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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Urban Campus-How to make theatres profitable

Author Topic: Urban Campus-How to make theatres profitable
Neil Di Scala
Film Handler

Posts: 17
From: Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 2000

 - posted 09-06-2000 08:28 PM      Profile for Neil Di Scala   Email Neil Di Scala   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
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.

Possible users:

Schools & Universities
Extension classes
Trade schools
Tech schools
Adult education
Corporate functions
Traffic Schools
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.”

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 09-07-2000 07:07 AM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Neil: A very interesting idea! Worth trying for any large theatre located adjacent to a university. Even with a matinee schedule, you could probably offer over four hours per day of auditorium rental in the mornings.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Fax: 716-722-7243

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Rory Burke
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 181
From: Burbank, CA, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

 - posted 09-07-2000 01:47 PM      Profile for Rory Burke   Email Rory Burke   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
HEHE that very sceenario is actually been in effect in southern calif. The University of California at Riverside in conjuction with local city projects and a willing investor(theater company) built 3 years ago a all THX- complex adjacent to the university campus as a means to restoring and beautifying the area which was largely going to crime etc etc. The plan worked and is a prime example of municipalities working effectively with private business blah blah blah. The theater was contructed along side a mini comercial center which now thrives and is the center of student extracurricular activities.

The three biggest auditoriums are used for classrooms during the day and are fully equipped with the latest A/V gear. You name it!! The stadium configured, high back reclining seats with 40% more leg room have customized folding desk tops for taking notes. The podium has a self raising dry erase boeard as to not block the SUBS (strict stipulation on our part) during showtimes( podium is even handicapped accesible via ramp) Video projectors for multimedia applications, Laser disc. DVD, VHS, and the sound system is tied in to the nonsync 2 for the best sound. Originally they wanted these cheesy P.A. speakers that were hidden behind ceiling tiles but we convinced them by showing that they would save $$ tying to us. The entire podiium system is fully automated. Will try to get pictures. Fully air conditioned throughout the year, excellent lighting....couldn't ask for
better place to learn.

Confession: Everyonce in a while I would connect my laptop to their system and play "F16" through the vid projector and used the THX sound system for the sound. Once we even networked the game across the two big auditoriums (we had to make customized 150 ft serial cables) hehe.


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Neil Di Scala
Film Handler

Posts: 17
From: Santa Cruz, CA, USA
Registered: Sep 2000

 - posted 09-07-2000 03:20 PM      Profile for Neil Di Scala   Email Neil Di Scala   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the feedback. There really ia little new under the sun. What struck me is that somebody like Heald or ITT or ? could set up shop in about a week, they have the program in place already.

Now all we would need is a roof recreational area and solar panels, removable bunk beds for those down hours between the last show and the first class, and a day care center in the lobby...well, maybe better movies anyway.

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