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TOPIC: Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment

Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 04 Jul 2010 23:03 #34268

Pockethealer wrote:
I was looking to get some feedback and opinions on some cost figures. I am looking at an existing single screen with just under 300 seats. All of the equipment is intact and in good working order it is just seems old. DTS/DOLBY is about 10 years(DTS 3D/Dolby CP45), the projection equipment (Cinemaccina, Simplex XL and Xetron 1600 light housing). Yamaha C320 Amps. Concessions could use some remodeling but the popper is 32oz. Goldmedal and in great shape, ice machine, cabinets, etc.

The building is a lease and have not got all of the details on that yet but just wanted some opinions on the price. They are asking $55k for for all the interior equipment and supplies, projection,sound and seating. The location has not been closed for more than 6 months.

I am trying to get a good estimate of what the overall worth of this equipment is and see if I can get a better price on it. I mean the projectors despite their age (exact model year unknown at this time guess 15-20yrs) and the sound equipment is new as of 2000. The 294 seats are Irwin brand and are probably 10+ years if not 15-20 but are in fairly good shape and appear that just a good cleaning would be all that is needed.

I wanted to add that the pricing was for any and all items inside the location in addition to the projection, screen, seating and sound. There were several ladders aluminum, carpet shampooer, frig, 2 vacuum cleaners, floor polisher,32oz popper and ice machine and various other articles.

Any suggestions as to its overall value? A best guess would be appreciated.
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 04 Jul 2010 23:39 #34269

  • rufusjack
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Today:

Refurbished Simplex XL $3000
Super Lumex w/good reflector and power supply $3500
Good shape soundhead w/ kelmar reader $1500
platter $1000
speakers $2500

Those prices from a dealer with product in very good shape and probably quite a bit less with all of the digital conversions going on. Your seller here, would probably be lucky to get 1/3rd of that.

Seats: maybe $10-15 each unless they are high backs. You would probably leave them if ever you lost the lease. Cost too much to have them removed and to store. We bought some Irwin seats from a closing theater 3 years ago for $5-6 each. A new white matte screen (28' x 13')can be had for $1500.

BUT.......the digital conversion is around the corner. Today's prices to convert would probably be $50-65,000. Your film equipment would be worthless. The processor would not work with digital. If you go 3d, you might need a new screen.

Popper: I bought a 32oz used for $900 a couple of years ago. There is one for sale on ebay right now for $1500 or best offer.

Keep in mind that this is a buyer's market.
Last Edit: 04 Jul 2010 23:43 by rufusjack.
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 05 Jul 2010 07:58 #34271

Thank you again for the feedback....

I think that overall is seems that I should either be looking at maybe 8-10k for the equipment in total or not looking at this location at all.

The space itself seemed adequate but it almost seems like you would have to start over with an empty shell. I'll throw up some additional posts after I see what I can do about lowering the equipment cost.
Last Edit: 05 Jul 2010 09:05 by Pockethealer.
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 05 Jul 2010 16:19 #34279

Well I have no way of contacting the last owner that ran this place over that last few years I did put another call in to the original and current owner of it regarding the cost of the equipment.

I have some pictures of the space they didn't come out as good as I had hoped. But here is what I have for now.

www.flickr.com/photos/51763668@N07/
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 05 Jul 2010 17:43 #34281

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IMHO, 9000 population with 3 multi's with 1 having 3d within 12 miles, your sweet spot for success is small. You might let it sit for a while and see if they will give you a trial lease and equipment at a very low if not zero cost.
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 06 Jul 2010 13:40 #34293

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Having gone through this, with less than stellar results, my first question is nearly always "if it was such a good idea, why did the last owner close it"? In your case, you can add, "why didn't he take his equipment with him?" If the gear belongs to the landlord, why do they want to sell it to you?

Past that, the obvious problems I see with this is that it's in a strip mall (high lease, expect increases), and it's a single screen. Unless you have a location that most of us dream of, but few have really seen, this is almost guaranteed to be a huge money pit.

The problems are well documented on this board. Among them are long minimum bookings for first-run product. Once you've played the show to your core audience, you have nothing new to show them for at least 2 weeks. If they're not interested in what you're showing, you're stuck with what you have for at least 2 weeks. That's where a multiplex has it over a single-screener.

