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Old 07-14-05, 10:10 AM   #1
grgs
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As a Cyclist, Would This Interest You?

Strange hypothetical question, I know.

Bike night at the theatre?

A little context. I am a member of an alternative theatre company that creates only its own new plays. We are looking at various different ways to promote our shows, and recently decided to try to do specific discount nights for companies, such as one night is Nationwide night. The show, like always is open to the public but anyone who comes that night and says they're from Nationwide gets $2 off (from a normal $10 ticket)

As a cyclist, I've thought of trying a bike night. Anyone who bikes to the theatre that night would be given in the parking lot a $2 off coupon for the show that night. While we do not have a lot of bike parking space (no rack, just various poles around) we would station one person in the parking lot for the duration of the show to watch the bikes.

So my question is, if you saw such an offer in your town, what would that mean to you?

-If you weren't familiar with the theatre show or company would this entice you to check it out?
-If you were moderately interested would this be a final push to make you want to come?
-Would this put you off in any way?
-Would you feel safe with the situation described above?
-Is there any other suggestion you would make?




Any ideas or opinions would be welcomed.
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Old 07-14-05, 11:20 AM   #2
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Sounds like a great Idea. I would definately go to bike night. My only concern is if it was really at night then there are some safety concerns with many people riding their bikes at night. This kind of promotion might intice people to ride their bikes to the theatre just for the discount. People who normally dont ride and are not as well practiced or experienced with riding in the dark might be at risk for an accident. No lights, helmets...etc.
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Old 07-14-05, 11:30 AM   #3
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You might think about valet bike parking and tagging bikes so people couldn't take someone elses bike when they left.
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Old 07-14-05, 11:38 AM   #4
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I'm interested in that type of thing anyways, and a bike night would just sweeten the deal. As far as people riding in for the discount who don't normally ride... I think it's a good thing. Show them a good time involving bikes and maybe they will consider it for transportation even when they don't get a theatre discount. It may be a little sketchy with more novice riders around, but safer than, oh say, street racer night or gang night. More bikes/less cars= Be prepared for the bikes though. I would definately feel better with someone keeping an eye on the bikes, but I still wouldn't want to leave mine unlocked. Maybe you could have a bike valet type thing, where you get a ticket that matches a tag on your bike? So when it's time to leave, nobody can take your bike without your ticket? You're on the right track though, anything that encourages cycling rather than alienating it has my attention.
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Old 07-14-05, 11:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L.
You might think about valet bike parking and tagging bikes so people couldn't take someone elses bike when they left.
I type slow. But, yeah, great minds and all...
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Old 07-14-05, 11:49 AM   #6
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Sounds like a GREAT idea!
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Old 07-14-05, 12:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikemiker
I type slow. But, yeah, great minds and all...
And great minds in Arizona, no less.

Experimental theatres are typically in areas that I would be pretty uncomfortable leaving my bike. I know there are plenty of tweakers near the experimental theatres in downtown Phoenix that would think nothing of jacking a bike or ten. Besides a guard, I would want something heavy duty that I could personally lock to. If you don't have a rack, maybe you could make a temporary one. I'm thinking two buckets of concrete with a long chain in between, or a chain or cable anchored to a wall. Just something that will keep the bike where I left it.
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Old 07-14-05, 12:20 PM   #8
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Last night it took us at least twenty minutes to get out of the theater parking lot, I wished I was on my bike

What a great idea! Go for it!

On the cautious side: Though you provide surveillance, you should still inform customers that they are parking at their own risk, decline responsibility for any damage, theft, etc, just because you do not have the facilities to accomodate a secure enough environment for bike parking. Decline responsibility for accidents occuring on theatre/lot property. Warn of hazards of riding at night, use lights..

If you decide and once you do it, let us know how successful it was!
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Old 07-14-05, 12:31 PM   #9
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Bike night sounds cool. The area would be the limiting factor. My wife was all happy to tell me about "Bike Day" at Hill's cafe once a week. Hill's is in Austin, TX and is known for the food and live music. I then found out its a Harley thing. SUCK!!!

