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  1. IndyFanChuck's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2007
    From
    Jonesboro, Arkansas
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    1,483
    Apr 10, 2011, 6:12 PM - Anyone here OWN a theatre? #1





    My wife and I have been talking, and one of my dreams has always been to own my own movie theatre. It may sound a little cheesy, but I have this great family friendly atmosphere in mind for the place, with several features that are missing from theaters now and days.

    Are there any members of the RPF that own their own Movie Theatre? Or that have this kind of experience and would be willing to speak with me about it here?

    This is something I've always dreamed of. I'd love to see if I can make it happen. Owning my own business is a dream and having my own Theatre would be a dream come true.




  2. weaselflinger's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2002
    From
    Appleton, WI
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    974
    Apr 10, 2011, 6:15 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #2

    I think Laffo has a drive-in theater...
  3. decaturvader's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2005
    From
    Decatur, IL
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    884
    Apr 10, 2011, 9:08 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #3

    the guy I worked for....is barely making it, if making it at all.

    He bought the last standing home-town theater, then added two more screen in the building next door.

    I have no idea how he stays afloat...I really don't.
    I'd see the weekend crowds, yeah, sometimes good...sometimes not.
    Week nights...lucky to have 10 people, unless it is a super blockbuster drawing LOTS of people..but how often does that happen.

    Not to pea on your parade; I have often felt the need to do the same thing.
    Perhaps if I was independantly weathly or something...but not my livelyhood.

    Then there are the studios. Good grief, these people are ruthless to the ma-and-pop theaters from what he told me. Outrageoud deposits..they dictate how LONG you play the show and how many times. He was audited at least once a month to make sure he was playing.

    Then there were times when business was next to nothing...he'd close a dead film so he could hope to get business in. Eagle Eye comes to mind...he took that dead show off a week early, against orders. Well...paramount blacklisted him for over a year. Yup. Any show they release, he was automatically barred from having it.

    Our town of 70,000 has two other theaters on opposite ends of town (20 min drive)...both are Carmike 12's.

    the only thing keeping my guy afloat is environment.
    it's the hometown theater...1930s decor...no cell phones...no teenagers talking...

    Chic flicks are his bread an butter. Shows that he made a small fortune on were My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Mama Mia...good grief, he played Mama Mia for 10 weeks....and the shows were PACKED almost every time.

    Oh, and he plays Rocky Horror Picture Show every year with a college shadow cast. Two nights of naked young adults. usually pulls him in about $14000.00 for two days....and I doubt he pays any license fee or whatknot.

    He's had luck getting Bruce Campbell down a couple times for a show and Q&A. Last time was My Name is Bruce. The video is on Youtube somewhere, least it used to be. The Avon Theater..search it.

    I hope my story is isolated and he just played with my head a lot...but I saw the crowds...numbers just didn't add up in my head to take the risk.
  4. RPF Premium Member BIKERFETT's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2006
    Messages
    823
    Apr 10, 2011, 9:42 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #4

    I looked into this myself a few years ago. On top of the studios nazi like approach to what you can and cant do. They keep a large portion of the ticket sales That slowly decreases each week it plays. In this business your only money made is through the food area. That is why drive ins are so hard to make work because so many folks bring there own food. This is also why you mostly get older movies because the studio keeps less of the ticket price.

    Biker
  5. fuelish's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2009
    From
    Raleigh NC
    Messages
    452
    Apr 10, 2011, 11:23 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #5

    How about if he does second runs, film festivals, art films, foreign films, that kind of thing? There are some theaters locally that seem to be doing OK with that kind of biz.
  6. jonny5's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2004
    From
    Holland Patent NY
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    775
    Apr 10, 2011, 11:31 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #6

    This discussion gives me an idea.

    Might it be possible to avoid the large studio deposits if you aren't showing first run movies?

    1) A while back I heard of a theatre somewhere that offered a full resturant dinner menu during the show. Don't know how well the went off.

    2) My local theatre shows free kids movies, during the summer. Things that are already out on DVD. The idea is to get folks in the door and then they will pay for popcorn and sodas. Concessions are of course where the theatre really makes its money.

    This place runs these kiddie shows Tues & Wed around 10 AM. Not a time people normally go to the movies but my wife often takes the kids cuz it something to do when it's too hot at home.

    So.... what if these two ideas were combined?

    Imagine 'dinner theater' that shows year plus old flicks (for free) that people might want to see again like Titanic (90ith anniversary of the real world event is coming up) or maybe show the SW trilogy in sequential order over six weeks.

    Show classics like if say the uber ultimate edition of Metropolis comes out on Blu-Ray, YOU can hype the 'real theater' experience.