Sub-run is a crap shoot. Location, price and long-formed customer relations play heavily into this idea. You need a lot of money to keep going while you develop your business. Again... it's all in here, experienced by many others.

Nobody wants to pour cold water on someone's dreams... especially in this business. However, what you're looking at is a statistical long shot. Personally, I'd worry more about about getting a firm grip on what you'll play and who will come. The equipment should be negotiable. If you offer a better price than the current owner could make tearing it out & putting it all on Ebay, you'll probably come out OK. 8 to 10 might be a little low, but I wouldn't go above half for the whole place.

The digital argument is valid, even if you subscribe to the "wait and see" group. Booth equipment is very reasonable these days. Out of what's in your booth right now, I'd probably put in a platter & replace the CP45 with something newer... at least a CP65. There's nothing wrong with the projector and lamphouse combo that's there now, assuming it's in good shape.
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 06 Jul 2010 15:15 #34297

rodeojack wrote:
Having gone through this, with less than stellar results, my first question is nearly always "if it was such a good idea, why did the last owner close it"? In your case, you can add, "why didn't he take his equipment with him?" If the gear belongs to the landlord, why do they want to sell it to you?

The original owner had run it successfully for about 20 years. Sold it in 2006 to a person that didn't manage it properly and ran it into the ground. (Didn't clean anything, ran one movie a night on weekends). From what I was told, the reason it closed is that he was not paying the lease and was not paying the original owner the payments for the equipment that they had agreed upon. So he got booted. The owner of the equipment had made a payment plan for the business and its contents. The landlord was charging 1300/month but has no claims to the equipment.


I appreciate all of the feedback and I don't consider it to be extinguishing any dreams. I have not been there and done that with a theater business and I like the responses from experienced people.
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 06 Jul 2010 18:43 #34302

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I wouldn't pay more than $10,000 for the equipment. You should be able to equip a single for that or less, with all of the equipment out there right now. It does appear to be in decent shape, however. So, you've got that going for you. Personally, I would try and do a discount house there. I think your post said the rent was $1300 a month. I think that is workable. I don't know what the market is for a discount house in your area, but if its not currently available it sounds good. Good Luck
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 09 Jul 2010 11:20 #34327

I was able to work out a deal on the equipment for this location (actually found there was just misinformation, miscommunication or misunderstanding at the start). Just need to get in touch with the landlord and see what kind of negotiations I can work out. I doubt I can work a month to month but perhpas a 6 month or short term lease as suggested.

Not committing to it of course just getting an idea of what I'd be on the hook for. I am hoping they might agree to a 6 month or a 12 month with a bail out clause and putting the leasing company on the hook 100% for the HVAC and building structure during the initial leasing period. Does this seem feasible?
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 09 Jul 2010 15:23 #34329

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I would do a 6 mo, no longer. Have it start to where you start playing movies 10/1/10 so you have a month to get your feet under you before the next season will start 11/05 with Megamind. That is if you want to be a seasonal first-run. Disount slow months are a month behind 1st run.

I would not go for a 12 mo.
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 10 Jul 2010 12:56 #34335

  • RoxyVaudeville
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On July 4th, rufusjack wrote: "What is your though on operating single screens today?"

I knew to answer that question would take a great deal of time and thought, and would be a bit off topic here, so I have posted my answer in the LOBBY section.
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 20 Jul 2010 19:30 #34389

Well so much for waiting. As I was formulating the business plan and getting all of my research done this location was grabbed up must be someone else saw its potential as I did. Kinda kills ones plans. Not many other options for space around here and not worth ground up builds with real estate costs etc.

Well maybe I have another shot one day.

Thanks all for all of your support and guidance by the way. I learned a lot. I still will be visiting from time to time in hopes of finding an alternative location.
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Re:Existing Single Screen 300 Seat and Equipment 21 Jul 2010 11:05 #34390

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Do not loose sleep on this. The majority of those here where not terribly excited by that location.

patience! Are you willing to move? The movie theater business is a pretty stable and mature business. Good locations that are not being serviced are few and far between.
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