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  • Rick Eisenacher
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Just thought I would ad another note about the licensing. If admission is charged, a percentage of the ticket sales is due to the licensing to the studios via the licensing ( I believe it is 50%) or the flat rate / which ever is higher.

I know some of our clients got around this by asking for a donation for a specific cause and the movie was free. An example would be asking for donations for a 5th grand field trip. Usually you can guide the attendees to a specific dollar amount but if they don't want to give you would have to let them in.

Another way to get funds which works well is to have an ad sheet with 25 or so local business and charge them $25 per ad. Hand them out the night of the event as a thank you and promotion for those generous businesses. That's $625.00 right there that could go towards the license and for a professional company to do the set-up.

Oh, one more note...
To answer a previous question about how many lumens a projector should have, it should be at least 4500 and at least 1000 to 1 contrast ratio. This would be a minimum. There is often stray light from nearby security lights or street lights and you need to be able to over ride them. The larger the image, the more light it takes. Remember, if you can't see the movie bright and clearly, the crowd will loose interest.

This information comes from years of experience (12) helping out schools and local towns do outdoor movie events. It is my pleasure to pass it along.

Richard Eisenacher
Audio Visual Services

When I was doing research I was informed that the school's license is not valid for entertainment movies only educational (as part of curriculum). Also if you show a movie outside that requires a different type of a license, which is way more expensive. Did anyone else run into this problem?

Hi - What type of projector do you need for a Movie Night? How many lumens or what are some of the key parameters that we would need to consider? Alternately, do you have a manufacturer and model number of a good projector?

Thanks,
Brent

  • Fox mom
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We hold approx 3-4 movie night s a year- one in Dec.-- which is a great turnout- we try and show a movie that is just being released- but we have shown some of the holiday classic's--- like the Polar express for our Dec. movie as well--- we open doors at 6:30pm and have our movie start at 6:45pm--

We have a donation of $1.00 per person as they enter and we give them a raffle ticket--- this is for a raffle of the movie and goody basket-- or just the movie-- and this is the movie that we are showing---
so this is done right after the movie is over--- this helps everyone stay until the end as well---

And we sell concessions--- for .25-$1.00 each--- we usually have glow sticks for .50 cents, popcorn for .50, water or pop for 1.00-- ice cream bars at times if they are left over from a previous event for .50 cents-- and then candy for .25 each-- this event is also a great way to sell items that are left over from previous events....

such as:
we have our fair-- and during the event we sell popcorn, cotton candy, candy bars, pop, water, ice cream bars, and candy that is used as a prize for a game-- we always have left overs -- so we host a movie night in may-- and sell what we have left--- we do not buy extra as school is almost out--- but there has always been enough to make everyone happy...

Anyway to answer your question:


We find December, Feb. to be good months and sometimes March-- May is a good month to sell what you have left...- and we never worry about how many guests come-- who ever comes, great-- because there is little out in the way of funds-- and our school has a license-- so we never have to purchase one... they have a large screen in their cafeteria so it looks great on the big screen and full sound system

  • Rose C
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gheidi -- Great tip on doing the popcorn ahead of time. Those are the little things that make a really big difference! Thanks for sharing, Rose

We held our movie night in our Cafeteria/Multi-purpose room. We bought the "one time" license but this year we upgraded. Our turn-out was HUGE, much better than we expected AND planned for. We had our local pizza place...the cheap one ;-), deliver pizza that we sold per slice. We have a popcorn machine so we also popped popcorn and sold candy. We gave bottled water away with pizza purchases. We also gave those little powered packets to flavor water. Lemonade, fruit punch etc. <--big hit. Here is where we failed to be prepared. We should have been popping popcorn at least 2 hours before the arrival time so we had popcorn ready to be purchased. Each popping only produced 2-3 bags so it was hard to keep up. We didn't order enough pizza to start w/but as soon as we saw the turnout we got on the phone and call the pizza joint and they promptly brought more pizza. We ordered more pizza twice! Our next movie night we will also sell "family" size bags of popcorn.

As a side note: For some events we have our local pizza place set up and sell pizza, nachos, drinks and then they just give us a percentage. There are times when that is helpful so the volunteers can have a break and enjoy the festivities as well. We pretty much have the same volunteers for every event so they deserve a break! Each movie go'er received a ticket and at the end we had a drawing for the movie. Btw, picking the movie out is the hardest part! We have a pre-screen available for parents. We are a magnet school with 912 students. OH, and we had the families bring blankets & pillows and we set up chairs around the perimeter. It was fun!

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