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TOTAL NET PAID CIRCULATION EXCEEDS 23,000

Divorcement for Fox,

Loew's and Warners

Complete TeMt of Court

Decrees in This Issue

REPORT ON ALLIED MEETING

Face 12

lATIONAL EXECUTIVE EDITION

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The Year's Greatest Honor

WINNER OF 2 OUT OF 3 TOP AWARDS

IN PHOTOPLAY'S ANNUAL FAN POLL

TRULY THE VOICE OF THE BOX-OFFICE!

"Gold Medal \\"/>i>ier"

THE STRATTON STORY'

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THE NATIONAL FILM WEEKLY

PIBlltlED IN NINE SECTIONAL EDITIDNS

BEN SHLYEN

Editor-in-Chief and Publisher

lAMES M. JERAULD -.-Editor

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Member Audit Bureau of Circulations

A PAHERN OF UNITY

•^-^ HE formation of a united intdustry group in Kansas

City to function along lines in a manner similar to that of

the Council of Motion Picture Organizations is an interesting

development of the past week. Exhibitors, distributors, equipment

people and others affiliated with the industry have organized

the Motion Picture Ass'n of Greater Kansas City which

proposes "to promote pubhc relations objectives, to participate

in civic programs, undertake such charitable work as is required

and to provide assistance to those within the industry

who require such help." An additional objective is set forth

in the plan to set up "a special committee to htxndle intraindustry

matters in an effort to keep industry squabbles out of

the courts."

This very closely parallels the aims and purposes of

COMPO and it sets a pattern that may be followed in other

exchange areas throughout the country. As a matter of fact,

this move may be interpreted as carrying forward on a local

level the five-point program to which COMPO is committed

even to the point of endeavoring to settle industry disputes

which, no doubt, derives from Point 3 of COMPO's objectives

directed "to improve internal relations."

While exhibitor organizations from time to time call upon

members oi otner brcmcnes of the industry to enter upon cooperative

efforts, either in participation on civic matters or

other community affairs, tbe Kansas City movement is the first,

to our knowledge, wherein a permanent ail-industry organization

has been created. In many respects this may be said to

be an extension of the onetime unification that was known as

the War Activities Committee. Under WAC there were similar

setups in every exchange center, the great accomplishments

of which are too well known to need repetition.

While COMPO is still undergoing organizing "pains," it is

good to see the Kansas City movement as giving evidence of

implementation of the COMPO program in its application to

local needs.

It is to be hoped that COMPO on a national scale will soon

receive the green Ught cmd get under way to carry out the

program which not only the leaders but the rank and file of

the industry acknowledge to be essential to the continuing

progress of the industry.

One needs only to scan the headlines of the trade news

of the past few weeks to see how really vital is the need for

a united front to fend the industry from the recurrent attacks

made upon it by outside forces. The industry continues to be

beset by unfair legislative assaults, not the least of which is

Eiitved as Second Class matter at Post Office. Kansas City, Mo.

Sictional Edition, $3.00 per year; National Edition, $7.50

Vol. 56 No. 15

FEBRUARY 11, 1950



Producers Spur Congress

To Abolish Federal Tax

Ass'n of Motion Picture Producers adopts

resolution emphasizing the discriminatory nature

of the excise levy and charges there is

no "just basis for it."

censorship. New censorship bills are being introduced in

stale legislatures and municipal councils; and other restrictive

and regulative measures are being tried over and over

again with some new ones cropping up. The purposes of

these, as we have many times cited, is not so much in the public

interest as in filling the state and municipal treasuries. Viz:

the $350,000 annual fees received by the New York State Censor

Board, duplicated in six other states and further pyramided

in about 70 cities and towns.

From the legislative and taxation standpoint alone, the inr

dustry—and that means COMPO, when it gets to functioning

has its work cut out for it. The taxation and legislative committee

has its hands full presently with the fight to obtain the

repeal of the federal admissions tax. A swell job is being

done, incidentally, at the same time demonstrating how well'

industry efforts can be coordinated for the common good. This

gives further emphasis to the feeling that the industry should

allow nothing to stand in the way of bringing COMPO into

full bloom and of seeing it become the vital, united force which

this industry has for so long needed.

Small Investment, Big Return

The Time: Brotherhood Week, Feb. 19-26.

The Place: America's Theatres.

The Goal: Ten members secured by each.

If this minimum quota is attained, and it should not be

difficult, the motion picture theatres will have obtained approximately

$200,000 to aid one of the worthiest of causes. Sponsored

by the National Conference of Christians and Jews,

Brotherhood Week, is designed to bring about better understanding

between peoples, races and creeds; to rid the world

of hatred, bigotry and intolerance; to secure peace and freedom.

