Monday, April 27, 2009

Birth of Café Roxy Idea

I have sold public domain films for years-- to colleges, to companies like Alpha Video, to TV stations, for Online streaming, and, yes, to bars and coffee houses. The latter usually bought features. I always advised them to add some cartoons and make up shows that had variety. I don't know how many did. So while I had the idea 25 years ago, I never promoted it. I'm slow. Anyone can tell you that. But over all those years no one else has put out "Shows" for the particular use of bars, restaurants and coffee houses.

In February of this year (2009) a new customer wrote to me, Susan, who was setting up a "Cafe Revue" in Fresno, California. I started explaining to her why some films were in the public domain and which ones I thought might play well in a coffee house atmosphere today. She asked if she could just show films from Dollar Bins that were in the public domain. The answer, with caveats of "Buyer Beware" re. quality and those fearful FBI warnings, is -- well, YES, you can. Anyone can show public domain films to the public. I may be too honest for my own good. This set me to wondering what I could offer to venues like Susan's new venture that she could not get at Walmart. I came up with a lot that you can read more about at Café Roxy website.

Café Roxy is an idea, a simple idea, the idea that cafés, bowling alleys, bars, American Legion posts and Your Place can bring in customers during off hours or days if they --


Show films free to your customers and make money off increased food and drink sales. There is an eventual minor cost to acquire the programs from Festival Films, but in the spirit of Free Movies I will send the first program free. Put a poster, which I will also give you free, in your window a week ahead to announce the show at whatever time and date you pick. Talk the idea up with your regular customers who you see daily or weekly. Opening night arrives and...? How many show up? How well do they like the first show? Will they bring their friends next week? Try it and find out, and please let me know how you do.  I guess if you do order more shows, I'll know.

This Café Roxy idea is exploding in my head and at the website. I will have a lot more to say at this blogspot!

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