2 screen first run open for business cinemas 100% turn key FOR SALE..not a LEASE, perfect for owner operator!

posted by movietheatres on September 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm


I own and operate a two screen theater in Central Illinois in a city of about 6000, and it draws from all the surrounding cities and towns and people from over 60 miles away. I’m not listing the name and address of the theater because I don’t want the customers to get wind of a possible sale and become concerned. Built originally in 1922, the main house has and is renowned for its first rate soundsystem. I installed new seats in the end of 2008 and due to all of the space also gave it huge aisles with 5 foot legroom so its also now well received for being the most comfortable theater in the area too. The theater also just set an all time single week record gross on “Twilight: Eclipse”.

The main house also features a rebuilt balcony, and a recently extended stage. We’ve begun hosting our local live theater group, community talent shows, school recitals, chamber of commerce events and such due to this so its not just a movie theater…and these additional events means some good additional cash with the concession sales for those events. A new roof is in place, with still at least a couple years left on its warranty. The buildings were also insulated in the last two years, resulting in a nearly 50% reduction in the power/heating bills as well. It has been redecorated as well, with new paint, dramatic lighting, a brilliant classic marquee, and even some newer work done in the restrooms. New furnaces have been installed in the last 10 years, and the air conditioning system works with an artesian well vs conventional compressors and high electric bills, so running your air conditioning is also not an expensive proposition. It could surely use some more tlc, but being such a historic structure and a truly unique theater experience, most prefer the place as it is vs making many huge noticeable changes.

As I mentioned, the sound system is renowned in the region, and the rest of the projection equipment is good quality and in good repair. We just installed a new bulb in the main house, which was the first time in nearly 3 years of continuous use so equipment maintenance is next to nothing.

The added beauty of this theater is that while it is 2 screens, the main house was not sliced up to make the second house due to the reasonable property prices out here. Therefore the second house is a second building just down from the main house, and is a simple small clean comfortable pushover house so that when you open for example “Toy Story 3” and “Eclipse” is coming right behind it, you don’t have to pass on the big films, and you still retain a great number of seats in the main house. The second house as well has new seats, a fully rebuilt bathroom, new popper, and was also sided and insulated in the last two years which has drastically cut down on the heating/power bills. I like this setup personally because that way if you have a special event taking place at the main theater, you can still run your movies uninterrupted at the second location. And if there’s only going to be one film coming out that you think you need to play, then just play the one at either place based on the crowd you’re expecting.

Concession sales are EXCELLENT at this theater! The average concession percap for the nation is about $2.04…the average concession percap at this theater is about $3.50, and not because the prices are very high (a large popcorn with refills is $4.75), its just that your customers here like to eat their popcorn, candy, and nachos.

There are also great opportunities for special shows with many local schools and churches, and sponsorships have been done with the local hospital and other businesses to present Free Kids film series too.

This theater would be best suited in my opinion for an owner/operator situation. If you’re willing to run the theater then you will make a lot more money than not due to a number of things you won’t necessarily need to have, like workmans compensation insurance, payroll taxes, etc. You’re also lucky as being in this small city there is very little oversight and regulation. You don’t need a permit to do this or permission to paint your buildings etc. It’s a nice simple operation.

Everyone’s thought : If it’s so great then why are you selling it and not keeping it? Simply because I’ve opened another theater about 3 or so hours from here and wish to move up near that one and pursue other options in the future/ I just don’t personally have the time anymore to be down there myself most of the time. We have some really great staff, all of which is making minimum wage so keep them or not, but they’d be very helpful to anyone to help out, even on a very part time basis.

We also use a very reasonable film buyer who does a great job and fights to get the movies for you. You don’t “have” to use a film buyer or him, but the studios will play games with you if you don’t have someone handling that on your behalf.

So this 100% turnkey theater, including all equipment (all of which is owned, nothing is owed on any of it), including the two buildings and their land (which includes some parking) is for sale for $179,000. All serious and reasonable offers will be considered, and I will include a month of training time with the sale, your option there. But think about that price and compare it…there are some theaters for sale for near the same price, but they’re either closed, single screens only, or lease sales where you might buy the equipment in the building but then you’ve got a big lease payment and terms there too. For this price, why waste the money on a lease? Own your buildings and property!

