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At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:05 #29733

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One of our BIGGEST posters is about to give his words of wisdom on everything that has to do with the Theatre and some things that don't. Join us now as we enter into the THE THEATR WORLD AT LARGE!!
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:08 #29734

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1.Here I am going to post some of our concession statistics for our 5-screen Art House.
Candy = 4.48% of our total sales
Popcorn = 46.07% of our total sales
Soda = 24.56% of our total sales
Specialty Drinks = 15.19% of our total sales
Cookies = 2.53% of out total sales
Ice Cream = 3.71% of our total sales
Bagle Dog = 2.45% of our total Sales

So as you can see, Drinks are 39.75% of our Total Sales. But Popcorn and Soda are 70.63% of our Total Sales. The things we have added to the menue because we are an Art House have only added 23.88% to our total sales. As you can see, candy doesn't count for much. Also the profit margins aren't that great for candy.
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Last Edit: 18 Sep 2008 09:51 by links.
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:12 #29735

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2. HOW MUCH BUTTER - Micro Popcorn gets 1/2 squirt
Small Popcorn gets 1/2 squirt in the middle and 1/2 squirt on the top.

Medium Popcorn gets 1 squirt in the middle and 1 squirt on the top.

Large Popcorn gets 1 squirt in the middle and 1 or 2 squirts on the top.

We warn people who ask for more butter that while we are happy to comply we take no responsibility for it leaking through the bag.

Popcorn is loose fill not packed down.
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Last Edit: 18 Sep 2008 09:54 by links.
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:20 #29736

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3. MOVIES ARE TOO EXPENSIVE. While going over my product costs in the concession forum my head started spinning with the greed and the avarice that we charge for soda and popcorn.
Yesterday we had a lady who bitched and moaned about the cost of going to the movies. She said that we should slash our ticket prices and more people would come to the movies to make up for our drop in income.

We have all heard the statistics that going to the movies today is cheaper on a cost adjusted basis than it was in the 30s or the 50s. I have also heard that although ticket prices have advanced slower than the economy, concession prices have advanced quicker than the economy.

These are my only answers:

We provide a service. Those that wish to avail themselves of our services will pay to do so. Those that don't wish to use our services will seek entertainment elsewhere.

10% of the people are going to bitch about the price no matter what it is.

Discount movie theatres are a dying breed, so why would I like to emulate them?

In America, I get the impression that in certain markets, it doesn't pay to discount product. Nobody has come out with the Wal-Mart of movie theatres yet. Movies are a luxury and one pays for a luxury. Movies just may be the cheapest luxury on the planet. Movies are cheaper than books, plays, concerts, pay-per-view sports, and all sporting events. I pay $80 per month for satellite television. I could go see 8 films for that amount.

My next argument is this. This year we will pull in about $2 million dollars in revenue. If we are lucky the theatre will be able to keep $200,000 of that money. That is a 10% return on investment. This means we will be writing checks for $1,800,000 to cover our costs. Showing movies to the public is expensive. So no, we are not overcharging the public.

Unfortunately, it's hard to make this detailed an argument to a woman at the box office.

What are your thoughts on this?
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:25 #29737

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4. YOUR OLDEST PROJECTOR. My cinema supplier was here this morning doing a check up to see what our cinema needed. He was astounded when he read the serial numbers off of our two Simplex XL projectors. We have #318 and #1606. He figures that since XLs were first manufactured in 1949 that one of our machines is from 1949 and the other one is from 1950 something.

So my oldest projector is 53 years old.

For the benefit of Mike, I found out the following dates of manufacture for Simplex machines.

Simplex Regular 1909
Simplex Standard 1916
Simplex Super 1928
Simplex E-7 1939
Simplex XL 1949

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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:30 #29738

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5. MASKING TAPE. Never use masking tape in a projection booth!
Please use Artist Tape which is white in color and the glue is less sticky and leaves less residue on film. You can buy it from Art Supply Stores and it is very expensive or order it in bulk from your cinema supplier.

