checking out

www.bigscreenbiz.com/Forums/Cinema-Desig...ng-search.html#32775

I found the number of ticket sales for my area should be around 600,000 a year. My question is, how should I divide those sale numbers between my theater and the two first run theaters in town? One is 12 screens, pretty average, nothing special. The 10 is owned by the same people, and basically, it's used for the less than anticipated movies and hand-me-downs from the 12. I realize it'll depend on what my theater can offer, but I was thinking a ratio of screens would be a decent starting point.

This is my first post, so please, be gentle. I'd like to thank Debo for that ridiculously helpful post, Mike for making this website what it is, and, well, everybody on this website that help people like me out.
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 31 May 2010 16:06 #34088

  • revrobor
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Your town is already over-screened if you are going for the same product as the competition. However, if you choose to be different (Foreign, independent, faith-based, art and classic) you should do OK. But the secret is being different both on the screen and at the concession stand. It will require more promotion and "showmanship" on your part but should be well worth the effort. Some demographics are not being served by the stuff Hollywood is putting out these days. Shoot for those demographics (older people and families).
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 31 May 2010 16:23 #34089

  • rufusjack
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Welcome Gorski.

The first thing you should do is read eevry topic on the this forum. Keep a notebook handy so you can write some questions and other thoughts you run across.

Would this be a new build?

60,000 might be enough for art house. Your odds are better if you have an university or 4 year liberal arts college in town. If you are in a larger urban market where these films are marketed better, your chances fare better.

Second run aspect: I would be concerncerd about digital. IMHO, I believe film will be hard to come by for most discount theaters three years from now. Can you make that digital investment now?

Is the 10-screen an older complex that was replaced in some extent by the 12 screen? The market seems to be over screened at this point. Have the other 2 theaters tried any art/foreign movies at all?
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 01 Jun 2010 17:46 #34099

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Thanks for the replies.

I live in a fairly remarkable town, concerning demographics. There is a university that recently acquired a film major, a decent international demographic, and a sizable retirement community. The 10 screen used to be a six screen that was modified into 4 large screens, 4 small screen, and 2 sardine cans. The 12 was built new about 5 years ago, and I can't stress how bland it is. And neither play any art or foreign films. Quick aside; between all 22 screens, they've only one 3D capable projector. If I could afford to get 1 or 2 of my own, could I potentially get a few first runs assuming the other theater wasn't able to play said movie in 3D?

Despite this being a second run/ art/ foreign film/ etc. theater, I really want to go all out concerning decor, food offered, seating, picture and sound quality. I have every intention of starting all digital but I'll have to see what I can get away with financially. There is an empty, former six screen that was gutted that I used to work at. The building was in terrible condition and despite it being empty for the past 4 years, the owners seem dead set on charging an arm and a leg for the lease. I think building new would be the best way to go. If I do build new, I'd like to build with THX certification in mind. I'm not sure if it's worth it, but it would be nice considering neither first-run theater has it.
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 01 Jun 2010 19:58 #34100

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What do you think guys & gals? at least $3 million for a new 6 screen?

How much do they want for that lease?
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 02 Jun 2010 15:02 #34108

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If you want to go 3D check out Technicolor's film 3D system. It's considerable cheaper than digital and is getting excellent reviews. Film isn't going to die anytime soon.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 03 Jun 2010 13:10 #34112

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The lease for the old six screen building is $12,000 a month for 18000 sq ft, but its in pretty rough condition and last time I talked to the owners, I'd be responsible for most of the work needed. I'd like to get at least 2 digital projectors able to play DVDs for older movies that would be difficult to get prints for.
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 03 Jun 2010 13:36 #34113

  • Keweler
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Gorski,

The digital projectors you are talking (showing DVD's)about are for home (or semi- professional) use and you can get them for under $2000 used on Ebay. That's where I got mine.

If we (this form) talk about digital, we are talking about projectors costing about $70K each with (near) 35mm film quality.

Jay
Last Edit: 03 Jun 2010 13:43 by Keweler.
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 03 Jun 2010 17:46 #34114

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How long has the building been empty? When was it last used as a movie theater? How is parking? Restaurants nearby? Half of that might be a good point, with 6 mo out. Plus generous rent reductions during improvements. Any idea what the owners plans would be? A town that size, it would not be too hard to find out what the owner's desire. Check with a booker/studios to see what you could get at this place.
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 03 Jun 2010 22:15 #34115

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Keweler- I'm sorry, I was under the impression that the professional digital projectors would be capable of connecting to a DVD or Blu-ray player. Guess I need do some more info mining. :)

Jack - The building has been empty for 4+ years. It was a dollar theater, but it's been gutted completely. Parking is ok to the front and side, but most of the parking in the back goes unused. I can supply a rough map of the shopping center it's a part of to give an idea. It's been awhile since I last talked to the owner, but he said he'd prefer if it wasn't a theater given how poor it did before. The shopping center is not exactly in the best part of town and parents would give their kids a couple of buck and we'd become the cheapest babysitters for the weekend. Near-by restaurants include Subway, Dominos, McDonald's, a mexican restaurant, a chinese restaurant, and a pizza place. I'll call the owner again, see if having an empty building for 4 years has made him more willing to negotiate.
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Re:Second Run Vs. First Run theaters 04 Jun 2010 06:49 #34116

  • Larry Thomas
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If your location is not in the "best part of town" you can forget about the foreign/art/indie crowd. They only want top shelf locations.
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