If seriously interested, please and include your name, any questions, and a phone number and best time where I can call you to discuss.

Thanks very much and hope to hear from you soon!

Comments (16)

William on September 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm

This theatre in question sounds like the below link.


TLSLOEWS on September 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I think you are correct William.

CSWalczak on September 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm

No doubt; how many theaters are there in central Illinois that were built in 1922 and have a second screen in a separate building? Also, the poster of this item posted this other item about three weeks ago: http://cinematreasures.org/news/24436_0_1_0_C/

Also, this theater is not currently “open for business;” according to its website, it is closed until September 26.

TLSLOEWS on September 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Also this poster was giving away some 1982 theatre seats for free,posted on Feb.9 2010.Guess which theatre they came out of?

dfc on September 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm

And the gushing post by ‘KJA’ for the Lorraine Theater was put there by someone who just created their profile on 8/31/2010. What a sales pitch! If I win MegaMillions this week I just may by it myself!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 4, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Anyways lets hope someone keeps it from going dark.With Multiplex theatres in my book,TWO big screens were always enough under one roof.

movietheatres on September 5, 2010 at 12:40 am

Mike: Thank you, thats exactly the goal!

tlslowes: Those seats came out of the old Kerasotes Laporte Cinema Discount Theater, just as the advert back then said they were in northwestern indiana, this theater in this posting is in Central Illinois.

CWalczak: Actually the theaters website says it reopened on the 24th, not the 26th. We’ve having a good amount of work done right now and with all the schools having just gone back in the family dollars are tied up right now..besides smaller cities don’t do well with the September dumping ground movies..seems like most in September are very R rated or limited releases, neither of which mesh well here.

TLSLOEWS on September 5, 2010 at 2:28 am

Thanks JDC,No harm intended.Good Luck.

CSWalczak on September 5, 2010 at 4:25 am

I am sorry, JDC, for the inadvertent error about the date of the reopening, and be assured that I hope that someone does step forward to buy this classic theater and keep in running.

That said, it does not change the fact that the theater is closed (for whatever reason) – not “open for business” as the headline states, and that an item you posted here less than a month ago portrayed the theater’s situation in, I would suggest, a somewhat different light than one the current item places it in.

Jacker on September 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Please e-mail me more info on the theatre I am very interested!

movietheatres on September 5, 2010 at 9:19 pm

CWalczak, thanks for the kind reply and I see the confusion, I think the distinction I’m drawing, and actually referenced in the advert by saying “Open for Business” is that there have been other theaters for sale on this site, I remember one specifically in Oklahoma somewhere that was just about the same price, but has been permanently closed for a long period of time, and I think that one had a drastically lower seat count than this one. I don’t think that changes the light its presented in much because none of the things that go with a closed location, the headaches especially that come with a closed theater vs an open one.

When you try to reopen a theater that has been long since “temporarily closed” or permanently closed, even if its fully equipped and ready to go but has been closed a period of time that was not planned and scheduled, then you’ve got to go through all the headaches of re-inspection, re-certification, and the big ones of a) letting people know the place has reopened and the thousands of dollars in advertising it takes in those situations and b) convincing the studios to take a chance on your new location as they are constantly drawing down print availability.

This theater has been in continuous operation and is simply taking about 3 weeks off as the kids in town just went back to school and we have our communities annual festival/carnival over this weekend so those outside factors coupled with the lousy commercial film product out this time of year just made sense to take this time to do some maintenance on the place, specifically introducing a new red light sequence to the chasing marquee which looks fantastic.

Best wishes to all and here’s hoping we can get someone in to keep her going for the long run!

CSWalczak on September 5, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Amen to that – and I certainly agree that this has been the summer of crud as far as most of the releases are concerned. I sympathize with all small town theater owners, who, faced with all sorts of other exhibition pressures, have to contend with such a dearth of quality product from Hollywood.

nritota on September 6, 2010 at 1:54 am

Seems that this posting points to this theatre not being long for this world…


movietheatres on September 6, 2010 at 4:48 am

No Nick…the purpose of the article was a kick in the butt of the locals to be more supportive of their theater, and they really have been since. More attendance AND about a 25% increase on the concession percap.

bkirksey on September 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I would like more information, I may some interested buyers

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