It was another year of giving for the Salmar Community Association.
In her president’s report at the Nov. 27 annual general meeting, Patti Munro looked back through time to a group of people who decided to build a movie theatre in order to then construct an indoor ice arena as a memorial to local veterans of the Second World War.
She noted that over the association’s 65-year history, more than $1 million has been returned to the community.
“We are still in the business of entertainment, showing new-release movies to create the revenue that is given out in a number of ways,” Munro said to the small audience. “Scholarships and grants for this year totalled $28,000.”
Munro explained that community giving includes waiving the rental at the Salmar Classic, year-long movie passes to be auctioned off by the Trail Alliance, free accommodation for the Second Harvest Food Bank and donated movie tickets.
Bruce Killick presented the Salmar Community Association’s financial statements, which are unaudited but reviewed by Drew Lee-Hai & Associates Chartered Accountants.
Killick pointed out that income was up to $199,898, an increase over last year’s $186,167, with expenses rising from 2013’s $115,095 to $129,922 as of the Sept. 30, 2014 year end.
One longtime member, Gary Brooke, saluted another – Bernd Hermanski for his 30 years of service to the board and the community. Brooke pointed out that many of the organization’s projects have Hermanski’s initials stamped on them.
After giving Hermanski a lifetime pass to the movies, enthusiastic Salmar manager Dalia Duford gave her report.
She raved about the new lobby design at the Salmar Grand and noted two of the Grand’s auditoriums now have stadium seating.
“We have a fantastic new website that really allows us to customize our now-showing and upcoming movies listings,” she said, pointing out new information or changes can be easily accommodated. “And we launched a newsletter at the same time, which is steadily gaining new subscriptions each week.”
Attendance was up a small 1.4 per cent over 2013, but Duford pointed out that attendance at most B.C. theatres was down an average of 15 per cent.
And not just regular movies are proving to be a draw with the Live at the Met program growing a fan base, even with $24 tickets.
The Salmar Classic continues to be a popular location for film and live events while the Salmar Grand is growing in popularity as a place to host birthday parties.
“As more alternative content becomes available to theatres, we are able to try out different types of events,” she said. “We have had two art gala events that have been very well-received and a lot of fun, thanks to the incredible support from the Salmon Arm Art Gallery.”
Perhaps the most exciting news came at a convention for theatre operators from across the country in Whistler.
“We won second in all of Canada for our promotion Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 at the Showmanship Awards at Show Canada,” Duford said.
“It was amazing to have our theatre recognized as the only independent theatre to win an award in any category.”
Duford is excited as well that other communities ask for advice in establishing a similar business model.
“Two years ago, we helped Nelson in their start-up efforts for their community cinema and we are so happy to see how successful they have been in their first full year of operation,” she said. “Whitehorse contacted us last week to inquire about our business models as they are in the beginning stages of setting up a community owned theatre as well.”
This new board of directors includes president Patti Munro, Georgia McLeod, Gary Brooke, John Henderson, Jim Downs, Chris Letham and new member Chris Papworth. Brian Sansom and Joan Sholinder were not in attendance.
Salmar Grand & Classic Top 10
1. Guardians of the Galaxy
2. The Hobbitt: Desolation of Smaug
3. Hunger Games: Catching Fire
4. How to Train Your Dragon 2
6. The Lego Movie
7. Transformers: Age of Extinction
8. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
9. Captain America: Winter Soldier
10. Thor: The Dark World