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TOPIC: 4 Screen 4 Sale

4 Screen 4 Sale 19 Mar 2012 22:11 #38103

  • LaPorte 4 Cinema
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Hello All,

Own a 12,000 sq. ft., 4 screen in LaPorte, IN. Not an operator myself and my lessee has given notice that he is closing shop as of yesterday. Such a shame. And, VERY unexpected, at least for me.

The theater was a former Kerasotes and was remodeled extensively in 2010. I'm told the renovations were approximately $100,000. From what I can tell, the main benefits were new screens, new digital sound, new high-backed chairs and a revised seating plan that provides wide space between the seats for comfort.

Negatives are that we still have 35mm projectors and sloped floors. And, obviously, that the current tenant didn't make it for whatever reason. I'm pretty sure that I could get a hold of financial information for anyone with serious interest, although I don't have it at the moment. A film buyer that I've been speaking with believes the problem was likely in management rather than population demand, but I'm not experienced enough in the business to know at this point. I do know that our only competitor seems to be the AMC 14-plex in Michigan City, which is 20 to 24 minutes away, per mapquest.

I'm headed back that way to work on getting the theater back up and running, but truth be told, I'd rather leave it to an expert. If you are interested in a lease, please email Neil at ndoconnor@laportepropertiesllc. Having read many of the posts here, it seems that operators buying their buildings is highly recommended by the smarties. I'm open to sell as well. Given that I was caught off-guard by this whole thing, I'm also open to any suggestions from the board.

Thanks for your time and your help. And thanks to the people who run this site. It is a gold-mine of information for someone in my shoes.

Sincerely,

Neil OC
Last Edit: 20 Mar 2012 00:03 by LaPorte 4 Cinema. Reason: poor subject choice?
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 20 Mar 2012 00:58 #38107

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Something is a bit weird here: listen for yourself 217-283-5311 (this is a sister theater in Hoopeston Il)

cinemajesticltd.com/laporte/

$3 movies this past weekend: John Carter (bet Disney will be happy about that), Lorax, Vow, & Act of Valor.
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 20 Mar 2012 02:03 #38109

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The property owner is open to any comments-suggestions basically the case study I have been hoping we could do.

Demographics:
City 21,241 (2009)

Michigan City is not much bigger at 31,479 but has the much bigger newer theater which is approx. 6-8 years old. Looks like 2-lane roads between the two theaters.

stand-alone building constructed in 1979

Next door to a bowling alley, looks to be pretty good parking at least 75 in not 100 parking spaces.

No pictures on either cinematreasures.org and cinematour.com I have encouraged the property owner to take a lot of pictures and to post them to a photobucket type site.

This might have potential.

heraldargus.com/articles/2010/03/22/news...c1e96a3433889481.txt

La Porte Cinemas set to open April 1


The new La Porte Cinemas, now owned by Illinois-based theater company CineMajestic, at 608 Colfax Ave., is slated to open April 1. Bridget Flynn
By Bridget Flynn
Published: Monday, March 22, 2010 10:15 AM CDT
Staff writer

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

LA PORTE — A good movie-going experience is coming to La Porte, according to Josh Caudle, president of CineMajestic LLC.

The New La Porte Cinemas are set to open at 608 Colfax Ave., the site of the theater previously owned by Kerasotas Theaters. The target date for opening is April 1. CineMajestic, LLC owns one other theater in Hoopeston, Ill.

Kerasotas Theaters operated the theater from its opening in 1979 until October 2009, when the theater closed.

Caudle said the theater is waiting for its four screens to ship from the East Coast.

“We need to get her open,” he said, noting that he wants to open the theater in time for local students to see films on their spring break. He said he also wants the theater to be open in time for the release of “Clash of the Titans,” featuring Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson and opening nationwide April 2.

CineMajestic is undergoing renovations that in the end will total more than $100,000. The aisle widths have been doubled from two feet to four feet, Caudle said, and the seat count for each screen has been decreased to 200. The management is currently giving away 1,000 seats which they removed, Caudle said.

