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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Opening on Christmas Day (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Opening on Christmas Day
Michael Brown
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1518
From: Bradford, England
Registered: May 2001

 - posted 11-23-2015 08:05 PM      Profile for Michael Brown   Email Michael Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have finally bit the bullet and are opening for business on Christmas day. Anyone done this in past. What were your numbers like?

We are also looking at 24 hour opening for Star Wars.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12492
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 11-23-2015 09:33 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've always been open for Christmas Day and it's usually like a regular Saturday for us, of course depending on the movie. I remember one awful year we had "U2 Rattle and Hum" playing and only had 4 people show up on Christmas. But this year we'll have SW:TFA so I'm expecting a decent crowd.

We've always been closed Christmas Eve except occasionally when it falls on a Saturday we'll have a matinee. But never an evening show that night.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 868
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

 - posted 11-23-2015 10:26 PM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of the busiest days of the year here.

We close early on Xmas eve(no late shows), but are open all day on Christmas Day.

I'm a little worried about Star Wars business, especially on Christmas weekend. I don't think we have enough seats in the building. Or parking spots. Or square footage. Or bathroom stalls. Or staff. Or popcorn popping capacity.

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2016
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011

 - posted 11-23-2015 10:29 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I opened on Christmas only once when I played one of the Hobbit movies and had to be open that day. Otherwise I am closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day every year. Those are the only two days that I'm ever closed, and it is my once-a-year opportunity to paint the auditorium floor and let the paint dry and the smell dissipate before the next show on December 26.

The floor didn't get painted the year that I played that Hobbit movie but it wasn't all that bad anyway. I usually just touch up the spots where people have chipped the paint away with their high heels or whatever using a paint brush, so it doesn't take very long to do.

And the one year that I was open on Christmas day I could have just as well stayed closed. There were a very few people who came that day, and I mean very few -- less than ten as I recall.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12492
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 11-23-2015 10:41 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In a smaller town it's just what people get used to. Here, everyone knows we're open Christmas Day so if we're playing a popular movie, it's always well worth being open for us.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2135
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted 11-23-2015 10:49 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've been in theatre almost 20 years, and the theatres I've worked in have always been open Christmas Day. Easily one of the 10 busiest days of the year, and maybe even top 5.

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Philip Jones
Film Handler

Posts: 90
From: England
Registered: Dec 2011

 - posted 11-24-2015 03:59 AM      Profile for Philip Jones   Email Philip Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the UK I can't see it being worth opening on Christmas Day.

Here (twin screen, rural location) we do our last shows at about 3.00pm on Christmas Eve, shut Christmas Day and just do 1 afternoon session on the 26th. Open as normal then until New Years Eve when we don't do evening shows, and then we start a little later than normal on New Years Day.

The only day I feel that we're really missing out on a lot of business is the 26th, but the hours we open that day are more dictated by staffing issues.

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Mike Schulz
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 122
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: May 2007

 - posted 11-24-2015 05:03 AM      Profile for Mike Schulz   Email Mike Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think it is a difference in cultures. Thanksgiving and Christmas (and Sundays, for that matter) were always days that almost all business would be closed decades ago. America being America, however, at some point in time decades ago some businessman decided to keep his department store open on a Sunday just to see what happened and maybe also run a big sale. Well it turned out that after going to church, many people didn't have much to do so they all went to the only store in town that was open. You know where I'm headed with this. Sure enough, not much further down the road, every other store in town had to be open on Sunday as well so their competition didn't make all of the money. This of course eventually extended into the major holidays as well and when you have department stores open, those people will be hungry too and since they are already out and about it makes sense they would want to eat at a restaurant. After dinner, maybe we can drive by the cinema and see what is playing...

