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SMART ANSWERS
By Karen E. Klein

10.28.99  
From Popcorn to Projectors: Resources for Running a Movie Theater
And now — on video — there's a course that shows you the ropes

Q: I am interested in operating a movie theater in London and am unable to find any publications that provide information on the industry for the U.S. or Britain. Can you help?

—R.P., Atlanta

A: There are several resources for independent cinema owners operating in the U.S. Doing business in London may be quite different -- especially from a tax perspective -- so bear that in mind as you do your research. The international edition of Gale Group's Encyclopedia of Associations may help you locate some specific industry resources in Britain. You can also contact the Cinema Exhibitor's Assn. by phone (44-0171-734-9551) or at this email address: cea@cinemauk.ftech.co.uk

An industry trade organization, the National Association of Theatre Owners (www.hollywood.com/nato), represents 19,000 movie screens in the U.S. and 20 other countries. The group's Web site offers publications, statistics, information on trade shows, and membership options. They also publish the Encyclopedia of Exhibition, which lists 527 North American cinema operators along with contact information, an index of concessionaires and equipment suppliers, box-office statistics, cinema employment figures, and more information that you might find helpful. The encyclopedia sells for $90, plus shipping and handling, and can be ordered by calling the North Hollywood (Calif.) group at 818 506-1778. NATO also sells a nine-volume set of startup videotapes, which cover basic movie-theater operations and can be previewed on the Web site. The set sells for $450 for NATO members, $650 for nonmembers.

For contact information on the largest movie-theater "circuits," go to the Web site of Dunnagan Technical Services (www.ddts.com) and click on "business resources." Two trade journals cater to theater operators: Box Office Magazine (www.boxoff.com) and The Film Journal (www.filmjournal.com). Box Office Magazine's Web site includes a buyer's directory listing film distributors, equipment suppliers, and manufacturers. It also has an extensive links page to Web sites for companies in every niche of the movie-theater business -- from snack bar concessionaires to projection equipment suppliers.

The Movie Business Book, edited by Jason E. Squire, which discusses a wide range of film industry topics, may also be helpful. The first edition of the Dun & Bradstreet/Gale Industry Reference Handbook: Entertainment is scheduled for publication on Dec. 1, 1999. Priced at $99, the publisher is marketing it as a reference resource for public and academic libraries. It offers financial norms and ratios, industry overviews, statistics, and performance by sectors, as well as contact information on industry associations and trade shows. For more information on the publication, see: www.galegroup.com/business/printtls.htm.


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