How to Start a Movie TheaterPosted by monsterguide
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:
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.
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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