As far as we know, there are no books or publications written that provide specific information on opening a cinema.  The best way to learn is to ask questions.  Therefore, we recommend that you consider attending an industry convention.  CinemaCon, NATO’s official convention, takes place in the spring at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.  The ShowEast Convention occurs annually in the fall in Hollywood, Florida.  For further information regarding ShowEast, please call (646) 654-7680.  Both of these conventions will provide you an opportunity to meet with other exhibition personnel, ask questions and generally get a feel for the business.  For a full listing of exhibition industry conventions (including international, national, and regional shows) please visit the Events page on NATO’s website.

There are also a few media resources available to potential cinema owners/operators.  The official magazine of NATO is BoxOfficePRO, and their associated website (www.boxoffice.com).  Subscriptions to each are worthwhile investments.  Furthermore, NATO publishes an online resource, the Encyclopedia of Exhibition.  You can find more information on the Encyclopedia of Exhibition, and subscribe to it, through the NATO website.  A final potential resource is an excellent book called, The Movie Business Book, revised and edited by Jason E. Squire.  It details important aspects of exhibition and distribution in an easy to follow format.

There are a number of companies that can assist you in developing either a marketing plan, or help you determine the feasibility of building a cinema in your area.  In addition to a consultant, we strongly encourage you to enlist the services of a professional buyer/booker.  The process of obtaining movie product (for any kind of operation, be it first run or discount) is very complicated.  A good buyer/booker can make your company successful.  Done improperly or inefficiently, you will without question fail.  This is the meat and potatoes of your business.  We cannot stress this point more.

We know of several companies that specialize in assisting individuals to get started.  While we are happy to refer you to them, NATO does not take responsibility for the assistance they provide you.


Mike Doban, Arcangelo Entertainment, Inc., (818) 623-1015, www.ArcangeloEnt.com

Steve Felperin, Theatre Service Network, steve_f66@yahoo.com

Mike Spaeth and Chris Dugger, Alerion Services – Hollywood and Bollywood (Indian) Film Booking, Theatre Management Services (678) 364-1150, www.alerionservices.com

Richard and Jan Herring, Consulting/Booking/Buying, (540) 929-4173, fax: (540) 929-4042, www.StartAMovieTheatre.com

Jack Panzeca, Universal Cinema Services, Inc., (817) 633-2180, fax: (817) 633-2190, www.UniversalCinema.com

Lee Josselyn, Galaxy Consulting, (818) 986-9000, ljosselyn@galaxytheatres.com

Dennis McIntire, B & B Theatres, Consulting, Equipment, Building, (816) 407-7469, dennis.mcintire@bbtheatres.com

Bruce M. Taffet, Taffet & Associates, LLC, (303) 840-9026, fax: (303) 840-9643, btaffet@taffetco.com

Howard Taormino, Theatre Services Unlimited, (610) 933-3234, Cinemaland@aol.com


We hope if you decide to open a cinema, you will join NATO.  Good luck with your endeavors.