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TOPIC: newbies entering into the business

Re: newbies entering into the business 07 Jan 2003 20:36 #23714

  • BECKWITH1
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I don't want to take any credit away from Burney but I want to make the point that sacrifices such as hers are not so unusual that you can say "I'll never have to do that when I get my own theater." She has the committment necessary to succeed in this business and which we are missing in many people who want to join us in this industry.

Here is our story: We are a husband and wife with a single screen. Our theater was closed when we bought the equipment and signed the lease. It had an 8 screen Regal within 1/2 mile and a BAD reputation with the local people as it had been cursed with a poor operator for 20+ years. We knew what we were up against. I quit my banking job so that I could get another 40 hour a week job closer to the theater and my husband started driving school buses. If you know any school bus drivers you know that they have a tough life with rotten hours and lots of responsibility for low pay and no benefits. They start work at 6:00 a.m. Theaters close up late at night. Home is 32 miles away. He stayed here most nights during the week. We had a hot water sink as that was required to be added so that we could re-open the theater. I know exactly what Burney is talking about when you talk about COLD theaters as we turned the heat down every night also. Our heating bills were still $357 budget per month. I got to go home every night. I was lucky but not much has been accomplished at my house for 6 years now.
In May of 2002, he quit driving school buses to be at the theater for the opening of Spider-man which required us to be open during the hours he would have been driving. Keep in mind that this was 5 years later and in the meantime the 8 screen Regal closed and re-opened and we were able to jump into first run. We have come a long way from 1997 when we grossed just $48,906.51. Most people would have walked away. But we can say that we built it up ourselves. We closed 2002 up another 38% up from last year.
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Re: newbies entering into the business 11 Jan 2003 17:17 #23715

  • Mike
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What a subject. Starting your own business is a killer. No matter what it is. But Birds was true-true. I once owned a retsurant/bar and it was very successful and people would say "I was going to do this." as if they would and that it would have been entirely as successful. I think so many people have stinker jobs and movies is such an escape they just want to put the two together not imagining what's involved! Most people who have jobs do not appreciate what goes into the creation and support of that job, End of story.

Recently when doing the renovation-start up of our 2 screen we slaved 7 days a week for 6 months, driving 300 miles round trip, giving up a life, working in the filthy wreck of a place until it was cleaned enough to feel at least okay about being there... that's what it takes on the small biz level that we operate at.

To all who do it, have done it, all know what it means.

I have been self employed for 25 years, started 6 sucessful businesses and a couple bombers. I gave up the idea of 40 hrs and m-f a long time ago. I would not have it any other way.

Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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