Coolest Man in Ontario Is Peter Kool
The coolest man in Ontario is Pieter Kool, travel film exhibitor for the Mississauga Rotary Club. And he’s one hard worker when it comes to his film series.
The club’s travel films fundraiser is healthy, the best in Ontario. Pieter has been the go-getter since the Windoes organization gave up booking the Ontario shows decades ago. Pieter’s love of this type of entertainment is quite evident in that he is constantly contacting the many Rotary Clubs in his area and encouraging them to start a filmseries.
I called Pieter recently when I learned that the Chatham Zonta Club series was about to close their doors after many years of successful shows. JoAnne Dale, chairperson, said she was no longer getting the necessary support—and the Club said it’s time to quit. When Pieter learned of this he contacted the different Rotaries in the Chatham area to see if there was any interest in keeping the series going.
The Mississauga Rotary venue is one of the best attended in Ontario Province. For their last show Pieter reported just under 300 in attendance ending the 2011-2012 film season.
He took a survey of his patrons in March, which, as a newly minted entrepreneur myself, I found quite interesting. The item that really jumped out at me was that out of the 74 patrons who took the survey, 24 percent said this was their first year to attend a travel film series.
The question now: How does he get those new patrons? This is proof positive there’s a brand new market emerging and it’s time we got aboard.
AARP reports that every eight seconds someone in America is turning 50 years of age—more than 10,000. Another plus: The majority of these 50-plusers love to travel.
Another interesting point in Pieter’s survey was that 80 percent of the participants said they preferred an 8 pm show start over 7:30 pm. And 90 percent said they would like pre-show entertainment.
They also voted a New Zealand film as the best of last season.
You might check out the Rotary’s excellent downloadable web site— http://www.rotary7080.org/mississaugawest. Its 2011-2012 full-color travel film brochure showed all the shows and photos of their filmmakers.
What also caught my eye was ticket pricing: a single admission ticket was $12 and a season ticket of six shows $55.
The Club’s pricing is in stark contract with pricing for most of the industry. I checked out a web site for another Service Club series here in the U.S. and found the single admission ticket was $6 and a season ticket for six films $30. (The Canadian-US dollar rate is almost the same these days.)
A $6 admission price for a live performance in 2012 in the US is unheard of, a great bargain. Dick Walter, retired entrepreneur of the highly successful Omaha travel film series, recently told me: “The single admission ticket should be no less than $28. You are selling live entertainment, you are selling Escapism.”
Although I love the sound of a $28 ticket, it is scary. And all those negative thoughts keep pouring into my head: “No one will attend, etc., Etc.”
Currently at my Omaha series I’m charging $10 for single admission and $47 for a series of six films. Apparently Pieter knows he is selling “live entertainment,” a great product and is pricing his tickets accordingly.
For those exhibitors who are feeling the pressure of falling attendance and wondering what to do, may I suggest you contact our neighbor to the North, Pieter Kool. It appears he is using 21st century ideas, pricing and publicizing to sell his shows.
Keep it up Pieter.