How to build your own local cinema

Projector.jpgNow I keep meaning to get an interview with a couple of my local privately owned cinemas and get some interesting insights into being a privateer in the big chain business, but I just haven’t had the time as yet, hey life is busy. Don’t worry though, I will do it, even though I’ve discovered the Moxie blog, a story of how to make your own cinema…and I mean a real cinema, not a front room one.

Here’s just a few quotes from an article written about them that they reprinted on their blog. The whole site makes for an interesting read, and gives you a small insight into the pain involved.

Right now, though, The Moxie is just a large space with a glass entrance facing Walnut, but much of the work has already been done. Debris has been cleared, projection equipment acquired, and the chairs for the 73 person seating capacity have been

…Dan, who ticks off all the hats that he and Nicole have had to wear: Construction, electrical work, duct work, carpentry, sound proofing, and “painting and more painting.” He wearily describes the laundry lists of headaches that arise, from permits and licenses they had to obtain such as a liquor license, a retail sales license and building permits, to countless other nightmares such as movie distribution rights to drawing up contracts with vendors. “My back is aching just thinking about it.”…

…The Chiltons, with just $2,000 in savings and some tenuous financing, set out to overcome the gauntlet of obstacles. “It will always cost twice as much and take four times as long,” admits Dan, “…but we’re not doing this to get rich…obviously.”…”I measure days now by how much goes out and how much goes in.” One day it is architectural plans that cost three times what was expected; the next it is something simple, like a popcorn popper that runs $1,400.

A tough existence, but wouldn’t it be a hugely rewarding and fulfilling one?

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6 thoughts on “How to build your own local cinema

  1. The only problem of going all digital (for a commercial cinema) is the fact that your system is obsolete by the time you install it…Upgrade Fatigue sets in pretty early in the digial age…those standard projectors, especially the older ones, would go for 30-50 years if serviced.

  2. Wow that does sound like quite the set-up, Triflic! Once we’re settled down in something other than an apartment I want to set up something a bit better than the 19in TV and stereo hookup we have now, LOL!

    I think it would be a pretty amazing experience running an independently-owned theater – could you imaging beating a majority of the large chains to the digital projection route?

    It would probably be cheaper to invest in digital cinema from the beginning rather than replacing all the film projectors!

  3. Very, very nice Triflic. I’m thinking about making the leap to projector. At the moment I have a superb system with a nice 32″ CRT TV, but the Sony Amp and Mission audio system just blow the pants off everyone who sits down. XBox, PS2, MD, CD, DVD are all wired in there too.

    The projector move is next though. I’m a quality nut though, not only is the system all measured precisely for sound, but the TV is calibrated using test cards and different colour filters! So I have to make sure I get the right one.

  4. I know that building a home-cinema is not in the same league as building a commercial one, but from November 2003 to May 2004, myself and more construction-knowledgable friends built a home-cinema in my basement using a Sanyo PLZ-2 projector, acoustic panels on the wall and ceiling and an 8 foot screen. It seats 6-9 (well 5-6 comfortably). Being a computer driven system, it is a fun way to browse the web or for my son to watch his Road-Runner Cartoons.

    I’ve been doing weekly semi-public screenings since May (opening screening was Zatoichi. Some other films shown have been shown include: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (mentioned on John’s audioblog last week, and yes, I knew that was Palpatine even if McDiarmid is playing it very, very droll), Ghostbusters, Cabaret, Chinatown, Kung-Fu Hustle, House of Flying Daggers, Oldboy, American Astronaut, The Ref, Good-bye Lenin, 3-Iron, Battle Royale, Ronin, Jeux D’Enfants, Infernal Affairs, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Princess Mononoke, Bottle Rocket, Ong-Bak, Roger Dodger, Good-Bye Lenin!…and once in a special screening, all 3 (extended) Lord of the Rings films back-to-back-to-back in a 14 hour extravaganza.

    It has been a fun way to spend tuesday evenings with friends and some work associates.

    /End Ego Self-Stroking and unnecessary bragging

    /click my name below to go to the screening schedule.

  5. I think it would be hugely rewarding and fullfilling.
    Thanks for the lead to this blog Richard. I plan to really give it a read.
    My friend and I have a dream to run our own movie theater one day. How to get there…we’ve not put much thought into (yet), but perhaps this blog you’ve linked could be that push we need.
    Only time will tell…

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