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TOPIC: How many screens 4-6

Re: How many screens 4-6 04 May 2011 03:43 #35932

Still, by choosing to play only the cleaner and more family friendly films, he is not playing "whatever Hollywood throws at you". I am sure there are many PG-13 and R rated films that the distributors would want him to play (ie, throw at him) that he chooses not to because they are not something he wants to offer.

In many ways I do agree with Bob about Hollywood's decreasing moral scale. Not that long ago you could not cuss in PG films at all. PG was a rating given for light violence and mildly suggestive dialogue. Now, you've got cartoon characters in family films cussing. PG-13 films used to not have any nudity and if you said the F word at all it was an automatic R rating. Now you can have "light" nudity (or pictures of nudity) and you can say the F word one time and it still be considered PG-13. The F word is the F word... Why is saying it only once ok? And here is the big one... Frontal below the belt nudity used to be an automatic trip to NC-17 land. Now... well, all I have to say is "Bruno", which was rated R for some reason, therefore open to young children to see. And yes, I know for a fact that some did. I personally dealt with some liberal parents who not only allowed their elementary aged kids to see that movie with them, but griped me out when I was simply trying to warn them to just how bad the nudity and dialogue in that movie was for their young children. If it was the appropriate NC-17 rating, young kids would not have been able to see that movie. They say that having young kids watch porn is child abuse... well, Bruno was very very close to porn. I felt like I was allowing child abuse by letting parents take their kids into that filth.

Long story short, I see Bob's point of view in this matter. I still think that a majority of the movies released should be offered to those who want to see them... but there are some exceptions that I personally would want to keep off of any screens I had control over.
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Re: How many screens 4-6 04 May 2011 19:57 #35938

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About Entertainment,

Bob has been promoting to not play what Hollywood pushes at us, play independent movies, classics, playing some of the many movies that do not play at the multiplexes with just an occasional strong move-over tiles for years. Looks like you might be fairly new to this forum by your number of posts. Which I have said there are very few theaters able to play that stuff. Instead most single screens in rural markets will play exactly the opposite of what he has been preaching. I believe that is bad advice.

No one is saying to play "r" rated movies at these rural single screens. What we have said are the movies that were mentioned from 2006 with the occasional independent movie. These are very much wide appealling main stream movies with many played by every theater that is in operation.

So right now that means Rango, Rio, Hop, Soulsurfer, etc.
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Re: How many screens 4-6 04 May 2011 20:21 #35940

I guess I missed that, considering it was not mentioned in this thread... However, my opinion that Bob has a point with the declining morals of Hollywood films still stands.

And to get back on subject... If I was spending a lot of money to build a theater from the ground up I would go with no less than 6 screens. It is easier to recoup your investment with 6 screens than it is with 4.
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Re: How many screens 4-6 04 May 2011 22:21 #35942

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Jack:
When I say "...whatever Hollywood throws at you" I mean one must be very selective when booking what Hollywood is making don't just book everything they put out as there is a lot of garbage out there. Hollywood product are still the majority of a theatres booking.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: How many screens 4-6 08 May 2011 22:51 #35975

  • genedo
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4 screens
population will not support cost of 6 screens
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Re: How many screens 4-6 09 May 2011 00:07 #35976

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Gene,

Is that based on today's much higher cost for digital vs film equipment? Since a new location from a small exhibitor will not be able to qualify for any VPFs.

There are two 6-screen locations that I track in my region. Both are in approx. 9000 population towns with 20,000 population counties. Both gross $450+ in ticket sales. Not good enough in your opinion?

Plus B&B Theaters operate a handful of 8-screen locations in 10-12,000 towns.
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Re: How many screens 4-6 09 May 2011 12:25 #35978

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Based on build costs, the population of 40,000 will not pencil out for 6 screens.
In research of large number of multiple screens, two years ago, it was determined that most theaters are 30% overscreened relative to film grosses and playtimes.

In reviewing the playtime required to maximize boxoffice gross in 2005, I discovered by reviewing ALL films released nationally that 92% of national gross is obtained in 5.5 weeks.
Two years ago that number went down to 4.5 weeks.
This year it is 3.5 weeks.

