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TOPIC: liscenses?

liscenses? 03 May 2002 15:47 #23235

  • bob_adob
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hi, im a student interested in the movie business and am writing a business proposal for a class project (seems to be a ton of us eh?).
Anyway i've gone through this whole forum and have learned a great deal, but i wasnt able to find anything about what kind of liscenses were needed to open a theatre. can anyone help or point me somewhere to find this info?
also are there any other legal, city/state issues i should be aware of (ie. zoning)?
the proposal is for a small single screen, showing cult/art/indie/foreign etc. type films, in a loungey type atmosphere. some have called it a cinemacafe or something.
any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: liscenses? 03 May 2002 18:40 #23236

  • Mike
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1. "places of assembly" come under state and city fire laws so ceratin amounts of seats eqaul certain requirements for sprinklers, alarms, exits, lighting, etc. Not a lisc but still a permitting issue.
2. amusements lisc
3. food and bev lisc
4. zoning is a local issue and you always need to consult with city planning or code office
5. in some places you'll need a movie theatre lisc. (I hear) which I believe is a holdover from the days of exploding and flammable film

Other than that and a pile of money? I don't think there's a thing you need.

Good question and thanks/ Mike

Mike Hurley
Michael Hurley
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Re: liscenses? 04 May 2002 07:36 #23237

  • rsmith
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In our area at least one person must be registered with the Health Dept as licensed food handler. This requires attendance to a food handling course and a yearly registration fee. This is in addition to a city food & bev license. Don't forget that you would also need a FEIN # for employee related taxes and a state sales tax #
Double that pile of money Mike mentioned and you just about have it.
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Re: liscenses? 04 May 2002 07:56 #23238

Here in Winnipeg (if not Canada), each location must get 1 license per screen, which is a Screen/Movie Theatre License.

One costs about $160.00, plus you need occupancy loads, in which every room has a liscense as to how many it can officially hold, in otherwords, all theatres must display how many each auditorium can hold, how much the lobby can hold, booth, concession, etc... These room occupancy licenses are free, but you must be approved.

"I don't want you playing with something that has such bizarre hair. Such awful, awful hair!"
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Since 1987
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Re: liscenses? 04 May 2002 11:36 #23239

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I second and third the pile of money needed to open and stay in business.(It is not the permits).

We have a health dept. permit which keeps changing from year to year. Sometimes we need a class 1 permit, sometimes no permit at all and now we need a class 2 , 25,000 sq foot license which authorizes us to be a full service restaurant!. We do not have a certified food handler although they would certainly like us to have one. This permit cost us $226.

Aside from this we need a vendors license to sell food to people upon which we must collect sales tax and remit to the State. ($25 first year - no renewal fee anymore).

You will be inspected annually by the Fire Department who will be interested in whether you have the correct fire extinguishers, signage, exit doors, emergency lights, etc. In preparation for this you must pay to have your fire extinguishers inspected, recharged or whatever is necessary by an outside company.

Payroll requires proper withholding of city, state, school district and federal taxes. You must pay federal and state unemployment and workers compensation taxes. Plenty of penalties for doing any of this wrong. You must also file copies of W2's and income tax for the business with all of the same entities(also personal property taxes).

When you open up you must get an occupancy permit which means that the local authorities have signed off on your facilities for fire, building codes, etc. (This is when they tell you how many people you can have in your building). We had fun here - the local inspector insisted that we had only 99 seats by his memory and he wasn't issuing an occupancy permit for anymore than that. We had to DRAG him down here to check out our 350 seats before he would sign the occupancy permit for more than 99 seats.

Zoning - you must either buy property which is already commercially zoned with the correct designation for you or petition the local zoning board for a variance. Some of the members on this forum have lots of experience in this area. We didn't have to worry about this since we were taking over and already existing theater.
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