Single screen theater for sale?

posted by barryspencer on September 17, 2008 at 3:35 pm

I’m looking at opening a single screen theater for first run movies in my town. We plan to make it a dinner/bar theater that includes a lounge/cafe while you wait for your movie to begin. Can anyone help with start up cost on equipment, build out of the theater, obtaining movie rights, and more?


Comments (4)

KenLayton on September 17, 2008 at 4:20 pm

The forums at are where to go for all that information.

danpetitpas on September 18, 2008 at 5:40 pm

I would say to learn as much as you can about the restaurant/bar business, because as many owners will tell you, you’re not in the movie business, you’re in the food and candy business. If you’re in a small town, your choice of films will be limited to what your film booker can provide. And your total cost will be the cost of setting up a restaurant/lounge added to the cost of setting up a movie theater.

Despite all this, the dinner/theater concept seems to be catching on, especially if you’re the only entertainment option in town. Otherwise, operating a single-screen theater is very challenging, because your whole business will depend on that single movie your booker can come up with. You’ll want to try to sell as much food and drink as possible to stay in business.

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on September 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Why not contact the owners of the Egyptian style Parkway Theatre in Oakland, California. The last time I was there (this place is mainly out of the shopping areas) was simply jumping.

The balcony had been closed-in and converted into a church. The main floor had good projection, ample seating and served very good food and drinks -at a reasonable price!

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