That said, never use tape to secure the leader to the film while breaking down a print. Please make a one sided splice. It's easier to deal with when building up a print and will not damage more than the one frame.

I caught my assistant manager breaking down a print using artist tape to secure the leader to the print the other day. I gave him firm instructions. I'm so embarrassed that I will not even admit this over on Film-Tech.



[This message has been edited by dr (edited August 25, 2003).]
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:35 #29739

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6. RIALTO ACUSTICAL PROBLEMS. We have a funky 5-plex with a few acustical problems. Our #4 screen's theatre has the booth floor over the auditorium. You can hear the Speco platters rumbling in the auditorium. There is also a bit of hallway in the room. About 10 feet of parallel walls that are un-treated.
What can I do to quiet the rumble?

What can I do to quiet the hallway?

[This message has been edited by Large (edited March 13, 2000).]
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:46 #29740

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7. CHRISTMAS PARTY. Last night we had our second annual Rialto Christmas Party. We closed early so that we didn't run the 9:00 PM shows and gathered at the local bowling alley. Most people bowled a couple of games and then we opened the presents.
Ky and I attend at least two NATO meeting per year and we go to ShoWest and Show East. I attend a couple of film festivals a year as well. At all of these shows the film companies hand out promotional items like t-shirts, hats and other nick-knacks. Every year we package them up and give them to the staff for Christmas. Somebody might get a Planet of the Apes fleece sweater or a Cinemaccanica tote bag. Somebody got a watch from some film or a Jimmy Neutron toy. This year we had enough swag to give everybody at least three items each. I got a, Scabbers the Rat, toy from Harry Potter. We also gave each and every employee a $50 gift certificate to the local mall. We also played Secret Santa where we all draw names out of a hat and give that person a small gift.

The kids had a good time. I bought drinks for those over 21 and they bowled until midnight. Now I have been to corporate Christmas parties where there is catered food, an open bar and a band. But I would have to say that our kids had a better time last night than I did at those corporate Christmas parties. Some of those guys got more presents than I will Christmas morning.

Well, my best Christmas gift this year is that my investor distribution got me out of debt for the first time since I opened this theatre 2 years ago. It's not sexy, but it will do.

As employers, we cannot pay a great deal of money to the staff. But we can treat our staff with respect, buy them the occasional pizza for dinner if we are particularly busy and we treat them well. They will discover later that most jobs aren't like this one. But I can only hope that in 10-20 years when they are in a position of responsibility that they think back and treat their employees as well as we treat ours. We had one of our staff quit last week because she thought we weren’t treating her right. Well, no gift certificate for her.

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[This message has been edited by Large (edited December 20, 2001
Last Edit: 10 Jan 2011 21:10 by troberts.
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:49 #29741

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8. RULES FOR MOVIE GOERS. We have generally good patrons. But every now and then, they piss you off. Of course you smile and try to make them happy. I just had a staff meeting where we reintroduced the staff to some of the rules. It occurs to me that our Patrons need rules too. Now I know that good business practice says I shouldn't post these for the public, but it was cathartic to write the list.
What do you think and what rules did I miss?


15 Rules for Movie Goers

1. Show up to the film on time. We start the films at the posted show time. We generally have 3 previews of coming attractions on the screen. At a minute and thirty seconds each, that means that we have about 4.5 minutes of pre-show here at the Rialto. If you show up five minutes late for the film, you have already missed something. Don’t be late.

2. We have to wear shirts and shoes to work and you should do the same. This has generally not been a problem here at the Rialto, but if I don’t mention it, somebody will take it, as tacit approval to come to the theatre wearing nothing but a Speedo, and nobody wants to see that.

3. We cannot capriciously discount the cost of a movie ticket or concessions item, so don’t even ask. We are a business; we are in business to make money. There is no bargaining.

4. Seniors are 55 and older. That is the youngest age for any movie theatre I have ever been to. Be grateful; inform the staff so that you may get your discount. Don’t ask for more.

