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TOPIC: Some start-up questions

Some start-up questions 11 Jun 2011 05:56 #36450

  • TheHaus
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Hey there, everyone. I'm new here, but have been lurking around for awhile, searching for information.

FWIW, yes, I did read the F.A.Q.s, and didn't quite find the answers I'm looking for.

I'm putting together a business plan for a niche theater. Independent, I guess you could say. I'm certain I have an audience and I'm certain it will be something special. I'm a little hesitant to give too many details concerning the concept, to be honest.

BUT, here are my questions. Any answers anyone has are GREATLY appreciated.

I'm looking to start a second-run, independent, dicount theater. In terms of space, I have none. The local theaters that have closed have now turned into concert venues or have been demolished. Needless to say, I'm having a hard time finding an ideal space.

Does anyone have an idea on costs for a building conversion and what architectual aspects I should look for, such as ceiling height, space for a booth, etc.?
Ideally, I'd like maybe three screens with 175-200 seats each. BUT, I'm fine starting small with one or two. What kind of square footage should I be looking at?
Layout, architecture, etc. has never really been my strong suit, so the number crunching is far less overwhelming for me at this point.

Not to bring up an old argument (or fact?), but I'm struggling with 35mm vs digital projection. I'm not very interested in movies made during say... the last ten years, so honestly, which would be easier to acquire for older films? If the vast majority of films can be displayed via DVDs now, then great. But for stuff that's not Hollywood, realistically, what would I be looking at? Again, my main concern is acquisition, followed by expense, followed by quality.

And acquisition. I can find TONS of information on just about everything else, but I can't seem to keep the stories straight on this. I've read to contact distributors yourself. I've read to hire a booking agent. I can't seem to find ANY kind of $$$ examples for this either. Snippets here and there, but for stuff like LOTR, nothing independent and nothing old. Perhaps someone would be willing to give me SOME KIND of an example on something like this?

I know there's a local theater that does old midnight movies that I could ask, but I'm skeptical that they would just hand out information to a potential competitor. Or a perceived competitor, rather.

I'm sorry if I'm asking some dumb questions here, or anything that has already been answered, but man oh man, forum digging wears me down.
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Re: Some start-up questions 13 Jun 2011 15:18 #36468

  • fesfilms
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I am new here myself, just an hour ago! I don't like to come on like a commercial, so let's say a tiny part of what might help your programming is to show public domain films from DVD. I put shows together into programs with features, shorts, cartoons, trailers and other fun older stuff. Buster Keaton silent shorts are always a big hit. Saturday Matinees. 1950s TV.

Quality is guaranteed, relatively inexpensive, no onscreen logos, no FBI warnings, proof of the public domain status, only films that still entertain, and I give a free sample show on request.

These films are not nostalgia anymore, just fun films for new generations to discover. Charge $2 and make money on concessions. It may take awhile to build an audience, but you will end up with attractions no one else in your area has.

www.fesfilms.com/cafe-roxy/shows/
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Re: Some start-up questions 13 Jun 2011 20:14 #36473

  • ugotrey74
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i have the same questions you do. it seems impossible to find info online for film bookers. having a background in concert promotions its easy for me to call a bands agent and ask how much to hire the band but i cant seem to find any "film booking" websites or contacts.
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Re: Some start-up questions 13 Jun 2011 21:21 #36474

  • revrobor
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Look under "classifieds" on this website. You will find film booking agents there. Also I believe Mike the owner of this site is also a booker as well as a theatre owner.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: Some start-up questions 13 Jun 2011 21:25 #36475

  • rufusjack
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It is mostly all here. There are at least 4 people who are bookers who contribute on a regular basis and you will see that when you spend some time here.

What you need to do: Get a big notebook and keep next to you and start to read every thread on this forum. Expect to spend at least 40 hours doing such and most of your questions will be answered.

You will not get too much response as every couple of weeks (seems much more often recently) someone comes on and posts similar questions. Many of us get tired answering the same questions all of the time.

Have you spent your min. 40 hours yet??
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Re: Some start-up questions 13 Jun 2011 22:24 #36476

  • CGM
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Rufusjack:
"Many of us get tired answering the same questions all of the time."

Pretty much sums it all up.

CGM
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Re: Some start-up questions 13 Jun 2011 23:24 #36477

  • ugotrey74
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thanks guys - going through each forum and looking for answers to some of my questions i might have missed when doing searches.
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