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TOPIC: Severe Novice Seeking Help

Severe Novice Seeking Help 23 Aug 2010 14:36 #34478

First off, hey everyone. I'm new to this site and even newer to the world of cinema. I'm not even sure where the idea to open a movie theatre came from but it's struck me and now I can't seem to think about anything else.

I live in a good-sized town(100,000+) that already has two standard movie theatres with another one just down the road in the city were are connected to. One is an 8-screen and the other one, that just opened last weekend, is a 12-screen. Both show all the new releases and have all the bells and whistles of a modern theatre.

But that's not what I'm looking to do.

The town I live in has recently started to renovate it's downtown area, inviting in new restaurants, stores, parks and even a new performing arts center. There are several vacant, newly renovated buildings downtown just waiting to be leased. I guess the point of this thread that I'm taking forever to get to is that I want to open a small 1-screen theatre that shows older movies(Think Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, Twelve Angry Men).

And I have absolutely no idea how to do it.

I have a million questions and I need a lot of guidance. I'll list some of the things I'm wondering about and any help I can get will be greatly appreciated.

How big of a building will I need? Height? Length? Square feet?

What needs to be done to a building to make it a theatre? Soundproof walls, screen, seating, concessions, etc.?

What kinds of equipment will I need? Projector, etc.?

Those are the main questions I'm looking at right now. Please feel free to ask me anything at all about this. This might just be a pipe dream but it's something I'd really like to look into.

Thanks again for any help I get.

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Re:Severe Novice Seeking Help 23 Aug 2010 16:23 #34479

  • revrobor
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Some may tell you that this is a pipe dream. But I am numbered among those who believe a single screener can be run successfully in the face of multiplex competition if you are different than the multi-screeners. The classics, foreign, family and inspirational films format should work well for you. But you need to begin promoting as soon as you begin construction so the public can join in the excitement of having a specialty theatre in their community. I have a completed business plan for an 80 seat mini-cinema that I planned to put in a 80 x 28 foot building with an 11 foot ceiling. Ideally you will want a building that is about 100ft long by 40ft wide with a 14 to 16 ft ceiling. I would install 35mm film equipment. A two-projector change-over system is necessary in order to get the best classic film prints. The distributors do not want their best prints cut up and put on a platter. You might also consider installing a digital projector in case the print you want is available only on DVD. I'm not talking about the $75,000 big boys but a smaller machine like the ones used in multiplexes for "pre-show" ads. The smaller machines are available for as little as $3,900 (with 3500 lumens). But film will be with us for a long time. A theatrical equipment supply house can help you with equipment selection. Used, rebuilt equipment will work well and, if properly maintained will last longer than you will. Two I would recommend are American Cinema Equipment in Portland, OR and ICECO in Miami. They both have websites. You may want to consult firms that built or remodel theatres. There are some listed on this site under "Services" in the Directory. Also go over the posts in this site. There's a lot of valuable info here. PM me with info on your location and any questions you may have.
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Last Edit: 23 Aug 2010 16:26 by revrobor.
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Re:Severe Novice Seeking Help 23 Aug 2010 20:21 #34480

Thank you very much for the info. That is more than enough to get me started in trying to figure out what building I need to look for and what equipment to search for.

I do plan on reading all the posts on this site and using any information I can.

As soon as I know more about which buildings or lots I have to choose from then I will certainly get back with you with what I imagine will be a lot more questions.

Thanks again.
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Re:Severe Novice Seeking Help 27 Aug 2010 22:49 #34495

  • dnedrow
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I would also plan on a second "screening room" with 20-50 seats. You wouldn't believe how much easier this will make your life when it comes to booking, particularly if you find the need to run current product.

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