5. We are a cash business. We cannot accept credit cards at the moment. They take more time than cash transactions, and they charge a percentage of our business. So in order to keep lines short, and keep admissions reasonable, we do not accept credit cards. Checks take way to long to write so save those checks for large purchases like gift certificates and passport cards. Please don’t be angry with our cashier because you don’t have any cash on you. Stop at an ATM before you come to the movies.

6. If there is a problem, please inform an employee. We can’t be everywhere at once and we sometimes are unable to see if something is amiss. They are here to help, be polite; they don’t make enough money to put up with rudeness. We will try to do everything within our power to make it right.

7. While watching a film, have respect for your fellow moviegoers, be quiet. No talking is allowed while watching a movie. If there is a complaint you will be asked to keep quiet. If you are unable to keep quiet you will be required to leave the theatre.

8. Much as you appreciate your children, most others do not. If the child is unable to understand the movie, don’t bring it. No children will be admitted to films rated R and above. If you have a young baby, hire a babysitter. If you cannot afford to hire a babysitter you cannot afford to come to the movies. Stay home and watch the independent film channel. We will still be here when your child can appreciate us. Crying Children will be required to leave the theatre.

9. Show times change on Friday. Read a newspaper, look at our website [url=http://www.rialtocinemas.com,]www.rialtocinemas.com,[/url] Read our email (which can be signed up for at the theatre or on our website, or call our recording (525-4840) to find out the show times.


10. Frequently we have special events on Thursday. Please read the ad in the paper carefully to find out if the show time has been canceled for a special event. It is in fine print.

11. Traditionally no outside food and drink is allowed in any movie theatre in the United States. Some mall theatres have an agreement with the other mall food vendors, but not us. It’s rude to bring in outside food and drink to a movie theatre, just like it’s rude to bring in your own bottle of wine to the restaurant, or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to McDonald’s. We have tried not to make a big deal out of this, but it annoys us to have to pick up your garbage. So if you pack it in, pack it out. And don’t be surprised if you ask you to finish it outside. Water is the exception.

12. Please look around you before you leave the theatre. We have a fine supply of outerwear and reading glasses in our lost and found. We do leave the theatre dark for the credits as a courtesy to the filmmakers.

13. Please take and keep your film stub with you. It is your cash receipt and should something go wrong, it is the only way to get a cash refund. If we have a black out or a catastrophic mechanical problem, you will be given a pass to come again. No cash refunds are given after the first 20 minutes of the film. The cash is gone. Refunds are not given should you have not enjoyed the film. Although a movie theatre is an amusement, your amusement is not guaranteed, only that we show the film properly is guaranteed.

14. We show a wide variety of films. We show film for all kinds of people. Should something in the film offend your delicate sensibilities, please don’t take it out on the staff. You never know if something that doesn’t sit will with you is an inspiration to others. Have an open mind, it takes all kinds. People like to see film about people like them. Don’t begrudge people this experience.

15. The world is a large place and unlike Star Trek not everybody speaks English. We are the anti Hollywood movie theatre. We therefore tend to show a great many foreign films. We get to pick and choose the best films from around the world. So that we can hear the original voices of the actors, we Americans like to subtitle films. Trust me this is much more progressive than the French insisting that everything be dubbed in to French. No art theatre in the country advertises that the film is subtitled, that would be cutting off some of our audience. So here’s a hint; if the preview has only a voice over and no actor speaks in it, it is probably in a foreign language and has subtitles. You can always call and ask, but we think it is a little narrow minded of you to dismiss a film just because it has subtitles. Give it a chance, after 10 minutes I forget that the subtitles are there and start to think I can understand Chinese.
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 10:59 #29742

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9. SEAT SERVICE. Last night a large team from the Installation Source came in and spent the
night fixing our seats. They were in town to service another large theatre and we got them to come spend the night with us. So all those rocking chairs in #2 now work. There is a handicapped seating area in #2. All the seats have been checked and repaired. All the seat bottoms now swing up. If they ran out of seat covers for the ripped seats, they moved those seats to the front row. The replaced stained seat covers with fresh ones. They put in new seat backs where required. All of the cup holder arm rests were placed back where they should be. They even took out 4 seats in every auditorim so we have handicapped seating in every auditorium.
In short, it looks like every seat can be sat in with confidence.

