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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » What's the best starting time for Sunday Matinee Showings? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: What's the best starting time for Sunday Matinee Showings?
Kenneth Wuepper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 969
From: Saginaw, MI, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 12-19-2017 11:19 AM      Profile for Kenneth Wuepper   Email Kenneth Wuepper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hello,

We have one showing on Sunday and it is in the afternoon. Doors open 1 hour prior to feature. There is an overture and short live introduction to the film. The feature starts at the time we publish.

We have options of 1:30, to 4:00. What is your experience with the starting time that works to get the largest audience?

Many thanks for helping with this marketing research.

KEN

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1749
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 12-19-2017 11:35 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If I have one matinee show, it starts at 2pm. If I have two, they are at 1pm and 3pm. And when I do occasional private screenings for people, they usually want the show to start at 2pm.

So I would go for 2pm if it was me. That gives people time to get out of church, have lunch, walk the dog, and come to the show.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5116
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 12-19-2017 12:12 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We did 2p and 4p when we were running film. Any earlier and we lost numbers. On Sundays, most people are either going to worship services or in a very leisurely mindset and in no hurry to get "up and at 'em." A 1p on Saturdays might work, especially if it were a G Rated.

When we were forced to run at an earlier time because of scheduling conflicts -- being the bastard child in a performing arts complex, that happened more often that we liked -- we offered a free bagel and coffee (the bagel was free...they had to pay for the coffee). It never ceased to amaze me how popular that went over; you would think we were giving away gold. They flocked to those 11a time slot screenings, but I attribute that to the free bagel. I know the first few times before I threw in that bagel hook, it was a anemic box office. Not many were very enthusiastic about a 12n time slot.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2018
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 12-19-2017 02:59 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think this will really depend on the religious makeup of your community. Where I live in Northern California there doesn't seem to be any issue with starting shows as early as 12:30. I've found there tends to be a drop-off if a show starts any earlier than 12:30, but I think that has more to do with being a rural community.

For what it's worth, I have found we are more impacted by NFL games than church services.

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Frank Cox
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From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
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 - posted 12-19-2017 04:14 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Local hockey games used to really clear the place out here. There's not quite as much impact these days, but there's still a noticeable difference.

I mark the hockey games in advance on my calendar so I know not to make as much popcorn on those nights.

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Sean McKinnon
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From: Peabody Massachusetts
Registered: Sep 2000


 - posted 12-19-2017 04:36 PM      Profile for Sean McKinnon   Email Sean McKinnon   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Frank,

Murray's bagels? "They don't toast them"

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Mike Blakesley
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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 12-19-2017 06:30 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We used to do all our matinees at 2:00 on Saturdays, but found that a lot of people are out-a-town shopping then, so we moved them to Sunday a couple years ago and they do a lot better. (Still at 2:00.)

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
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 - posted 12-19-2017 11:18 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I have a kids show I do a matinee on both Saturday and Sunday.

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Kenneth Wuepper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 969
From: Saginaw, MI, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 12-20-2017 01:13 PM      Profile for Kenneth Wuepper   Email Kenneth Wuepper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you for all of your thoughts and experiences.

At one point the management wanted all events to start at 3pm. Now it seems that there are new ideas and having things start on the half hour is beginning.

Do you feel that it is better to start on the hour or is the half hour thing OK?

KEN

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2018
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 12-20-2017 04:08 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What I try to do when building my schedule is build the prime time schedule first and then fill in the rest from there. For example, you generally want to have showings starting around 7:00pm. I start with this set of times and then build from there allowing an adequate amount of time between shows for cleaning. If you're scheduling for a single screen or twin, then I would probably aim for starting on a 15 minute increment. But for a 5 screen complex I use the 5 minute increments to allow the appropriate time between showings in a set as well as the time between showings in a given auditorium.

For my single screen drive-in the start time shifts through out the season based on sunset time, but I always move in 15 minute increments. I have never had reason to think it matters if it's 8:00, 8:15, 8:30, or 8:45. People will show up according to the schedule.

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Brent Barnhart
Film Handler

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From: Terre Haute, IN USA
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 - posted 01-06-2018 05:38 PM      Profile for Brent Barnhart   Author's Homepage   Email Brent Barnhart   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree with Justin entirely.

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Andrew Thomas
Master Film Handler

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From: Pearland, TX, USA
Registered: Jun 2012


 - posted 01-08-2018 02:51 AM      Profile for Andrew Thomas   Email Andrew Thomas   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have four screens in a semi-rural suburb of Houston.

Our schedule is

Movie 1
Fri & Sat: 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 9:30-10:00 (depending on runtime)
Sun: 1:00, 4:00, 7:00
Mon-Thu: 4:00, 7:00

Movie 2
Fri & Sat: 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 9:30-10:00 (depending on runtime)
Sun: 1:10, 4:10, 7:10
Mon-Thu: 4:10, 7:10

Movie 3
Fri & Sat: 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 9:30-10:00 (depending on runtime)
Sun: 1:20, 4:20, 7:20
Mon-Thu: 4:20, 7:20

Movie 4
Fri & Sat: 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 9:30-10:00 (depending on runtime)
Sun: 1:30, 4:30, 7:30
Mon-Thu: 4:30, 7:30

In the summertime or holidays we add back the 1:00s on weekdays.

The nice thing about this set up is that it allows a really easy way to maximize our staffing for the 7:00 rush on Friday and Saturday as we bring in closing crew at 6:30 and send home opening crew at 7:30 with minimal additional cost.

When we first opened we would schedule in as many show times as feasible given the runtime of a given film, but we increased attendance and better ensured things like spotless auditoriums when we switched to this schedule. It also helps for our regular customers to know that if they show up around 1/4/7/9:30, each of the four options will be starting shortly.

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Justin Hamaker
Film God

Posts: 2018
From: Lakeport, CA USA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 01-08-2018 04:49 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Andrew, that's basically the same schedule pattern I use. We have the 1:00 shows every week because they are popular with seniors and because I will usually be at the theatre anyways to deal with bookings and schedules.

The one thing I do differently is a shorter family movie will be on a 5 show schedule during summer and holiday periods - 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00 (roughly). But having everything on a 4 show schedule really helps manage labor, as well as provide adequate time for turning over an auditorium between shows.

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David Favel
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From: Ashburton, New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 01-09-2018 01:10 AM      Profile for David Favel   Email David Favel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Wow, our 10am sessions are sometimes the big ones of the day. Be it kids movies in the weekend or catering to the seniors market weekdays.

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Kenneth Wuepper
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 969
From: Saginaw, MI, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 01-09-2018 07:49 PM      Profile for Kenneth Wuepper   Email Kenneth Wuepper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the insights. There is really no perfect time.

When I was a projectionist and we did 1 3 5 7 9 for all 7 days of the week, the first show to go away was the 1 as it had the least attendance. The Sunday matinee was first to go. Wednesday's was the last to go. Often had to run the film without the arc lamp as there was no one in the theatre.

We currently have one matinee showing of a "modern Classic" on Sunday. That is only one showing and then there are 2 or more weeks until the next title arrives.

My hope is to find the show time that will maximize the attendance at that one showing.

KEN

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