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Author Topic: Recommendations for consultants
Martin Thuss
Film Handler

Posts: 20
From: Strathoy, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Nov 2013

 - posted 11-27-2013 05:10 PM      Profile for Martin Thuss   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Thuss   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am currently in the research stage for opening a new theatre in a small town (pop 21,000). Met with an industry consultant today; unfortunately, they no longer do startup consulting or theatre design (mostly film booking).

There are some very important gaps that I need to fill in my business plan such as expected startup and operating costs and revenues. Not surprisingly, recent and specific information in these areas is not readily available. All of the information I have found is either outdated by several years or is "example" data (so I don't know how accurate it would be).

Can anyone recommend any good consultants?

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Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 11-28-2013 06:58 PM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Every jerk off architect, consultant, etc. out there thinks he knows how to design a theater, be certain they have more than a little experience in the field.

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2234
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011

 - posted 11-28-2013 08:56 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I designed my own theatre by looking at other theatres, talking to some equipment techs, and giving the whole thing some thought. For example, I measured the slope of the floor in the theatre in another town and that's the slope of the floor in my auditorium.

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Mike Frese
Master Film Handler

Posts: 465
From: Holts Summit, MO
Registered: Jun 2007

 - posted 12-01-2013 02:31 PM      Profile for Mike Frese   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Frese   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Try for building costs etc.

They have been helpful to me in the past. Jack Muffoletto is who I have spoken to.

For equipment speak to one of the equipment suppliers.

For costs and revenues: speak to a film booker as they can help you with the revenue side of things and possible put you into contact with someone who runs a similar theater.

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Terry Lynn-Stevens
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1081
From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2012

 - posted 12-05-2013 02:51 PM      Profile for Terry Lynn-Stevens   Email Terry Lynn-Stevens   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Martin Thuss
I need to fill in my business plan such as expected startup and operating costs and revenues.
I wonder how far along you are in your planning of your theatre and I really do wonder if you really have market where you are located.

Now that Cineplex has absorbed Galaxy Cinemas, Famous Players, what's left of AMC, and most of Empire Theatres, Cineplex Odeon dominates that Canadian market. Their marketshare is somewhere between 70-75 percent. Cineplex is very difficult to compete against and they own the two largest theatres in London and together they both gross close to $15 million per year in London.

You are located about 25 minutes away from each of the two Cineplex locations, the north London Silvercity is at the most northern spot on London just on the outskirts and does double the business of the Westmount location. The Silvercity is drawing from everywhere in the London area as well as outside of London.

A few things to consider:

Are you playing 3D?

What content are you planning to show? Cineplex has the power to block competitors as per the terms of agreement when booking. Generally Cineplex will leave you alone if you are far enough away.

If you run first run, you are likely stuck with the product for two weeks minimum on many runs.

Are you planning to be open all day?

The Cineplex Scotiabank Scene card program is huge, are you planning to compete with that?

How many screens are you planning?

The SilverCity North London is an IMAX destination, 5 of the top 6 locations in Ontario are IMAX destinations.

I am not trying to say your plan is bad, but you are closer to London than you think. Cineplex is very difficult to compete against and the location you are closest to is a $9 million per year theatre. The north London Silvercity was the fifth highest grossing theatre in the entire province of Ontario for the Catching Fire movie in both of the last two weekends.

Edit: I just read your website and some of the questions have been answered from your FAQ

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Martin Thuss
Film Handler

Posts: 20
From: Strathoy, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Nov 2013

 - posted 12-06-2013 09:56 AM      Profile for Martin Thuss   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Thuss   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We don't plan to compete with the London cinemas with respect to residents who live closer to London than to Strathroy, although some may come anyway due to the lower cost (depending on how it balances out with the cost of travel/time). Our primary draw will be residents of Strathroy-Caradoc (population ~ 21,000) and immediate surrounding communities.

As you mention, several of your questions are answered in our FAQ, but I will summarize a few of them to save others on the thread the time of going to our web site to look for them:

- We plan to be 3D capable on at least one of our screens
- We don't plan to compete with the "VIP" experience (as the increase in ticket cost takes away too large a share of lower-cost options for our customers)
- We don't plan to implement IMAX, Dolby Atmos, D-BOX or other technologies typically implemented only at large megaplexes
- We have confirmed that we can rent first-run wide-release movies (for example; Thor: yes ... Captain Phillips: no, at least not initial release as it was limited)
- Per screen, we will likely have one evening show Sunday-Thursday, two evening shows Friday, a matinee and two evening shows Saturday and a matinee on Sunday. In the early going (when it may be busier due to people wanting to check out "the new theatre"), we may also add a late afternoon show on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays if the demand warrants it
- We won't (can't) accept the SCENE card but may implement our own loyalty program at some point
- We are planning on three screens, approximately 600 total seats

We definitely don't expect to compete with the theatres in London to the point that they'd really notice. Based on the information we have gathered so far, we expect roughly $600k net revenue (after subtracting HST) including admissions, concessions and other sources of revenue.

My wife and I don't plan on becoming rich from this venture by any means. We simply want to provide a much-needed service to our community while earning enough to make a living. The feedback we have received from the community so far has exceeded our expectations to the point that we aren't concerned about making ends meet.

Right now, I'm working full time in a job I hate that pays really well. I'd much rather make less money (likely 2/3 of what I make now, by my projections, possibly less) and do something that I enjoy and am passionate about.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9532
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 12-07-2013 08:57 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
if you are seeking consulting you should not blook your mail function on the forum
we would be happy to work with you on this project as we operate a theatre in london already and are a full service supply and design service

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 894
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

 - posted 12-12-2013 02:38 PM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the TK Architects link Mike, they look great

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16657
From: Music City
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 12-15-2013 12:54 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
TK is good but VERY expensive!

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Michael Covey
Film Handler

Posts: 1
From: Iola, KS, United States
Registered: Dec 2013

 - posted 01-03-2014 07:44 AM      Profile for Michael Covey   Email Michael Covey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mr. Martin Thuss,

We at Sonic Equipment have a few different levels of consulting that we offer to theatre exhibitors, depending on how much consulting the exhibitor would like. We are partnered with B&B Theatres, who gives us an advantage with having a great relationship built with an actually theatre exhibitor to help with operational consulting support.

Sonic is a full Sales, Installation and Service company that cover all of the United States, and have done business in British Columbia, Canada.

We would be more than happy to assist with your project. If you would like, send me your contact information and I will call you at your convenience.

Michael Covey
Director of Strategic Planning
Sonic Equipment Company

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