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Movie Theater Business Idea

Learning how to start a movie theater business can be the start of an enjoyable career in the entertainment industry. Movies provide entertainment for millions of people. Young and old alike love the experience of watching films on a large screen.

From silent films to today’s 3D motion pictures, movies have been part of the culture. Music, phrases, and fashions have all been influenced by popular films of the day. Movie theaters thrive even when the economy doesn’t. Starting a movie theater can be the first step toward owning your own business.

How To Start A Movie Theater Business

You can either own an independent theater or choose to purchase a movie chain franchise. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. As an owner of an independent theater you will be your own boss. You can choose the movies to be shown and offer innovative features.

An independent theater requires more initial capital investment because you will be responsible for purchasing property and building a theater. You will also be required to form your own partnerships with movie studios to show their films, which can be very costly for independent theater owners. Independent theaters do best when they target a niche group. For example, an independent theater may show only older movies or independent films.

Learning how to start a movie theater business is less costly if you choose the franchise route. Purchasing a franchise from a major chain provides you with training and financial assistance. The rights to show major motion pictures are already in place. Franchising requires that you operate using the chain’s business model and follow their regulations. Profits are shared with the franchise owner.

Choose a theater location that is near a shopping center with no nearby competitors, if possible. People often combine shopping, dining out, and seeing a movie, so locating near established shopping areas and restaurants will be beneficial.

Choose a decorating theme and efficient theater layout. Obtain the help of a professional architect who has experience in theater design. Procure the required business licenses and zoning permits.

Finding Customers

If you have located in an area where people gather, you will get walk-in traffic. Eye catching signage will draw attention to your theater and highlight the films currently being shown. Advertise in the newspaper alongside other theaters in town.

Profits come first from ticket sales, but as much or more comes from the sale of popcorn and snacks and advertising ads shown before the feature film. Many of the ads are purchased by local businesses to highlight their products or services. Actively market these advertising opportunities to local business owners.

Expanding Your Business

After you have built a solid foundation and are making money, expanding can be a smart choice. Ideas for expansion and additional revenue include:

  • Hold special events
  • Show documentaries
  • Hold an annual film festival
  • Add more screens and seating

Learning how to start a movie theater business is just the first step. Turning what you learn into a theater that turns a profit is the key.

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