Has anyone out there combined a movie theater with a coffeehouse? I have been working on opening a coffeehouse in cooperation with the local high school. One of the buildings we were looking at was a restaurant with a bar. Half of the building used to be the Lincoln Theater back in the forties. It got everyone dreaming about renovating the theater. That excitement is driving the community to make the coffee house a reality. Has this been tried before? Does anyone have any experience running a movie theater?

Also does anyone have any numbers indicating what the profit margin is like for a small town coffeehouse? The financial management dept is asking me, and my numbers so far aren't typical enough to give them any idea. Thanks for any help you guys can offer.

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There's several movie houses here in seattle that have other stuff like coffee that could be sold to non-movie patrons. Is that what you're talking about? Or are you thinking about the movies going on in the background of the coffee house?

Profit margins I think largely depend on your ability to manage your finances. You might consider picking up a few books on starting a coffee house as a way to get your preliminary numbers. It's a pretty big undertaking and I can't tell you enough the benefits of planning your venture well. What are you going to serve? Who are your vendors? How are you going to get your movies? Etc.

Good luck!
This sounds like such a great idea! Although I have no experience with this, it's something I'd love to check out. Sounds fun. Good luck!
Yeah, stephanie, the coffeehouse would be open all the time as a coffeehouse, but would also serve as the lobby for the restored movie house. Do you have any contact information for the movie houses that operate like that?

stephanie crocker said:
There's several movie houses here in seattle that have other stuff like coffee that could be sold to non-movie patrons. Is that what you're talking about? Or are you thinking about the movies going on in the background of the coffee house?

Profit margins I think largely depend on your ability to manage your finances. You might consider picking up a few books on starting a coffee house as a way to get your preliminary numbers. It's a pretty big undertaking and I can't tell you enough the benefits of planning your venture well. What are you going to serve? Who are your vendors? How are you going to get your movies? Etc.

Good luck!
Chris.....You might want to contact "Lumiere Espresso" in Monterey, CA. They're essentially what you've described. But I'd humbly recommend investing in a mobile coffee/bakery/chocolate cart or kiosk as your operating base. If you can hook up to their water, electric and drains, that's great, but I'd be very conservative in building upgrades. (you may have already thought this through, no?)

I'd be very surprised if anyone would openly share their gross/net information, and frankly, most business plans I've been privy to work with reasonable projections based on projected foot traffic. Based on my preceiption of your comments, the movie theatre may be a very far second issue to the accessibility of the coffee operation to the general public. Lumiere, from my observations, appears more like a coffee location that "happens" to be located in the outer edge of a theatre venue.

Not knowing your business background, so much of this may be obvious, but certainly would come up in open discussions with any business group. I'd recommend talking to small business owners near this proposed venue and ask open ended questions about how they see foot traffic, what patterns they've noticed, the level of optimism for other retailers in the area; expansion, cutting back, etc. They live their business life in the area and will probably have valuable input.

Another incredibly important issue relating to your ongoing marketing of the project is signage and what your city will allow. You'll possibly be hidden inside of another, more visible retail venue, a theatre. Unless you're sharing whatever square footage of signage is allowed by the city, you may be relying on secondary benefit of a sign that touts "theatre." Now you have to build a clientel without the benefit of "drive-bys." Basically, I see the theatre as less important than just positioning the coffee operation in that business district. Just some thoughts.......... have you thought about asking Matt right here on the BX site? Both his school and other consultants on the internet do present "sample figures."
Al, thanks for the information. The mobile style option is an interesting one. I had been mentioning the plumbing issues as a deterrent from other buildings. At one point the building next to the theater was attached and made into a bar while the theater itself provided the dining room for the restaurant. The bar's still there with the plumbing and every thing we'd need. So that transition would be fairly easy. I've been working in the specialty coffee industry for a while so I have a handle on the operations of the coffeehouse, but the theater would also be ours to operate. For that I need more help...

Al Sterling said:
Chris.....You might want to contact "Lumiere Espresso" in Monterey, CA. They're essentially what you've described. But I'd humbly recommend investing in a mobile coffee/bakery/chocolate cart or kiosk as your operating base. If you can hook up to their water, electric and drains, that's great, but I'd be very conservative in building upgrades. (you may have already thought this through, no?)

I'd be very surprised if anyone would openly share their gross/net information, and frankly, most business plans I've been privy to work with reasonable projections based on projected foot traffic. Based on my preceiption of your comments, the movie theatre may be a very far second issue to the accessibility of the coffee operation to the general public. Lumiere, from my observations, appears more like a coffee location that "happens" to be located in the outer edge of a theatre venue.

Not knowing your business background, so much of this may be obvious, but certainly would come up in open discussions with any business group. I'd recommend talking to small business owners near this proposed venue and ask open ended questions about how they see foot traffic, what patterns they've noticed, the level of optimism for other retailers in the area; expansion, cutting back, etc. They live their business life in the area and will probably have valuable input.

Another incredibly important issue relating to your ongoing marketing of the project is signage and what your city will allow. You'll possibly be hidden inside of another, more visible retail venue, a theatre. Unless you're sharing whatever square footage of signage is allowed by the city, you may be relying on secondary benefit of a sign that touts "theatre." Now you have to build a clientel without the benefit of "drive-bys." Basically, I see the theatre as less important than just positioning the coffee operation in that business district. Just some thoughts.......... have you thought about asking Matt right here on the BX site? Both his school and other consultants on the internet do present "sample figures."
There is a huge movie theater chain here in Mexico that has a coffee shop in the lobby next to the popcorn & candy counter. They use espresso machines and everything. They also serve sandwiches and crepes, both made to order.
www.athenscine.com

this is the website for Cine', an independent movie house in Athens, GA, a somewhat small town. whenever i ask about business the owner tells me that "it's too soon to tell." i think the bar/cafe section of the theater is a novel idea. however, i definitely think it would be best to run the business with a dual approach- don't count on one aspect of the business to sustain the other.
Check out Cable Car Cinema in Providence, RI.

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