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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 130 (108)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 130
Page 130

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 130

proposed theatre, also construction costs, and so forth.

The initial cost of land, regardless how cheap, means nothing unless the property lends itself economically to the project, through the existing facilities and its contour. Grading may be a very important factor, as also the existing facilities, such as sewers, drainage, water, electricity, pitch of land, and so forth.

It is a comparatively easy matter to determine the construction c'osts. From very reliable estimates and actual costs of outdoor theatres previously erected, a 550-car theatre may be built, under ideal conditions and present-day prices, for approximately $70,000, including Drive Over and Drop In channels, lot grading, paving, fences around entire property, front housing or facade including screen, plumbing, sewering, electric wiring, painting, operatoris booth, rest rooms, posts for sound equipmentin fact, everything complete, except outside drives, walks, landscaping, cost of land, cost of equipment, architectis fee, financing charges, legal expenses, and interest and taxes during construction.

To this $70,000 investment, the following estimated amounts must be added: Land, $5,000; drives and walks, $3,000; landscaping, $2,000; equipment, $13,000; miscellaneous costs, $2,000; and the architects fee. A total of approximately $100,000 may thus be used for computing a potential profit.

Inasmuch as a project such as this involves the use of patented details, it is well to inquire into royalties and fees. Of his terms, Mr. Ferguson states, iiFor a limited time, providing any satisfac THE AUDITORIUM OF THE NEW-TYPE OUTDOOR THEATRE shows, in this sketch, the concentric arrangement of the drop-in channels, which serve to align the patrons' cars. The channels also serve to keep the cars from rolling on any incline should the brakes prove faulty or not set. Indicated by arrows is the route

tory client, interested in building a drivein theatre using the Drive Over and Drop In system, retains me as architect and engineer for the construction of such a project (in accordance with the standard form of contract between owner and architect, as prepared by the American Institute of Architects, on a regular fee basis), I shall make no royalty charge nor require any payment for license fee for the use of the Drive Over and Drop In system. Should the owner of a proposed drive-in theatre desire to construct such theatre without my services, my charge will be $1,000 as a license fee for the construction of the drop-in channel and a 5 per cent royalty a year, based upon the gross receipts after all state and federal taxes are deducted, payable quarterly, unless other arrangements satisfactory to me are agreed upon."

Expense to Operate

The total expense to operate, of course, varies, depending upon good or bad management. Let us assume, however, an expense which includes the manager, film cost and delivery, operator, cashier, ushers, janitor for cleaning yard and premises, cleaning compounds, advertising, telephone, electric service, water, heat, insurance, tax assessments, and miscellaneous to be $67 7 a weekeor for a season of 26 Weeks, a total of $17,600 a years-not including interest or amortization upon the loan, the equipment or money invested.

Inasmuch as the equipment may be financed separately, the amortization and interest of a ten-year loan at 5 per cent

would amount to $7,600 a year, making a total of $25,200, to which must be added the amount required to pay off the equipment account in three years of $4,160 a year, making a grand total of $29,360.


Through experience it has developed that 2.3 to 2.75 persons to the car is an average attendance to outdoor theatres. Assuming 2.5 for our proposition and an admission of 45 cents (37 cents without taxes), a 550-car auditorium would, if only 40 per cent filled at each performance, rate a net income of $1,424.50 3. week; for a season of 26 weeks, $37,037, to which must be added the profit derived from the concessions; this has. been found to amount to from 25 to 40 per cent of the net profit of the entire proposition, or roughly $7,000 a season, making a total of $44,037, not including rent of restaurant and other facilities. The rent from these facilities should be considered as a separate item, based on the cost of providing them.. '


Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. $44,037.00 Total operating expense, including interest and amortization . . . . . . 29,360.00

Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $14,677.00

The above amount will be increased considerably after the first three years when the equipment is all paid for and the loan materially reduced, also if the project attracts more than an average 40 per cent attendance.

of ingress and egress from the auditorium area, showing that the car never backs, but always continues in a forward motion. Supplementary rest rooms are provided in the proiection house. A stage is provided for civic celebrations and other events, and a seated area can be provided in the area nearest the screen.

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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 130