Entertainment industry has never stopped from growing or including new inventions to perform what it has to. People have been constantly driven to spend leisure hours in places like theatres that promise them entertainment.

The growth of the industry has indeed brought a platform for the young entrepreneurs to take a chance. Also, the profit margins of the same makes it more vibrant for the entrepreneurs to productively use their money.

Coming to theatres, this particular sector has been showing an impressive survival history since the start. If noticed you will find that theatres have spread their presence in all parts of the world. This shows how wide the demand for the sector is.

I would say, out of all the businesses, survival surety is large on the scale when it comes to a theatre business. And for a theatre to exist, movies take the eccentric role. Only if movies are released, there arises a need for people to visit theatres. Analysing this condition, from my perspective there is not even a month without a movie launched.

With all the information I have sourced, I would recommend you all to invest in a Theatre Business. In this era if entertainment, owning a theatre is definitely a good stand for income generation.

How does a movie reach the theatre?

Businesses should be understood with clarity before any move is made in it. Deep insights into the business is the only key that supports decision -making with regards to any matter in the business.

As a theatre owner, it is important for you to know the process in which a movie reaches your theatre. This does have an impact on the planning of investment. Two important players are found in this process,

  • Film makers
  • Distributors

These two players are considered inevitable and there exists a definite need for the distributors to show their presence in between you and the fil makers.

Film makers produce a movie and pass this on to various distributors. Movie distributors have their own companies, and choosing the right distributor is at your decisions.

With this you will understand that only distributors can bring a movie to your premise. For this, tedious work is needed to find and contact them. However, there are certain resources from where you can find distributors of good profile.

There is a site called IMDbPro, which is designed specifically for entertainment industry. This professional site allows you to contact distributors and also provides other related support. You can simply sign up in the website and become a member of it to avail its services. You might have to spend $15 to obtain membership in this website.

Paying your distributors

This is an obvious topic, and all of us are aware that any service delivered to us will not be for free of cost. Distributors stay in touch with you only if you pay them well.

Firstly, understand that you have found and fixed your set of distributors after intense research and serious efforts. It is thus not appreciable if you do not value their service. So how do you pay them? There are two different types in which the payment is fixed,

  • Flat fee
  • Share from ticket sales

A flat fee refers to a fixed amount which is agreeable by you and your distributor. In case of a share, you arrive at a percentage of the sales which you will be paying the distributor.

There is a catch here, you pay only the highest amount of these two. For example, the percentage payment gives $250 and flat fee gives $150, you pay the distributor $250. This is how the distributor’s pay works.


BOR is an important term that is to be included in a theatre business. It falls under the category of records maintained in the business. BOR stands for Box Office Report, which is to be provided to the distributors.

Essentials of a theatre

A theatre business is not like other businesses, which has the most basic resources like office, furniture, systems etc. The business instead has a very different set of resources that are to be obtained to ensure a steady and successful start.


There is no way a theatre can operate in a small space. A huge space is the primary resource that is needed in a theatre business. The reason to start with this is that the other resources are to be planned for allocation only with this primary resource.

I have no measured recommendation of how much space you need. But the only thing I would suggest regarding space is that there should be the possibility of admitting 500 seats as a minimum count on the scale. Renting a space is the easiest way and avoid purchasing a land for this purpose. That can make a very visible increase in the investment you need.


Yes, the basic resources without which your business cannot function. Screens are like food in a restaurant. It is the main element and the service derives from it.

Having it at the highest possible quality is all that you can do to show your theatre exclusive in the market. The dimensions of the screen can be 16:9 and it should preferably be in grey colour.

Placement of the screen involves keen understanding of vision of people. Before placing the screen, check if the place at which the screen is placed is comfortable for viewing from the seats.


Comfort is the next good feature you can add up to any primary service of a firm. From travel to entertainment, comfort plays a huge role in the minds of customers.

Also, a strong impact is made on the sales when the comfort level increases or decreases. Purchase good quality chairs with comfortable cushions that are has vibrant colours.

Usually theatres have red chairs and this can be taken as a standard colour. Well, you are the owner now and it is your choice to have any colour you wish to.


Lighting is an art. Fixing the right number of lights at appropriate positions is definitely a master thing to do. A theatrical experience is always explained with the lights going dim and bright.

