Home Forums Movie Theaters The Lobby 4 specific questions
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1

TOPIC: 4 specific questions

4 specific questions 19 Dec 2000 16:20 #999

  • buddy
  • buddy's Avatar
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 4

I first would like to start off by saying that I have been looking for a site with the type of information you guys are providing for....must be 3-4 years now. I have been exploring the idea of getting into the theater business. I have read all the past articles that have been posted and greatly appreciate all the information you guys have shared. After reading the postings I am left with 4 specific questions that I was hoping someone could help me with.

(first a profile of my region)
I am located in NW Indiana and know of a couple 1 screen second run theaters that are in towns with populations ranging from 15,000 - 20,000+-. I am thinking of talking with the owners of them and possibly making an offer on one or the other. There are 3 major multiplexes in our area...a 16 screen Karesotes....a 9? screen Sony...and a 8? General Cinema. These theaters are all about a 20 minute drive from both of the 1 screen theaters...which are both located in town square type settings. Both 1 screen theaters seat roughly 400 people.

Question #1)
I have read the posts regarding how the studios charge a percentage of gross for the film rental and have also read the posts about "House Allowances". I am a little confused here. Being a small second run theater would I pay just percentage or would the "house allowance" come into play.

Question #2)
I know that this next question has a lot of outside factors that affect the answer but...what percentage of daily/weekly capacity is to be expected in a theater my size in an area with my size population. I am trying to work through the numbers and this is a huge variable for me. I know that how well the theater is ran and what movies are shown will affect this number...but can anyone help me guestimate?

Question #3
I have thought that running a double bill of a new, but still second run movie, with an older movie with one of the stars of the 1st (or the same theme of the first) would be a neat way to bring in a bigger crowd. I read one posting that seemed to say that the older movies cost more...did I understand that correctly...and if so, would the cost be prohibitive?

Question #4
I have read many posts saying not to get into this industry for a quick buck and that is not why I am wanting to do this. I am looking forward to the challenge of running a small business(second time around for me) and possibly growing that small business into something a little larger...much down the road I realize. My question though...Do you guys think that a theater the size of the ones I've describe in the area I described can provide enough income to compete with my current job. I don't make a fortune (mid $40,000). I know anything like this would be a risk but is this realistic. My numbers say yes depending on the aswers to question #1,2 and 3.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Mike Stiefel

The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: 4 specific questions 19 Dec 2000 22:57 #1000

  • Avalon
  • Avalon's Avatar
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 405
#1: If you do a search, you should find RoxyV's(I think) response to this question. He said it much better than i ever could.

#2: Depends on the product. You can have the nicest theater in the world, but nothing worth seeing on the screen. Also, expect weather to effect attendence -- home games, TV shows, concerts, alignment of the planets have their effect, also. There is no concrete formula i know of.

#3: Older films cost the same or more. I have college town so i play art films. My last theater was in a mill town. I played 1st-run. Your customer base will determine what you play.

#4: $45k a year? If I made half that I'd be driving somehting other than a $1500 minivan and a 30 year old Harley Davidson. It will be a long road before you even make minimum wage. Yes, your emplyees will make more than you. Welcome to your life in the theater biz.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: 4 specific questions 21 Dec 2000 11:14 #1001

  • Mike
  • Mike's Avatar
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 5522
  • Thank you received: 105
Hi Mike............ while much of this business is unknowable except via seat of the pant acquisition the internet has helped a lot........ Never before in written form you can now find excellent dissertations on every subject of interest to ourselves.

To begin: reset the search date on the browser for each subject to "show all of last year" and that will suitably bury you.

#1 "small second run" means you'll rarely get into the 90/10 as thios most applies to big, busy, sell out, packed theatres. In 7 years I've never had to deal with it. You'll pay minimum and flat fees vs. 35 or 30 % in a second run place. Older films, classics, are often the most expensive in terms of flat fee rentals. Also: shipping will chew you up on the classics.

#2 Too hard to project. Is the area scary? Near parking? Near a college? What's the demographics? A town of 20,000 should be able to support 2 theatres and maybe a sub-run such as you are suggesting. The problem is you'll be incredibly restricted by one screen!

#3 As population goes gourmets go down. My experience was that there simply wasn't enough people to justify this type of programming in a for profit setting in a small town. If it was me I'd be booking 3-4 pictures and showing them on different times each day. I'd want more screens.

#4 Our 3 screen nets about 40 without paying my wife or I for the 80 hours per week we put in. Can it generate that on one screen? No, I don't believe so. However, if you have a college and or liberal area that loves film and just isn't being served there is a living to be made. I'd have to know your market before I answered that one.

Go out on a Monday night to the movies. Walk into each theatre and count how many are inside. Go Tuesday, etc, etc.

Get a part time job working at a local theatre.
Best of luck!
Michael Hurley
The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
Time to create page: 0.606 seconds
attraction attraction