Small Startup Looking for a Theater

posted by dgidez on October 14, 2005 at 5:08 am

Greetings Everyone.

I am spearheading a startup venture. The Startup is simply this, “To Open and Operate a Vaudeville Era Theater”. I have come up with a concept which will revolutanize theater operations. The concept is not for public consumption so I can’t post it, however under the right circumstances (non disclosure) I would be willing to discuss it with you.

For proper implementation, this venture requires a theater which is in decent architectural/structural condition, the theater MUST have a stage and a balcony, an orchestra pit would be nice but not mandatory.

I am in the process of selling my house to make this happen, I personally own a very large collection of Public Domain films as well as all the equipment needed to start 3 theaters (and allow them to operate to my specifications).

Cutting to the point, at the present time I could potentially purchase a theater in an outer lying area and make this venture a reality, however if I could shy away from selling off my house I would prefer it.

Here’s a proposition, if you like the sound of it then let’s talk, if you don’t like what I’ve written, no flames, I apologize for wasting the bandwidth.

I propose the following:

I will operate a/the theater in a way which will get strong community recognition and bring the theater to the visibility of just about everyone through positive media exposure.

For a small town, this would increase property value, tourism revenue, etc.

I will operate the theater in proper consideration of local demographics, if need be it will be run as non-profit with ultra-low admission prices.

What I ask is full/absolute use of a theater building, in return the person who grants this will receive fifty percent of my profits for life.

The profits will be determined after operating costs have been paid, I will pay all taxes out of my portion (or if NPO, proper displacement).

The person who provides this theater will receive the rights to have and transfer their share of the profits without any restrictions.

Also, the person providing this building will in all accounts, never have to work ever again as my forcasting predicts a high return.

I would require co-owner status on the title in order to make this legal.

In Short:
You let me use your theater, you have cash for life.

If my proposal works I gain the satisfaction of putting my plan into operation, I do not gain anything else, films are a serious hobby of mine and operating a theater would be the best outlet for my efforts.

I don’t expect this proposal to work, I would be lucky if someone wanted to let me use their facility, however before I sell my house and buy one, I’ll see if there’s someone with a Vacant Building which they have no use for.

The Location of the theater is not important, any US City and State would be acceptable, the only limitation is that the building must meet my demographic requirements and be clean (no Cracktown USA Buildings need apply).

I plan to purchase a theater within 6 months, if you have something which you could offer, please send me an email.

Also, please don’t try to talk me out of it, I’ve heard the horror stories and the warnings, this is a chance I’m willing to take.

I know that money may not be immediate or that my predictions may be off, I have four demographic studies which have a good, bad, and ugly scenario. I have no concerns even if things get ugly.

Also, think of the good you’d be doing, I would employ people :–)

Thank You for your time.

Comments (5)

KenLayton on October 14, 2005 at 2:39 pm

Some public domain films still have music contained within the soundtrack that are still under copyright protection.

I dunno, this sounds like a flaky idea to me.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 14, 2005 at 8:16 pm

Ken Layton is correct about the music in many public domain films still being under copyright. The music departments of the movie studios were often more careful to renew their copyrights on all their holdings than were the people responsible for overseeing the copyrights on the movies themselves. Also, studios sometimes used music under license from a composer or an outside publisher, and those copyrights are often still in effect, and the exhibition of those movies is still subject to the terms of those license agreements, even though a film itself may have fallen into the public domain. It’s wise to be careful when dealing with public domain movies, since the images and the musical score were almost invariably copyrighted separately.

CatfishFilms on October 16, 2005 at 3:35 am

There’s a beautiful theater in Bellevue, KY called the Marianne. It’s 5 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, OH, and it’s just down the street from the extremely successful Newport on the Levee entertainment complex. Not sure who owns it now, but it’s been closed for about 5 years. Bellevue is enjoying a renaissance right now and I think the Marianne might work for you.


dgidez on October 16, 2005 at 12:26 pm

I see I’ve spawned some interest. I appreciate the feedback everyone has provided. In regards to the PD Music rights, I’ve found the titles which I may use and the ones I may not, I have an actual PD reference manual with title listings as of 2005. Of course, The PD collection is private and not really part of the plan, my goal is to run A-List and First Run films some of the time, and engage in other activities at other times, it’s the other activities which give me the edge. We tested the idea for 2 weeks at an undisclosed Los Angeles Area location, when it was stopped people were violently angry, if you remember the “Concert Connection Film Series” you’re part of the way there, you might be able to put this together, I won’t tell you and hate to be mysterious because I’m proud of the idea however, when Griffith Observatory closed down for renovation, much equipment was removed and auctioned off. Consider what things Griffith Observatory offered that would appeal to a film buff and combine it with the concert series, now you’ve reached the 45% mark, the remaining idea is as I said off limits. I would not be putting my livelyhood nor my well being at risk if I thought this would fail, I will be looking at theaters starting immediately, I like the reference to the Marianne theater (Thank You Catfishfilms!!). We’ll add that to our list. I have spent time travelling over long weekends and have met with commercial brokers, as a comment to everyone who has ever worked in the industry, there’s no more of a turn off to the sale of a building than to have cockroaches Fly in your face when you walk into the projection booth (as in my Florida Trip). I recall a friend of mine worked at LA City Studios, the story of Roaches in the main theater entering the film gate during a premiere was not pretty, he had the aperature left over and showed me the damage. If I contact you, warn me ahead of time if the building is infested so I can wear protective clothing, I had roaches in my pants and shirt, not pleasant, I got very strange looks walking down the street. I hope to be adding my theater to this website as a functional theater within the year, the only delay would be the building retrofit, delays in sound equipment orders and/or problems with training the staff. My staffing Model is exactly 86 people, not including myself and family, so this project is not exactly a town saver for employment sakes but for attraction sakes, yes, it’s serious business. My Thanks to All. Cheers.


NativeForestHiller on March 20, 2008 at 3:09 am

Hi! I am a preservationist who is seeking parties of interest that may save the day for an endangered early 20th century NY theater by the prolific Thomas Lamb. The theater may be available for lease or purchase. If you are interested, please contact me at your earliest convenience for more information. Timing is crucial! Thanks!

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