"PAN AM PRESENTS THE WORLD"

Clipper Hall

FilmFest

Fall 2023

Clipper Hall FilmFest 2023

"PAN AM PRESENTS THE WORLD"

the first in a series of film presentations at Clipper Hall, brought to you online by the Pan Am Historical Foundation.

Pan Am Fokker F-10

Pan Am Fokker F-10

GETTING PASSENGERS IN SEATS ON PAN AM PLANES

FROM THE START: It was true that contracts from the US Post Office Department provided guaranteed income, but right from the start of passenger service in early 1928, Pan Am wanted to attract both the business and leisure traveler.

BUSINESS TRAVEL: For people venturing abroad for work, the obvious advantage to flying was speed. Nothing could compare to air travel in terms of time well-spent for the business traveler.

VACATION TRAVEL: For those who were able to afford vacation air travel, Pan Am provided glimpses of excitement, romance, and exotic locales, reached only by flights available on Pan Am. It was a sure-fire tactic to attract passengers.

Pan Am Ad c. 1930 Fastest through Service to Havana, Nassau, Latin America (PAHF Collection)
Pan Am Ad c. 1930 Fastest through Service to Havana, Nassau, Latin America (PAHF Collection)

TRAVELOGUES

Long before television, producing films for live audiences was the way to go. Venues included civic groups, as well as commercial theaters where programs were enhanced by film "shorts," like Pan Am's travelogues on international destinations. It was a win-win situation: Theater owners got free content, and audiences learned about traveling to distant lands, sparking their interest to book flights on Pan Am.

1935, A record crowd attended the showing the of Pan American film, “Flying the Lindbergh Trail,” at the second meeting of the Chicago Daily News Travel Club.
"This photograph shows the record crowd which attended the showing the of Pan American film, “Flying the Lindbergh Trail,” at the second meeting of the Chicago Daily News Travel Club. In addition to this film, several other travelogues were shown. The Pan American film has proved remarkably popular and has an average of three showings a day in Chicago"(1935).

Later on, in the booming post-war business environment, Pan Am's travelogues took on the task of helping the company stay ahead of growing airline competition. Here's an excerpt from a February 1953 letter, "Selling Pan American World Airways," sent by the Pacific Alaska Division to its employees, encouraging them to be alert to possible sales leads:

"One of the most important sales promotion media we have which stimulates the urge to travel is the group of PA 16MM, color, sound films. PAA has led the industry in the development of travelogues. They cover most of the areas of the world that we serve and are always exceptionally well received. These are available for group showings such as churches, social and civic clubs, fraternal organizations, etc. -- any group which represents a potential source of PAA business...

A nominal charge is made for the use of the films, used mainly to keep them in good condition; also a projector, speaker, or screen is available...at an additional charge. Help yourself by helping us to sell PA; send in leads on all the potential travellers on PAA that come to your attention."

TELEVISION

Pan Am ads & Post-War TV: Switzerland & Hawaii
Pan Am Ads & Post-War TV: Mexico and London
Pan Am ads & Post-War TV: Switzerland & Hawaii
Pan Am Ads & Post-War TV: Mexico and London

During the post-World War Two advent of commercial television, Pan Am sponsored shows with PAA travelogue material on TV. However, that practice was short-lived and didn't survive the growing sophistication of television content providers, or Pan Am’s marketers, for that matter. TV providers realized that airtime might be sold more profitably sourcing their own content, and Pan Am turned its attention to promotions in magazines and radio, and eye catching point-of-sale campaigns.

TRAVEL AGENTS

Newly affluent post-war America was hardly off Pan American’s marketing radar! The traveling public now had more exposure to attractive advertising -- print, radio, and television campaigns -- driven by numbers of impressions absorbed by potential customers across the various media.

And, in post-war America Pan Am was among several competing US international air carriers. So it was a sensible tactic to focus on the one place a potential traveler was likely to go before finalizing their decision to go abroad -- the professional travel agent.