    All while serving a first rate cuisine. It would actually be more of a movie themed resturant but I think the idea has some merit.

    Also there could be 'Oscar nights' for the week prior to the annual televised event where you show the films that won big the previous season.

    Sorry if none of this appeals to anyone, I don't mean to hijack the thread.
  7. darth_myeek's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
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    Apr 10, 2011, 11:50 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #7

    jonny5 said: View Post
    2) My local theatre shows free kids movies, during the summer. Things that are already out on DVD. The idea is to get folks in the door and then they will pay for popcorn and sodas. Concessions are of course where the theatre really makes its money.
    J5
    That is perfect for Mommies who need a break. We had a small theatre (unfortunately went out) but they had an early morning show. Which allowed babies to gab-gab-gab, and Moms to veg out. Charge something, maybe $2?
  8. Dewy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 2000
    From
    CT
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    3,258
    Apr 11, 2011, 5:15 AM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #8

    jonny5 said: View Post
    Imagine 'dinner theater' that shows year plus old flicks (for free) that people might want to see again like Titanic (90ith anniversary of the real world event is coming up) or maybe show the SW trilogy in sequential order over six weeks.
    The Titanic sank in 1912, 100th anniversary of the sinking is coming up. Yesterday 4/10/2011 marked the 99th anniversary of her leaving for New York. She went down on the 15th of April.
    Last edited by Dewy; Apr 11, 2011 at 5:25 AM.
  9. Member Since
    Jan 2009
    From
    indianapolis,IN
    Messages
    427
    Apr 11, 2011, 7:59 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #9

    not entirely sure, because i have no idea really, but im sure you would still have to get the rights to play older movies..... just because you own a theater and love star wars or metropolis or last years oscar winner, dosent mean you can throw it up there and sell tickets whenever you want..... otherwise there would be a LOT more places doing it. but i really dont have a clue so i could be wrong.
  10. nickytea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2001
    From
    Southern California
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    3,426
    Apr 11, 2011, 9:02 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #10

    Paging Laffo. Mister Laffo to the Off-Topic section please.
  11. Deric's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2005
    Messages
    587
    Apr 11, 2011, 11:52 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #11

    I always wanted to own a drive-in theater. I also wanted to own a bar but joining the two would be a bad idea.
  12. jonny5's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 2004
    From
    Holland Patent NY
    Messages
    775
    Apr 24, 2011, 1:20 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #12

    Question #1
    Does Target/Walmart/BestBuy/Curry's/Sears/RadioShack/etc. have to pay Disney a royalty to run the DVD of Tangled or Blu-Ray of TRON on any or all of the TV's in the electronics dept.?

    Question #2
    Would a theatre need to pay a royalty to show Clone Wars on Blu-Ray for a kids SW themed B-Day movie party by customer request?

    Question #3
    What is the difference (in terms of payment and rights) between an establishment that has a superbowl party (free televised event) and one that invites patrons in to see a pay-per view event like a prize fight?

    Running the film 'in the background' is sort of like having the news on in a barbershop, only its a 40' screen playing a DVD/BluRay. If something is out on video an establishment shouldn't need to pay for rights to show any film publicly beyond any laws requiring an entertainment license, (which any bar with a radio on needs) because customers are not being charged admission to a concert, just $$$ for the food.

    Now if the place were decidedly 'space themed' and all that was ever shown were SW:1-6, I'm sure LFL will probably come 'round to have a little chat with the owners but as a movie theatre, what is their responsibility for having a 'Star Wars' night, and then an 'Alien' night or a 'Tron' night... ad nauseum as long as you are changing it up.


    berger said: View Post
    not entirely sure, because i have no idea really, but im sure you would still have to get the rights to play older movies..... just because you own a theater and love star wars or metropolis or last years oscar winner, dosent mean you can throw it up there and sell tickets whenever you want..... otherwise there would be a LOT more places doing it. but i really dont have a clue so i could be wrong.
  13. RPF Premium Member Kris Lyssara's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2008
    From
    Ocala, FL
    Messages
    263
    Apr 24, 2011, 3:42 PM - Re: Anyone here OWN a theatre? #13

    It's a general license that one gets from each studio to show any of their movies in exchange for a certain % of the money brought in, usually. Super Bowl is NOT allowed to be shown without a license, likewise. Churches get licenses from record labels to play/cover the music of the artists at their services (and sometimes to sell copies of their version, as my church does), usually through licensing corporations that take care of the details of the separate licenses and make it easy for the church. I know this because I had to help deal with the paperwork for a church that was just starting up.

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