How to start a Movie Theater Business?

how to start a movie theatre  business plan template

Are you interested in starting your own Movie Theater Business?

Starting a movie theater business can be a daunting task. There are many things to consider, from the initial investment to the day-to-day operations. But with careful planning and a little bit of research, it can be a rewarding and profitable business venture. In this guide, we'll cover all the basics of starting a movie theater business. We'll discuss the initial investment, the necessary equipment, the staff requirements, and the marketing strategies needed to get your business off the ground. With all that being said, let's get started!
Business Plan
If you want to start a movie theater business, the first step is to develop a business plan. This will give you a roadmap to follow as you launch your business. Here are some key components to include in your plan:
1. Executive summary. This should provide an overview of your business, including your objectives and how you plan to achieve them.
2. Company description. Describe your company, including its history, structure, and any unique selling points.
3. Market analysis. Research the movie theater industry and your specific target market. This will help you understand the competitive landscape and what you need to do to stand out from the crowd.
4. Marketing and sales strategy. Outline your plans for marketing and selling your movie theater tickets and concessions.
5. Financial projections. Create a realistic financial forecast for your business, including start-up costs, ongoing expenses, and revenue projections.
6. Appendix. Include any additional supporting materials, such as market research reports or copies of leases or contracts. By developing a comprehensive business plan, you'll have a much better chance of successfully launching your movie theater business.
Target Market
When starting any business, it is important to first identify your target market. For a movie theater business, your target market could be families, movie buffs, or even businesses looking to host events. Once you know who your target market is, you can then start to tailor your business to meet their needs. For example, if you are targeting families, you may want to consider offering family-friendly movies and discounts. If you are targeting businesses, you may want to offer corporate event packages. Knowing your target market will help you make decisions about everything from the movies you show to the concessions you sell.
Business Model
There are a few things to consider when starting a movie theater business. The first is the business model. There are three common business models for movie theaters: the first-run movie theater, the second-run movie theater, and the independent movie theater. First-run movie theaters are the most common type of movie theater. They show new release movies and typically have a higher ticket price. The downside to this model is that you may have to wait a few weeks or even months for a new release to come out on DVD or Blu-ray. Second-run movie theaters are less common than first-run movie theaters, but they offer a cheaper ticket price since the movies are not new releases. The downside to this model is that the selection of movies is more limited. Independent movie theaters are the least common type of movie theater. They show independent, foreign, and art house films. The ticket prices for these theaters are typically higher than first-run and second-run movie theaters, but the selection of movies is more varied..
Competitive Landscape
In order to start a movie theater business, it is important to first understand the competitive landscape. The movie theater industry is highly competitive, with large chains such as AMC and Regal accounting for a majority of the market share. However, there are still opportunities for smaller, independent theaters to succeed. One way to compete against the large chains is to offer a more unique and intimate experience. Independent theaters can focus on offering a more personal touch, such as knowledgeable staff and a curated selection of movies. Another way to stand out is to offer special programming, such as themed nights or sing-along screenings. It is also important to have a strong marketing strategy. Independent theaters should focus on promoting their unique selling points to attract customers. They can also partner with local businesses or non-profit organizations to cross-promote and reach a wider audience. With a clear understanding of the competitive landscape, independent theaters can succeed in this industry. By offering a unique experience and promoting their strengths, they can attract moviegoers and build a loyal customer base.
Costs & Pricing Strategy
There are many things to consider when starting a movie theater business, but one of the most important is your costs and pricing strategy. There are a few key things to keep in mind when determining your costs:
1. The cost of the actual theater space. This will be your biggest expense, so it's important to find a space that is both affordable and in a good location.
2. The cost of the equipment. You'll need projection equipment, sound system, and comfortable seating. Again, it's important to find affordable options that will still provide a good experience for your customers.
3. The cost of staffing. You'll need employees to run the projector, sell tickets, and clean the theater. It's important to find a good balance between too many and too few staff members.
Once you've determined your costs, you need to come up with a pricing strategy that will allow you to make a profit. There are a few things to consider when setting prices:
1. The price of tickets. You'll need to charge enough to cover your costs, but not so much that people are discouraged from coming. 
Forming a Legal Entity
