How To Start a Movie Theatre Business In Africa

How To Start a Movie Theatre Business In Africa

The movie theatre culture is becoming popular, especially in Africa‘s urban centers. We believe they require a special mention in this book due to the huge gap that currently exists in Africa. In fact, Africa‘s demand for the cinema experience is severely underserved at the moment and we have an interesting comparison that will give you the proper perspective.

In the United States, for example, there are approximately 40,000 cinema screens; that‘s about 120 cinemas for every one million Americans. In the emerging world, India (population: 1.25 billion) has about 20,000 theatres while China (population: 1.35 billion) has just over 13,000 movie theatres. Can you try to guess how many theatres we have in Africa? Less than 1,000! Yes, the whole of Africa (population: 1.1 billion) has less than 1,000 cinemas. That‘s less than one cinema per million people.

In line with the pace of its movie market growth, Africa will need to develop roughly 1,000 cinemas every year to fully harvest the potential of its market. Most cinemas are located within shopping malls and recreation centers, activity hotspots that usually experience high human traffic. A good place to learn more about setting up a cinema business is the UK‘s Independent Cinema Office website at

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Business Concept

To set up a proper cinema would require a significant amount of investment, but if you find the right market and present a compelling plan it would theoretically be possible to raise the money if you do not have it. However, we are convinced that almost every idea can be started small and smart‘. You could start by setting up a movie theatre in a community hall, a large popular coffee shop or bar, or in the open air, either as the sole owner of this undertaking or in partnership with already existing businesses. Africans have

a huge need for entertainment, adults, youth, and families alike – a well-maintained open-air movie theatre in Africa‘s pleasant climate could soon become the hit of the town.

Niche Idea

Children and family movie theaters in a community center or open air.

Top Countries & Policy Guidance

This would work in all major cities and towns across Africa.

Action & Tips

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 Why not sell your own popcorn brand during the action? It would surely add significantly to your earnings, considering that you can get maize cheaply across Africa. Also keep in mind: what you are really selling to your customers is the experience!
 A great starting point would be to look out for areas where cinemas are over-booked or non-existent.

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