We do not pick the new release movies that are played at the Palace. For that reason… if there is a specific movie that you want to see, sometimes YOU need to bring it to us. We get most big releases, but small releases are pretty rare for us. The studios have very targeted areas for their movies and their research trumps our request. It might sound like a daunting undertaking, but it could actually be quite simple to bring a movie here.
It’s pretty unlikely that you would be able to convince the studio to give us the movie for a full run, but if you have a group, we could do a one time showing.
We sat down with Julie from Full Circle after she successfully brought the movie Unplanned to Athens for a special event. Many months ago, Julie had asked us about a movie she had an interest in. She had heard of this movie just through her own personal interests and Facebook. I told her the same thing I tell all of you when asked about a small release. “Typically, the small releases require some sort of public action for us to get it. The studio needs to know that there’s a market here.” If you are in a position to gather a group to work together, you will be in a much better position.
Julie started by finding the movie’s website. This is probably the easiest step. A simple Google search will usually work. If you can’t find it on Google, try looking up the movie’s studio. Most movies will be marketed with a lead in about the studio… “Walt Disney presents…”
While on the website, Julie located a contact form that was for people interested in seeing the movie. It asked her where she was located and where she wanted to see the movie. She filled in the info and didn’t hear anything back.
This is not uncommon. These contact forms are great if you can coordinate an effort to have many people fill it out. Reach out to groups you think would be interested in the movie. Create a Facebook group for it. Often, you need as few as 250 “signatures” to show the studio an interest. For a faith based movie, some churches would easily hit those numbers.
If you are speaking for many people, you have other options.
Because Julie was only one person, but represented a large group, she knew she needed to take a different approach. Some movies will have a contact form about group bookings or corporate buyouts. This is what you need to look for. Unplanned wasn’t set up this way so Julie reached out to the marketing team for the movie. Marketing teams are responsible for the movie’s social media. A good place to start would be to locate the movie on Facebook and send them a message. You can explain that you are the director of youth at a large church and have 200 kids that you want to show the movie to.
Recently, we received an email from Sony. A local church has contacted them about a private showing of a movie for their church. The coordinator has reached out to me and now we are in the process of getting the film approved through the bookers and studio executives. It might seem like coming directly to the theater is your best bet, but think of the theater as a rental car. We can help you accomplish your goal by providing resources you might not otherwise have, but it’s up to you to fill the car with the things you need. We have the seats and the screen and the popcorn, but we need you to bring the people and the movie.
The studio may approve your group for a special one night booking. This means that your group will be responsible for purchasing the seats required. (The studio may have a requirement). You would essentially rent the theater and play this movie. The theater would not handle any of the ticket sales unless you wanted to. It would be up to your group to sell/distribute tickets. In some instances, we could work with your group to sell them, but ultimately, your group would be responsible. In other words, you would have to pay the required cost of the rental no matter what. You could approach this as a strictly private event where the showtime is never mentioned to the public. Or you could be the sponsor of the event (either public or anonymously) and we can treat it like a regular movie time with the general public purchasing tickets.
After the movie is confirmed for play, we can work out the details. It’s the “getting it” part that you will need to work on. Questions? contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.