Banner
Home Forums Movie Theaters Cinema Design 1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: 1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 19 May 2013 15:32 #40003

  • Lazlo
  • Lazlo's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: 0
Hi All--

I am currently in the planning stages of opening a new theater (the first Cinema of it's kind here in rural Vermont). We currently have a handful of the usual multi-plexes, etc all around the state, and even a few where you can gab dinner and a drink...but nowhere in Vermont is there a place to have a beer with friends and have a chance to see Pulp Fiction or other post-second run films. It's about time we did.

I am at the point of finding a space suitable for such a place and am really trying to decide how many theaters to have. I have spent many an hour delving through the volumes of posts on the forum (thanks to all involved, by the way) and there seems to be a lot of opinions that a single or twin equals death, but have also noticed a few specific instances where they actually work. I know the square footage I will need, and am finding the spaces I like most would only have enough for two theaters.

My situation, though, seems like it might be one of those instances. It's a pretty rural city (in the grand scheme of things) with a small population, so I think anything with a lot of seats would be too large. I want to have a diverse audience and am planning on running on high-concept programming that will target different but specific demographics.

I also know that the money isn't in the ticket sales, but plan on starting pretty small (I want to give a variety of the traditional theater concessions, and am not looking to go the route of a Pub-style...there are enough bar/grills around). I will have a full bar, as well.

Long story short, am I too naive in thinking a single or twin could work in this situation? I know baby steps are important in a new style business (it is in my area, at least), but I don't want to carve off my nose to save my face.

Thanks to everyone who has posted and replied on all of the other threads, they have been a great help. Thanks also to those who are kind enough to take the time and reply here.
Last Edit: 19 May 2013 15:33 by Lazlo.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 19 May 2013 19:59 #40006

  • revrobor
  • revrobor's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 1131
  • Thank you received: 22
  • Karma: -8
My concern would be that if you sell booze it will bring in a more rowdy crowd or the crowd would become rowdy and you might be restricted to running an adults only theatre. Have you considered a "family friendly" cinema? There's a lot of good films available.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
The administrator has disabled public write access.

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 19 May 2013 21:06 #40009

  • Ptwin
  • Ptwin's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 31
  • Thank you received: 2
  • Karma: 0
This kind of concept you really don't want the overhead of a multiplex because the demand and anticipation of what you intend to show are long past.

You want to create an atmosphere where they food and the experience of hanging out with friends etc is what they are there for and they don't care what's on screen. Or what's on screen won't matter as long as its popular.

You will have to switch out what you are playing every week to keep the interest up.If they want to to see it they will come that week and not wait.

As far as booking a classic you will be looking at between $150 to $350 flat fees with DVD/blue ray licensing.

Not sure if getting a public commercial dish network account and showing either a movie on a regular TV station would work or a pay per view situation would work or not I don't have experience in that realm other than I sell dish network commercial accounts but its normally like restraunts, bars etc. And I don't know if a similar account in this situation would be viable or not.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 19 May 2013 21:09 #40010

  • Ptwin
  • Ptwin's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Junior Boarder
  • Posts: 31
  • Thank you received: 2
  • Karma: 0
I guess the question to look into there would be if you are charging for the movie then a DVD licensing is in order but if they purchase the other stuff with a free movie then its something to question.again I haven't done any homework on the subject.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 19 May 2013 21:36 #40011

  • Bob Nash
  • Bob Nash's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Senior Boarder
  • Posts: 51
  • Thank you received: 2
  • Karma: 0
Ptwin: if you play a movie in a theatre, for free or for charge, you must pay for the license. There is no question about that. If you are a non profit and use a non profit license you are limited to your advertising.
Mr. Allen: I can't find any evidence of a "rowdy crowd" at the rapidly growing number of food - booze - movie venues. Folks coming to these venues aren't coming primarily to drink and most of these venues limit the amount of booze served so there is rarely a problem.
Bob Nash
The administrator has disabled public write access.

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 19 May 2013 22:17 #40012

  • Lazlo
  • Lazlo's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: 0
Thanks for the help, guys.

Revrobor: I know the area pretty well, and the "rowdy" that you mentioned wouldn't come with the crowd that would be coming. And there's always time for "family friendly" programming, that's what matinees and early shows are for.

I've contacted some brokers to get an idea about the licensing, etc. I won't randomly be showing any film...even though it has booze, I still want to uphold the theater vibe and feel. The films will be scheduled and advertised, just like your usual cinema. Playing "older" films will allow for some real fun, unique programming, as well.

