Here are a couple of great examples of public service ads to run in theaters before and after film screening that convey a message of the importance of going local to a captive audience.  These are actual ads created and run by Tower Theaters, a local independent business in South Hadley, Massachusetts and member of Pioneer Valley Local First.

movie-audienceCreating a theater ad is easily done on a computer, and a presentation program like PowerPoint or Keynote include
effects that can grab attention and give your ad life.

Tower Theaters owner Stacey Velez graciously provided us with native files you can use to alter their design and wording, as well as parameters and some instruction to make your own.  Stacy also offered up their staff to address any specific questions – free of charge.  Please contact AMIBA and we’ll connect you.

The ads were created on an Apple computer using Keynote, Apple’s presentation creation program (PowerPoint is Microsoft’s).

Buy Local ad (for anytime)

Buy Local ad (click to launch ad for viewing)

Native file for Buy Local ad (.key) (download for customizing)

Shift Your Shopping ad (holiday theme, designed for Shift Your Shopping campaign) 

Shift Your Shopping ad (click to launch ad for viewing)

Native file for Shift Your Shopping ad (.key) (download for customizing)


Specifications to create your own ad for theaters:

  • Overall size: 1998×1080
  • Format: .mov, mp4, or QuickTime
  • Native files: Keynote or PowerPoint
  • Length: 10-15 seconds total

“We have converted our movie files to DCP format (Digital Cinema Player), but that requires more software,” says Stacey Velez.


  • Go easy on the effects you include, as they can easily become the focus of the ad instead of your message.
  • Review your ad and have others review it, too, to be frame timing is right and the messaging is understood.
  • Be sure to ask your local theater for any specific formatting requirements they may have.
  • We suggest presenting the idea as a “public service announcement,” rather than an advertisement, as you may stand a better chance of getting the ad run for a reduced rate or even for free.

PSAs as Entertainment

The Front Royal IBA partnered with member Royal Cinemas to create some thematic, entertaining PSA trailers (each about 2 minutes in length) promoting the in-theater experience and the theater as a local independent business, along with some of the benefits of going local.  Says FRIBA’s Craig Laird, “We had a local company produce PSA’s for our local theater, which plays them as trailers before the main feature.”

Horror Theme

Silent Film Theme

Romance Film Theme


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