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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Can A 13 Year Old Own A Theatre? (Page 1)

 
This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3 
 
Author Topic: Can A 13 Year Old Own A Theatre?
Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 01-21-2001 06:59 AM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey Everyone,
Have you ever seen those things where children have opened up their own companies? Oprah has done it a couple times.

What I want to know is do you think a 13 year old could lease out an old theatre and operate it? Cineplex Odeon has an old theatre here called the Garrick in Winnipeg's Exchange District. It has 4 screens and has been in Winnipeg since 1955. An older Garrick use to sit on the same spot in 1929-1954 with only 2 creens. It was torn down. Anyways, Cineplex Odeon has had this place up for sale/lease since 1990. If they do go bankrupt, I'd love to go into their other theatres in Winnipeg (The Grant Park Cinema [8 screens] And the Drive-In [1 screen]).

What do you think of this? Can I Do it?

Andrew McCrea

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Ken Layton
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1452
From: Olympia, Wash. USA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 01-21-2001 11:30 AM      Profile for Ken Layton   Email Ken Layton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you have the money and parents legal permission then you should be able to do it!

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Jerry Chase
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1068
From: Margate, FL, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 01-21-2001 02:47 PM      Profile for Jerry Chase   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know about Canada, but in the states you have to be of the age of majority to sign legally binding contracts.

If you have the skills, and have someone you trust willing to sign for you, then the answer is maybe. Landlords tend to be fussy, and no film company will let you sign their legally binding guarantee of payments.
Lots of entrepenures have hidden behind front men though.

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Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 01-21-2001 05:55 PM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey!
I'm working on the business plan right now and so far have not had any help. I probably won't need help, even thoguh I've done one for my dad before! I'M REAL SERIOUS ABOUT DOING THIS, and I've gotten some strange remarks, some confused remarks, some alright remarks and pretty much, no supporting remarks.
I don't know about Canada's laws either, but i'm really hoping that I can pull through with this. A lot of you are probably laughing, but I'm not.
"I know I can, I know I can!" Is what I'm going to keep saying. And.... I'll do it!

Andrew McCrea

P.S. I did a test show schedule for Swingfire Central, so you can see it here at this link! http://atrons.virtualave.net/SHOW%20SCHEDULE%20VALID%20FEBRUARY%209.doc It looks like Famous Players and Cineplex Odeon's ads.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7967
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-21-2001 06:37 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not to be discouraging (and I sent you some more info via private email on this), but in case you care, I looked at some numbers a couple of years ago for possibly assuming the lease of an already-existing single-screen theatre. I figured that it would require about $100,000 in cash to take over the existing (underperforming) theatre, make some minor physical upgrades, and then pay film guarantees for the first six months or so in order to cover expected losses until the business was able to re-gain enough of its former customers in order to break even and, eventually, become profitable. This may have been a bit over-cautious with the funding and over-generous with the upgrades, but it should give you some idea of what you might be jumping into.

Good luck with your efforts...your age could almost be an advantage in this case, and you could likely get a lot of free publicity if you tried to make a big deal of it.

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 737
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 01-21-2001 07:26 PM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Save the drive-in, my man! Differentiate yourself! Unfortunately, this is the property that will cost the most. My listing says 996 cars at the Odeon, a lot of land........

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17664
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 01-21-2001 10:34 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't think it is the guys here you will have to worry about taking you seriously. It's the people negotiating the leases and the studios who will ultimately be supplying you with the product. Do you have pictures of this place? The worst thing you can do to yourself is to take over a non-performing theater that is a dump. Does this place have all digital sound systems? Is there stadium seating? What is the demographics? What is your competition? What kind of repairs do you have to do to the theater? (That one will KILL you!) Do you have a booker yet or one lined up? Do you have a manager lined up (as pathetic as this is, customers won't treat you with an ounce of respect if you even appear young and will generally walk over you). Have you any projection knowledge, or do you know someone who can handle it for you? Finally, whatever dollar figure you come up with for this project, quadrouple it...because that's what it will end up taking! Who will you get your financing from and will your parents back you up on this, signing and taking responsibility for any debts that you might accidentally rack up?

