PSRMA's first Film Festival has ended. Our treasury is $288 dollars richer. But the story was not quite that short. Back in April of last year Chop Kerr brought up the idea of a Film Festival and was immediately met with opposition because PSRMA had never tried such a venture and we could stand to loose our shirt. But Chop finally persuaded the board to let him go ahead.
After a pile of letters and dozens of phone calls, Chop found out what films were available and then trying to decide on which ones would present an attractive program to both the general public and the railfan as well. Once the dates had bean set and the films contracted, the next big step was publicity. Initial mailing of over 1600 brochures; placement of 475 posters; news releases to 30 newspapers, 25 radio stations, one magazine and several service clubs.
Waiting for ticket orders to "pour" in aged Chop several years as the date grew closer for the breakeven sales point of 208 seemed like more than a thousand. At the last minute, when ticket sales were below the break-even point, the decision was made to go ahead anyway. At the time of the first show only 129 advance tickets had been sold. An interesting note is that out of PSRMA'a more than 150 members, only 28 tickets were sold to members.
The total cost of the Festival came to $1413.68. Gross receipts were $1701.50, which left PSRMA a net profit of $287.82. This small return for the effort was really worthwhile for PSRMA. We attracted a lot of attention and made considerable goodwill. Additionally as a direct result of the publicity, we signed up at least seven new members. However the ticket sales to members was very disappointing. The Board would like to have comments from the general membership as to the reason, for this would help in future planning of fund raising events.
Many thanks to those who assisted with the festival. All who tramped around putting up posters and spreading the word. Well done to Mrs. Bob DiGiorglo, Mrs. Dick Pennick and Mrs. Hattie Belle Kerr for answering phone calls early in the promotional period. Special thanks to George Geyer for his help in the Post Office Department and assistance at the theatre each show night. Jerry Windle produced a promotional film for showing at the last film on PSRMA. The champion ticket seller is a new member who joined Jan 1st. Dr. D. J. Marnell was responsible for selling 13 series tickets. Total attendance for the four shows was 781.
But most of all an outstanding vote of thanks should be extended to Chop Kerr, for it was his determination and belief that a film festival could succeed and do it profitably that put some much needed cash into our treasury. With more members like Chop who put his ideas into action and results, PSRMA will be a successful museum.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT ...
February was the biggest month for attendance for the Orange Empire Trolley Museum since its opening. Some 3,119 passengers rode their trolleys during the month with their open house on the 22nd drawing 650 passengers. With their charge of 50¢ per person to ride the cars, it should be apparent to PSRMA members what is possible once we find a permanent home to build our museum.
Union Pacific's excellent film LAST OF THE GIANTS featuring the Big Boys plus their centennial film TRACKS OF THE IRON HORSE will be shown.
All members are urged to attend the General Membership meeting to be held on the 19th of April at 7:30 pm is the Santa Fe Depot. A general business meeting will be conducted followed by a program of railroad films.
For those of you who may have missed the promotional film about PSRMA at the final film at the Film Festival, it will be shown at this meeting. It features the shay under steam and the line truck under its own power.
Each year, PSRMA has four of these General meetings which provide an opportunity for the general membership to attend and take part in club activities. Members and guests are welcome.
This scene will be repeated on May 16th as PSRMA's special train on the Sonora-Baja California Railroad heads south across the Sonora Desert to the sleepy Mexican village of Puerto Penasco. PSRMA members have a chance to place their orders early before the general public is contacted. Details of the trip plus pictures of what PSRMA members can expect are featured on page 2.