City Council discusses theater surcharge

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The owners of Continental Cinemas further explained Tuesday their hope for a city surcharge on tickets to help with the theater’s planned expansion.

Owner Chase Taylor told council members at Tuesday’s meeting of the executive committee the idea is to use the ticket surcharge to keep that money in Troy instead of sending approximately 60 percent back to movie studios in California.

“Our business is different than most,” Taylor said. “We’re dealing with properties from these movie studios. When we run that movie, we pay a percentage back to them.”

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Taylor said the percentage of ticket sales that must go back to studios has increased from about 44 percent in 1998 to 60 percent now.

“Last weekend (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2) opened and we had to send 65 percent of those ticket sales back to the studio,” Taylor said.

To keep that from happening, Continental is proposing the city set a surcharge that would be applied to the tickets and then given back to the theater, effectively keeping 57 to 65 cents more of that dollar spent in Troy. Taylor said the surcharge would bring in about $60,000 annually for the theater.

Taylor said the owners would have to look at raising ticket prices more if the city fails to approve some version of the plan.

In other business the council, minus District 1 Councilmember Robert Jones:

• Unanimously approved a bid award in the amount of $161,792.50 to Wiregrass Construction for the 3,500 foot extension of the walking trail at the Sportsplex. $100,000 of that expense will be covered by a grant.

• Unanimously approved a bid award in the amount of $239,208.25 to S.A. Graham Construction for a project to rehabilitate a portion of Murphree Street.

• Unanimously approved a bid award in the amount of $169,376 to Blankenship Construction to move a sewer line 20 feet under Troy University’s intramural fields to make it more accessible to be worked on.

• Unanimously approved a bid award in the amount of $16,262.10 to Pyrotecnico for the city’s annual fireworks display. The company offered 973 shells for the price.

• Unanimously approved a bid award in the amount of $22,541.69 to Coffman International to replace the engine on a street sweeper.

• Reappointed Mark Caulk to the Troy Airport Committee.

• Reeves appointed Billy Jeffcoat to the Troy Housing Authority to replace leaving member Bob Mills.

The next meeting of the Tory City Council will b e held Tuesday, May 23 at City Hall.

The executive committee will meet upstairs at 4 p.m. and the council will convene in the Council Chambers at 5 p.m.