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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » I just found out I own a movie theater

   
Author Topic: I just found out I own a movie theater
David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4016
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 06-29-2016 10:38 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, OK, technically I inherited a 5% share of a commercial property that is currently the Metropolitan Twin in Huntington Park CA.

http://www.metrotheatres.com/location?id=2280&date=para2

In 1926 my great grandparents owned that property. They created a family trust for the property and then leased it to a movie theater for 99 years at $350/month. So 90 years later and the tenant pays $350/mo. Of course the theater operator is not interested in moving. Why would they with a dirt cheap lease like that.

So anyway my share of the income is about $150 a year after legal expenses.

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Stephan Shelley
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 661
From: castro valley, CA, usa
Registered: Nov 2014


 - posted 06-29-2016 10:53 PM      Profile for Stephan Shelley   Email Stephan Shelley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Shades of The Smallest Show on Earth.If you haven't seen this English film rent it. Has Peter Sellers in a supporting roll as the drunken projectionist. Husband of a recently married couple inherits a movie theatre from an uncle he did not even know.

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8290
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 06-30-2016 02:59 AM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Smallest Show is a definite classic to own and to watch, esp. if your in the cinema business.

The husband and wife team of Bill Travers and Virginia Mackenna went on to fame with the 1966 film, "Born Free"

-Monte

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1826
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 06-30-2016 08:25 AM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
> So 90 years later and the tenant pays $350/mo.

But in 9 years the lease runs out...

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 855
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 06-30-2016 01:43 PM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How neat!! What happens when the lease is up?

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1826
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 06-30-2016 02:48 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
> What happens when the lease is up?

One would assume that the rent will go up to market rates with a much shorter lease length. That is what usually happens when long term commercial leases run out. Whether the theatre is profitable enough to justify the higher rent will determine whether the location remains a theatre.

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Mike Spaeth
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1109
From: Hampton, GA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 06-30-2016 04:22 PM      Profile for Mike Spaeth   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Spaeth   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Holy shit! Theatre does $1 million a year in box office!

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 346
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 06-30-2016 07:46 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow David, they must not have heard of inflation 90 years ago!

RE: The Smallest Show on Earth (1957) - IMDB lists this here as "Big Time Operators" for some reason. DVD request placed through my local library. [Smile]

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4016
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 06-30-2016 09:27 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Family members who know more about this trust and the lease arrangement say they've had attorneys look at the lease over the years to see if it can be terminated. Apparently it's ironclad and the theater operator makes very sure to adhere to the letter of the lease terms.

When the lease was signed my grandparents probably celebrated with high fives. "Ha! We really put one over on those fools! $350 a month in perpetuity!"

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David Stambaugh
Film God

Posts: 4016
From: Eugene, Oregon
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 07-01-2016 01:12 PM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just found out from a family member the lease started at some lower monthly rate. There were 2 escalation clauses that raised the rent to the current $300/mo (not $350).

I apologize for putting this in Ground Level. It probably belongs in Film Yak.

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Bill Gabel
Film God

Posts: 3873
From: Technicolor / Postworks NY, USA
Registered: Jan 2002


 - posted 07-01-2016 05:21 PM      Profile for Bill Gabel   Email Bill Gabel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The original house last till around the 1980 when Metropolitan opened a twin theatre on the property. It's the only theatre left in the city of Huntington Park. There was two Fox houses the California later a triplex and the Lyric a Pussycat, and the Art Deco Warner Theatre which Pacific theatres twinned within blocks of the Park Twin and one other(long gone). This is the last theatre Metropolitan has operating in Los Angeles county. Metropolitan operates a few theatres in Santa Barbara (the famed Arlington theatre and a few others).They opened and operated a D-150 house in Palm Springs. They operated all the theatres along Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. They had all the great places there after the old chains dropped them, all closed. The only reason the Park Twin is open is the lease.

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6900
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 07-02-2016 12:28 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bill Brandenstein
RE: The Smallest Show on Earth (1957) - IMDB lists this here as "Big Time Operators" for some reason. DVD request placed through my local library.
It was very common for British films to be renamed, and extensively re-edited, for their US release, especially in the '40s and '50s.

One geeky sidebar about Smallest Show. In one of the closing scenes, Peter Sellers is reminiscing about what he considered to be the glory days of British cinema, and shows a reel of [url= https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comin%27_Thro_the_Rye_(1923_film)]Comin' Thro' the Rye[/url] as an example. This must have been a film industry in-joke, because this movie is, by ALMOST universal consent, about the worst ever to emerge from a British studio. The tragedy is that it was the final film of a pioneer of British cinema, Cecil Hepworth, who, from around 1895-1905, was the Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg of his day, but only a decade later had been totally overtaken by events and was living firmly in the past. Comin'... was his final, megabudgeted production before his company went bankrupt. He was basically using the same story structure, acting and directing style in 1923 as he was in 1903.

I say that the movie is a dog by ALMOST universal consent, because about the one detractor is an academic who also happened to be my professor in film archiving school. At the time, he'd just written a book that tried desperately to rescue the film's reputation: he made us watch all the surviving footage from it over and over again (the last reel is lost and I can't say that I'm overjoyed at the others surviving!), and in seminars was clearly disappointed that no-one in the class agreed with him that he'd rediscovered an unjustly neglected masterpiece.

But yes, Smallest Show is absolutely worth a look.

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Sam D. Chavez
Film God

Posts: 2074
From: Martinez, CA USA
Registered: Aug 2003


 - posted 07-02-2016 10:22 AM      Profile for Sam D. Chavez   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This film played to great hilarity in Berkeley at the very humble cinema I worked as it was considered the "fleapit" of the area.

We actually faked a bad changeover and the audience was immediately in on the joke.

I consider this film Cinema Paradisio flipped on its head. Great fun for folks who worked in the business.

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 346
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 07-20-2016 12:08 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We watched it. What a fun and amusing little story in all of its dry British understatedness. Hopefully David will never experience any of the calamities contained therein!

I can imagine a terrific welcome trailer edited from a few of the movie's best moments... ending with the audience running out...

And the American title (Big-Time Operators) is just stupid.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-21-2016 10:33 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Awesome news David! Now is the time to micromanage and cut costs. Anything to get more $$$ in your pocket. Why have 5 speakers in an auditorium when one will do just fine? Why run your screen at 16 footlamberts when you can stretch a single footlambert across ALL screens? Are the employees happy? Time to change that as well. Happy employees stay longer and eventually you'll have to give them raises and other nonsense. By constantly hiring new plebes, you can keep the wage really low.

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