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TOPIC: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questions

Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questions 24 Feb 2003 11:21 #29701

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1.I am currently looking to reopening a 10 screen theater that has been closed for 2 years. We have two big Megaplexes within about 8 miles with a population of about 120,000 so I have decided to open this theater as a second-run with first rate service.
My question is about the rent for this theater facilty. It used to be an Edwards theater and is really in need of alot of repairs...probably about $100,000 or so.

The theater is 35,000 sq. feet and the landlord is asking for 0.50 per sq. feet per month plus triple net cost of 0.45 per month. This was quite a bit higher than what I was expecting? Does this sound about right to anyone else?

I figure that since the building has sat vacant for about 2 years that they would be very anxious to negotiate with me but so far they are holding very firm and refusing to even think about a perctange based lease.

Should I run in the opposite direction or is this a diamond in the rough? http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/001058.html
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2012 14:16 by Rick Young.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:24 #29702

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2.I am wondering if you all have some advice for Theater operator to be.

I will most likely be starting an independent theater. Are there any good places where I can find theaters that are for lease? How do I get a hold of the independent film broker in a given region? If you hadn't run a theater before, how would you get experience in the operation of a theater? Whats the best way for me to learn projector operations and sound? How high is your employee turn over? Any suggestions for training and keeping turn over to a minimum?
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:27 #29703

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3.I would like to open a theater, but I don't know how feasible it is. I live in a town population 1500-2000. Twenty miles each direction are towns 12,000 and 8,000. Each have a theater. One of which is very run down. The other 2 screens does okay. I know most of my business would commute in, but that's not uncommon in rural iowa. I want a 1 or 2 screen theater. Showing 1st run movies and retrospect for our large elderly population. There are several historic buildings in town that might be renovated, but I may have to build from scratch. Does it sound do-able? I don't know what kind of investment I'm looking at. It's difficult to find price information. http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/001037.html
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2012 15:23 by Rick Young.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:31 #29704

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4. I am looking to open a new theater in a smaller market. The retail trade population for the area is approximately 500,000. There are two multiplex movie theaters in town (both owned by the same company). They are also sold out, overcrowded, have enormous lines, and the personnel is rude!! I want to build a new theater with 3 screens with the capacity to hold 250 people per theater. I am looking to make this a dinner and a movie type place. The Chamber of Commerce is providing me with the Marketing Research, and I have a restaurant chain in town helping with the food/restraunt information. My problem comes with obtaining information regarding the movie theater end. I have interested investors. I just need the data and research to convince them. I have contacted and searched several sites. I am looking for any expertise and information you as the professionals of the movie industry might have. I would appreciate any help or advise you can provide http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/000942.html
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2012 15:23 by Rick Young.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:34 #29705

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5. Well, I am weeks away from completing my business plan to get a brand new 8-plex built.
The investors want me to hurry up because they want to go to the bank before the end of the month.

Most of my friends in the business told me that I have some major guts to go forth with my plan.

Hell, I am nervous. I have been in the theatre business for 14 years and here may be chance to do things -the way I WANT TO. Actually, the way I want to equals to what I believe the average movie-goer wants. A clean facility, beautifully designed theatre, stadium seating, digital sound, -basically a state-of-the-art theatre. I can say that I am extremely excited.

The only 'snag' that I am running into - is backing up my figures. I am ordering some figures from AcNielsenEDI. I have this info that I have gathered from experts (tell me if they sound correct to you):

The average american goes to the movies 5.1 times a year.

The average ticket price (nationally) in 2001 was $5.65.

The average concession per cap in 2001(nationally) $2.50 (no one can tell me where I can get hard facts on this).

The average 'drive-time' (mileage area) of a new multiplex with stadium seating is 25 miles.

I have gathered info from NATOonline.org and EDI's website. I need national averages on paper to show to the bank. Does anyone have any idea where I can get this? And -no- I cannot spend $6500 on a feasibilty study. I am trying to do this on my own.
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Last Edit: 13 Jan 2012 15:24 by Rick Young.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:40 #29706

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6. I've read some of the earlier posts on reopening a theatre that has been closed due to industry contraction. I am interested in pursuing this possibility and would like to know the experts' opinion:
What might be considered 'ideal' conditions for operating a profitable subrun theatre (i.e., demographics, competition, etc.)?

Conversely, under what conditions might an independant operator make go of competing against a chain such as Carmike?

More followup questions to be determined!
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:41 #29707

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7. My company is going to re-open a theatre that was closed last year due to poor management. The theatre is the only theatre in a town with 20,000 with a large surrounding area. The film companies say that the grosses for that location are very good and the closest theatre is about an hour or so away. I am very excited at this opportunity because I have always wanted to go into a theatre and start from scratch with new staff, new business contacts, remodeling etc etc. My question goes to all of you who have re-opened a theatre that has been closed. What are some suggestions/comments that you can give me for coming in and making a great impression on the town? Marketing ideas? What were your checklists? http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/000786.html
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2012 15:24 by Rick Young.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:46 #29708

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8. Ok Ladies and Gents
I am dreaming up a 10 screen theater
I'm ok on the following

My Company Summary
Marketing Strategy
Managment Summary

What is in my favor
close to an airport
to a major university
competitors are
20 miles north
20 miles south
15 miles west
A plan to please nearly all film fans
Quality managment, services, products,
and location

So the question is with the numbers I need to include in the plan.

