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View Full Version : I want to buy a movie theater



Gunter
03-24-2007, 05:53 PM
The movie theater in my hometown is about to close. And that makes me sad.

It was built in 1919, and it opened in 1920 and it's been in operation since then.

In 1974 they enclosed the balcony and installed a second screen.

I grew up about 3 blocks away from it, and I spent many, many hours in that theater.

The guy who owns it now wanted to restore it, and so far has half assed it and it's in poor shape. Half of the seats in the main theater are torn out, the concession stand is disgusting, and he's got so much junk in the lobby that it looks trashy.

It's not a money maker, the only reason to buy it would be nostalgia.

But it's pretty much the last thing in this town for people to go out and do for fun.

changingshades
03-24-2007, 06:15 PM
DO IT

you can do it man, we have faith in you.

Can you afford it? Then do it.

Nelson
03-24-2007, 06:36 PM
Does your city designate older buildings as historical landmarks?

chess
03-24-2007, 06:54 PM
Richmond, Virginia has a historical (restored) theatre. It is great. On Saturdays (when I used to live there), they had a guy in the pit playing music between the shows. They only served popcorn, candy, and softdrinks. If I remember correctly, the softdrinks did not have ice. All the people who worked there dressed in tuxes (black pants, white shirts,and bowties) and the women dressed in black dresses and fake pearls.

If you bought a package of seats, it was like 10 movies for $20.

Old movie theatres are dying. Even new theatres are struggling because of home theatres.

I took my girls to see "Bridge Over Terrabithia". We went to the 11AM show and spent $5 each for tickets. I bought a popcorn combo which included a drink and two Icees. The event cost us around $40. If we went during a "regular" time, we would spend closer to $60.

Anyway... Put together a business plan and see if you can make the numbers work. I drive by a Putt-Putt (the original) and have thought about buying it for a long time.

Master Jack Rabbitt
03-24-2007, 06:55 PM
I've always wanted to buy an old theater and turn it into my home. The balcony would be converted into my living quarters. Where the seating is, I would install a swimming pool, hot-tub, numerous couches, a bar, etc. It would be glorious. My home theatre would be unrivaled.

:-D

Gunter
03-24-2007, 09:16 PM
DO IT

you can do it man, we have faith in you.

Can you afford it? Then do it.


I'm looking into it. I've got to do some research on how much it will cost for the renovations as well as the cost of the theater.

Here's a picture of the exterior:

http://www.exithere.net/theaters/orpheum.jpg

Hock
03-24-2007, 09:35 PM
Does your city designate older buildings as historical landmarks?

That's a good poiint.

As far as I know, you can petition most city's to have a bulding designated as a Historical Landmark. The criteria I don't think are usually set in stone, you just have to convince people the building has historical value.

There are benefits to operating a business out of a historical building, they vary from place to place, but I think you can usually get a tax break and the city might help out with money for restoration.

You usually aren't allowed to modify historical buildings too much and all renovations and restorations would probably have to go through the city, but you say you want it for nostalgic reasons you probably don't want to change it too much.

I think it would be worth looking into.

Gunter
03-24-2007, 09:47 PM
I'll have to check on it's landmark status.

If I had the opportunity I would get rid of the second screen and restore the balcony.

arthurloewenkamp
03-24-2007, 09:50 PM
Wait, where's the orpheum? If I could live there, I'd be down for helping.

Gunter
03-24-2007, 09:53 PM
Wait, where's the orpheum? If I could live there, I'd be down for helping.

It's in Okmulgee...about two hours from OKC.

arthurloewenkamp
03-24-2007, 10:04 PM
Boooo. That's not a town.

I'd be interested if it wasn't an hour from Tulsa. I think they have a theater that does the cool special showings I would want to do. That being said if you got it, and showed Monster Squad, I would be there with bells on.

Gunter
03-24-2007, 10:12 PM
Boooo. That's not a town.

I'd be interested if it wasn't an hour from Tulsa. I think they have a theater that does the cool special showings I would want to do. That being said if you got it, and showed Monster Squad, I would be there with bells on.

I think you're talking about the Circle Cinema in Tulsa. This summer they're supposed to be showing the Buffy musical episode "Once More with Feeling" and have a sing-a-long. It sounds like fun.

And if I ever pull this off I'll have a special showing of Monster Squad just for you.

arthurloewenkamp
03-24-2007, 10:15 PM
I think you're talking about the Circle Cinema in Tulsa. This summer they're supposed to be showing the Buffy musical episode "Once More with Feeling" and have a sing-a-long. It sounds like fun.

And if I ever pull this off I'll have a special showing of Monster Squad just for you.

