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How to Start Cinema Business in Nigeria



Cinema Business in Nigeria

In this article, you will learn how to start a cinema business in Nigeria. We will discuss whether the cinema business is a profitable business, the cost of capital needed to start a cinema business in Nigeria, and finally the step-by-step guide on how to start a cinema business in Nigeria.

Gone are the days when stage plays were in trend where actors have to perform live to make money from their talents and theater owners in Nigeria have to make money through plays, drama, and concerts. Today, all films are recorded on tapes, CDs and streamed online.

Today, as a cinema owner you can show films to viewers (movie lovers) and make money from it. The cinema business in Nigeria is a service business. You are rendering service to viewers by displaying different movies be it international or local movies.

Is Cinema Business Profitable?

Cinema Center is a profitable business in Nigeria because Nigerians love to watch movies. The average person loves to watch movies to relax. The movies the Nigerians love to watch vary on many factors but especially their lifestyles. While some Nigerians love a good action film, some love comedy because it makes them laugh.

While some Nigerians love local films others love American or Indian movies so it depends. If you invest in the cinema business today there are guarantees that you will make good profits as the years go by.

Capital Needed to Start Cinema Business

The cost of starting a cinema business in Nigeria is high. This is why the cinema business in Nigeria is another capital-intensive business under the service business. To start a cinema center in Nigeria you will need a capital of #3,000,000 – #5,000,000.

This capital will be used to buy theatre equipment, rent a hall and get a license to operate in Nigeria. A lot goes into the cinema business but it is worth it because when the profits start coming in, it comes massively.

Equipment Needed to Start Cinema Business

The equipment needed to start a cinema business in Nigeria are:

1. Projector

2. High-fidelity Speakers

3. Audio-Video Receiver

4. Cinema Seats

5. Air Conditioner

6. Generator

There are also the staff you need to employ for your cinema business in Nigeria. I mention the kind of people you need to employ as we move on in the article.

How to Start Cinema Business in Nigeria

Here are steps on how to start a cinema business in Nigeria.

1. Write a Business plan

This is the first step to starting a cinema business in Nigeria. A cinema business plan is very important for those that are serious about the cinema business in Nigeria and want to run the business for 10 – 20 years. The business plan will help you to know everything you need to know about the cinema business in Nigeria.

How to run the business for years and make profits for it easily. You can write your cinema business plan yourself or simply get a professional writer like us to write it for you. You can reach us at I have written an article on how to write a business plan in Nigeria. You can use it as a guide.

2. Get the Capital Needed

The capital needed to start a cinema business in Nigeria is high. If you cannot start the business yourself because of the high capital involved you can partner with another Nigerian entrepreneur that is willing to go into the cinema business too.

There are advantages and disadvantages of forming a partnership business, especially in a country like Nigeria so you need to watch out before going into it so that you do not get your fingers burnt halfway. If you cannot fully fund this business before going into it, you can seek the support of family and friends to help you out instead of going into a partnership.

Read our guide on how to get funding for your startup in Nigeria for other options you have.

3. Get Registered and Licensed

To operate in Nigeria as a cinema business you need to get licensed by the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB). You need to go to their office and apply in person. Get an application form to apply for a film and video distributor’s license.

After applying and your application is granted you can now go ahead to show movies in your cinema to customers.

4. Buy and Install Cinema Equipment 

Equipment needed for your cinema business cannot be underestimated. As mentioned above you need to buy and install all these equipment before you can start. For example, you need to install a big screen, chairs, air conditioner, and more. To install your big screen you will need the services of an electrician.

You will also need the services of other technical personnel. As for the type of equipment or the quality, it is advised you buy new equipment instead of tokunbo or fairly used products.

5. Employ Cinema Workers or Staff

A cinema center will need a manager, supervisor, ticketer, and cleaner. You can hire just these four staff as at the beginning of the business and then hire more as the business grows. Your manager has to be a graduate – someone that is also experienced in the cinema business. 

But for the other staff, they do not need qualifications to be hired as long as they can do the job. How much you pay your staff also depends on so many factors like their qualifications, experience and hard work. It is impossible to run a cinema business in Nigeria without staff.

6. Start your Cinema Business

After fulfilling all these steps you can now go ahead to start your cinema business – showing films or movies to customers and getting paid. To attract movie lovers to your new cinema center you will need to run adverts. These advertisements can be online or offline – sharing of handbills.

Another way you can increase patronage is to show trending local or international films that Nigerians want to watch. How much you charge per movie ticket is also regulated among the cinemas in Nigeria. However, you can add to yours immediately if you see that your customers are increasing as time goes by.

AD: Viewmax Entertainment –

A digital film and content delivery service for new and existing viewing centres and cinemas across Nigeria and Africa. 


The cinema business in Nigeria is a lucrative business. You just need to get your location right as the location of your cinema will go a long way in determining the profits you make of your cinema business. For example, cinemas in malls make more money than cinemas in other areas.

This is because malls are always crowded and people that visit the mall are likely to visit cinemas too to watch movies before heading home.


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Ralph Bamigboye is an Accountant. He is the owner of, and Finance Naija YouTube Channel. He has helped many individuals to start their businesses and make money online. How can he help you?

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