Even though our business runs on a world wide customer base, the town
that we call home is as small-town America as it comes. The rural
community of Ashland, Missouri has a population of 3,000. There quite
possible may be a gas station, bank, or nail salon for nearly every
person, and the “four way” represents to the hub of town. Thus, our Home
Movie Day is much different than those held in large metropolis areas
with a higher audience. Our Home Movie Day relied on the support of a
small, but eager, community.
Twenty Home Movie Depot employees gave their time to showcase their
craft. Technicians who work with 8mm film, super8 film, 16mm film, 35mm
slides, and video tapes all had stations set up in the building. We had
home movies playing on every station through the entire afternoon,
including super8 film that our mechanical engineer shot last week of a
local park. Additionally, we had tables with examples of proper storage
containers and labeling devices. I also had print materials containing
names and phone numbers of professional labs.
Additionally, we had a children’s corner where we showed old Bugs Bunny
and Disney cartoons. One of our employees created a cartoon drawing of
“Vinnie” the film reel, for kids to color. Vinnie was a smashing success.
We had several computers set up to view the Home Movie Depot Archive, a
streaming video collection of home movies, donated by Home Movie Depot
customers. The archive is fully searchable and includes a comment
function. Thanks to the search function, a few savvy guests figured an
easy way to win at Bingo.
Finally, we rented an old time popcorn machine and gave away free
popcorn and soda. I stand hardily by my belief that the best way to
capture an audience is to feed them. As of Saturday, I see no evidence
to the contrary.
The day brought a respectable number of guests, but more importantly, it
certainly brought the feeling. Towards the end of the day one of our
employee’s elderly mother brought in a box of her films to view. We all
enjoyed seeing Kenny as a young boy. And while it may take him some time
to live down his Halloween costume, all the teasing is in good fun.
While I know of a few things to change next year, I’m thankful for the
family element that came with this Home Movie Day. Home Movie Day at
Home Movie Depot seemed to bring an intriguing blend of old and new,
where modern day technology mingled with nearly forgotten traditions.
Home Movie Depot
HMD Report: Ashland, Missouri 2006
HMD Report: Ashland, Missouri