How To Start a Cinema Business In Nigeria

Are you interested in starting your own cinema business or do you have the passion and knowledge of movies? Do you intend to make money from movies? Or do you have an interest in starting up your own business and making huge money from it, here is how to start a cinema business in Nigeria without any stress? Do you know that some analysts have placed the entire Nigerian movie industry at a value of about $3 billion it means that Nigerians have a healthy appetite for movies? And if you can go into this business, you will be having a huge profit in this movie industry. Before I proceed 

, let me explain what a cinema means.

Meaning of Cinema or a Movie Theatre

A cinema or movie theatre is a place where movies are shown on large screens for a paying audience. Cinemas are usually characterized by superior sound effects, high picture quality, and comfortable furniture. All these combine to give moviegoers an awesome movie viewing experience. In Nigeria today, the cinema business has grown to become a very profitable and lucrative business, pulling record crowds to movie viewings and generating massive profits for their owners. So, this article will show you how to start a cinema in Nigeria.

There are two major ways of going into the cinema business in Nigeria, these are the two major ways;

  • Starting your cinema business independently
  • Start your cinema business under an existing franchise.

Starting Your Cinema Business Independently

In this method, you will have to start the entire business from scratch. So, this method is encouraged if you have been previously involved in running a cinema business and you know what you are doing. You will also be required to market your brand name and establish your contacts within the industry. Even though you are free to do what you like at your place, this method carries along with it a greater amount of risk, if you have great interest in starting this business, properly consider both options, research them and then determine for yourself which will be best suited for you.

Starting Your Cinema Business Under An Existing Franchise

You can start your cinema business by approaching one of the major existing cinemas in the country and going into a partnership with them. This partnership will enable you to start your cinema while using the name of the existing company. The advantage of this method is that you get to enjoy the popularity of the existing brand and the relationship they have with movie distributors, marketers, and producers. This can go a long way to attract customers to you. You will also benefit from their wealth of experience.

The bad side of this method is that it might tend to hinder your creativity because being a franchise, you have to do things very well according to the procedure and the dictates of the parent company. Running under a franchise also means that you have to part with a portion of your income.

So, before going ahead to begin to put money into this business, here are some key points that need to be carefully thought out. These are the points to follow;

1. Get a Good Location for the Business

You must select a good location for this cinema business, the location of your cinema business is properly the single most important factor that will determine the success or failure of the business. In selecting your location, you have to carry out the proper research on the proper research on the people living in that area. You should be able to determine using a market survey if the residents in that locality need a cinema house around them, a good market survey will be able to tell you if you will be able to attract customers to your cinema. 

Your location studies should also take the cost of securing a structure into consideration. To guarantee profitability, a cinema house requires a large hall that can comfortably hold at least a hundred people at any given time, it also depends on the capital you have at hand, you may decide to rent a hall or build one yourself if you have huge capital and also, your location must be visible and accessible with some space for parking, when you locate your cinema in a busy area of your city, it will go a very long way in giving you the much-needed exposure that will bring customers to your business.

2. Go For Training

To run a cinema business is not easy, you have to go for training and if you already have the experience of running a cinema business before then that’s fine but if you do not, then you have to go for training that will help you to run the business very well. The training will also help you to patronize the cinema houses of your potential competitors apart from going on formal training, so, you have to pay more attention to how they carry out their own business and pinpoint areas where you can improve on their services.

3. Register Your Business

It is an established law in Nigeria that all business places have to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission which is CAC. Proper registration is also an important requirement when you want to source funds from a financial institution. You will also need to be registered with and get permission from the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). This is also very important because the NFVCB has the sole responsibility of regulating the movie industry in Nigeria. You can be heavily fined or completely shut down if you go ahead to show films or videos that have been banned by the board.

4. You can Engage with Distributors and Producers


The film distributors and producers are very important in this cinema business, this is because they provide you with your main commodity which is the movie. 

It is a huge offense to show a movie in the cinema without the permission of the owners of the movie. So, establishing a good business understanding with distributors and producers not only ensures that you get their movies for cinemas, but it also means that you will get their movies on time. And then remember that the earlier you get a movie, the higher your chances of getting a full house.

5. Get the Cinema Equipment and Fittings

The next step to take is to purchase the appropriate equipment for your cinema, apart from renting a shop, this will be the other area that will take a lot of your capital. Try to focus on the basic equipment such as projectors, screens, lighting, and other sound systems. You also need to get fittings for your cinema and then your cinema should be fitted with the right furniture to maximize comfort. You will also need to fit air conditioners to keep the place cool. Also, the generator that will be supplying power to your equipment and other electrical fittings in the event of power failure must be purchased.

6. Create a small area where Snacks can be prepared

Apart from movie ticket sales, another major source of income for a cinema is the sale of snacks and drinks. Most customers cannot resist the urge to snack away while watching a movie. Ensure you get proper snacks and cold drinks so that the customers can buy and that is another business for you, if the snacks are good, it will even entail the customers to be coming for movies.

Read also: How To Make Money Online As A Student In Nigeria

7. Employ more Staff

You will have to employ staff at least two or more to carry out the sale of tickets, operate the projectors, light, and sound, sell snacks, and also man at the entrance. If you have the funds and lack the needed experience, you can hire a cinema manager so that he/she can help you to run the business very well, you may even gain more experience from the manager.

8. Advertise Your Cinema Business

After putting all the above listed in place, it is now time to blow the trumpet of your business, what I mean is that it’s now time to advertise your business so that people can locate you, and explore as many means as possible to let people know about your business. And then, do not ignore the importance of social media in modern-day advertising, the social media will give you a much broader audience than conventional media platforms.

This cinema business is a very profitable and lucrative one, you will only survive in it if you do things the right way. so, the above listed are just steps that will guide you on how to run the business successfully in Nigeria. Your creativity and hard work are also required to help you succeed in the business.

So, I hope these steps will guide you easily on how to start the business successfully without any stress…

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Ayodeji Kolawole

My name is Ayodeji Kolawole. Please note that I am not in any way affiliated with any company you read about on this blog. For more info email me on

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