(We're not being negative and not saying that you cannot do this, just that there is an incredible amount of things that must be handled in order to make this all work. The comments the guys have made here are just trying to help make sure you aren't forgetting anything. What I've listed above doesn't even constitute 5%. )

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7967
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 01-22-2001 06:39 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brad's right (as usual). The last thing you want to do is get stuck with a lease on a theatre that is in poor physical condition. If the building has been closed for ten years (as you state), then it has probably been neglected during that time and likely has structural issues as well as expensive-to-fix annoyances (leaky roof, HVAC system in need of repair for having not been run for a decade, rodent infestation, etc.). If there are _any_ issues like these, make _sure_ that the landlord agrees to fix them as part of the lease deal, so that you don't get stuck paying for improvements to someone else's property.

Also realize that you'll be paying a lot in film guarantees for a multi-screen theatre. You can't just call up a distributor and say "I want movie X." You'll have to convince them that you will make it worth their while to send a print to you rather than to any of the other theatres that want it. If you want to play first-run titles, you'll be competing with other theatres in the same market for those films. Second-run or art is easier to get product for, but it may not be appropriate for your market. If you're going to do first-run or anything else where there is a lot of competition for prints, you will definitely need a booker. If you're doing second-run or art, you can probably get by without one, but that requires a lot of knowledge about your market and a good booker should be able to get better deals (or, at least, lower guarantees) on films than you could probably do on your own.

Not knowing anything about the theatres you describe or the market in which they exist, I'd guess that the drive-in is probably the best bet if the screen and concession area are in good shape. There are fewer structural issues with a DI and you can probably do most of the repairs yourself. The insurance cost might be higher, though...I don't know. It's also easier to deal with a large single-screen establishment than a multiplex, and booking is easier, since you only need one double-feature per week. If you can put the land to use for other functions (flea markets, etc.), then you might well be able to start generating cash right away.

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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000


 - posted 01-22-2001 09:14 AM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Another thing to remember is that if it is an extreemly old building, 30 years or more, you will probably have to make modifications. Alot of repairs do to the age. In this case you have to pass your local inspections. You may have to install sprinklers, change your plumbing and all your electrical systems in order to comply with fire codes and other codes set up in your area.

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Bill Carter
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 162
From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 01-22-2001 06:16 PM      Profile for Bill Carter   Email Bill Carter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not sure how similar things are in Canada, but in the states it can be much more difficult to repopen a closed theater than to takeover an operating business. Once any commercial building has been closed for a year or more, it must be made to comply with all current code if you want to reopen. That means plumbing, electrical, handicap accessibility, and (god help you) asbestos removal. Sometimes, fixing these things in a really old theater building can cost more than building a new one from scratch. I think that's probably why so many really great old downtown theaters across America will never reopen.

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Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 01-22-2001 06:55 PM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
NO! It's still open! It's been on the market for sale/lease for at least 10 years! I'll edit this post later because I can't really picture the theatre now, but I know what I can do (to make it look good) and evrything!

Andrew McCrea

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Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 01-23-2001 06:50 AM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm working on the "OPINIONS" section in the business plan. If anyone in the business wants to send opinions, then please e-mail them to me at mccoolkid2000@hotmail.com!

Thanx!
Andrew McCrea

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John Eickhof
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 582
From: Wendell, ID USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 01-24-2001 12:34 AM      Profile for John Eickhof   Author's Homepage   Email John Eickhof   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I filed my first 'fictitious business name' at age 16 (1972) in the state of Nevada as 'Cinemechanics Service'This effectively put me in business! (I've been paying taxes since!) I am not sure that you could actually legally pull it off without a co-signer, but I can say to you is: "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" GOOD LUCK!!!

------------------
John Eickhof President, Chief Slave
Northwest Theatre Equipment Co., Inc.
P.O.Box 258
Wendell, ID. 83355-0258
208-536-5489
email: jeickhof@nteequip.com

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Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 01-24-2001 04:54 PM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I REALLY NEED Good Comments And Opinions From The Members Here Who Are In The Profession To Have A Better Chance Of Getting A Loan From The Bank. If you can e-mail them to me, I would REALLY appreciate it and You'd Help Me Finish My Plan!

PLEASE SEND THEM NOW!
Andrew McCrea

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17664
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 01-25-2001 01:11 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
You might want to consider making the basic plan available as it stands now to the members here so they could help you more specifically, as opposed to having people randomly throw out suggestions and ideas. I can upload it to the server if you need me to. (Just email it to me.)


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