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Attendance on certain days of the week

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  • Attendance on certain days of the week

    Since reopening in March 2021 with Godzilla, we've only been open Fri-Sun as a single screen. We would like to go to 5 days a week.

    We're thinking either Wed-Sun or Thur-Mon.

    On weekdays, what are your slowest days? I assume Tuesday is the slowest as that's when big chains offer their discount days.

    So assuming a 5 day play week, what days work best for your theater? Assume Fri-Sun are the top days already so pick two more weekdays.


  • #2
    Around here, Friday and Saturday are usually the biggest attendance, Sunday and Monday are the slowest days, Tuesday and Wednesday are just kind of there, and (sometimes) everyone kind of wakes up on Thursday and realizes it's the last day for whatever movie and a bunch of people come to the show then.

    That's not guaranteed, though. I've had weeks when there's been two people here for the Friday show and twenty here on Monday.

    I'm here anyway (I live in the theatre) so I just open every night -- if anyone comes in I play the movie and if nobody's here by about five minutes past showtime I just turn off the lights and lock up again.

    EDIT: I have noticed that the next theatre down the road from me (it was "permanently closed" for a year, sold to a different chain and re-opened a month or so back) seems to be operating on a 5 day schedule. They are apparently closed on Monday and Wednesday and have a "cheap night" on Tuesdays. The town they are in is about three times the size of Melville so I assume they would have about three times the attendance that I do here on average.
    Last edited by Frank Cox; 12-13-2021, 04:08 PM.


    • #3
      Of course, every place is different. Since reopening a year ago, we've been on a "temporary" Fri-Mon schedule, with a few full week. Attendance depends on lots of things. Saturdays usually do well, until the Iron Bowl and whatever that was the week after. Mondays have done suprisingly well. If I had to add an extra day, it would be Thursday, but it would have to be the last show not the first. You want that "OMG, last chance" audience that Frank mentioned.


      • #4
        When we first reopened in March, I was on a Thursday through Sunday schedule. (I'm also a single screen)

        I added Wednesdays back in sometime around October.

        This theatre has always been closed on Mondays and most of the theatres up this way are as well (or on Tuesday) even before the closures.

        I would suggest adding Thursday back out of all of them and keep it for the last show.

        In fact, after Spider Man is over with I may go back to also being closed on Weds until the spring hits. When winter hits in full swing coupled with expected rising energy costs it may well be better to just ride out the winter being closed most weekdays. We'll see. Weekdays for me used to be 20-40 people on average. Anymore it's more around 5-10. The same goes for Sunday nights. I'll probably give them the axe until spring. The matinees have always been solid, however.


        • #5
          It is hard to use 2019 to predict what 2022 will be like. It seems that it can be a week by week situation until we get back to something closer to normal.
          We currently are Wednesday - Sunday with Matinees on Saturday and Sunday.
          It is hard to predict but Wednesday is often our slowest day. If I have a movie for three weeks, I will make late announcement that tickets are only a dollar and that will boost attendance.. (not the bottom line but it gets people out of their house and away from their TVs).
          The type of movie will make a difference.. if it is a kids or family movie, weekday nights are slower and weekends and matinees will see larger crowds.


          • #6
            Whatever you do, if you add days, commit to trying it for a good long time vs, just a couple of weeks. I've seen so many places (not just theaters) do some sort of alteration to their schedule (or menu) and then give up on it if they don't see a huge change in business in two weeks or whatever. It takes time for people to get used to a new schedule, whatever it is.

            Around here, a lot of our business comes from out of town (up to 60 miles away) so we are open every night except Thursdays. However, we're always open on major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving, even if they fall on a Thursday. Besides that, the only time we're open Thursday is if we're playing a two- or three-week run, in which case we'll be open straight through the whole run, but usually closed on the final Thursday, unless the picture is doing stellar business. We almost always put the "play dates" of the movie on the marquee so nobody is surprised by a night that we're closed.

            What's kind of odd is, even though we've generally been closed Thursdays for about 30 years, sometimes when we're open on a Thursday we'll do pretty good business, so who knows? We should probably be open Thursdays too. However, we need a night off, not only for our own sanity but also to do maintenance etc. (since my wife and I both have day jobs). So that's what works for us.


            • #7
              Interestingly, around here, Thursday is easily the third busiest day of the week, pretty consistently, sometimes even busier than Sunday evenings. I guess it's a combination of factors, as it's the day new stuff hits the theaters, but it's also traditionally the day students tend to go out. Obviously, the last two years have impacted that pattern and it's still too early to see the long lasting impact of all of this.

              One thing for sure, which I agree on with Mike is that consistency is an important factor, maybe the most important one in running a successful business over the years. A few years ago I found this little burger shack, which really sold the best burgers in light years. Unfortunately, his operating hours were highly inconsistent, as in... he simply closed shop when he wanted. If he'd a bad day, he'd simply stay closed for the day. After the third time ending up in front of a closed door during his officially posted operating hours, I gave up on him and have never eaten a single burger there since. I'm not going to personally ask you via Facebook if you want my business or not that day.


              • #8
                We pretty much peak on Friday and Saturday with occasional Thursdays (we typically open new films on Thursday evening to coincide with our "Dinner and a Movie" night). Sunday matinees can be good sometimes but Sunday evening is usually slow. Monday-Wednesday are usually pretty dead unless something big opens the previous week.


                • #9
                  Second run nights only showings, opening new shows on Friday.

                  In order of attendance most to less: Saturday, Friday and Thursday.

                  Friday first day of new title and Thursday last day of old title.

                  Usually held a title for one week.

                  Big Fat Greek Wedding ran for 6 weeks but not consecutive. Three weeks first time and three weeks for the second booking.


                  • #10
                    I didn't mention our busiest/least busy days in my post. Saturday is almost always the biggest, followed by Friday and then Sunday. Monday thru Thursday are unpredictable -- less busy than the weekend, but we might have two people one night and 30 the next. It depends on what is going on around town, the weather, if there's anything major on TV, things like that. I'd say our consistently least busy day, on average, would be Tuesday.


                    • #11
                      I guess I should add that we added 4 o'clock shows when we re-opened. These do very well with the little old broads - As long as it is light when they get out. Once the time change hits, the 4:00 shows go into the crapper.


                      • #12
                        Well we tried being open today, Monday, for Encanto and we had no one show up. Over the holidays with Sing 2, we opened Fri-Mon and Thur and had people each day. It was actually our highest attendance since we reopened in March 2021 with Godzilla.

                        I'm sure having Encanto on D+ already doesn't help. Numbers have been very low for this movie since we opened it Jan 7.

                        We have Spider-Man coming up for 2 weeks starting Jan. 14 and hope we see some good numbers even though it's been out for a couple weeks.


                        • #13
                          We have been Thursdays to Mondays since re-opening for our single screen (we have special art house movies on Mondays so get a good crowd). Thursdays have been mostly dead, Sunday nights as well. Matinees are hit and miss for families since the content isn't there and we are mostly shut out of Disney due to having a multiplex nearby and Disney mostly not allowing us to split their films even when the big chain is done with them.

                          We just had great success last night with Lord of the Rings as a special screening. It was a large number of younger folks who hadn't been to our theatre before. Our historical audience is families with kids and then older folks 50+. The 20-40 crowd is tough for us to grab.

                          We are considering opening the rest of the week just so folks know we are open. We get some regular feedback that folks have come down and found out we are closed during the week. If we can come close to breaking even those nights it might be worth it.