How To Open a Movie Theater Business

Any hardcore movie fan will dream of opening his own movie cinema or theater at least once in his lifetime. The reality is that some people did follow their dreams and started their own movie theater business. Whether you want your own quaint little obscure cinema rolling out classic films or a high-tech multi-screen theater with all the latest movies in stock, you can follow the dream and start the business. However, before doing so, make sure that you are in tune with several critical aspects of opening your own movie theater.

Determine the type of theater or cinema you want to build. There are many types of movie theaters or cinema that you can choose from. Obviously, money is usually the key consideration when choosing what you want. Nevertheless, choose whether a single screen or multi-screen theater is what you want and what your finances can accommodate. Decide on being a franchised theater, an artsy theater, or a second run cinema. Multiple screen cinemas are great for raking in huge profits and if it is a franchised high tech cinema, you should double the revenue through showing all the latest films. A single or second run cinema may limit your revenue but you can at least decide what films to show. Decide what you want based on how much you can invest in it.

Research and study the business. Of course, like in any other business, you will need to research and study the different facets of the business from operations, to pricing, to rentals of reels. One of the best ways to get some of the information you need is to visit the National Association of Theater Owners website located at This site will provide you various tips and tricks on how to start your cinema as well as all the details on how to run it correctly. The site offers resources for existing and aspiring theater owners on the various distributors where you can acquire licensing and rent movie reels for the movies that you want to show in your theater.

Create the business plan. The business plan is a must when contemplating on starting up a new business. The same goes with the movie theater business. Based on the information you have gathered from your research, create a realistic business plan that includes your goals, objectives, financial projections, and other details pertaining to the business. Bear in mind that you will need a good business plan if you need to secure a business loan.

Set the theater up. As soon as you have everything organized such as the business plan, location, and money, it is now time to get things set up. Renovate the space you rented and have the necessary screens, projectors, theater audio systems, air conditioning, and movie seats installed and set up. Hire the staff you need based on the business plan. Make sure to set up a small snacks store to sell popcorn, hot dogs, candy, and beverages. This will augment your revenue significantly. Once everything is set, proceed to marketing.

Advertise and market your business. Set up your theater signage and make sure to always promote the films you are showing. Buy up ad spaces on newspapers and movie theater websites. Ask the film distributors that you are working with to help you out by way of movie posters and point of sale displays. If you have the money, try to hire a good ad agency to do the legwork for you.

Once everything is set, you should be able to see a good influx of movie goers and all you have to do is watch the money roll in. Make sure to maintain the cleanliness and customer-friendliness of your cinema so that you will be ensured of loyal patronage.


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