Saturday, June 13, 2009

Recipe for Success!

(I send out these hints with each Sampler Show.)

Café Roxy is not likely to show up in the local Starbucks. Only entrepreneurs who think outside the box will try something new to attract customers -- like showing free films -- and that’s you! Try innovative promotion as well. Give Café Roxy the best chance to succeed by following this recipe for success.

1) Make it a Movie Night!

Don’t run continuous films any old time. Make it an event your customers plan to attend. Schedule Free Shows for specific day(s) and time(s) either... on your least busy nights (Monday-Tuesday?), for Saturday and Sunday brunch, as mid-afternoon Saturday Matinees, weekend late nights, or whenever your regulars want to come! When you start a Roxy series of 12 shows over 12 weeks, be consistent with same day/same time each week. Multiple showings are great as long as they are the same DAYS and same TIMES. Remember that some viewers might want to catch the weekly adventure serial chapter!

2) Display the Posters!

Print out the posters from, add you name and showdate info, and put them up! You can also print mini-posters to hand out. Will audiences show up to see the films advertised in this poster on the right? In many venues the answer is a resounding YES! If you have TVs, there is no cost or risk to try Free Movie Night.

3) Talk It Up!

Your best repeat dining/drinking customers, family and friends are most likely to attend the free movies. Make them aware. Ask what they would like to see. Ask their advice on days and times.

4) Show the Sampler First!
The free Sampler Show has a variety of shorts that allow viewers to come and go without missing much. That is the program that this poster advertises. I will mail you the Sampler Show free if you only email me at and ask for one.

If a late arriving, still eager crowd remains at the end of the show you can always re-play the DVD from the top so they can enjoy the serial trailers and cartoons.

5) Alert the Media!

Yes, seriously. Many papers would be happy to report on a new idea related to free entertainment in this economy. Later articles might cover your Buster Keaton revival or "Serials are Back!"

6) Free Popcorn!

Buy a popcorn machine. It just might be the bonus that sends drink sales through the roof.

7) Be Creative!

Film your grand opening for Youtube. Advertise on your website and Face Book. Include showdates in your printed monthly calendar. Install a red curtain around your large screen TV. Extend Happy Hour prices to Movie Time. Draft a local musician to accompany Buster Keaton silent films. Pass the kitty for the piano player. Etc., and please let me know what you come up with!

8) Have Fun!

Dim the lights and roll film....

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