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TOPIC: budget for 6 screen

budget for 6 screen 18 Jul 2004 17:40 #28655

I am looking at a 6 screen theater in manhattan,ks i have looked at it before and not given it alot of thought. Well it seems to be drawing me there as i keep coming back to it so im going to run with it.
I am trying to get an idea of a budget for what it wil cost me to get it open. I want good projecters and platters as we are going to be very much about presintation here, there is not going to be old projecters we run by the seat of our pants and hope the heck they hold together each day. I want good sound systems DTS if possible but also good dolby since not all prints are available in DTS. I want film cleaners on all projecters to make sure our film is always clean when being shown to our customers. I am also going to need new screens and seats. Seats are going to be high back rocker seats with the moveable armsrests.
I also have a question about how big the screen can be as to the room width and height. How do i determine that?
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Re: budget for 6 screen 31 Jul 2004 15:44 #28656

  • filmguy
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I would say the first thing that would need to be addressed is what your personal abilities are or what your plan is for keeping older, used equipment running. Even the most reliable machines need an experienced operator to make sure that they are cared for as needed.

That said, I would probably say that the Century SA is an excellent machine for the money. They can usually be picked up for $1500 to $2500 in good used condition. As for platters, my first and only choice would be the Christie AW3R. The AW3 is just as good but the payout heads are not removable. Being able to take the brain off is really nice when you have to move prints around. The AW3 can be picked up for $1500 or so, but you'll probably pay $2000 to $3000 for a good used AW3R. As for everything else, get to know some techs for theatre supply companies or theatre chains. They usually know what stuff if available and what kind of price you'll have to pay. Sometimes you get lucky and find a theatre that's closing and get to clean it out. You might not get the models you ultimately want, but you'll usually get everything you need to operate.

If you can't have a film cleaner on all screens, just move one or more around. The film will live for a few showings without the cleaner. Also, just keep your booth clean. If your booth is clean your films will stay cleaner too. Clean your projectors often. This is an area way to often overlooked. This is where the dirty conditions start. You'll also want to make sure that the door to the booth stays shut. Popcorn oil vapor and film dust are a nasty mixture. You can't avoid it, but try to keep it to a minimum.

Don't get carried away by putting digital sound on every screen right away. You'll find that a CP-65 with a good sound system, will sound VERY good in analog. Put digital on the biggest screen at first as this is where you'll be opening new films. You will find that when you've played a movie for 3 to 4 weeks, you'll move it to the smaller auditoriums and the attendance you get there may not merit spending the big bucks to have digital sound on all screens. If it does, great. Put it in then. But see what happens first. I'm not saying give them a sub-standard presentation, but like I said, analog can sound damn good if it's done right.


[This message has been edited by filmguy (edited July 31, 2004).]
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