The other day we sat down with Harry Wilkins of ACME Outdoor Movie Company
who recently purchased several Open Air Cinema outdoor movie systems to launch their event services company. ACME operates out of the sunny state of Florida, where the sunshine is constant, and outdoor movies are a possibility all year long. Many customers of Open Air Cinema are looking into starting their own rental or event production businesses, and so we thought we'd share this success story to show how purchasing an Open Air Cinema outdoor movie system can be a versatile and worthwhile business opportunity.
Contact Open Air Cinema today at 866-802-8202 to speak to a friendly Open Air Cinema representative and to place your order for your outdoor movie system today! Alternatively you can contact us using our online contact form.
We look forward to talking to you soon.
Open Air Cinema: Can you tell us about the history and genesis of ACME outdoor movies? How did it all start?
At Captive Marketing Group, Acme Outdoor Movie Company's parent corporation, we're always looking for solid business opportunities that will allow us to continue to expand our reach and help to grow the relationship between our businesses and the communities in which we live and serve. В Alana Harris, president of Captive Marketing Group, and members of our management team were touring the IAAPA show in Orlando and learned about outdoor movies when we visited Open Air Cinema's display. After a couple of months of research, we concluded that outdoor movies would be a good fit with our existing marketing and graphics capabilities and with our other talents. В I was especially enthusiastic about the ability to create our own events that outdoor movies allows us. В Think about this for a moment - if you were renting any other equipment, say back hoes for example, and you wanted to increase this month's revenues, you can't just go out and dig a hole in a field, you have to first find a customer who wants a hole dug! В But with an outdoor movie screen, if you want to generate revenues and you don't have customers using the screen, you can easily create a show on your own; essentially anywhere and anytime. В How many other service businesses can you think of that have that much flexibility and potential to generate revenue?
OAC: It seems like business has been going great for you, and it seems like your local community is really responding to outdoor movie screenings. What is it exactly about outdoor movies that is causing such a stir?
HW: Great question, and yes we are getting a lot of support from our local communities! В The corporate customers we've worked with like outdoor movies as a way to finish off a day's activities such as a company picnic or they use movies as a good will ambassador to their community out reach efforts. В The shows that Acme Outdoor Movie Company has produced for our own account are part of our commitment to giving back to the communities we work with and are designed to attract families to an evening of fun under the stars. В The audience likes the fact that the events are free to attend and they like movies in general. After our third screening, we started getting feedback on our web pages with film suggestions and these suggestions are helping us in deciding which films to show as we move forward. В I think this interactivity between Acme Outdoor Movie Company and our audience members is an important part in the growth of our business. В We are looking for other ways to increase the number of touches we have with our audience members such as on-screen SMS messaging and tweeting.
OAC: Why did you choose Open Air Cinema outdoor movie systems?
HW: In a word Professionalism. В After deciding that the outdoor movie business was a good fit for our business, we researched the available manufacturers and distributors. В We were most impressed by the professionalism of Open Air Cinema and their representatives. Many of the other companies we contacted either never returned our calls, spent much of their time running down the competition rather than telling us the reasons their products should be purchased, or clearly lacked the customer service focus that Open Air Cinema displayed each time we spoke. OAC's representatives on the other hand were consistently helpful, knowledgeable, professional and earned our business with their attention to detail and generally good approach to business. In the end, the decision to work with Open Air was an easy one to make.
OAC: Florida is a great place to have outdoor movie events because of the weather - are you able to hold screenings on a year round basis?
HW: You're right! В Florida is an excellent year-round market for outdoor events. В We started marketing outdoor events the day we placed our order with Open Air; in the few weeks it took to receive the equipment, we had already booked our first 42 events with at least three events scheduled in each month through the end of the year and five events scheduled for December 2011. В We may slow down in January and February, but if we do, it'll only be because we need a rest.
OAC: You seem to be pretty experienced with producing outdoor movie events, do you have any advice for someone looking to put on their first inflatable movie screen event?
HW: I would advise anyone interested in entering this business to buy the absolute best equipment they can afford. В In our case we started with Open Air Cinema's Elite 40' screen, an Elite 20 foot screen and a 12 foot screen so that we could take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself. В Having the right size screen for each venue is important. В The 40 footer is our main size screen, although there are just some situations where it is simply too large, either because there isn't enough throw distance to set up the projector or because the large screen would overwhelm the setting. В As an example, we recently did a charity event with the American Cancer Society where we set up our 20 foot screen behind their stage and projected live video coverage and recorded announcements for the spectators and participants. В Their stage was 20 feet wide and the 40 foot screen would have dwarfed their stage and made it look small. В The availability of multiple screens has also allowed us to double-book event dates, and that is a great position to be in, especially during the first few months of operation.
OAC: So, we know you can't tell us all of your plans, but what's next for ACME outdoor movies? Is there anything you could tell our readers to look forward to?
HW: We are very excited about the future of this business and the limitless opportunities that Open Air Cinema's inflatable screens allow us to create. В One of our next projects is to produce a series of horror film screenings inside of an abandoned warehouse. В We're sure this will be a big hit with young adults and the theme possibilities are limited only by our imagination.
OAC: Is there anything else you'd like to plug-in or say?
HW: I'd encourage other outdoor operators to get involved on Open Air Cinema's Community blog. В It is a great place to share ideas and help each other grow. В In the beginning, we were very active but I must admit that recently we haven't often had time to log back in. В One of my personal goals is to create the time to again become more active in the community.