Info booking a Chaplin short film for one night event.

posted by RobertEC on September 17, 2010 at 7:42 am


This is my first post and I’m happy to be on board.

I’m trying to put together a special night of entertainment. I’m an entertainer with plans of renting a theater. Basically I wanted to have something of a double act. The show would begin with showing something like a Chaplin short film. And then I would take the stage to perform my unique act.

So I need a little more understanding about how booking a movie works. Like a general idea of how much a booking a silent film from the 1930’s would cost for one night? Do I need a booking agent or can I do it myself? If I book the movie can I just use the DVD copy I own?

Comments (6)

RayKaufman on September 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Contact the theatre you’re interested in and they’ll have all your answers

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on September 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm

The renting of a cinema/theater can be quite costly depending on which day you choose… and the rental, plus shipping of films is not cheap.
A decade ago, I knocked my self out hosting a (501C3 non-profit) “British Film Festival” in the San Francisco area on several ocasions. It was a hell of a lot of hard work, long hours, I lost a fortune BUT had plenty of fun entertaining a few fans!!!

Anyhow, you’ll need to get as much advance publicity as possible… go on ‘local’ TV & radio chat shows (especially PBS), talk to the newspapers for a write-up w/photos and pass out hand fliers in the theater lobby and sidewalk. Start a ‘Newsletter’ via E-mail, etc.

Finally, ask all of your family and friends to volunteer some help.
Remember to smile because the show must go on regardless.

frenchjr25 on September 17, 2010 at 3:46 pm

As for the film, if you can choose an American film from before 1923 it will be in the public domain and you can show it without having to pay for it. You would probably need a theatre with digital projection and a DVD player.

KenLayton on September 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Charlie Chaplin film booking:

View link

CSWalczak on September 17, 2010 at 6:51 pm

If you can set the show up under the auspices of a school, college, university, library, museum, or a similar institution, the institution or you may be able to license the showing through Swank Motion Pictures which handles the public exhibition of showing movies on DVD for many institutions as they act as licensing agent for many studios.

PeterApruzzese on September 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Janus Films is handling screenings of Chaplin’s longer films in the USA and has 35mm prints:

Shorts are available in 35mm from Kino International:
View link

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