Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Cinema

Germany has a unique feature which you don't see much in the US.....small-town cinemas.  Oh, we used to have small-town theaters....but the bulk (probably over ninety-nine percent) have gone away.

Here in my village....up until the late 60's....they had a small cinema operation.  It reached a point where they couldn't compete or reach enough profit.....so they shut down.   If you go over the hill.....about a dozen miles away to Idstein, they've still got an old fashion cinema.

MDR (one of the regional state-run networks) did up a story about a month ago, and talked about the decline of such operations.

If movies are done in digital fashion, and you'd have to upgrade your small 'kino' if you wanted to continue getting movies to show. The average cost?  Roughly 120-thousand Euro ($140k dollars).   If you ran a two-room operation....it's a hefty amount of money.

Most operators will tell you that by the time they figure the cost of operation, heat, taxes, etc.....there's zero profit in the movie itself.  Their profit is in the drinks and pop-corn.  If you figure a hundred people might show up tonight, and each buy a popcorn and soda.....then your cut is probably around 300 Euro, but then you have to pay the two kids at the stand, and you walk away each week with seven-hundred Euro if you were lucky.  All of this for an operation that consumes seven days a week, and at least six hours per day in operation and clean-up.

A dying thing?  Unlike the US situation where new bumped-up theaters moved into medium-sized towns and were mega-operations with six to ten large rooms.....these small German cinemas don't fit that image.  Oh, will note in the region at least five or six mega-kinos and they are popular with the public.  The small cinema has some curious flare or design......where you want to sit back and admire the movie on a small screen.

If you live in a small German town where there is a local cinema.....take advantage of it and enjoy an old-fashion evening of entertainment.

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