If you want to start a Movie Theater business, you will need to form a legal entity. This will protect you from personal liability and help you raise money for your business. You can choose to form a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Each type of entity has its own pros and cons, so you will need to choose the one that is right for your business. If you are the only owner of your business, a sole proprietorship may be the best option. This type of business is easy to set up and you will not have to deal with much paperwork. However, sole proprietorships offer no personal liability protection, which means that you could be held responsible for debts incurred by your business. Partnerships are similar to sole proprietorships in that they are easy to set up and offer no personal liability protection. If you decide to form a partnership, you will need to choose a business partner who you can trust and who has complementary skills. It is important to have a written partnership agreement that outlines each partner's roles and responsibilities. A limited liability company (LLC) offers personal liability protection and is a good option for a small group of founders.
Opening a Business Bank Account
When you’re ready to start your Movie Theater business, one of the first steps is to open a business bank account. This will help you keep your personal and business finances separate and will make it easier to track your expenses and income. To open a business bank account, you’ll need to have the following information and documents:
-Your business name and address
-Your Social Security number or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
-A list of the owners, officers, and directors of the company
-Articles of incorporation or a business license
-A voided check or deposit slip from the account you’ll be using for your business
Once you have all of the required information and documents, you can visit your local bank or credit union to open a business checking account.
Setting up Business Accounting
If you're starting a Movie Theater business, one of the first things you need to do is set up your business accounting. This will ensure that you're keeping track of your finances and that you're complying with any financial regulations that apply to your business. Here's a quick guide to setting up your business accounting:
1. Choose an accounting software. There are many different accounting software packages available, so do some research to find one that will suit your needs.
2. Set up your chart of accounts. This is a list of all the categories of income and expenditure that you will track in your accounting system.
3. Set up your bank account. You will need a business bank account to manage your finances effectively.
4. Keep track of your income and expenditure. Make sure you keep accurate records of all money coming in and going out of your business.
5. Prepare and file your tax return. Once a year, you will need to file a tax return for your business. Make sure you keep on top of this so that you don't miss the deadline
Setting up Business Insurance
As a business owner, it is important to protect your company with the proper insurance. When setting up a Movie Theater business, you will need to consider the following types of insurance:
-Product liability insurance: This will protect you in the event that a product you designed and printed causes injury or damage.
-Professional liability insurance: This will protect you in the event that a client suffers damages as a result of your work.
-Business property insurance: This will protect your equipment and premises in the event of damage or theft.
-Business interruption insurance: This will protect you in the event that your business has to stop operations due to a covered event.
-Employee dishonesty insurance: This will protect you in the event that an employee steals from your business.
Speak with an insurance agent to determine which policies are right for your business
Setting up a Business Website
If you want to start a Movie Theater business, one of the first things you need to do is set up a website. This will be your online home base, where potential customers can learn more about your business and what you have to offer. There are a few key things you need to include on your website:
-An About page: This is where you can tell your story and give potential customers a sense of who you are and what you stand for.
-A portfolio: Showcase your best version on your website so that potential clients can see your work.
-A contact page: Make it easy for people to get in touch with you by including your email address and/or social media links.
-Pricing information: Let visitors know how much you charge for your services.
By having a well-designed website, you’ll be able to attract more customers and grow your Movie Theater business
Obtaining the Necessary Permits
Before you can open your theater to the public, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permits from your city or county government. The specific permits you’ll need will vary depending on your location, but they may include a business license, a zoning permit, and a certificate of occupancy. You can usually find out which permits you need by contacting your local Chamber of Commerce or business development office. Once you have the necessary permits, you’ll be one step closer to opening your doors and welcoming moviegoers into your theater!
Setting up a Business Number or Appointment Setter
When you’re ready to start your Movie Theater business, one of the first things you need to do is set up a business phone number or an appointment setter. You can use a service like Google Voice to set up a business phone number for your Movie Theater business. Google Voice will give you a free business phone number that you can use to make and receive calls. Once you have a business phone number, you can start taking calls from potential customers. When you get a call, be sure to take down the customer’s name, contact information, and what they need. Once you have this information, you can give the customer a call back to discuss the project in more detail and give them a quote.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about when starting a movie theater business. However, if you do your research and planning, it can be a very rewarding experience. Not only will you be able to provide a great service to your community, but you can also make a good profit.

Why write a business plan?