The new seats will be “very plush” and have high backs. They will be in the rocker-seat style and leg room will be in abundance, he said.

“We have eliminated the position of anyone under 6’9” having their knees even close to touching the next seat in front of them,” he said.

Caudle said the highest price for tickets will be adult tickets for 3-D movies, which will be $9. One screen will have 3-D capability, he said, and plans are in the works to make another screen 3-D capable in the future, he said.

Cost will be a $5 for children and seniors. Students at the junior high, high school or college level will pay $5, he said.

As for the types of movies that will be shown, Caudle said they will all be first-run films, although there might be times when the theater has to run movies after the national release date.

“There will be situations when we have no choice,’ he said, adding that at any given time the theater will be showing at least two movies that are ranked in the top three slots at the box office. Foreign films might be set to roll, he said, in addition to art and independent films.

“I’d love to show art and independent films,” he said. “Those are the kinds of movies I like to see.”

On an average day when students are not in school, Caudle said he plans to show each movie four times, at roughly 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The theater management will be open to suggestions from the public, Caudle said.

“We’re actually in the community where we have business,” he said. “We have the ability to adapt.”
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 20 Mar 2012 03:05 #38111

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Link about the old owner

www.smilepolitely.com/arts/hoopeston_ill...toric_movie_theater/

Hoopeston, Ill. Gets New Owner for Historic Movie Theater



Posted in ARTS by Jamie Newell on Monday, October 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm



The first time I walked into the Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston, I was impressed by the huge building, the old marquee, the façade on the outside of the building…and then I walked into one of the twin doors leading into the auditorium. I was blown away. How in the world has a theater like this survived in Smalltown, Illinois? Barely, by the stories the theater tells. Over her 86 years, the Lorraine has escaped the fate of so many single-screen movie houses: defamation of its beauty, twinning, and demolishment. It stands as a time capsule from days gone by, when crowds of hundreds used to pack its gigantic auditorium and settle in its balcony. She has suffered from dwindling attendance, with her most previous owner having no understanding of the locale in Hoopeston, but now faces a promising future with new ownership. Perhaps the lonely Lorraine has been finally discovered by someone who will love her like she deserves.

The Lorraine’s new owner, Joshua Caudle, spoke with me about Hoopeston’s beloved movie theater and what we can look forward to in her future.

JN: Why did the Lorraine in Hoopeston appeal to you?

JC: Exactly that was the appeal, that tandem…the Lorraine in Hoopeston. Hoopeston is a great community that due to economic factors beyond its control, has fallen on exceptionally hard times in the last few years. The Lorraine is the perfect theatre in the perfect setting on Main Street, USA to serve as the anchor tenant and catalyst for the rebirth of our downtown, with our additional and alternative programming, and special events. We can do things here that the competition can’t, because they have one single rigid cookie-cutter business plan that they apply to all of their theaters en mass. We live in the community we serve, our decisions aren’t made in a corporate office hundreds of miles away. We actively listen to the input of our patrons, and can adapt.

JN: What kind of changes will we be seeing at the Lorraine?

JC: I personally don’t think “changes” is the most apt word, more so “improvements.” The Lorraine is a great facility, our sound is nearly twice the quality of the competition. While Dolby Digital is a high quality system, it is only five channels of sound. Our SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound) is eight discreet channels of sound.

Other improvements are of course the seats, and a decor cleanup with the interior of the theatre being rejuvenated, but more shows and films, and more often. This outdated methodology of an average one show per day is basically telling your patrons to go see the film elsewhere. And in our case, elsewhere is much further away, costs more in tickets and gas, and has a lower quality film presentation. Beyond that, given the state of our economy, I strongly feel it’s paramount more than ever that we make every effort to keep our dollars in our local communities with locally owned and operated businesses. In most retail settings that usually means paying more for the same thing, and in our case, it’s paying less and keeping dollars in our community. Especially around here, one of the Lorraine’s competitors charges almost 30% more for tickets, plus bans young people (16 and under) from coming to see films, any film after 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays unless Mom or Dad comes with and watch the movie too, even if a movie is rated G. That’s a nice way of essentially extorting another ticket sale out of families, and again at almost 30% more per ticket. The Lorraine will never, never discriminate against young people like that.

Lastly on this, we too will have online ticket sales going we hope by next week…that’s not anything special, but our online ticket sales will have no additional fees. You will pay the same price online as you would making the drive down, saving yourself the time, and the gas in the process, none of this $1.00 or more per ticket fee garb. Why not charge a fee like everyone else does? Because we don’t have to. See, that’s the fundamental difference between me and my competition…they think “We do it because we can!” I say “If we don’t have to, then why do it?”

JN: How many new seats are going into the theater?

JC: Our designs set the new seating capacity between 350 and 375, and that’s with 60 inch aisles/5 feet. For a comparison, the average what I coined calling “monopolyplexes” only offer approximately 46’’, so we’re beating modern theatres by over a foot of legroom. And our seats are of course all high-back and feature retractable armrests. Most of the area ’plexes have either or, or neither!

JN: How old were the old seats?

JC: The seats coming out are likely from the 1934 remodel, as the theatre was first opened in 1922. I’d like to note we’re donating a good number of them to our local live theatre group, who I understand has no proper seating, but puts on a great show.

JN: What is your background in the movie theater business?

JC: I have served in various levels of cinema management from the field to the front offices in theatres and chains ranging from 1-11 screens and 5-25 locations, respectively. My philosophy has worked in each and every theatre I’ve been a part of, be they in urban settings or rural small towns.

JN: How are you adjusting to the move from the San Francisco area to Hoopeston, Ill.?

JC: Adjusting is done, I’m really enjoying it here. It’s a great perk to be able to see and interact with a lot of the same great people so regularly.

JN: What kind of audience are you hoping to attract at the Lorraine?

JC: We’re going to attract all kinds of audiences, from seniors to six year-olds, and all points in between by mixing up our offerings.

JN: Can we look forward to seeing more independent film in small town, Illinois?

JC: We’re going to, of course, first and foremost play what people want to see. We played Vicky Cristina Barcelona this last week, an adult drama/comedy with Lakeview Terrace, a PG-13 thriller and Igor, a perfect family film for all ages. This week we’ve got the very exclusive Transsiberian, an adult thriller, Nights in Rodanthe, which is a perfect date romantic title, and we held over Lakeview and Igor. We’ve got thrills, drama, chills and family fun covered, just this week.



JN: Why is the Lorraine a special theater?




JC: The Lorraine is a special theater because, especially today, it’s truly a one of a kind gem…a balcony, a full neon laden marquee, not just the word “MOVIES” dimly lit and slapped up on some brick. You can come here and see your movie, be treated well, and have a great presentation. There’s nothing special about megaplexes; well, nothing more than the special feeling of be shuffled through an airport around a holiday, I think. The Lorraine has stood at 324 East Main Street for 86 years, showcasing movies, live theatre, weddings, big premieres; in an age where it seems everything we grew up with seems to be gone or disappearing, it’s just an unqualified honor for me to be able to steward more and more history into the place. There’s a whole lot left to be written, so come on out and be a part of it and enjoy your locally owned and operated Cinema.
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 20 Mar 2012 03:15 #38112

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Interesting and bad policy imo

cinemajesticltd.com/lorraine/prices

Price & Admission Policies
Due to skyrocketing power and operating costs, MONDAY THRU THURSDAY, we must unfortunately impose a minimum attendance requirement of 10 persons for a show to play.
Therefore, we must have at least 10 tickets sold for a show to play those days.
The 10 tickets must be sold by no later than 5 minutes after the posted start time. In the event tickets are purchased for a show and it does not reach the minimum 10 tickets sold, the show will not play, however your ticket purchase will of course be refunded. Movie and Snack Value Pack Tickets used for shows that due not play will have the Movie Pack Ticket returned.
We most sincerely apologize for this policy change, but have no other recourse due to the cost to operate the Lorraine Cinemas.
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 21 Mar 2012 13:06 #38133

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I greatly appreciate Jack's enthusiasm and for getting the ball rolling. Certainly there is some intrigue in the recent history of an operator who made a significant effort, yet still failed.

