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TOPIC: occupany %

Re: occupany % 28 Jan 2002 00:40 #23153

  • RoxyVaudeville
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BECKWITH

You brought up something that interests me that has nothing to do with the topic being discussed. You mentioned that on snow days, the theatre would be packed. Well... you must be in a snow belt were people are always use to doing things in the snow. We here in eastern Pennsylvania must all be a bunch of whimps (me excluded)as when it snows and schools are closed... most of the theatres CLOSE TOO! Yes, you heard me correctly... they CLOSE! Some winters we get snow every week and others only a few times per season. When I was young nothing stopped due to snow. Even school was open unless we had at least five inches of snow. Now school is sometimes closed if there is a forecast of snow that doesn't even materialize. Several inches of snow closes the malls, shopping centers, and all public activities. I blame this on the broadcast media... radio and TV, as they make every snow a major event: DON'T GO OUT, IT'S NOT SAFE OUT THERE! they tell us over and over again.

On the other hand I seldom ever close... often I'm the only theatre open, but I don't get many people during a snow storm. One inch of snow will chase away 50% of my patrons, two inches 75%, and three or more 80 to 90%. I've run for 5 to 10 people with 15 inches of snow. I figure that some people will always come out and I don't want them to have made the trip for nothing. Also as I am a press hound, it has gotten me several good newspaper articles. I'm one who believes that my theatre should be in a positive news article at least once or twice a month. So anyway I was amazed that you said that snow school closings helped business. I'm curious what the situation is with others.

Does snow help or hurt?
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Re: occupany % 28 Jan 2002 09:05 #23154

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Helps if you're a skier! I've noticed that here in Ontario Canada, snow is closing things more often now, due to more and more paranoia over litigation I think.

Hi, I'm Dave, been lurking for the last week after hearing mention of the site. I've enjoyed it, alot of entrepreneur-types here. As well as some guys I see in other sites, hello fellas!

The story goes, I ended up with a baseball field (yes, my own Field of Dreams) when my parents died. I got this idea to turn it into a kind of 50's paradise. The local drive-in had closed a few years back (health reasons), and so I pursued that. Have a garage full of projection equipment! Nazi-like zoning department has kept me out-of-business thus far.

I was interested in this thread as it really gets into the numbers and nearly demographics. I wonder if we can steer it that way a bit. Is there a rule of thumb as to just how many people in a given population base go to the movies in a given week? How about the outdoor theatre? I'm sure some never attend drive-ins, then again young families probably don't go to hardtops.
I'll leave it there, and thank you for your site.
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Re: occupany % 28 Jan 2002 18:27 #23155

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Dave,
Welcome! I pulled out my copy of the NATO Encyclopedia of Exhibition 2001 copy. Moviegoing Frequency is addressed in detail on pages 349 - 354. If you have access to a copy that would be good. If you don't you could try borrowing one or contacting NATO - I think they want $100 for membership/copy). If I just try to summarize here: For the year 2000 30% of the total public age 12 & over goes to the movies at least once per month. Another 34% go about 2 times per year. 10% go less than than once in 6 months and 26% never go. OK - so you are probably only interested in the first two categories, but you must also know your market as communities have different characteristics. Ex. Amish communities are generally not going to attend movies at all whereas hip cities with lots of 20 somethings will attend more frequently than the overall public. You get the point. The encyclopedia also breaks the data down by age,gender, marital status, gender & education.

Roxy - You are so right as usual. We are one plant zone up from you (colder). While the schools are seldom cancelled without actual snow/ice everyone gets dug out by 10 or 11 a.m. Then the Moms start wondering what to do with their kids who are stuck at home. Yes, they could make snow angels, but it would be more fun to take them to a kids movie.

We have given up on trying to get up here and tap this market. We live 45 minutes away from the theater in REAL country. It is not unusual to have the snow on the roads be over the amount a car can straddle and the plows get to us a bit too late to get to the theater and change the tape to say that we will have afternoon shows today. We just run our usual shows which were already advertised.

In the event of a snowstorm while we are already running we would certainly not close because we have advertised shows and we had better be here to run them if anyone shows up. You know that no matter the weather there are always a few diehards. Snowstorm falling = less business. Snowstorm that already happened = big business.
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Re: occupany % 29 Jan 2002 13:16 #23156

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I used to run a couple of cinemas in Denver, The Ogden and The Esquire. When it snowed sometimes the attendence would drop just a bit. But if it was a serious blizzard, all of these hardy folks would bundle up and come out of the woodwork. And to a person, they would say, thank God you open, we had nothing to do. So I never got to close early for a Blizzard. Then on two occations when it was blowing ice, we got stuck at the theatres and ran films all night.

Now I live in Sonoma county where it doesn't snow except for last night. But it was more like rain and it didn't deter people at all. The day was sunny. My partner prays for rain because attendance doubles. Even though our roof leaks.

When I was a kid on Cape Cod, the local movie theatre, The Cape Cinema wasn't open during the day only at night. After all we were at the beach in the summer. But if it rained, they would usually open for a 2:00 PM matinee. They never advertized, everybody just knew and showed up, including the staff and projectionist. It would take a full rainy day for this to happen, not just a rain squall.

[This message has been edited by Large (edited January 29, 2002).]
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