My brother has started playing small places around the heights. I drove to his place in the Heights (Houston), and rode my bike to the gig. I was not alone, and wound up making friends with those that biked it. Of course I don't know what enticed them to talk to me more, "you riding the single speed?" or "your his brother?"
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Old 07-14-05, 12:37 PM   #10
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Every year we have a series of "Artwalks" in our city downtown. It's a well attended event where a couple of streets get closed off and everybody visits the downtown art galleries and other stores and watches street performers.

Our city Art in Public Places director is an avid cyclist and she got the Artwalk committee to promote "Bike To Artwalk" this year. If you showed up with a helmet you got some freebies from Artwalk, with exhortations to have lighting on your bikes for the night ride home.

My family and I rode our bikes there but we would have anyway. Lauren and her daughter were also there with their bikes. I don't think I saw anyone on bikes besides the usual gang of cyclists who ride to these things regardless of what's being promoted.

RFM
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Old 07-14-05, 12:48 PM   #11
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Thanks. This is the kind of response I'm hoping for.

-MadLab Theatre (www.madlab.net) is a little west of downtown in a moderately sketchy area. There are plenty of places to lock up but they aren't specifically made for bikes(street signs, parking meters, etc.)
-Thanks for the ticket idea.
-Any ideas on what an actual bike rack would cost and where I could get one?


My actual hope is that if I did this I would attract at least 6 people that wouldn't come to the show otherwise. Of course, if I try it and no one comes it's really no loss. Still happy to hear more opinions. And if I get a chance (won't be until August/Sept.) I'll pass on the info.
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Old 07-14-05, 12:59 PM   #12
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Great ideas so far. Just curious, how do people dress when they attend performances and is it compatible with riding a bike? When I attend the theatre, I'm usually very dressed up. Of course, I imagine experimental theatre performances are probably a little more casual, but having never attended one, I have no idea.
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Old 07-14-05, 01:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grgs
-Any ideas on what an actual bike rack would cost and where I could get one?
These guys may give you an idea of what to expect to pay for a rack:
http://www.bicyclebuys.com/HTML/BicycleStorage.htm

but you may decide to do away with this or go for a DIY alternative until you can assess a real need for it.
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Old 07-14-05, 01:09 PM   #14
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If you do the bike night as a Sunday matinee then you get around the whole 'people riding at night' issues --and may pull in some folks who'd use it as an ending/starting point on a longer ride. just a thought. I love the idea, and would totally do it if I was in riding distance of the art houses...
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Old 07-14-05, 01:25 PM   #15
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Bike-in movies have been very popular in Portland for the last several years. Sometimes at a regular theater offering discount tix to cyclists, sometimes at an alternative venue.
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Old 07-14-05, 07:46 PM   #16
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Don't forget to sell food and beer!
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Old 07-14-05, 08:18 PM   #17
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Yep valet sounds good.

Here's how it could work:

You need:

Valet d00ds (yeah it costs a bit...)
rent some bike racks (heck even some ladders rigged up right can work so long as the back wheel is parked in them)
super long thick cable locks (bike shops carry them, about $25 w/locks)
Valet tags (and possibly something to attatch them to bikes)

The locks are the only high buck cost (well unless you have to buy tons of racks)...but what it allows is tehy can lock every bike (even if the customer does not have a lock), and that also allows the valets all to have key access (no losing keys).

The advantage is that you have a re-usable solution, and you could possibly rent out the racks to any other group in the area that wishes to do the same.

Only problem I see with not having some kind of rack at the least is a fustercluck of bikes on the poles, leading to bikes being locked to other bikes. Valets might be able to do something about it, but depending on how many show it may need more.

I have no clue what the turnout would be, but I doubt any more than parking for 30 would be needed. If poles can do that, sweet!
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