Here's the rub: Having a single or twin theater set-up will cut down on the spacial needs and up-front costs. However, it seems pretty common knowledge that if you want it to work, 3 screens (or more) is the way to go. The concept of the business is slightly different than the usual first or second run cinema pubs, so in anyone's experience--as a theater, but more importantly a business that works--can I pull off a 2 small (~50 seat) or a single screen? You've got to pay the bills to keep the doors open, after all.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 20 May 2013 02:22 #40015

  • lionheart
  • lionheart's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 312
  • Thank you received: 5
  • Karma: 3
I don't think not having more than 2 screens will cause you a problem in this scenario. The reason operators usually want more screens is because of the requirement to hold new releases multiple weeks... 2, 3, 4, or possibly more weeks is normally a requirement to get a new release from a distributor. The second reason more screens is better is so that you won't miss out on being able to run new releases that come out at the same time or while you are holding other commitments. If you have only 2 screens, anything that requires more than a 2 week run will mean you will have at least one week without a new movie. In my experience, this is a killer.

I didn't see where you said what the population in your market is, or what kind of demographics are there to support your concept. I think the biggest obstacle for your concept is that not that many people will repeatedly pay to see older movies, especially if they've already seen them elsewhere. You would depend on the food and the social atmosphere to draw them in. I don't know if that is enough for significant repeat business. Without that you will need a big population base to support you.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 20 May 2013 17:15 #40024

  • BusyBee
  • BusyBee's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 180
  • Thank you received: 8
  • Karma: 6
It will be a lot of work and a lot of risk, but you could make this work, even as a single. The advantages of running old movies and not trying to run on the first/second run circuit is that you won't have to hold over bookings that you don't want to, and you'll be able to book really far in advance and advertise your playdates to the public. First-run theaters don't have those luxuries.

As lionheart said, it is tough for a normal theater to get people in the door to just watch an old movie, so you'll need to focus heavily on the food/drinks and atmosphere. If it were me, I would be sure to have very comfortable and classy seating, with tables for people to set down their drinks. A lot of places go for the grungy old sofa look (because it's cheap) but I would class it up if it were me. I'd aim for something like Cinetopia's parlor theater seating setup. Also, if you're not wanting to do a full menu, a nice selection of great appetizers should suffice to get you started.

Curious, what are you planning to do for projection equipment? Are you setting it up like a home theater or are you going to be getting DCI compliant equipment?
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: KalenH

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 20 May 2013 21:55 #40027

  • Lazlo
  • Lazlo's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: 0
I wasn't kidding when I said a small population. Between the two cities that would be the main demographic, there's only around 20K people. Which is why I was hoping to start small. It's becoming a pretty hip area, and rather than running to the larger, more popular areas, I'm hoping to help inject some culture into the area.

The key to the concept will be programming. Having two theaters will allow us to cater to both the up and lower scale movie-goer. I would trust with the variety of programming, the crowd won't feel stale, but rather feel like they want to bring a friend (which is such a basic business ideal that it's almost a cliche).

The fact that we are running third run films will allow for the wide-spectrum programming as well as keeping the need for expensive DCI technology. They (or it) won't be large theaters, anyway.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

1-3 Theater Post-Second Run Pub Cinema 20 May 2013 23:51 #40029

  • lionheart
  • lionheart's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 312
  • Thank you received: 5
  • Karma: 3
Sorry, but I'm not feeling it. Typically repertory houses that do any businesses are located in metropolitan areas where they can draw on large populations. There have been a lot of people over the years who posted on these forums saying they wanted to do the same thing as you. Not sure how many actually tried it. I know that I haven't seen any who were successful come back here and continue to participate. I'm not saying it would be impossible. I'm just saying it's not a unique idea, yet you don't hear about any successes.

Can anyone share a story of a successful theater using the same concept as Lazlo is proposing? Did you ever hear of one in an area with 20,000 people?

I think you might be able to get some business in the beginning. You will open with the lowest costs possible, so you think it is a low risk proposition. Some people will come to try out your theater. They may enjoy themselves. You will probably charge less for admission and concessions because you think people won't pay as much for older movies. You'd probably be right. People will enjoy themselves considering the low price. It's something new, so why not? After they have visited a few times, the new will wear off. They will start to lose interest. After all they've seen all the movies before, if they had ever cared to see them. They may own copies of their favorites. They only really liked to come to the theater so they could hang out with their friends. Their friends say, "Next time let's go to the multiplex", so they do.

In the meantime, you are paying $350 minimum per movie, less if you are lucky. At $5 per customer, that's 70 customers just to pay for the movie. Twice that for two movies. Then there is all the rent, the insurance (which is huge), the utilities, the concession supplies, and even the cleaning supplies, amongst other things. Before you know it, it suddenly takes several thousand customers per year just to break even. I don't know.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.266 seconds
attraction attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction