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Movie Night Logistics

14 years 5 months ago #151868 by foxmom
Replied by foxmom on topic Re:Movie Night Logistics
I'm under the impression that purchasing a movie license allows you to show the movie- but charging to come see the movie is considered fraud to the movie corporation-- and should not be done-- so to get around this we charge $1.00 for a raffle ticket for a chance to win a gift movie basket and everyone stays for the movie--- so the $1.00 is for the ticket -- not to watch the movie-- we were tolk we could not charge by a principal of another school at a president's breakfast -- can anyone varify if this is correct or not... and what does everyone do..
14 years 5 months ago #151867 by Elizabeth - PTO Pres
Replied by Elizabeth - PTO Pres on topic Re:Movie Night Logistics
We held our first Movie Night in Nov. We have one planned for each month until the end of the year. I just wanted to remind you to read your license agreement thoroughly. You can only make enough money to cover the cost of your expenses.

Our school has a lot of low income families. We provided free popcorn and drink. McDonalds donated the orange drink and cups. This brought in a lot of families that can't usually attend these types of functions. This time, to change things a little we are going to give everyone a ticket as they come through the door to be used for a free bag of chips and drink. This is a way of saying thank you for their support, without it costing so much. We had the first one in the gym, but because of the awful acoustics in the gym we are moving to the cafeteria.

We're really excited about being able to provide this to our families.
14 years 6 months ago #151733 by lynnr301
Replied by lynnr301 on topic Re:Movie Night Logistics
Our PTA purchased a movie license last year and has done 4 movie nights to date. We charge $1 admission (ages 3 and under are free), $1 per bag of popcorn and $0.50 per candy item/soda/water/juice pouch. Buying candy at COSTCO and selling for $0.50 just breaks even, but it's a huge hit. Juice, water and popcorn are the money-makers. We've been renting a 6oz popper - everyone really likes the fresh popcorn - at $50/event, plus tax, insurance, etc. Purchase the kits (popcorn plus coconut oil & seasoning in one package) and making it is a breeze. It's much messier to purchase the corn kernels and separate popcorn oil. Last week I purchased a 4 oz commercial-grade popper through Craig's List for $125 - took a bit of elbow grease, but it looks like new and it's a work-horse brand popper. I'm renting the popper to the PTA for $20/event, and other area elementary school PTAs are interested in renting it for their events. Once I break even, I'll make it a loaner rather than a rental. Schools pay for the cost of the popcorn and bags, including delivery, without markup.

When you purchase the movie license, you have access to movie posters and bookmarks that you can customize for your event. I print out the bookmarks and distribute to all students the day before the movie - it's a great reminder at minimal cost. One week before the movie night, I send a list of four or five potential movies to each teacher and ask them to take a class vote. We hype it all on the morning announcements for a few days, then get the 8.5x11 movie posters up the same day the vote is counted and announced.

Our media center has an A/V cart w/a DVD player and one awesome speaker - we use the pull down screen in our all-purpose room and haven't had a problem yet.

Kids bring blankets and pillows, parents can sit with them or on the folding chairs. We don't allow drop-offs, though we can't really keep track if the parent wants to slip out the side door and leave their child behind. We make it clear in our movie-night advertising that parents are responsible for their own children and neither the PTA or the school are responsible.

When the movie is over, we keep one responsible adult near the chair storage unit and the kids usually bring all the chairs to the unit. Someone grabs a sweeper, and clean-up is done in no time. Extra trash cans outside of the concession area and exit doors have proven useful.

I always give the night maintenance manager & staff complimentary drinks and popcorn, and any unsold popcorn at the end of the night. Keeps us in their good graces.....

Hope this helps!
14 years 6 months ago #151701 by Barbara Mastroddi-Lackey
Replied by Barbara Mastroddi-Lackey on topic Re:Movie Night Logistics
Good reading all these things. I am part of my school's Family Movie Night committee, which will be launching its inaugural event shortly (late January). As I read through comments, I did have a few questions, namely:

a. can I presume that most schools have sufficient AV equipment on hand? We are renting ours, as the school's is not sufficient to work within the parameters of the room we are using (our school has a multi purpose room, no real auditorium). This has been figured into our budget. (The largest school screen available is 6' -- not sufficient unless we were in a classroom.)

b. also noticed a number of posters who do not charge admission for their events. We are planning to sell tickets at a reasonable price, and use funds to recoup costs for A/V, movie license, movie purchase, and any misc. costs. (with some profit, hopefully).

c. Snacks: heard that renting popcorn machines is not worth it (too messy). We're going the pre-bagged route, also buying some other prepackaged snacks and reselling these, plus bottled water. (Also hear that juice boxes/bags, with a large volume of kids, can be messy in the long run).

d. I love the idea of kids wearing PJs and bringing sleeping bags. May want to consider encouraging this.

e. Crowd control: totally agree that we (PTO) should NOT be babysitters. We are requesting that parents come with kids, no dropoffs. Any further suggestions as to this?

f. We've started putting in 'save the date' announcements via our emails to parents. We also plan to do posters/flyers. Do these help -- any other promotional tips you movie night veterans wish to share?

g. Volunteers: how many people on hand should we have (for at door ticket sales, concession sales, general crowd supervision/logistics, cleanup)? I was thinking about 12 (anticipating a turnout of 150-200 pp.)

Sorry for all the questions, but I want to ensure that we can make this a success (realize the first event can be a big learning experience, although I don't wish for it to be a 'what NOT to do" type of thing!)

14 years 6 months ago #151689 by Denise
Replied by Denise on topic Re:Movie Night Logistics
We have had many movie nights (no pictures to post for the contest) & we hold them in the auditorium. The refreshments are sold in the cafeteria which is right next to the auditorium. The worse part of the night is the clean-up - just like any movie theater there is a lot of cleanup afterwards. You just need to have lotsa volunteers ready to work. Hope that helps!
14 years 6 months ago #151682 by Foxmom
Replied by Foxmom on topic Re:Movie Night Logistics
I think the biggest issue with purchasing is who will maintain the equipment if something happens-- are you buying it for the school or for the PTO-- if it's for the school- the school then has the responibilities for maintainace and upkeep.

Front projector has maintence as well-- these are just easier to move around then rear projection I think-- and rear projection you have to have enough room behind the screen in order for it to work and most of the time we have our screen close to the wall to get more room in the area for people to come in.
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