How would I go about figuring my Projected Cash Flow, the Industry Analysis, the Market Segmentation, and what information I need to include about my major competitors.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:47 #29709

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9. I have been learning that to construct a multi-screen cinema from the ground-up is going to be VERY costly. I was just curious as to what kinds of ways others have gotten startup capital/financing/loans to start their independent cinemas. What sources seemed more willing to give money? I am very excited to get started in this industry, but unfortunately I am not a millionaire and can't just write a check for my new multi-screen cinema.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:49 #29710

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10. Hi, I'm the new kid on the whole block; that includes this website and the movie theater industry. But I do have a very important questions that i can't seem to find and I would really appreciated a lot if someone could help me quickly..
My $5mil question is....
If I have $5 million dollars, can I build a 10 screens state of the art movie theater with at least 75,000 sq feet, in the phoenix area? (the building is leased so don't include real estate). http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/000644.html
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2012 15:26 by Rick Young.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:51 #29711

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11. I know for alot of you guys, this business is all cut and dry. But for non-insiders, the information is a little difficult to get ahold of.
Here is my situation. I live in a relatively mid-sized city that is constantly growing albeit not too fast as the city is dry. The city, including the surrounding county has a population of nearly 60,000 people. We have one theater located in the mall with 9 screens, and it charges $7 a pop. Downtown, there is a closed down theater, which to the best of my knowledge house somewhere between 2-4 screens. Several times passing by I thought that it would be a great site to start a local dollar cinema, or something cheaper than the mall's theaters. Now, I'm just beginning to check into the feasability of it all(Rent, size, Etc). In fact, I'm not even sure what all is left in the theater as far as equipment, etc. But my question to all of you that have started a theater is what are the basic costs involved? I'm talking about just getting some older movies, cheap but decent projectors, etc.

Is there some sort of Magazine that is sent to theater owners where you decide which movies you will be showing? Has anyone attempted to start a new theater here?
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:56 #29712

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12. I currently run a very succesful three screen independent. I am looking at the possibility of opening up a new theater in another Town. Our whole County only has 18 screens for over 100,000 full time residents, with another 50,000 tourists a year. So as you can see there is a definite market here for more screens. I am looking at a couple locations, but my question is how much Square feet do I need. I plan to go with an vacant building, and I would like to go with 4 or 5 screens with a total seating of 800 to 900. I am completely familiar with all aspects of running a theater, but I am a virgin when it comes to staring one from scratch. I would appreciate any help in this process. http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/000385.html
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 11:58 #29713

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13. i'm looking into opening a new theatre...i have no idea where to start, equipment...film purchase(renting) where to buy projectors, and screens, movie seats..etc...how to install speaker/sound system, etc...any helpful information would be needed. sorry for not expanding on my request...thanks in advance! http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/000390.html
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2012 15:27 by Rick Young.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 12:00 #29714

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14. I am considering purchasing a theater in a small town (population 12,000) that was originally a single auditorium. The theater was divided back in the 1980’s leaving two equal size auditoriums that are 22 feet wide and 70 feet from the back wall to the screen. The floor in both auditoriums is a conventional slope and the current seats, which need to be replaced, are arranged in a traditional aligned layout with one isle down the middle. These seats are 19 inches wide and are set in straight rows which are 36 inches on center.

My plan is to replace the old seats with newer style seats (with cupholders) arranged in a staggered continental layout with a 3 foot isles on each side of the auditorium. The newer seats would be at least 21 inches wide and set in slightly curved rows 36 to 42 inches on center significantly improving the customer’s comfort and view. Each auditorium currently has 225 seats. The new layout would reduce that number by 50 to 60 seats per auditorium depending on the row spacing.

So, here are my questions. . .

1. How would this reduction in available seats effect my house allowance and my ability to book films? Is the house allowance calculated per seat or per auditorium and are distributors more likely to give you a print if you have a larger house / seat count?

2. I’m planning to make other improvements to the theater including upgrading the sound system which is currently analog and mono. These improvements would increase the operating costs of the theater. How difficult is it to get the house allowance reassessed after making these significant improvements.

3. The current owner has an in house booker. We plan to use a booking service. Will distributors reassess our house allowance when we purchase the theater or change booking services?

4. What is the minimum distance from the screen to the front row? The screen is 20 feet wide by 15 feet high. It is about 6 feet from the floor to the bottom of the screen depending on which format it is masked for. I saw one post which said that having all those seats down front helps to increase your house allowance. Is that true?

5. Does the sound system you have effect your ability to book films? ( i.e. Do distributors generally make more prints in certain sound formats?)

6. Given the long and narrow shape of these auditoriums, what suggestions do you have for my new sound system. The side walls are flat and currently covered with pleated burlap which needs to be replaced. The ceiling is suspended 2x4 acoustical tile and the floor is painted wood under the seating areas and carpeting everywhere else.
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Last Edit: 13 Jan 2012 15:27 by Rick Young.
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Re: Starting out in the business? Check these most asked questio 24 Feb 2003 12:02 #29715

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15. Looking at a theater in a busy shopping plaza that closed last week. Has four screens roughly 100 - 125 seats per house. It was a discount house. It is only four years old. Most of the equipment comes with it, platters and such. With the exception of the sound equip., though speakers are in place. Landlord is asking $50,000 per year lease. I own a theater but never leased one. Can anyone tell me if that is an average lease rate? Or if it is above or below the average. Just looking for any info anyone with experience with leasing might have. $12.00 per sq foot seems to be the shopping center's average. http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum39/HTML/000413.html
Last Edit: 13 Jan 2012 15:28 by Rick Young.
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