This is the second time we have had this service performed. And if this large theatre has them back every year, I'm sure we will have them back every year too.
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 11:02 #29743

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10. YOUR POWER COMPANY. Traditionally power outages happen in the summer or during electrical storms. This winter PG&E in California is having an electrical generating shortage. Apparently when power was deregulated, PG&E sold off all its generating plants to private companies. Now these private companies are shutting down plants for maintenance and to boost profits by restricting the quantity of electricity available. PG&E has to shell out money it doesn’t have to out of state providers to cover the shortfall. PG&E is trying to get a rate hike that will cost as much as 40% more next year.

Today we are having “rolling blackouts”. They turn off the power to certain areas for 90 minutes at a time. I heard that the 16-plex in the next town was shut down today. We haven’t been turned off yet, but I waiting. I have my canceled show passes ready.

If someone in your state is contemplating deregulation of the power company and is telling you that this will cause price cuts, don’t believe them. Since deregulation we have power shortages and the doubling of electrical rates. In collage economics we were told that there are something’s that work better as natural monopolies like the phone companies and the power company.

Now some schemes work. The next town north of us is Healdsburg. They told PG&E to stuff it 20 years ago and bought there own generating plant. They aren’t having a problem. Sacramento is the state’s capital and they don’t play with PG&E either. They are SMUD. (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) They have the most solar rooftops in the state. They encourage Ground or Earth based heat pumps because they are more efficient for heating and cooling. They aren’t having a problem either.

So if your municipality wants to divorce your state’s Monopoly, this can work.

Grey Davis, the state’s Governor, wants to declare eminent domain and take over all of the power generating plants to solve the problem. Unfortunately this is a rather socialistic action, which will please no one.

As a theatre, what are my options? Can I bill PG&E for lost business? The good news is that I get to blame the next price hike on PG&E; unfortunately, they may get the entire proceeds from the price hike.

I know that solar panels have been coming down in price and that they are 2 times more expensive than generated power. But with the price hikes it may be attractive to cover the theatres roof with solar panels and sell the power back to PG&E, which they must buy under law.

There is a shed out back, which would be a nice place to put the natural gas powered generator for power outages. I wonder how much that would cost?

Well, when you are faced with a 40% increase in your utility bill, you start to wonder. I also start to have anarchist dreams when faced with stuff like this.
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 11:05 #29744

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11. HOLIDAY HOURS. We seem to have a few small, independent theatre owners here. Mike says he takes Chirstmas Eve and Christmas day off. We will have no such luxury as we are in a town with competition.
My hope is that we can run the matinees Christmas Eve and take the evening off. We will be open on Christmas of course, because what do people do after they have opened their presents? They use their gift certificates and go to the movies. We do know that the two films we will be opening for Chrismas will open Friday 22.

Poll, what are your plans opening your theatres on Christmas?
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Re: At Large 25 Aug 2003 11:07 #29745

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12. PUNCTUALITY RANT. I was raised to respect punctuality. If I wasn't on time there was hell to pay.
Last night was my day off, in theory. One of our employees was sick so I came in to close the theatre.

Our schedule is such that all our films save one get out by 10:45 PM. The other film gets out at 11:30 PM. It has the last start time at 9:15 PM. 9:15 came and went without a ticket sold.

You all have had this happen to you.

9:25 two ladies come in and ask for tickets to the show that I am not running. I tell them that it is cancled and please come again tomorrow. They start whining and saying that they drove here from Petaluma which is 25 miles away. I relent and start the show at 9:30. This means that I am here one more hour on my day off.

Why is it that people can be on time for the train, plane and symphony but they are always 5 to 10 minutes late for a film?

I have to go. My staff is due here in one minute.
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