Star Trek First Contact Promotion
Prior to the opening, we had the six-by-twelve-foot black and red felt Borg banner, "PREPARE TO BE ASSIMILATED, STARDATE 11.22.96" hanging prominently in the front lobby for advance awareness. Also, Orion Traders, a local specialty comic and science fiction store, set up their own display with many of their Star Trek products in one of our poster cases in the front lobby. We also had our costume contest flyers available at Orion Traders as well as our box office.
By the opening of the film, the large window at the entrance to the theatre was covered with black paper with holes cut for 'stars' and the new Star Trek oval symbol to shine through. The First Contact logo in silver and gold was readable from both sides of the window. The banner and the poster case were still on display, and as our customers walked down the hallway to the theatres where the film was playing, they began to see our 'mini-convention'.
Orion Traders and the local StarFleet club the USS Oberon had tables set up with information and repersentatives, as did the local chapter of Klingons. The Klingons were running their own fundraiser for the local Discovery Museum in Sacramento. In the center of all these tables was the six-foot cube Borg ship, complete with blinking lights. This 'mini-convention' ran for the first two days the film was running, cumulating in our costume contest on Saturday evening, November 23rd, 1996.
The owner of Orion Traders and I (Britta Peterson) ran the costume contest, as we were both in costumes ourselves and in charge of the prizes and judging. Orion Traders donated many prizes, and we also used many of the promotional materials from Paramount, such as the Pocket Book Federation. We had about a dozen entrants in the contest, but others, such as us and the Klingons were still in costume, but ineligible for the contest.
We also ran a giveaway contest that required a ticket stub from First Contact from our theatre being returned to Orion Traders for the drawing, as a bounce-back. Prizes for that included one-sheets, buttons and the standee from the film.
Since many customers were waiting in line to get into the theatres around the same area of the lobby, the atmosphere was much more fun with the 'mini-convention' there to aid in the excitement of the fans. We had invitied all the local news stations to come to our promotion, but only KOVR 13, our local CBS affiliate, could make it, and they aired our story on the 6:00 PM and 10:00 PM broadcasts on Friday, November 22nd. All shows opening day were completely sold out, many of them well before showtime, and most of the Saturday shows were also very full. In all, we think it was a very successful weekend!
I guess Paramount thought it was successful, too, since we won a runner-up prize! The runner-up winners received a certificate from Paramount and a limited-edition Borgified Romulan print by a well-known graphic novel artist. Finally, some recogition of our hard work!