SCERA to shift away from first-run films

Deseret News, 2 September 2003

Article Summary:

According to SCERA President and CEO Daryl Berlin, the first-run movie business is on its last leg at the SCERA.

Back when SCERA had exclusive rights to show Disney films, ticket revenues from the first-run movie business used to subsidize most of the other activities SCERA offers.

When the SCERA grossed $400,000 in 1992 for its exclusive run of "Beauty and the Beast," the Wall Street Journal called the profit "an astronomical amount for a single-screen theater in such a small market."

The construction of new multiplexes across the valley lead to the loss of SCERA's exclusive right to show Disney films.  

Now first-run movies are not making enough money to pay for themselves.  The distribution company takes about 90 percent of the ticket revenues for the first several weeks after a film opens.  By the time the SCERA gets 50 to 80 percent of the ticket sales everyone has already seen the movie.

Instead of showing first-run movies, SCERA will move toward showing classical movie series or staging movie events, such as in 1990 when Charlton Heston introduced a showing of "The Ten Commandments."