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TOPIC: Costs of Adding a screen to my existing theatre.

Costs of Adding a screen to my existing theatre. 01 Mar 2004 23:22 #28559

  • Adam Fraser
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We have an historic single screen theatre in Michigan and have been mulling the idea of adding a screen for years now. Everytime we get burned by missing a big release this topic gets brought up again. We won't chop/split/divide our current screen. I was just wondering if anyone has added a screen to their theatre using shell construction and the costs associated with such, we will try to stay away from used equipment but will leave it as an option if good used equipment is available. Here are some current ideas.

1.100-150 seats- $100.00 each

2. Projection equipment/screen & speakers-$40-50,000

3. HVAC, will most likely be stand alone from main system- costs?

4. Square footage- Does 2500 sound about right?

5. Has anyone tackled a similar project and would want to divulge the costs involved to them, it would almost be like building a new theatre minus the concession/lobby areas.

I know asking for costs is a bit early before even drawing up plans, but we have to start somewhere. And I'm sure this would have to be tackled by theatre architects and builders as there are special concerns to theatre construction.

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Re: Costs of Adding a screen to my existing theatre. 02 Mar 2004 19:10 #28560

  • Ken Layton
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First and foremost might be to check ADA regulations to see what (if any) handicap requirements need to be met. It's always possible that the cost of ADA requirements may exceed the actual cost of what you want to do. What may help is if you are on a historic register.
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Re: Costs of Adding a screen to my existing theatre. 02 Mar 2004 20:33 #28561

  • BECKWITH1
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Having been there and tried that, I hope that you succeed where we weren't able to get over the fact that we didn't own the theater. We used a figure of $95 per square foot for our construction estimates. Size of your addition is more a personal choice depending upon how many seats and screens you feel that you need and can afford. One of our big problems involved the hallways necessary to access the new screens. Big code problems with hallways that cannot dead end into a theater. Don't ask me why.

While $100 is an accurate price for good used seating, you must also include approx $10 per seat for installation unless you will do all the work. Figure at least $10,000 for each HVAC unit that you need. (We miss our 2 units in the old theater.) Projection and sound equipment is possible at this price but there are so many variables: new digital sound costs $25,000 easily but paired with good used projectors and platters could still be within budget. If you want new projectors you will probably not be able to afford the best new digital sound. Don't forget the costs of carpet and wall coverings plus front end masking.
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Re: Costs of Adding a screen to my existing theatre. 02 Mar 2004 20:36 #28562

  • muviebuf
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Think you are high on the equipment. There is always good used stuff out there and you should be able to do what you need for a small sceen at $20,000 tops.

As far as construction is concerned for estimation puposes use 40 - 45 per square foot for sloped floor and 80 - 85 a square for stadium. I think 2,500 square foot might be a bit low and I prefer to use 3,200 per auditorium if you don't want the audience sitting on top of the screen.

Beckwith is right - watch the hallway issue. Must generally be two exits from any hallway and it can't dead end.

One major question under your building codes - will you need more restrooms? Lots of places have recently upped their requirements particularly on the women's side of things - the so called "Potty Parity" laws.


BTW how is that exciter supply working that I sold you. (See - there is always good equipment around!)

[This message has been edited by muviebuf (edited March 02, 2004).]

[This message has been edited by muviebuf (edited March 02, 2004).]
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Re: Costs of Adding a screen to my existing theatre. 02 Mar 2004 22:33 #28563

  • Adam Fraser
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Thanks for the info guys,and the exciter supply works great, we have digital sound at the theatre.. I use it on a projector that I tinker with at home.

We were also thinking around $100.00/psf for construction.

As for the bathrooms, I was hoping to be able to add two to the new build that are ADA and pott parity compliant and leave the old ones alone (actually they cannot really be modified without major work as they are within a log structure, but I guess its possible.)

You bring up a good point about a hallway, I guess there would have to be one or more of those alarmed exit doors you see in malls and such.

We currently have a chiller/boiler system in the existing theatre for heating/cooling, but I'm not sure an open system like that is allowed anymore. Very fun to work with and the water goes out to irrigate our lawn through sprinklers after it cools the theatre. Im sure a more conventional style would have to be used for the new construction portion.



[This message has been edited by Adam Fraser (edited March 08, 2004).]
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