while KonMari has me pulling at the fraying edges of nostalgia, here’s one more batch of ads from 2005, which, it seems, is as far back as my Cinematheque archives go. while working on the European Union Film Festival that year, a hard drive failure wiped out all my email, publicity materials, and artwork (posters, photos, magazine spreads, and marketing collateral) from 2004, and most of 2005.
“but wait,” you might be thinking, “surely the office server was configured for nightly back-ups in triplicate?” no, no, and haha, no.
the tragedy of non-existent back-up protocol aside, it was a different time in the city. i know we have a tendency to romanticize what has passed — especially in present-day Vancouver, stripped of so many special cultural destinations, affordable living spaces, and cheap & good eateries — but it really was. if you loved cinema, besides visiting The Cinematheque, queuing up for Cinemuerte (gone) and (a pre-Vancity Theatre) VIFF, you worshiped at single screen neighbourhood movie houses like The Ridge (gone), The Hollywood (gone), and The Van East (gone), and made regular pilgrimages to Videomatica (gone), Limelight (gone), Happy Bats (gone), and Black Dog (still holding on!). and you spent a lot more time with ink and paper.
at the end of 2004, Jamie, my intrepid partner in marketing, ran a survey that showed our audience responded primarily to weekly print ads and the bi-monthly Program Guide. (something else we learned: incredibly, most Cinematheque members didn’t own a mobile phone, or a DVD player!) this trend would continue for a few more years and thank God it did, as the weakest element in our communications and marketing was an awesomely embarrassing, pain-in-the-ass, bereft-of-CMS, holdover late ’90s-era website that would need time and a fat new line item to overhaul. plus, social media was barely a thing: Facebook was in its infancy, and Twitter and YouTube hadn’t yet launched.
and so i spent much of my time and marketing muscle in those early years building the Cinematheque brand through a print design aesthetic. i actually had a plan. but that’s another story.