That said, I am really focused on moving forward. It seems that I am faced with either re-purposing the building or sinking another 60k per screen into the project. Are those my only options? Put another way, is 35mm film truly dead at the end of this year?

I have a fondness for the community and would hate to make a dead space storage facility out of a former community hub, but if the winds of capitalism so demand it ... I still don't want to?

Any help on moving forward would be greatly appreciated. I'm considering making a run at it without any experience, but I can't/won't do it if it is a lost cause.

I've attached a recent picture for a bit of context. Thanks again.

LaPorte4Cinema.Photo.jpg
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 21 Mar 2012 14:26 #38134

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Since you already own the building it might be worth your while to give a try through the summer.

1) Is all of the equipment still there (concession & booth)? In good shape?
2) have someone in mind to operate it for you?


Certainly talk to a booker. I sent info on that to you.

I think this might have potential. Contact the integrators on one of the recent posts about digital. You should be able to use the previous operators history to possible qualify for VPFs.
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 21 Mar 2012 15:06 #38135

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1) All of the equipment is there and in good shape. I'll know more this Saturday, but I'm fairly confident that the concession is also still stocked and ready to roll.

2) I've got a younger guy with a specialty in maintenance that I want to move over to this property. He is a hard-working people person with experience in retail, but he has no specific movie theater experience. I know I'll need an operator/projectionist to actually show films. Other than here and Craigslist, I'm not sure where I might find an operator. What does a good operator cost in a smaller market? I'd probably have the ability to make easy living accommodations as I own apartments in the area. Also, will two full-time people cut it? Extra help on weekends?
Last Edit: 21 Mar 2012 15:07 by LaPorte 4 Cinema.
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 21 Mar 2012 15:17 #38136

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LaPorte 4 Cinema wrote:
1) All of the equipment is there and in good shape. I'll know more this Saturday, but I'm fairly confident that the concession is also still stocked and ready to roll.

2) I've got a younger guy with a specialty in maintenance that I want to move over to this property. He is a hard-working people person with experience in retail, but he has no specific movie theater experience. I know I'll need an operator/projectionist to actually show films. Other than here and Craigslist, I'm not sure where I might find an operator. What does a good operator cost in a smaller market? I'd probably have the ability to make easy living accommodations as I own apartments in the area. Also, will two full-time people cut it? Extra help on weekends?

It would probably make sense to have a technician look at the equipment in the booth to make sure it is working well and that person could show your guy to work the equipment. No matter what, it will be a nervous first week or so. The equipment can be intimidating at first.

My best guess for staffing based on a couple of grosses I have gotten on the place would be for this time of year: Mon-Thurs 2 people working, Fri & Sat 4-5 people, Sunday 4.

How regularly do people go to Michigan City?
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 21 Mar 2012 17:44 #38139

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I have seen some grosses on this theater from 2 studios and I would put this theater at about 2900-3000 range. Maybe better. Will not be a goldmine but could/should qualify for VPFs.
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 10 May 2012 02:52 #38422

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Hard to believe it was only a little over a month ago that I knew so little about the movie business ... Probably still don't, but I'm proud of the progress anyway. Please check out the LaPorte Lion Cinemas at www.laportelion.com. Photos specifically at laportelion.com/content.aspx?pageId=456.

Special thanks to Rufus for the support throughout!
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Re: 4 Screen 4 Sale 10 May 2012 04:47 #38424

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Hello LaPorte: I have sent you a PM.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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