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How much capital would be needed for a 1 screen theater?

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How much capital would be needed for a 1 screen theater?

Old 10-22-07, 01:13 PM
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How much capital would be needed for a 1 screen theater?

I don't have any money, but I was curious as to how much money would be needed to open one of those low cost movie theaters. Hosting exploitation double-features and whatever else you could get on the cheap.
Old 10-22-07, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by MrShackleford
I don't have any money, but I was curious as to how much money would be needed to open one of those low cost movie theaters. Hosting exploitation double-features and whatever else you could get on the cheap.

(Percentage of Admissions + Concession Revenue) - (Rent + Wages + Supplies/Concession Food Stuff + Film Rental + Newspaper Directory Ads) = NOT MUCH.

I ran a one-screen theatre (didn't own it), and the reason you don't see many of them any more is because they are very unprofitable.

On the flipside, it was probably the most enjoyable job I've ever had.
Old 10-24-07, 09:25 PM
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Ah, restoring and running an old theater. One of my favorite daydreams.

I'd like to think (dream) that if one lived in a decently populated area and catered to genres that are under-represented (foreign sci-fi/horror, anime, etc) that you could cultivate a loyal customer base. Doing themed film festivals like, say Bollywood, could also be successful maybe?

What do you think?
Old 10-25-07, 12:43 AM
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I think that restoring a two-screen drive-in would be more profitable and more "doable".

Though a one or two screen theater, with arthouse flicks, would be fun.

Last edited by Heat; 10-25-07 at 12:48 AM.
Old 10-25-07, 01:25 AM
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It seems in my area, all the one-screen, small indie theaters have all had to resort to selling beer and wine to turn a profit.

I can think of only two that don't: one shows second run stuff, the other shows stuff that would never pop up in chains and is a landmark of the city.
Old 10-25-07, 01:47 AM
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Where are you located? Real estate would be a big issue. You'd need the proper structure (slanted floors, a mezzanine, etc.). That stuff can be really pricey.

Maybe start at http://www.macraesbluebook.com/searc...d_Code=9007399

Pick up the phone and call people. Ask people, who know what they're doing, for help. Regardless of whether or not you THINK you're going to do it, go and see how realistic it is.

I'd advise that you should look up some used theater equipment dealers. They'd probably be able to help you more than anything else. And if you're a prospective customer, they should be ready to help you out.

I'd look into getting a small place. I've always been a big fan of little luxurious spaces.

Make a spreadsheet with 'startup' costs and 'operating' costs.

If you ACTUALLY want to start, find the projection equipment, access to prints, etc. email me at [email protected]. I don't have a ton of time to kill. But I could put you in touch with a few people.
Old 10-25-07, 10:44 AM
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It's a great idea, as long as the $1MM+ you need doesn't affect your trust fund much.
Old 10-25-07, 11:15 AM
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hence why the Uptown here in DC starting early next year will be beaming McLean Bible Church services to help pay the rent.

"can I get a bag of popcorn with that sermon?"
Old 10-25-07, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
It's a great idea, as long as the $1MM+ you need doesn't affect your trust fund much.
Or if you don't mind very small margins, long hard hours, doing something you love.
Old 10-26-07, 10:10 AM
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It was always one of my dreams to open a one screen theater to show classics, cult movies and cheesy double features. Looking into it, I saw the cost was HUGE with not a lot of return.

Oh well. Another broken dream to throw on top of the pile.

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