Salmar staff and families took part in the Salmon Arm Fair parade, taking first place for their efforts. (Photo contributed)

Another great year for Shuswap moviegoers

Attendance at both the Salmar Grand and Salmar Classic was up last year

In the black and ready to move ahead with another busy year.

That was the theme of the Salmar Association AGM, held Nov. 27 at the Salmon Arm Art Gallery.

The meeting opened with a welcome from Brian Sansom, president of the nine-member board, who noted that in the Salmar’s 72-year history, more than $1 million in grants has been handed out to various community organizations.

And more than 100,000 people attended the Salmar Grand (94,331) and Classic (10,650), up three and one per cent respectively during the fiscal year Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018.

“It’s important to congregate in a social setting where we can all laugh or share a tear together,” he said, pointing out the Salmar puts profit back into the community and higher attendance means more money the association can devote to infrastructure improvements and community causes. “We are constantly stiving to improve and I believe, in the future, the Salmar will always be successful.”

General Manager Daila Duford said the Salmar Grand made $172,000 and the Classic brought in $17,000 after all costs in the year ending Oct. 31.

She told attendees that most of the money raised by ticket sales goes to film costs, with the money for the Salmar’s many projects coming from the concession – both of which have some of the lowest prices in B.C.

“We currently have $872,000 in the bank. Some will go to renovations and for future maintenance and repair,” she says. “We will have to replace projectors in the next year or so.”

The Salmar’s top-10 movies for the year were Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Incredibles 2, The Avengers: Infinity War, Jumanji, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Black Panther, Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, Thor Ragnarok, Mission Impossible 6 and in 10th spot, Deadpool 2.

This coincided very closely with the province’s top-10 films although in a different order. The only exception was that Mama Mia: Here We Go Again was replaced on the provincial list by Crazy Rich Asians.

Related: Entertainment with community in mind

Duford showed before and after photos of the Salmar Grand lobby and concession renovations, which feature a 2,000 LED starry sky, sleek new concession and new flooring – all installed by local contractors and managed in-house. Also new is $104,000 worth of HVac replacement units on the roof of the Grand.

“Renos went very smoothly thanks to the amazing hard work of the local trades and companies involved and our staff,” Duford says. “We achieved our goal of not being closed for a single day during the reno.”

Duford was also excited to share her enthusiasm for a new waste-reduction plan, with new bins installed in all theatres. “Most everything can be composted or recycled and we are aiming to become virtually waste free within the year,” she says, acknowledging help received from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. “And we are excited to have a new logo going into 2019 designed by Steve MacKenna from High Impact Signs.”

Grateful, is how Duford described Esther Neustaeter’s arrival on staff as assistant manager, taking over promotions and winning second place in the Blockbuster Award at Show Canada 2017 for Lego Ninjago.

“We won first place in the fall fair parade for our float, we set up bins at both theatres and some downtown businesses to collect non-perishable items for Second Harvest and we hosted an archery event where the Salmon Arm Archery Club donated their time to demonstrate and instruct,” says Neustaeter, noting several downtown businesses donated prizes for the promotion that preceded the Robin Hood movie.

The Salmar also partnered with Downtown Salmon Arm to promote Robin Hood, a promotion that will be next year’s Show Canada entry and again included collecting food items.

Board members gave reports on the committees they chair, with Chris Papworth describing the more than $18,000 Salmar spent on grants and scholarships, while Chris Letham shared his concern about enticing younger members to join the association.

Related: Salmar Grand offers new closed-captioning system

“Back in the old days, most people had memberships, but many have passed on and we’re struggling to find younger members,” he said, claiming that being on the Salmar board is a satisfying experience. “We do things.”

Gary Brooke introduced the new constitution, as required by the province under the new Societies Act that came into effect in November 2016.

After many hours of poring through the old act and producing a new, shorter and up-to-date version, Brooke said, “Nothing is missing from the old one and this one should last for another 70 years.”

Duford, meanwhile, said she, the board and staff are looking forward to another year of great movies, including Aquaman, Mary Poppins Returns, Aladdin, The Lego Movie 2, The Secret Life of Pets 2, How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World, Toy Story 4, Dumbo, Captain Marvel and The Lion King.


@SalmonArm
barb.brouwer@saobserver.net

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