The Urban Campus-How to make theatres profitable
The peak time for demand for classroom space is during the day during the week, the opposite that of the peak time for a plex in a college town. A newer auditorium could be equipped with sound system, video projector, high bandwidth individual data ports for every seat, and desktops. The infrastructure is all there-ADA compliance, fire sprinklers, exits. Cost of conversion would be less than almost any other type of commercial space.
These could rival anything available at a big budget university in their largest, most luxurious lecture halls. Try to get a sponsor (like Cisco?) to wire it for you. Of course, the building would probably have to actually be cleaned occasionally, unlike theatres now.
A school, for example, could rent an auditorium for $125. per day with virtually no start up or hard costs-(insanely cheap by at least California standards) and a 9 plex could generate $20,000./ month without a lot of extra costs.
Schools & Universities
Accordion festivals-Polka & Tex-Mex
The captive audience would generate some revenue at the snack bar, and a creative person could probably get municipal cooperation for providing a resource to the community, especially if someone teaches the kids downstairs how to make a decent latte.
The enterprising film handler could probably weasel his/her way into a network tech situation, learning from the ground up.
Any landlord, sitting with an big empty box and a lawsuit, would welcome you with open arms, especially if his foot traffic count is down affecting the other tenants.
By the middle of the afternoon, show movies. While it may appear this is a way to use the theatre for another purpose, think of it as maximizing a resource when it wasn’t producing money, plus free advertising, maybe a shiny red apple.
“It’s never too late to panic.”