I wish you luck forever. And I'll totally try to get my congressman to bring up another bill to allow beer in theaters.

dhsnow
03-24-2007, 10:20 PM
I've always wanted to buy an old theater and turn it into my home. The balcony would be converted into my living quarters. Where the seating is, I would install a swimming pool, hot-tub, numerous couches, a bar, etc. It would be glorious. My home theatre would be unrivaled.

:-D

"You should come by sometime, I have a really great 'theater-home'."
"You mean 'home-theater'."
"Well...not exactly."

moonspider
03-24-2007, 10:26 PM
i'd say do it...and air movies that would bring in some people...and have events held there from time to time to help out with cash...rent it out to cons or something...
i would'nt be surprised if some people were looking for a place to have meetings or some sort of getogether....


show like realy old cult films...you know, stuff that would make people want to go there

Master Jack Rabbitt
03-24-2007, 10:36 PM
"You should come by sometime, I have a really great 'theater-home'."
"You mean 'home-theater'."
"Well...not exactly."

:thumb:

Drkemerld73
03-24-2007, 10:48 PM
That being said if you got it, and showed Monster Squad, I would be there with bells on.

They have a theater down here that shows older movies on the weekends at Midnight showings.

A about a month ago, I went and watched Monster Squad and Goonies. :)

Taxman
03-24-2007, 10:52 PM
This would constitute a terrible investment.

ClintP
03-25-2007, 05:17 AM
It's in Okmulgee...about two hours from OKC.

Okmulgee??? We drive right by that when we go to Tulsa! That is funny. I would come to your theater some times for sure man!

ClintP
03-25-2007, 05:19 AM
i'd say do it...and air movies that would bring in some people...and have events held there from time to time to help out with cash...rent it out to cons or something...
i would'nt be surprised if some people were looking for a place to have meetings or some sort of getogether....


show like realy old cult films...you know, stuff that would make people want to go there


I agree with this. Maybe have double features with an older movie and a new one that both would be in the same genre, or ones that are exact opposites for couples who would be dragged to see one of them.

greg donovan
03-25-2007, 05:48 AM
This would constitute a terrible investment.

any ideas on what could be done to make it a better investment?

maybe have a coffeshop or something like that to get people in there when movies arent being shown.

hell combine it with another terrible investment like a comic shop and maybe the two will cancel each other out and maybe break even.

ClintP
03-25-2007, 07:40 AM
any ideas on what could be done to make it a better investment?

maybe have a coffeshop or something like that to get people in there when movies arent being shown.

hell combine it with another terrible investment like a comic shop and maybe the two will cancel each other out and maybe break even.

Yeah, stuff like that seems like it would be a bad investment to me. I think if you really put lots of blood, sweat, and tears into it and do it up right it, anything could work. It all depends. I am not that adventurous though. I would attend it at least once though since I live close enough to make a trip out of it.

sto110
03-25-2007, 07:55 AM
the historical landmark saving the theater worked for the muppets, good luck!

Taxman
03-25-2007, 08:24 AM
any ideas on what could be done to make it a better investment?

maybe have a coffeshop or something like that to get people in there when movies arent being shown.

hell combine it with another terrible investment like a comic shop and maybe the two will cancel each other out and maybe break even.Some times the economy just pushes a business out of existence. The small town theater may be one of those. I don't think anyone should get into this unless they have a great passion and many thousands of dollars they are willing to lose.

The Afroman
03-25-2007, 08:31 AM
You might want to contact the owners of Drafthouse.com.. thats the alamo drafthouse here in austin.. they have been doing what you just said you want to do for a few years now.. they are a small owned theater chain, that is fantastic.. plus i know they are always looking to expand.

http://www.originalalamo.com/ui/default.aspx

great bunch of guys that love movies.

greg donovan
03-25-2007, 08:39 AM
Some times the economy just pushes a business out of existence. The small town theater may be one of those. I don't think anyone should get into this unless they have a great passion and many thousands of dollars they are willing to lose.

that reminds me of some advice on how to make a small fortune in motorsports. start with a big fortune.

Gunter
03-25-2007, 08:47 AM
Some times the economy just pushes a business out of existence. The small town theater may be one of those. I don't think anyone should get into this unless they have a great passion and many thousands of dollars they are willing to lose.

Yeah, I know even thinking about it that it's not a money maker. It would be a lot of work, with very little, if any, financial return. After any renovations I'd be happy to just break even.

Most of the reason I would like to buy it is because I hate to see it die.


Okmulgee??? We drive right by that when we go to Tulsa! That is funny. I would come to your theater some times for sure man!


I wondered if that was the way you traveled from Dallas to Tulsa.

ClintP
03-25-2007, 11:42 AM
I wondered if that was the way you traveled from Dallas to Tulsa.
Yeah, I come up 75, then hop on that toll highway that runs through Okmulgee.