In analying the average drop per week per film nationally, I reviewed the release patterns of pictures and averag playtime for small towns. I had purhased a building with the possibility of adding a sixth screen.

After looking at all these statistics and release patterns of films for previous 5 years, it was determined that the maximum number of screens needed to economic playtime the screen average was 5.3. I certainly did not need to spend $350,000 to obtain .3 screen.

When I returned to the industry after years of being away, I too needed to look at today's market and what worked. I spoke with many people and no one knew 'why' 8 screens was the current model. They just built them. One film booker, who never paid a mortgage payment in their life said the right number was 8. Why? I said. The film booker said, 'well, you need ot have a screen for evryone's picture'...

The number of screens rule of thumb usd to be 10,000 population per screen. Some say that number is closer to 8,000 now. I am not so sure that 10,000 is still a good rule of thumb.

However, movie going is about behavior batterns and frequency of attendance.

If a person were to buy an existing theater and the price was right, maybe a different story. But from a build basis, I would build a 4 screen with ability to expand to 6 cost effectively. If the two additional screens were very small and inexpensive to build maybe so.

Botomline it is about build cost of those two additional screens.

There are so many factors in these decisions, especially in small towns, that I would encourage a person to get ALL the information they can, study it, then make a choice. IT IS A LONG TERM DECISION, that should be made by research from authorities who know, not people who just have an opinion.

There are movie going frequency patterns that differ with age, education, economics, etc. And especially today with the movie experience changing with different technology. Patterns are changing. Teenagers for example, cannot be counted on as before with their patterns. A number of theater owners I know who have been in industry for many years are noticing these subtle differences as well.

Today...I would be very careful in making an economic decision that would last for 15 years based on just opinions.

Before I bought a theater last year, I researched every picture that had been played for the past five years by week as compared to other comparable population towns. I found that the demographics here DID NOT fit national numbers. The population base was heavily loaded in over 40. However, as I looked futher into the incomes of the area, I found that they attended more frequently than that same demographic group in other areas.

In that research I found by playing pictures to that demographic and avoiding those to teenager demographic and going total digital, my revenue is 20% higher than previous owner.

My suggestion is to do your own research for your own community, your own build costs and movie patterns of YOUR market. They are all different and the difference could be a make or break choice. Once you have a payment, it does not change.

While I respect the experience of those who contribute here, I must ultimately reply on my own ability to resarch to make a choice. Suggest others do the same.

If you wish to hire a consultant to assist you in areas that you do not know, that would be a good idea. If I had not had 20 years experience before I returned to the industry after being away for awhile, I would have been happy to pay someone to do the research for me.

Banks are not consultants, they are bankers. Theater operators sometimes are just that 'theater operators'. Some do not have financial consulting and planning experience. Some do not have responsibility of film buying or profit and loss statements. Just suggest people be careful when making a financial decision and I would not 'throw just any opinion' out as a person could rely on that and I would not want that.

Theater ownership is about real estate and return on investment. Movies is just what we sell. Ultimately it has to be a sound business choice and investment. Each person must make that decision on their own. Their life and life savings may be at stake.
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Re: How many screens 4-6 09 May 2011 20:40 #35984

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Recent is the 1960s?
So...what you are really saying is that "playing films and letting patrons decide what they want to see" has been the norm of the industry? We've had more years in film since the 60s than we had before.

Censorship is wrong.

-VPF
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Re: How many screens 4-6 09 Jun 2011 17:23 #36437

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The issue is NOT the morality of the industry... Morality is a job for parents and individuals; NOT the world! If parents want to let their children watch PG-13 or R rated films, that is between them and their children. I agree children should not be seeing porno but outside of that it is up to the parent. If you leave it to the world to decide whats right or wrong, you will have a severely skewed worldview. In some markets, not showing R rated films would be good, but i guarantee if someone did that here, customers would simply go to another theater. Individuals have to realize that a movie is not real life and from that know that they should not live their life out as a movie portrays. Morality is an individual decision, not a businesses or an industry's.
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