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Backyard Theater - Outdoor Movies

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Author Topic: How is business?  (Read 3946 times)
mousse
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« on: April 01, 2013, 01:18:34 am »

Now that the 2008 recession is in full force and eve?ryone has felt its affects, how is the byt business? I half heartedly tried to start a byt business in 2010.  Didn't get many bites.  Not sure if it was economy or lack of newness. Had the industry peaked before my arrival?  Are people willing to stretch out bed sheets in their backyards, rather than spend hundreds of dollars for a rental?  I think maybe.  As much as we tout technical specifics about out equipment, the general public doesn't know the difference or care for that matter.  I'd love to think we're relevant but wonder about that status when Home Depot offers a 12 foot inflatable screen for 100.00.

I originally wanted to offer services to a more adult audience, focusing on providing a cool old time "Theatre" experience.  I really don't want to show animated kid's movies all night long.  Am I a dreamer? Or just immature?

Please help.
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ranman101
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 01:35:27 am »

I can't speak to the business side of things. In my own personal opinion, and based on reactions to my own BYT. I don't think most people right of the bat care about specs. Most people who come to the house (young or old) are amazed at the idea of a BYT. I could have a sheet and a cheap projector, they wouldn't care.

I have also seen a few DJs in the area (Pomona California) that now offer movies. These set ups are crappy at best. They are literally a bed sheet, yet people are happy. I also know some clientele, that would use such services ( government ie.. cities), are still in the hole financially.

I personally think the more services you provide the better, but be good at all. The one DJ out here put up what looked like a toddler beds sheet. My tv is bigger. He ran the dj side good, but movie was terrible quality. Small screen, old projector, and sound through his set up was loud but not clear.

Good luck if you do it.
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11visions
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 09:02:44 am »

I started in 2010 and my business has more than doubled every year. It's still not to the point where I can make a living from it alone, but once you get a solid base of business it will grow. I find that I book an extra show from every 2-3 show just from someone in the audience who wants to have the screen at their event.
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Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
mousse
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 10:17:02 am »

I started in 2010 and my business has more than doubled every year. It's still not to the point where I can make a living from it alone, but once you get a solid base of business it will grow. I find that I book an extra show from every 2-3 show just from someone in the audience who wants to have the screen at their event.
Good to hear.  Are you primarily commercial or residential?  How are you getting business?  I'm in So. Cal.
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pistolero56
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 10:56:23 am »

My wife and i wanted to start 2013 with a byt side business, so we started Sunset Flix. we have just now started advertizing outside of fb and have got some good vibes from people we talk to. We have done 1 gig so far(yup...1 gig) but we stay positive and hope things pick up.

mousse, we are in socal 
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The Rusty Trax Theater
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11visions
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 12:02:57 pm »

I started in 2010 and my business has more than doubled every year. It's still not to the point where I can make a living from it alone, but once you get a solid base of business it will grow. I find that I book an extra show from every 2-3 show just from someone in the audience who wants to have the screen at their event.
Good to hear.  Are you primarily commercial or residential?  How are you getting business?  I'm in So. Cal.

Primarily commercial right now, but I bought a 10' screen last fall and started doing smaller events like birthday parties too. Most of the business has been coming from my website and/or people who were at an event I did. This year I'm running print ads in a local magazine to see how that works. It helps that I'm in a large metro area where there is only one other person renting 16' screens and one of the richest counties in America is only 10 miles away.
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Phillip Hullquist
I toured the U.S. showing outdoor movies in 2010 on Carl's 16x9 screen.
Now I own eight commercial rental screens ranging from 9x5 to 30x17!
Shore Flicks
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 12:36:42 pm »

I'm fortunate that we nailed down a Title Sponsor for the 60 free movies we do at the Jersey Shore all summer.  It's tougher than ever to get businesses to participate, but I make sure to reinforce what a good investment it is to be a part of these unique community events.  Having the charitable components tied in like a nightly food drive certainly helps, especially in this area post-Sandy. 

I'm hoping to get the rest of the sponsorships lined up in the next few weeks so we can have a press release ready to go ahead of Memorial Day Weekend. 
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moonlightflix
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« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2013, 10:46:40 pm »

I agree with all your observations about the general public is rather pleased with junk. But they are REALLY pleased with big inflatable screens. And they are willing to pay for it, you just can't be greedy; be fair and you'll be rewarded with return business.

If been doing rental now for  5 years and have grown steadily. I had to hire a couple of helpers 2 years ago - usually get college kids on break who are eager to make some simple cash. (I pay my contractors well and get good people.) Last year, I was booked nearly every weekend with 2 gigs from May through September. I even booked an event in November - an indoor gig. 

There are basically three markets that I see: private backyard parties, small communities and very large 700 -1,000 audience events. (Big money, big expenses and big headaches.)

For me the growing market is with small communities on tight budgets. I started out as just a way to pay for the hobby, but things quickly grew. With a long season in SoCal, I would think you would have great opportunities. I suspect your season would be much longer and very little issue with rain outs. We had a bit of a drought last year which was great for me, but not great for our farmers.

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cdepaola
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2013, 02:52:46 pm »

ig. 

There are basically three markets that I see: private backyard parties, small communities and very large 700 -1,000 audience events. (Big money, big expenses and big headaches.)


I'd agree with this assessment though 700-1000 really is still in the medium size range.  I'd say anything screen size of 40' and over are the large events.  The group of folks doing these shows are far smaller and well established, not that a new guy couldn't break in but it would be difficult.  Also those size shows are far and few between now.

16' and 20' screens really are the way to go as they can be done with one person thus keeping costs down. 
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