It all kind of snowballed and now nearly every business is open on Sunday and every holiday as well. The movie business was making so much money on the holidays that they (smartly) predicted that opening a big movie on that day could also generate more profits. I don't know how long ago this all started but when I was growing up in the 80s, we kind of had a tradition of going to the movies on Christmas Eve with mom staying home to finish up wrapping presents and making sure Santa knew what loot to bring that night. When I was a teenager working at the local cinema it was the same thing. I had to work *every* flippin' holiday and I grew up in a small town but we were still very busy on those days.

Nowadays, opening big movies on a holiday is such an institution for Hollywood that I wouldn't be surprised if circuits were contractually obligated to be open in order to book the movie.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2135
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004

 - posted 11-24-2015 05:51 AM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Before I started working in movie theatres, I had no clue they were open on Christmas. And to this day I still find that those people who don't go to the movies on Christmas are still shocked to find out the theatre is open.

I view theatres being open on the holidays differently than many other businesses - especially department stores. Theatres are providing entertainment. They are providing a way for families to engage in what holidays are supposed to be about - being with family and friends.

I remember when I was a kid, you would be lucky to find a gas station with over priced milk open on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The roads would be completely dead except for the people traveling to and from relatives. In some ways, I kind of miss that. It's nice to have a grocery store open, but I don't need to shop for clothes or electronics.

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1567
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006

 - posted 11-24-2015 07:32 AM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Every theater I've ever worked at was open on Christmas.
(and every other holiday) There was one period in my life where I wound up
working every Christmas for at least 10 years. But it wasn't all "bah bumbug"-
As a 'union' projectionist, I earned some double-overtime holiday pay rate,
which made missing the holiday a bit easier to take.

. . . and there's a good chance I'll wind up working this Christmas,
doing the 70mm Tarentino thing.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1833
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001

 - posted 11-24-2015 09:24 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Christmas eve and day have always had good attendance around the New York City metro area. While some of the smaller independent locations cancel their "late" show on Christmas eve, most theatres run their normal schedule.

While I expected a normal turnout from non-Christians, what surprised me was how many religious Christians came out on Christmas eve. I found out it was something to do to keep them up late before midnight services.

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Alan Plester
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 204
From: great yarmouth england
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 11-24-2015 09:56 AM      Profile for Alan Plester   Email Alan Plester   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We closed early Christmas eve, around 5ish and opened sunday hours for boxing day, always a busy day, but I do remember one of our houses opened in London on Christmas day, and was very busy, guess some people are either bored or nothing on telly, I know if it had happened at my cinema I would have jumped at the chance of working, as not a huge lover of it.

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James Westbrook
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1112
From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
Registered: Mar 2006

 - posted 11-24-2015 01:26 PM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The reason some theaters have a huge Christmas surge is because the families are together and by Christmas afternoon they are tired of being cooped up in the same house."Let's go to the movies." "Okay."
The week between Christmas and New Years Eve night is busy as well, as people have gift cards and Christmas money.
Thanksgiving used to be busier until stores started opening in the afternoon.

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Jesse Skeen
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1498
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Aug 2000

 - posted 11-25-2015 05:35 AM      Profile for Jesse Skeen   Email Jesse Skeen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Christmas was always one of my favorite days to work, mostly because going to the movies was one thing that would never happen in a billion years during any of the boring family get-togethers I went to. Now I have no excuses to avoid the family on holidays.

Movies traditionally opened on Christmas Day too, no matter what day it fell on- Remember one year the movie "IQ" (with Meg Ryan and Walter Matthau) opened and one of the middle reels turned out to be for the WRONG movie- it was a reel from "Ready to Wear" and it wasn't caught because both movies were scope AND both had Tim Robbins in them! We couldn't even call for a replacement reel since the studios were closed, and the screen stayed dark for about 3 days until the right reel came in. Ever since then I always checked the title on EVERY reel.

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Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1383
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002

 - posted 11-25-2015 06:28 AM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mike Schulz
Sure enough, not much further down the road, every other store in town had to be open on Sunday as well so their competition didn't make all of the money.
Because of this, I find it amazing that Chick-fil-a is still closed on Sundays and their locations do WAY more income per location on a yearly basis than other fast food chains.

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