Tuesday, October 27, 2009

We're very excited to have the owners of the Burton Theatre blogging for Open City about their new venture. Check back every week for updates by the operators of the Burton Theatre. Learn more about the Burton Theatre

By Nate Faustyn.....

It may be safe to say that the over-arching theme of business in Detroit is the “Ups and Downs” of its nature. Nothing could be truer than the last week and a half of the Burton Theatre. It’s been a little while since I’ve updated you and in that time we have had National media attention(thanks to the wonderful and extraordinarily helpful people at OPEN CITY DETROIT) and we’ve had our first unruly patrons.

Let’s start on the positive end of things. In the past week we have been able to finalize our schedule, break even on the 2 previous films and our pro-bono and very talented web designer Jeremy Franchi has nearly completed our website. We at the Burton are very excited about the things that are happening, Press became a big help this week as the MetroTimes started running our advertisements and Crain’s Magazine profiled us. Perhaps our biggest win was the opportunity to spread our limited knowledge and network on a panel at Open City which was then transcribed and included in Time Magazine’s new Detroit Blog(check it out). We had a great time meeting new people and getting very helpful and creative advise to assist us is in saturating the market and dealing with a couple of political issues we have encountered. So overall pretty good, however the problem comes in not recognizing our audience and not doing enough to publicize a revival print as a fun way to hang out.

Scarface(which by all rights should have been huge) has tanked very sadly and a small few of those who have seen the film have taken some advantage of having a theatre run by young people in Cass Corridor. I’ll leave it at that but suffice it to say it was a bit discouraging.

As I finish this week’s blog I would like to encourage all to come out and experience a brand new 35mm print of Scarface on Wednesday for $5 and pay attention for our November schedule which includes four Michigan Premiers(Taxidermia, Crude, Bronson, Until The Light Takes Us)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Check out photos from October's Open City

Another great Open City Meeting Last night! Our topic was "Creative Commerce"
Moderated by Kelli Kavanaugh, Wheelhouse Detroit
Panelists included:
- Greg Lenhoff, Leopold's Books
- Nate Faustyn, Burton Theatre
- Joe Posch, Hugh
- Rachel Leggs, Rachel's Place

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Burton Theatre Blog - Weekend 2

We're very excited to have the owners of the Burton Theatre blogging for Open City about their new venture. Check back every week for updates by the operators of the Burton Theatre. Learn more about the Burton Theatre

By Nate Faustyn.....

What an incredible week. We pulled all nighters(especially Jeff, projection guy) leading up to the Opening,which was friday night. To drive home the point we only sorted out a significant buzzing in the speakers 10 minutes before opening the doors. but the gala went off after that with very few hitches, save for a drunken speech and a first movie that proved to be a little more divisive than we thought.

The first week of operation was similarly nice. Saturday, our first day open to the public, we had a modest turnout of around 70 people yet it was refreshing to see some demographics we didn't really expect to support us. There were older people, children, and most importantly only 3 friends. It may seem odd to rejoice over your friends not showing up to your new business, but for us it let us know that people are paying attention to us. And really besides the derelict standing atop the slide next store giving a full benediction in a language I can only guess is Esperanto we had no huge issues with the Cass Corridor itself.

Spirit of the Beehive(which we will stand behind) proved maybe not the crowd pleaser we thought but it was for us a perfect way to let people know who we were and further work out the kinks(who would have guessed you'd need heat in an auditorium) My perspective from the opening weekend is a bit skewed though, as i realized a great cost saving measure would be for me to work security and just buy spinning light and heavy duty maglight.

Finally we did our first Wednesday budget show and immediately were grateful that we did that, because it does function as a great source of additional revenue. I never would have thought that for a 9 pm show of an obscure Spanish classic we would get foot traffic in the cass corridor. But hey i guess you can't spell small business without surprise(if you add a couple letters)

Any way we are now amidst a big checklist of things like signage, advertising, and heat so i must get back to work-nate

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Interested in participating in BLOCKTOBERFEST?

What better way to conquer the Tuesday blahs than with beer, music, food, games, good cheer, and a chance to win some awesome freebies -- all for a good cause?

Come join Blocktoberfest, a downtown Detroit mini-street fair, and you can benefit the United Way and local businesses while blowing off some weekday steam.
It's all happening from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 on Lafayette between First and Third Streets in downtown Detroit. Take The People Mover to the Fort/Cass stop, walk one block north to Lafayette and you've arrived!

