Independent theater owners in Idaho share insights on business survival

posted by CSWalczak on May 20, 2010 at 8:51 am

BURLEY, ID — In a recent article, three owners of independent theaters in south central Idaho discuss the challenges of keeping their cinemas operating. Commenting are Bob Harris, who owns the Burley and Century Cinemas in Burley, Rick Kessler, who owns the Magic Lantern in Ketchum, and the owners of the Shoshone Showhouse , Terry and Gayla Zech.

People who see the lines “think we’re making a lot of money, they think we must be rich,” Terry Zech said, noting the overhead it takes merely to open the theater’s doors. “Over 50 percent of the gross goes to the movie company … and we have to pay sales tax on every ticket we sell.”

The Zechs, who offer three showings of a film each week during the warmer months of the year, have rarely made money, often subsidizing the theater with profits from their other businesses.

The full story appeared in the California Chronicle.

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