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TOPIC: Starting a Small Theater

Starting a Small Theater 20 Apr 2011 15:58 #35797

Hello all,
First, please try and ignore my ignorance in this subject...

My wife and I are looking into opening up a single screen theater for our town of about 5000. The nearest competition is a multiplex in a large city about 45 miles away, and a dual screen drive in about 25 miles away. I think our theater will only be open on the weekends to start, but we may consider opening more if business permits.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately (especially in these forums), and have come up with a few questions.

1. How many seats should I have. I was originally thinking 100, but that may not be enough.

2. Should I show first run or sub run films. Which is more profitable for a small theater?

3. Should I go with 35mm, or try and find the money to "Go Digital". What will my expected costs be with either solution, and where can I find more information about what equipment I will need?

4. Knowing very little about this subject, should I consider hiring an consultant/technician? If so, any recommendations for the east central Alabama area?

Thanks for taking the time to read this, there is lots of information on the forum, but some of it seems a little dated, so I just wanted to get a fresh perspective.
Last Edit: 20 Apr 2011 15:59 by CheapDevotion.
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Re: Starting a Small Theater 20 Apr 2011 16:34 #35798

  • rufusjack
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Keep reading.

All of your questions have been answered in one way or another. Anything that seems dated, is still relevant (somethings take a long time to change).

Once you have read these topics at least once, then feel free to ask questions.

Is there already a facility sitting empty? Or will this be a new build? If new, run away from this idea as fast as you can.

Okay, I think that is the nicest tough love I can give.
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Re: Starting a Small Theater 20 Apr 2011 17:15 #35799

@rufusjack - thanks for the advice. I will keep reading.

I haven't quite found a building that will suite me, but I will not, under any circumstances, build something new.
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Re: Starting a Small Theater 20 Apr 2011 19:29 #35800

  • revrobor
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Hey Cheap: FWIW I have a business plan for an 80 seat mini-cinema I was going to put in a converted strip mall retail space that measured 80 by 28 with an 11 ft ceiling at a cost of $110,000 here in southern Oregon. I couldn't come up with the money. I just wanted to show you it can be done in places you think might not work. Good luck.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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