june, 5, 2004 archives

downtown movie theaters

another boutique hotel will be opening downtown, but the bit of news that really caught my eye is that the developer hopes to include a small movie theater. also, the linda lea theatre may be reopened if a buyer for the property can be found. a nearby gallery owner plans to submit a plan for showing independent films. (that’s nice, but i think someone could also do well by taking one of the old theatres in the area and running second-run movies, or popular mexican and latin-american films.)

speaking of downtown theaters, the los angeles conservancy’s last remaining seats program is going on now, with movies being screened at the los angeles theatre, the orpheum theatre, and the alex theatre (in glendale). tickets are sold out except for a couple of shows at the orpheum theatre.

crunching numbers and figuring out the questions

so i’m crunching numbers on this whole dvd rental store idea, which is an interesting exercise. there’s still so many things i don’t know, but it’s fun. (i’m beginning to understand those people who enjoy playing with excel that i never really understood before.)

i’ve been building up layers of back-of-the-envelope calculations to determine how much shelving would fit in a hypothetical space, how many dvds that would hold, how many new movies (and to what depth) to buy, how many employees (and how much to pay) would be necessary based on hypothetical hours, and all sorts of other equations based on various variables. (how much should you charge for rentals? how long should the rental period be? what about late charges? what about a subscription plan?)

and when the crunching tells you things like you’d need to rent 18.42 movies per hour, or $801.35 per day, to break even, you go in and try to get better numbers for the ones you’ve just made haphazard guesses about.

it becomes clear pretty quickly that the single biggest monthly expense is new inventory. (but it can also be a revenue driver: what happens when you assume that you sell off half of the new inventory after five weeks as previously-viewed movies, after it has made 80% of the purchase cost in revenues?)

the modeling job i haven’t undertaken yet is to plug in the unit count for the various downtown developments (existing and planned), make up some sort of formulation of what percentage of those units would become customers based on the distance, and then figure out where the ideal location would be. it seems like it would be fun, even if it is probably a completely bogus exercise.

new bookmarks: the video store shopper and speciality store services are two places that sell store equipment for video retailers.

l.a. means business is an upcoming event being put on by the economic development committee of the downtown los angeles neighborhood council.

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