Salmar Grand Cinemas
Salmar Grand Cinemas
The Salmar Grand Cinemas: community-owned, efficiency-minded
The Salmar Grand Cinemas in Salmon Arm have amazing community support, and no wonder. They are non-profit, community-owned cinemas and 100% of the proceeds go toward theatre improvements or community projects that service healthcare, education, sports, and the arts. It was hardly surprising, then, that they were successful in gaining support to win BC Hydro Power Smart's Energy Fix lighting makeover contest, valued at $5,000.
"We've built playgrounds and bought busses and we give tons of scholarships every year," says Daila Duford, the cinemas' general manager. "It's been extremely successful. We were the first [non-profit movie theatre] in Canada. And we've helped start up a few others in different areas."
Efficiency is key
The Salmar Community Association (SCA) operates the five non-profit movie theatres - the Salmar Classic (founded in 1949) and the high-tech Salmar Grand Cinema four-plex. Being sustainable and fiscally responsible are both key to their operations.
"We're community-minded," says Duford. "At all our board meetings we talk about different ways we can be more efficient and work to keep our impact as low as possible. Cost savings are important too - the more money we save, the more we have for the projects we support."
At one of their board meetings, the board asked Duford to look into rebates for more energy efficient lighting. Later that day she received a postcard in the mail about the Energy Fix contest. "It was perfect timing," she says. "I thought I might as well enter and see what happens before I start buying lights. I honestly didn't think anything would come of it."
A win for the community
When they found out they were semi-finalists, all that community support came into play. "We're on Facebook and we have a web presence, so we reached out there," says Duford. "And we are huge part of the community. We had people everywhere voting for us."
Duford says the community was thrilled when they found out the cinemas won. "Everyone in town was rooting for us, the paper wrote about it, we were on the radio. It was really exciting."
LED lights provide glowing rewards
Some of the lighting in the Salmar Grand had been upgraded during recent renovations. "We switched to stadium seating in the theatre, so at that time we'd replaced all the lights in the aisles and around the doors with LEDs," says Duford.
Their contest prize included replacing all the floodlights in the lobbies, hallways and bathrooms with LEDs. As well, all the incandescent holiday lights on the exterior were replaced with LED light strings. The makeover team has estimated the changes will result in cost savings of $1,400 per year.
The cinemas haven't received a bill yet since the upgrades, but Duford says already they're feeling the benefits. "The aesthetics are so much better - and brighter. The new lights give a nice effect down the hallways," she says. "And the outside lights make a huge difference. They give the place this blue glow that really draws your attention."
Take on Your Own Makeover
Take on your own energy fix and save on electricity in your business too. BC Hydro's Product Incentive Program provides rebates on your investment in a wide variety of lighting, commercial kitchen, and other technologies. And to make it easier for you, our Power Smart Alliance members can assist you from start to finish, by identifying and installing energy-efficient upgrades.
With rebates, payback times are often less than two years, and annual savings from electricity continue to help you save, year after year.