First, the apology. I know that my posts are getting delayed to the point where I've actually missed a couple in the last couple of weeks; the long-story-short is that after four months of being unemployed, I lucked into a job that is not only offering full-time work at a decent wage, but is actually offering unlimited overtime. It's a golden opportunity to catch back up on my finances, but it's cutting into my free time and energy something wicked. Rest assured, though, that I have no intentions of quitting. My wife wouldn't let me, for one thing.
So today, I'll share one of those little ideas that I might someday pursue, if I someday luck into a lot of money and get to do my own thing without worrying about whether my business is all that successful. I'd like to buy an old movie theater.
Now when I say "old", I don't really mean that old. I'm thinking one of the multiplexes that they overbuilt back in the 90s, when the movie theater business geared up for a huge expansion and found out the hard way that the studios were passing all the losses for crappy movies like 'Godzilla' and 'Waterworld' onto them. A lot of them have been repurposed or demolished, of course, but I like to imagine I could find one. Then I'd transform it into a revival theater. Not one that shows art-house movies, but one that shows classic popcorn flicks--my ethos, plain and simple, would be that it's just more fun to see movies in the theater.
The concessions stand would serve real food--either I'd subcontract out to local restaurants or I'd hire a good chef, but it'd have actual yummy fast food like burgers and fries and stuff instead of just popcorn and nachos. (And yes, I know, movie theaters have expanded their menus a lot lately. That just shows it's a good idea.) I'd also have an arcade in the theater--not just a few video game machines in the corner, but an actual arcade. And the movies...
Every month would be themed, with movies that fit that month's theme and a published schedule for them. For Valentine's Day, for example, the theater would be split into two halves--the "Romance" side would feature flicks like 'The Princess Bride' and 'Say Anything', while the "Anti-Romance" side would feature movies like 'Heathers' and 'Heavenly Creatures' (although some might call that really romantic. After all, nothing says "love" like killing your mom.)
October would be huge; nothing but classic horror flicks all month long, culminating in a Halloween "lock-in" where one double-price ticket buys you as many flicks as you can stay in the theater for (and yes, sleeping bags would be allowed.) And we'd show the complete Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween series.
And every Friday night at midnight, we'd have the Midnight Movie Cage Match--two movies play in two different theaters, and I keep track of attendance. Winner stays, loser goes. (Rocky Horror Picture Show is not invited to this competition, because I think that too many people would go to it simply because "we always go to Rocky Horror!") Films like 'Little Shop of Horrors', 'Shaun of the Dead', 'Slither', 'Clue', 'Grindhouse', 'From Dusk Till Dawn', 'Army of Darkness', 'Mars Attacks', 'Return of the Living Dead', 'Doomsday', 'Donnie Darko'...two movies enter. One movie leaves.
I'm aware that this is not a major money-making proposition. It is, in fact, probably a money-loser (although I like to imagine it wouldn't hemorrhage cash.) But I think it'd be a fun place to work and spend time and run, and that's almost more important than money. Assuming you have money to burn, which I don't at the moment, which is why I'm working sixty hours a week. Which is why, to bring it all back to the beginning, I'm apologizing for the slow update schedule of late.