More than 40 vendors will be selling and promoting their goods and services. Bid on raffle items ranging from yoga gift certificates to new tires. During your much-needed break from the office, grab a bite to eat, challenge your friends to a bean bag toss or test your Detroit trivia knowledge. Local celebs like Detroit News columnists Terry Foster, Charlie LeDuff and Neal Rubin will surrender their dignity in a dunk tank, while musical favorites Luther “Badman” Keith and Frankie D'Angelo take the stage.

For the after-5 crowd, Motor City Brewing Works will serve up their locally made beer and The Sights and The Polish Muslims will rock the block at a beer garden hosted by The Doubletree Guest Suites.

There are plenty of ways to contribute, and the biggest way is by joining the fun. We are asking employers to let their employees loose for a few hours to enjoy the festivities and fresh, fall air!

See the fruits of your support by visiting the United Way tent. Check out their 2-1-1 car and sign up to volunteer for one of their many programs to assist the community.

Admission is free and tickets can be purchased the day of the event at any of three Comerica Bank ticket booths on Lafayette.

We hope to see you there!

For more information, visit the United Way of Southeast Michigan at www.UnitedWaySEM.org/blocktoberfest.
Blocktoberfest is sponsored by The United Way, The Detroit Media Partnership, Ford Motor Company, The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, WDIV, Doubletree Guest Suites, Comerica Bank, Fort Shelby Tower Apartments and Inside Detroit.

Contact: Cindy Jacobs at cjacobs@detnews.com or 313.222.2135

Friday, October 2, 2009

Check out Open City on Detroit Today

Listen to local small business owners discuss Open City and retail development in Detroit.

Greg Lenhoff, Leopold's Books
Nora Madden, Detroit Community Acupuncture
Dave Mancini, Supino Pizzeria
Liz Blondy, Canine To Five
Claire Nelson, Bureau of Urban Living

Detroit Today on WDET 101.9
(Original air date: Friday, September 11)

The Burton Theatre Blog - Opening Weekend

We're very excited to have the owners of the Burton Theatre blogging for Open City about their new venture. Check back every week for updates by the operators of the Burton Theatre. Learn more about the Burton Theatre

by David Allen
So, as it turns out opening a small business is a lot of work. Who'd of thunk it?

In our last week before opening we've been in the theatre day and night, attempting to turn an elementary school auditorium into a first rate movie theatre. It's coming along nicely -- the space looks amazing, and just yesterday we were able to project our first film with sound. Maybe it's because I hadn't slept in a long time, or maybe it was all that dust that we had swept up finally getting to me, but watching reel 3 of Volver had me wanting to pump my fist in triumph, if that was the sort of thing that I ever did.

It's also been rather touching to watch the sheer number of our friends who have been willing to come in and help out. It takes a certain kind of friend to drive to your theatre and clean an old bathroom until 4 in the morning. To see a dozen people -- none over thirty and none being paid at all -- doing intense labor just because they believe in the cause has been a constant reminder of what this city has to offer.

On another note John Monaghan gave us a great write up in the Detroit Free Press. My mother seems particularly impressed by it as she has called me five times and left long voice mails about how much she loved the article and was going to send clips of it to everyone that she has ever met or talked to. The article came at just the right time, I'd have to say. The stress of getting this operation together, along with constant fear I'm sure most people starting a business share that we now have to rely on people actually turning out was starting to get at us, but this article reminded us that this theatre can work.

Okay, I actually have to get back to the theatre right now to clean off graffiti some 10 year old boy left on the wall years ago. Keep reading, as next week we'll be able to write a blog based on the actual experience of running this place.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Burton Theatre Blog

We're very excited to have the owners of the Burton Theatre blogging for Open CIty about their new venture. Check back every week for updates by the operators of the Burton Theatre. Learn more about the Burton Theatre

By Nathan Faustyn.....
My apologies for the tardiness this week but as you can imagine with T- 2 weeks we are really working long. This week we had to accept the lukewarm reception of our benefit show last weekend at the Magic Stick. Unfortunately we were kind of mislead about the price and realized a bit too late that promising beer to six bands can be expensive. Regardless of the cost, and stress, and lack of attendance it was inspiring to see the dedication and goodwill from the bands to play a free gig for us and Stevie and Cotton Museum even made new media for the show. Thanks also be to He-Bops, Carjack, TerribleTwos and Rogue Satelites/Marco Poleo split.

Beyond the show this week was just the emotional rises and falls as we were told our screen was ruined, then it wasn't, we experienced in fighting due to the stress of it all, and we received our FIRST FILM PRINT(Examined Life) and our first Faygo order.

But Wednesday Night was really the first real great evening for us in theatre as we finally sat down in our seats, looked around at the chandeliers and curtains and the rumored to be ruined screen and we realized that we are about to own a business. Ready or Not there is 1 week to sort everything and put ourselves in a position for success. All the pre-production is now going to be thrown in the fire. It's exciting and...well scary(to me at least.)