A business plan is a critical tool for businesses and startups for a number of reasons:
  • Business Plans can help to articulate and flesh out the business’s goals and objectives. This can be beneficial not only for the business owner, but also for potential investors or partners
  • Business Plans can serve as a roadmap for the business, helping to keep it on track and on target. This is especially important for businesses that are growing and evolving, as it can be easy to get sidetracked without a clear plan in place.
  • Business plans can be a valuable tool for communicating the business’s vision to employees, customers, and other key stakeholders.
  • Business plans are one of the most affordable and straightforward ways of ensuring your business is successful.
  • Business plans allow you to understand your competition better to critically analyze your unique business proposition and differentiate yourself from the market.
  • Business Plans allow you to better understand your customer. Conducting a customer analysis is essential to create better products and services and market more effectively.
  • Business Plans allow you to determine the financial needs of the business leading to a better understanding of how much capital is needed to start the business and how much fundraising is needed.
  • Business Plans allow you to put your business model in words and analyze it further to improve revenues or fill the holes in your strategy.
  • Business plans allow you to attract investors and partners into the business as they can read an explanation about the business.
  • Business plans allow you to position your brand by understanding your company’s role in the marketplace.
  • Business Plans allow you to uncover new opportunities by undergoing the process of brainstorming while drafting your business plan which allows you to see your business in a new light. This allows you to come up with new ideas for products/services, business and marketing strategies.
  • Business Plans allow you to access the growth and success of your business by comparing actual operational results versus the forecasts and assumptions in your business plan. This allows you to update your business plan to a business growth plan and ensure the long-term success and survival of your business.

Business Plan Content


Many people struggle with drafting a business plan and it is necessary to ensure all important sections are present in a business plan:
  1. Executive Summary
  2. Company Overview
  3. Industry Analysis
  4. Consumer Analysis
  5. Competitor Analysis & Advantages
  6. Marketing Strategies & Plan
  7. Plan of Action
  8. Management Team

The financial forecast template is an extensive Microsoft Excel sheet with Sheets on Required Start-up Capital, Salary & Wage Plans, 5-year Income Statement, 5-year Cash-Flow Statement, 5-Year Balance Sheet, 5-Year Financial Highlights and other accounting statements that would cost in excess of £1000 if obtained by an accountant.

The financial forecast has been excluded from the business plan template. If you’d like to receive the financial forecast template for your start-up, please contact us at . Our consultants will be happy to discuss your business plan and provide you with the financial forecast template to accompany your business plan.

Instructions for the Business Plan Template

To complete your perfect Movie Theater business plan, fill out the form below and download our Movie Theater business plan template. The template is a word document that can be edited to include information about your Movie Theater business. The document contains instructions to complete the business plan and will go over all sections of the plan. Instructions are given in the document in red font and some tips are also included in blue font. The free template includes all sections excluding the financial forecast. If you need any additional help with drafting your business plan from our business plan template, please set up a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our consultants.

Ongoing Business Planning


With the growth of your business, your initial goals and plan is bound to change. To ensure the continued growth and success of your business, it is necessary to periodically update your business plan. Your business plan will convert to a business growth plan with versions that are updated every quarter/year. Avvale Consulting recommends that you update your business plan every few months and practice this as a process. Your business is also more likely to grow if you access your performance regularly against your business plans and reassess targets for business growth plans.


Want a Bespoke Business Plan for your Movie Theater Business?

Our Expertise


Avvale Consulting has extensive experience working with companies in many sectors including the Movie Theater industry. You can avail a free 30-minute business consultation to ask any questions you have about starting your Movie Theater business. We would also be happy to create a bespoke Movie Theater business plan for your Movie Theater business including a 5-year financial forecast to ensure the success of your Movie Theater business and raise capital from investors to start your Movie Theater business. This will include high-value consulting hours with our consultants and multiple value-added products such as investor lists and Angel Investor introductions.


About Us


Avvale Consulting is a leading startup business consulting firm based in London, United Kingdom. Our consultants have years of experience working with startups and have worked with over 300 startups from all around the world. Our team has thousands of business plans, pitch decks and other investment documents for startups leading to over $100 Million raised from various sources. Our business plan templates are the combination of years of startup fundraising and operational experience and can be easily completed by a business owner regardless of their business stage or expertise. So, whether you are a budding entrepreneur or a veteran businessman, download our business plan template and get started on your business growth journey today.