How to Start a Movie Theater

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How to Start a Movie Theater

Doomsayers around the globe are claiming the Hollywood film industry is heading for a fall. The movie industry claims it’s because of issues such as illegal downloading and piracy. Moviegoers complain that Hollywood isn’t coming up with enough quality and original filmmaking. Still others say that the Hollywood slump has been overplayed and it will bounce back, to whatever degree it’s down, any time now. Whichever the case may be, and for whatever reasons, there are still plenty of people clamoring to get into the movie business, both on the filmmaking side and the theater rental side. If one is interested in opening a movie theater, here are some steps to point you in the right direction.

Franchise vs. Independent

If you want to run a major multiplex in your hometown, chances are you’ll need to buy into a franchise of an already established movie theater company. Whether that company is: AMC, Cobb Theaters, United Artists, they have set rules and regulations about what can and cannot be done with their franchise. Those who own the theater and will get a percentage of the profits. In exchange, owners are permitted to use the name of the company, have access to movies to screen, and participate in an already ongoing advertisement scheme.

On the other hand, if an owner has unique and specific visions for a theater, they may want to become an independent theater. This means buying or renting a property on their own, and basically building a movie theater clientele from scratch. It can also be difficult time to screen major Hollywood blockbusters and may not be in the best interests of the independent theater. The most successful independent theaters (drive-ins excepted) are successful precisely because they offer a viable alternative to the mainstream multiplex. This means screening some of the lesser seen, independent films that the major theaters ignore.

What Kinds of Films?

If the independent model is the theater of choice, the owner needs to have a theme for the theater. People like to have dependability from their places of business. Decide what types of films are going to be shown. Here are three different business models to consider:

Independent Films

Choosing to show the lesser known independent films, as was discussed earlier, can be profitable. Because these films are often distributed on a limited basis, it can be easier and cheaper to screen them in a theater, and the profit margins may be higher as well. On the other hand, these films are usually light on advertising so an owner needs to formulate a advertising plan. Fortunately, in almost every city of any size there is some degree of interest in these lesser-known films. Find out what the demand for independent film is like in your area before proceeding.

Second Run Films

Another viable option for a theater is to show those films that have been previously screened at larger, mainstream theaters. These are usually big budget films, put out by the major studios, that have come close to the end of their cinema screening run. Before being made available on DVD, smaller theaters can show prints of them at a reduced cost to the theater. Sometimes these types of cinemas are known as “dollar theaters,” and are known for their lower ticket costs and other things that set them apart from the major chains. At these types of theaters, the owners may choose to serve a wider variety of concessions, such as meals and alcoholic beverages.

Classic Films

Often, these types of films can go hand in hand with either of the previous two business models. Sometimes art-house theaters have mini-festivals in which they will show prints of classic films from the nineties all the way back to the beginning of cinema. Sometimes these types of theaters are called “revival theaters”.

Once a business model has been determined upon and the competition has been researched, it will be necessary to complete the normal requirements that any new business must do when starting up. This includes obtaining funding capital, finding the best places and ways to advertise, and providing the best product and the best services for the business. Once the groundwork has been completed, a new theater can become a profitable business in a short time.

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Comments

  1. Shariq husain said,

    on April 21st, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Hello sir
    i want to know about open movie theator. so plz tell me can i open and what’s the requirment.and how much mony have to take of this project.THANKS
    PLZ RELPY AS SOON AS POSIBLE

  2. Stephane said,

    on January 15th, 2012 at 4:39 am

    I am interested in opening a movie theatre in Africa. What are the requirenents?

  3. Pharmf8 said,

    on December 1st, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    never thought about starting a movie theatre, usually its big companies. unless you live in small town

  4. dan said,

    on December 1st, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    my dad owned a movie theatre, loved the free movies

  5. Chirag said,

    on November 27th, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I want to start a movie theatre pls telle the procedure and also the amount required for this

  6. Jimmie Browner said,

    on July 18th, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I am interested in the old Majic Johnson Greenbrair 12 Theater in Atlanta,Ga.how can I make the right contacts and make that theater independent?

  7. Jose R. said,

    on September 20th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    I am interested in opening up a theater in my city and I was wondering what are some of the legal and economic requirements? I was thinking of opening my own franchise because I want to put my own spin on it please let me know if you can assist me on this venture.

  8. wade visagie said,

    on June 13th, 2010 at 4:14 am

    I am a grade 10 learner and want to start a movie theatre. In walvis bay, Namibia we do not
    have one . What will be the cost involved. What should my business plan cater for . Our population is about 80 000.

  9. sarang said,

    on June 1st, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Hi…i wanna start a multiplex in my town…
    whoever knows the requirements about capital and other stuff, please help me out…

  10. sarang said,

    on June 1st, 2010 at 3:39 am

    Hi! i am 21 year old boy and am thinking of setting a multiplex theatre at my hometown.my town is quite big but people here have to go to adjoining cities to watch movies…so i’ve to do this thing to earn money.conditions are favorable..but i want to know about the capital required,and other stuff regarding this venture..whoever knows the answer,please help me out…

  11. adil said,

    on April 20th, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Sir,
    Please help me, I am looking into writing a business plan on starting my own theatre. How much does it cost to own a typical movie theatre? What are the fixed costs? What are important things I need to account for? please Advice..

  12. bongani said,

    on February 26th, 2010 at 5:59 am

    also interested in writing a bussines plan for theatre please help me

  13. Valeria Nelson said,

    on February 19th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Are small business locations a good place to start a theatre with $1.00 DVD movies? VN

  14. Oshodin Efosa Abiodun said,

    on January 5th, 2010 at 4:24 am

    Please help me, I am looking into writing a business plan on starting my own theatre. How much does it cost to own a typical movie theatre? What are the fixed costs? What are important things I need to account for? Advice?

  15. Patrick said,

    on December 8th, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I am looking into writing a business plan on starting my own theatre. How much does it cost to own a typical movie theatre? What are the fixed costs? What are important things I need to account for? Advice?

  16. Ejla said,

    on October 12th, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Please help me, I am looking into writing a business plan on starting my own theatre. How much does it cost to own a typical movie theatre? What are the fixed costs? What are important things I need to account for? Advice?