Never forget to give that experience to your customers or say audience. Lights of extremely adjustable types can provide a wonderful theatre experience.


This is one topic which everybody will skip to plan. Walls, whenever brought for discussion is just left with the decision of white colour or any paint available. That is the worst thing that can ever happen to your theatre.

Do not go for choices here, just paint them matte black. This is purely for a functional purpose and not for purposes of decoration. Black walls can prevent reflection of the light of the screen.


As mentioned earlier, your screens play a vital role in the business. It is an asset to be protected and preserved. Thus, make all the arrangements that is possible to prevent the screen from any damage. There are two purposes for having curtains in your business.

  • Prevent damage to the screen
  • Dark experience to the audience

We have discussed about the first one earlier, it is simply being cautious about the screen. The second one is about creating an intense dark environment. Audience should be deeply brought into the scenes without any hindrance of the climate, day-light etc.

Sound proofing

Remember you are into an entertainment business and it is totally not fair to be a disturbance to the public. Only the people who intend to be your audience should be entertained and not people outside the theatre. Make sure that you have a sound proof system that does not send the sound or lighting out from the halls.

It might sound simple, but is an absolute issue when the public find your business as an interruption to their work. Thus, make arrangements in advance so that your business does not get interrupted at any time in between.


The next big topic binding in all the necessary tools to project a movie. A well-equipped movie theatre should be the best in the market. People come to you again and again for the experience you provide. And if you analyse, this term experience comes only from two things,

  • Sound
  • Quality projection

No matter how good your infrastructure is, end of the day sound and projection will be the parameters that will be taken for rating. Considering this, the following tools are found to be important in any movie theatre.

  • Projector
  • DVD player
  • Audio/Video receiver
  • Speakers
  • HDMI cables
  • Computer
  • Software

Selection of these should be done only after clear knowledge about the features and prices in the market. Also, look for quality products in terms of their longevity.

It is a depressing task to replace a tool which is damaged or repaired. It is not a surprise that replacement of one can induce the replace of other related tools. Finally, this process takes a lot of time and cost.


Tickets should be made available to the audience in all convenient ways. Different media of payments should also be encouraged in order to give them good impression of the services.

Difficulties in ticket availability or payment can be the reasons for a movie theatre business being rated low. A POS system is mandatory to track and manage cash transactions.

Tickets sold via touch systems in the premises, online booking, box office etc should be kept track of. Availability information should be reliable and this is a serious issue to be looked after.

If you miss to show the accurate data of availability, it is possible that you might end up having audience without seats. Purchased seats and available seats should some how be sorted every single minute.

How many people should you hire?

This is a topic to be found important while planning where to use the investment. A lot of people think hiring people is an easy job and requires less planning.

My say on this would be a big no. Planning for people to work in your concern is more like finding possibilities of expanding or developing your business.

These are the people with potential to make your business more profitable. Thus, choosing them should be of some purpose relating to the future also. Even if it is a person serving food, make sure he has good skills of communication, good socialising abilities, courtesy to greet etc. The following are some of the areas for which you will recruit.

  • Distributor manager
  • Marketer
  • Skilled labour


Licensing part was brought to the last in the list in terms of importance because all of you are well aware of the fact that any business will require licensing. You will have to obtain the Umbrella license from MPLC.

The fee for obtaining the license purely depends on the facilities of your theatre and definitely not the number of shows you have each day. The facilities here denote seats, infrastructure, lights, space etc. for example, if you have 500 seats your fee is lesser than the fee you will be charged for 1000 seats.


Coming to the end, I have discussed about various different elements that bond together to create a theatre. It is now your turn to make your own research on how to make maximum sales and increase the value of the business at a very short span of time.

You might think of expansion plans after building this business, but I would recommend you to start it at the earliest. Goal setting is to be done at the earliest so that the business can operate accordingly.

Investment for the business may range from $25000, but the figure can increase or decreased depending on what you have decided for your business. The main source of income is the sale of tickets.

This does not mean you should sell them at a very high price. Go with the crowd and follow the prices fixed by your competitors. Additional income can be generated from beverage centres, games, extra comfort seats, etc.


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