The Salmar Community Association brought home the bronze at the Canadian film industry’s annual convention, ShowCanada.
“We won third in the Blockbuster category for our Star Wars promotion,” says Salmar General Manager Daila Duford. “I’m so proud of my staff and what we put together. We are the only independent, we’re competing with companies like Cineplex.”
The award, the Eugene Amodeo Showmanship Award, is given for a theatre-inspired promotion.
“It started at the fall fair, we put a big float in and we had costumes. And we raised money for the food banks, 10 per cent of popcorn sales.”
During the promotion they raised $3,600 and that was split between the Salvation Army and Second Harvest.
Duford gives kudos to Tessa Pickell and Alex Idzan for their over and above efforts in the promotion.
The ShowCanada 2016 awards took place in Hollywood this summer in honour of the film industry’s centenary.
“We toured the studios and we saw the sets at Universal Studios. The awards dinner was on the rooftop at Madame Tussauds museum and we had access to the museum for the night, that was cool.”
They also met with some of the industry’s biggest names including J.J. Abrams (producer and writer known for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lost, and Super 8) and Kevin Feige (producer known for The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Iron Man.)
“They talked about what was coming out and showed us what they were working on. We got to see a chunk of stuff. Kevin Feige was working on Dr. Strange. He came from the editing room to talk to us.”
Coming off three consecutive annual awards, Duford says the Salmar might take a year off because these promotions are a lot of extra work for staff.
“We might do something this year but we might take ‘a breather year’, it’s been so busy.”
Due in part to the weather, the Salmar has seen a very busy summer season.
“The rain has been good to us,” says Duford. “We’ve had a solid month with a lot of tourists, a lot of new faces along with our incredible loyal people.”
She says they can usually tell who the tourists are.
“We have people argue with us that we’re not charging enough. They say, ‘I think you missed something, my bill should be higher.’”
Although the weather was helpful, Duford says the higher numbers also reflect the quality of summer blockbusters. Salmon Arm has a higher-than-average love of family movies.
“Kids’ movies do well for us. At the end of the year, more kids’ movies are in our top 10 than in other theatres. Our pricing has a lot to do with it. We lowered our prices a couple of years ago and attendance for families went up.”
So far this summer, Finding Dory has topped the charts at the Salmar with The Secret Life of Pets in second place. Star Trek Beyond was the most popular in the adult category.
Duford says the next big blockbusters coming to the Salmar includes Storks, which premieres on September 23 and Bridget Jones’ Baby on September 16.
“October is a lull,” says Duford, with the exception of Trolls, “but November is going to be massive with Dr. Strange and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Star Wars Rogue One opens on December 16.”
The Salmar now offers online ticketing.