Movie theater start-up experience?

posted by JoshArnold on September 18, 2006 at 4:15 am


I’m a new movie theater entrepreneur looking for expertise in the operational side of movie theater/restaurants.

In the spirit of helping another small independent theater, I’m wondering if anyone would be willing to share any experience with start-up costs and operational expenses?

I would be willing to sign a confidentiality agreement and the numbers would be used only to help me craft my own versions.

Please contact me if you would be willing to share this information or if you know of other resources that may help.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Confidentiality and appropriate karma are a given.

Thanks much,
Josh Arnold

Comments (3)

KenLayton on September 18, 2006 at 5:30 am

First you should read all over the FAQ at the forums at as that will give you information on theater operation/costs. Then go visit which is the Pacific Northwest’s most successful (and well-liked) “brew-pub” and dinner/movie operator.

ggates on September 18, 2006 at 9:28 am

Do you have a property in mind for the business? If so, what equipment is in there already? The operational cost is dependent on so many factors, it would be helpful if you could provide more information.
For example, are you planning a storefront renovation? Does the building have a screen and projection booth, or do you plan on adding it in? What sort of volume of business does the existing location generate? Is the primary project to be a restaurant, or is it a theatre?

rotorjoc on September 19, 2006 at 7:05 am


I’ve recently been going through this same thing. The folks and boards at bigscreenbiz have been invaluable. I’ve found that it is best to search the past postings, there is way more information than you would ever believe. Plus, it keeps people from getting irked when you ask the same thing that several hundred (thousand?) have asked. But, that said, if you can’t find any answer to a specific question, they are more than happy to help.

I’ve got a contract on my theater and am waiting to hear back from the bank!

Good luck


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