Thanks for reading I'll keep you up to date this week and tell you now look to the Detroit News this Thursday! /nathan

Friday, September 18, 2009

An Update from the Burton Theatre

We're very excited to have the owners of the Burton Theatre blogging for Open CIty about their new venture. Check back every week for updates by the operators of the Burton Theatre. Learn more about the Burton Theatre

By Nathan Faustyn.....
In this, the first blog entry for the Burton Theatre, perhaps it's best to say that we are an organization starting up in the Cass Corridor and blindly we have been leaning on our own impoverished knowledge of small business ownership and start-up. That said it has been refreshing and ultimately essential to our success that we have found the OPen City organization and on a micro level our neighbours at mantra, showcase and k9 to 5. Being someone who was almost ready to give up on Detroit just a year ago, the good will that these local businesses have engendered among eachother, and the open arms we have been welcomed with have kept us going especially through the some what arduous and unrewarding final push. Especially as we have gotten our first taste of the media and can say that we have had to make our new mantra, "There is No Such THing as bad press." Well hopefully we'll see everybody OCT.3..............which can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September Open City Resources

Thanks to everyone who came out for our September meeting! Here are links to some of the small business resources discussed:

SmartStart - TechTown

Urban Retail Loan Fund - Detroit Investment Fund

Social Compact Detroit Report - DEGC

Please mark your calendars for next month. Every Third Tuesday, same time, same place.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009
6:30-8:30 PM

Cliff Bell's
2030 Park Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226

In the meantime, visit our website at www.opencitydetroit.com for links to local small business resources!

Photos for our Open City Season Opener

Monday, September 14, 2009

Group aims to rebuild Detroit store by store

Despite Detroit's economic troubles, Jennifer Willemsen never wavered from her goal of opening a business in the city limits.

Two years ago, Willemsen, 28, learned she wasn't alone.

As Willemsen and her business partner planned to open a new hair salon in Midtown, Willemsen started attending meetings of small-business owners where the advice flowed.

"There's resources here. It's not just going to be me," Willemsen said she realized after attending meetings hosted by Open City, a group of local business owners who share advice with aspiring retailers in Detroit.

Open City kicks off its third season Tuesday at Cliff Bell's bar on Park Avenue and it plans to hold meetings the third Tuesday of every month through April.

Read the entire article here

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Michigan turns to entrepreneurs to create new jobs

Sometime next year, Michigan will lose its 1 millionth job since the state's economy began its downward slide in mid-2000. With a frenzy born of desperation, the state is trying to rekindle the entrepreneurial spirit that made Dow, Kellogg and Ford household names.

That trio founded the state's famous chemical, cereal and auto companies a century ago. These days, the state is doing what it can to foster a new generation of innovation.

At universities and community colleges, in downtown office spaces and 15 "SmartZone" technology centers designed to spark collaborations between universities and industry, Michigan is working to encourage the creation of new industries to provide the middle-class jobs that made the state a mecca for generations of workers.

There's lots of room for improvement. The state ranked just 27th nationally in the 2008 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, lagging behind most western states and national leader Georgia in the survey's measure of adults creating businesses each month.

To boost its standing, the state has awarded millions of dollars to high-tech firms through its 21st Century Jobs Fund, and companies are sponsoring contests that reward new "green" technology ideas. Business incubators are sprouting up from the urban streets of Detroit to the snowy streets of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Read On......

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shop Local

Open City is not just about opening new small businesses in the City of Detroit, but also supporting the ones we have!

Here are some ideas on starting a SHOP LOCAL CAMPAIGN

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Learn More About the FastTrac Program

Budding entrepreneurs pack program's classes
By Tom Henderson

A new Detroit entrepreneurship program has set up a structure to grow new companies and provide several years of support.

The FastTrac to the Future program hit the ground running in the spring.

On May 17, Crain's broke the news about the program — a collaboration involving Detroit's TechTown, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan — which is intended to create 400 new companies in metro Detroit over the next three years.

Read more here

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

September 15 Season Kick Off Meeting

"Opportunity in the D"
Co-Sponsored by Model D Media

Join us to kick-off Season 3! Our first meeting is all about opportunity --
exciting new resources to help you start or grow your small business in the city.

- Randal Charlton, TechTown
- Olga Stella, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
- Mary King, Detroit Investment Fund

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
6:30-8:30 PM
Cliff Bell's
2030 Park Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48201

Open and free to all. Seating is limited. Cash bar.
Register in advance at www.modeldmedia.com
Please note: Street parking may be limited due to Tigers game.