Pan Am Travel 1956

Pan Am Travel Planning 1956, "Bargain Book of Pay Later Plan Pleasure Trips," University of Miami Special Collections (https://digitalcollections.library.miami.edu/digital/collection/asm0341/id/4545/rec/10)

Pan Am Travel Planning 1956, "Bargain Book of Pay Later Plan Pleasure Trips," University of Miami Special Collections (https://digitalcollections.library.miami.edu/digital/collection/asm0341/id/4545/rec/10)

A visit to a Pan Am travel agent (1984), film frame from "Pan Am Holidays," Pan Am Historical Foundation Collection.

A visit to a Pan Am travel agent (1984), film frame from "Pan Am Holidays," Pan Am Historical Foundation Collection.

A visit to a Pan Am travel agent (1984), film frame from "Pan Am Holidays," Pan Am Historical Foundation Collection.

Travel Agent discussing Pan Am travel, from "Pan Am Holidays," video .

"Pan Am's frequent flights let you go where and when you want," From "Of course they're flying Pan American overseas... doesn't everyone?"(1958). (University of Miami Special Collections https://digitalcollections.library.miami.edu/digital/collection/asm0341/id/5277/rec/78).

"Pan Am's frequent flights let you go where and when you want," From "Of course they're flying Pan American overseas... doesn't everyone?" (1958). (University of Miami Special Collections https://digitalcollections.library.miami.edu/digital/collection/asm0341/id/5277/rec/78).

"Pan Am's frequent flights let you go where and when you want," From "Of course they're flying Pan American overseas... doesn't everyone?" (1958). (University of Miami Special Collections https://digitalcollections.library.miami.edu/digital/collection/asm0341/id/5277/rec/78).

And so, along with the complex campaigns of multi-channel advertising, Pan Am put its money into winning over the travel agents. An effective strategy was to encourage them with the exact sort of promotional films that were once meant to be shown directly to travelers.

Now the venues for Pan Am films became sales and marketing, conventions and meetings. The approach was in keeping with the evolving social and technological environment of the time, and the objective was the same as it had been from the very earliest years of Pan Am

GETTING PASSENGERS IN SEATS ON PAN AM PLANES

Pan Am Boeing greatly expanded passenger capacity while increasing efficiency and lowering costs per seat mile on its Boeing 747s (Pan Am Historical Foundation Collection).

Pan Am Boeing greatly expanded passenger capacity while increasing efficiency and lowering costs per seat mile on its Boeing 747s (Pan Am Historical Foundation Collection).

Pan Am Boeing greatly expanded passenger capacity while increasing efficiency and lowering costs per seat mile on its Boeing 747s (Pan Am Historical Foundation Collection).

Seating arrangements on a Pan Am Boeing 747

FILMFEST FALL 2023

For our first online Pan Am film festival "Pan Am Presents the World" we're sharing four movies:

  • Three films are Pan American Airways productions, presented to an audience at the San Francisco Aeronautical Society Gala, November 2023, honoring PAHF Chairman Ed Trippe, son of Juan Trippe. The films were also shown in a public screening at SFO's "Film Night".
  • There's a bonus! We're celebrating Pan Am Flight Radio Officer Ed Dover's 100th birthday, January 2024. A new video, "Staying Connected," includes footage that Ed shot right after World War Two. Based on personal interviews by Pan Am Historical Foundation, the video is filled with archival stills and moving images. The story features highlights of Ed's time with Pan Am and his aviation career.
“White Cloudy Sky” by Carlos Torres, (Unspash). https://unsplash.com/photos/white-cloudy-sky-MHNjEBeLTgw

“White Cloudy Sky” by Carlos Torres, (Unspash). https://unsplash.com/photos/white-cloudy-sky-MHNjEBeLTgw

“White Cloudy Sky” by Carlos Torres, (Unspash). https://unsplash.com/photos/white-cloudy-sky-MHNjEBeLTgw

WATCH THE FILMS

Pan Am Flight Radio Officer in his Pan Am uniform.

"Staying Connected"

Ed Dover's Aviation Story

A new video about Pan Am flight radio officer Ed Dover describes his career in aviation with footage from recent PAHF interviews, and additional unique historic materials of the era.

Also check out Ed Dover's Chronicles:

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