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Ghostbusters Official Fan Club

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 8, 2014 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 1, Reviews & Merch, Fans
It didn't take long for Ghostbusters to take the world by storm. On July 3, 1984, less than a month after the film came out, an official Ghostbusters fan club was formed. Operated by Mark Lister and Jim Garvey of Swissvale, Pennsylvania, the fan club was formed when these two men paid Columbia Pictures an estimated $10,000 for the right to operate an official fan club. By August 1985, the fan club garnered more than 40,000 members worldwide, from England, France, Germany and Australia, as well as North America where membership was greatest. The first announcement appeared as one sentence in USA Today and provoked more than 2,000 calls in two days. A small television commercial was then aired prompting another 45,000 calls, in the span of just two more days. (sources: Starlog #97 (August 1985) - Page 19, Mohave Daily Miner (Oct. 8, 1984) - Page 11)

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For the $8.95 registration fee, members received a personal membership card, the official Ghostbusters metal badge, a Certificate of Anti-Paranormal Proficiency, four "This Property Protected by Ghostbusters" color stickers, an Ectomobile sticker, a Ghostbusters logo patch, and a one-year subscription to the quarterly newsletter. The Official Trade Journal of Certified Ghostbusters was a full-size 34-page magazine containing fan letters, interviews with the actors, behind-the-scenes scoops, and articles on genuine Ghostbusting. (SIDE NOTE: Anyone have *any* of these newsletters? I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we'd all like to have PDF eBooks of these available online for all to enjoy. I'll be happy to host them here.)

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(image source: Blog Into Mystery)

Rather than just sending in your money and getting your swag, to become a member you had to fill out a ghostbusting job application, which featured four simple questions, such as: "The next time someone asks you if you're a god, say: A. Yes; B. Maybe, let me check; C. This chick is toast; D. Back off, man." No applicant was ever rejected, but Lister and Garvey did have to consider granting membership to Samantha - a dog who sent in her paw print as proof of her interest. (source: The Pittsburgh Press (Oct. 7, 1984) - Page V6)


Well, you need not worry about passing the application process. Now you, too, can get your official "Certificate Of Anti-Paranormal Proficiency" and show everyone that you're a Ghostbuster! Thanks to superfan Peter Mosen, I have my own certificate, which I scanned in and cleaned up for all of you to print out. Just print it out, write your name on the blank line, frame it, and hang it on the wall. All of your friends will be SO impressed!

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6 comments »

6 comments

Comment from: Ivan Schablotski [Visitor] Email
I remember filling out that application myself. Thought it was strange that my sleeping habits were part of the questionnaire, but I still answered with a write-in; No, 6 feet under.

Hey, I was a kid. I thought it was clever at the time.
Jun. 9, 2014 @ 11:32
Comment from: Richard Roy aka Spengs [Visitor]
I'm "only" a week late in posting about this over at GB Inc. I had been wanting to know and see more about the official Ghostbusters fan club for years. I credited you, that blog, and Peter Mosen.

I didn't "lift" the certificate as I wouldn't post that without asking and I really want as many people who are interested to be able to read your fantastic post about the once official club.

I share in any sentiment about sharing those magazines. I speculate about why we haven't seen them on-line by now. It seems unbelievable with the number of ghostheads part of the "community" between the '90s and today. Hopefully sooner then later.

Thanks again. 8)
Jun. 16, 2014 @ 16:39
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member] Email
Richard

Thanks for the nice write-up on GB Inc. I appreciate that you didn't re-post the certificate. Although not explicitly stated in the article, I would like that to be "exclusive" to SC (just like the GB2 group photo in the Shot on Site Armand's article). Sure, I could have watermarked it, but I wanted to keep it clean for those who may actually want to print it out.

Peter Mosen added Ray's "signature" to it, which wasn't in the original certificate. While I could have clean out the signature to make it look exactly like the one fan club members would receive, I thought Ray's "signature" make it look more "authentic", so I left it in.

Yeah, I'm a little surprised the fan club newsletters haven't been seen online EVER! I think you may be right when you said that most fan club members probably threw them out. That said, I do have to wonder if any are sitting in some people's attics in boxes; long forgotten with the other stuff collecting dust up there :-)

-- Paul

Jun. 17, 2014 @ 15:04
Comment from: Richard Roy [Visitor]
Paul

You're welcome, its great to read about it and this type of news fits in well with Ghostbusters Incorporated.

I understand about exclusives (my sites don't have many) and no worries from me about posting/hosting that certificate or your Shot On Site pictures.

Oh ok I thought Ray's "signature" was original. I would have left it too as its sorta original as it came from the era and the source is Peter Mosen.

I'm trying to find out if copies of the newsletters are around. If they are, would those Ghostbusters fans and original club members want to share them. Like we've been saying who knows if they were kept or stored away.

Maybe one of those public domain sites that share archived periodicals could have it.
Jun. 17, 2014 @ 15:27
Comment from: Helen [Visitor] Email
Thank you for this site! so great. Does anyone know the exact questions for the job application? I would love to give them to the kids in our neighborhood for Halloween.
Feb. 20, 2015 @ 10:00
Comment from: Jessica [Visitor] Email
Hello i was wanting to ask how can my 5 year old and i be come a member. Of yalls clud he and i love the ghostbusters im trying my hards to make his bday wish he been watchn all off the cartoons amd moives for the past 2 years can yall help plz
Jun. 4, 2017 @ 21:07

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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

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