I finally dragged out my book about how to write a business plan. D and I have always wanted to open our own theatre, for the most part a retrospective theatre in the vein of the Alamo Drafthouse. The Drafthouse, however, is more of a food service type place, more like the Studio Movie Grill or Movie Tavern. Ours would be less food servicey and more nostalgic concessions.
I really would like to locate it in my hometown, as there is a sizeable university there I think would make for a key audience. Location's going to be a bitch. And then there's the ongoing argument as to how many screens? 1-3 is the range, but I think 1 may be more realistic, especially based on the ultimate location. 3 might be ideal, but who knows at this point.
The tedious part of the business plan involves getting all the numbers of your target audience--the demographics, the trends, sheesh. For what we're going for, my hometown doesn't have much competition. I was recently lamenting how the only first-run theatre there was showing, of its four screens, Alvin & the Chipmunks, I Am Legend, National Treasure, and Walk Hard. But my tech friend pointed out that Alvin and National are the two leading films right now. Jesus wept. It's not even the type of theatre we'd like to run, but we may need to show first-run features to really make a profit, I don't know yet.
There are so many gorgeous abandoned vaudeville-type theatres across the country; I even looked at one in Evanston, IL back in 2003 when I was harboring delusions of maybe moving to Chicago. It was a very cool theatre, very art deco, but I didn't have the money to just drop everything and work on restoring it (it didn't need too much work, really, but still). And let's face it: the fuck do I know about Evanston? At least if it's my hometown I already know its shortcomings.
There has to be demand and first I would have to establish that a theatre of the sort we'd like to run would even be viable downtown. Being close to the university, I would think, would help immensely.
And there's nothing like word of mouth, so I have to make it a fucking myspace page of course. Did Blair Witch teach us nothing?
It may be a slow project that fizzles into nothing but it's certainly more than time to at least write up a business plan. Or at least, try to figure out how to write a business plan. You know?