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How to Run an Independent Film Theater : Operating Costs: How to Run a Movie Theater

Hello! My name is Nancy Adler and on behalf
of Expert Village, today I’m going to tell you how to operate a cinema, a movie cinema.
Day to day costs can be challenging. If you’re thinking of opening a cinema, it may look
very glamorous and there’s tons of money rolling in. Well it’s not always that way. I have
proof of that. When you book a film, you have to pay the distributor a certain amount of
money, usually in advance. At the end of the film, they take a percentage of the gross
receipts. You have to send them a box office report and you have to live up to the agreed
percentage. It can often be quite high, so concession is very important to the business.
You really want to generate popcorn sales because that’s probably where most of the
profit is. Out of costs are of course, your booking agent, your delivery, your advertising,
your electric, your heat. Of course, in this day in age, heat is very high, especially
in an old building like this. It’s a lot of fun and it’s very interesting. You meet wonderful
people, but I don’t think you’re going to get rich.


  1. Keep The Music Alive Author

    I learned a lot from your video. I believe you when you say it isn't a money maker. I am interested in doing the same thing and settle down in my home town and not get rich. I believe it will be an uphill battle, but I'm not in it for any money. Do you still have the business, and would you have any advice?

  2. dark angle slate Author

    im looking to run my theater as an old movie theater not fore current releases how dos one do that (I want to bring monster midnight madness and a nostalgia feel to my theater)

  3. Graham McEneaney Author

    Fuck you for saying 'I don't think you're gonna get rich.' I strongly disagree. When the time comes for me to run and own a movie theater somewhere in the LA area, I will get rich, I will own the rights from the distributors, and I will show lots of great cult classic movies. And I will make it as my own empire to entertain millions of people who will come by and see their favorite movies. And that will be the day you're wrong. Remember that.


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