It has been suggested that exhibitors enroll their own

staffs, members of their families, in addition to patrons. Also

that it would be a fine goodwill gesture to present Brotherhood

memberships to merchants in their communities.

Exchange managers, similarly, are urged to eruoU all of

their office staffs and to get additional memberships from

friends.

At one dollar per membership, it is a small investment,

indeed, from which to derive such big dividends.

CLAy,

Members of All N. Y Unions

Urged to Aid Tax Campaign

Emanuel Frisch, chairman of the exhibitor

committee for repeal, mails request to several

hundred labor groups through Metropolitan

Motion Picture Theatres Ass'n.

Court of Appeals Upholds

Decision on Meiselman

Higher district tribunal rules lower court

judge within his rights in refusing to grant

Charlotte exhibitor a preliminary injunction

in damage suit against the majors.

*

Technicolor Litigation

Reported Near End

"Substantial possibility of a settlement" in

the government antitrust action against

Technicolor, Inc., and the Technicolor Motion

Picture Corp. is expected in Washington.

"Must Remain Free," Says

Johnston to Boy Scouts

MPAA head is principal speaker at 40th

anniversary luncheon attended by film personalities

who are leading campaign for $2,-

000,000 fund in New York.

X

E. C. Rhoden Elected Head

Of New Kansas City Group

other officers of Motion Picture Ass'n of

Greater Kansas City include Arthur H. Cole,

first vice-president; Jay Means, second vicepresident;

Senn Lawler. secretary, and Sam

Abend, treasurer.

National Theatres Heads

To Convene Feb. 14-17

Annual meeting of divisional presidents and

executives scheduled in Los Angeles; more

than 40 delegates expected from all five circuit

divisions; Charles P. Skouras to preside.

Walt Disney Productions

Re-Elects All Directors

stockholders again choose Walt Disney,

chairman; Gunther R. Lessing, vice-chairman;

Roy O. Disney, Paul L. Pease, Jonathan

E. Lovelace and George E. Jones.

Warner Bros. Terminates

Danny Kaye Contract

Five-year pact with the comedian ends by

mutual agreement; "The Inspector General"

wEis the only film the star made for Warners

under the terms.


DIVORCEMENT FOR 20th-FOX,

LOEWS AND WARNER BROTHERS

Three-Year Limit Is Set

To Carry Out Plan

For Divestiture

NEW YORK—The statutory court wrote

the final chapter on divorcement this week.

The three-judge court ordered 20th Century-Fox.

Loew's. Inc.. and Warner Bros,

to separate their production-distribution

busine.;s from exhibition, to submit a plan

for divestiture within six months and to

complete the job of divorcement within

three years.

A THREE-YEAR DEADLINE

If the three remaining theatre-holding defendants

in the antitrust case and the Department

of Justice adhere to the court's

timetable, divorcement will be an accomplished

fact by Feb. 8, 1953—when the threeyear

deadline is reached.

Judge Augustus N. Hand of the Circuit

Court of Appeals and Judges Henry W. Goddard

and Alfred C. Coxe of United States

district court handed down their 61 -page

findings of fact and conclusions of law and

decrees for the three remaining Big Five

defendants and Columbia. United Artists and

Universal—the Little Three—late Wednesday

afternoon (8i. There were separate decrees

for the theatre-owning defendants and

the Little Three, with the document for the

Little Three consisting only of restraints in

trade practices. These restraints, however,

were identical with those invoked for 20th-

Fox. Loew's and Warners.

Tlie divorcement orders were not unexpected,

in view of the consent decrees already

negotiated by the government with

Paramount and RKO Radio, nor were the

trade restraints altered to any appreciable

degree from previous declarations of the court

on trade regulations. But there were several

surprises.

There was an absolute "no" to the maintenance

of a system of clearances. Neither

distributors nor exhibitors can become involved

in any sort of a set plan for runs.

The court did say that clearance "reasonable

as to time and area is essential in the

distribution and exhibition of pictures" and

that the practice is of "proved utility" in

the motion picture business. But clearance

cannot be established along any established

.system which distributors may agree to

maintain between themselves or with exhibitors.

DISCUSSED AT MINNEAPOLIS

This would halt such a plan as was discussed

at the annual National Allied meeting

in Minneapolis last fall in which it was

proposed that Allied members sit down with

distributor representatives to settle some of

the controversial clearance situations around

the country. This, under the decree, would

involve an arrangement to maintain a system.

The court held that the system of clearance

which had been set up by the majors

gave them "practical control" over the status

of in-,- ..ivPTi theatre in the country, even

COURT ORDERS ON DIVORCEMENT:

1. Within six months, 'iOth Century-

Fox, Warner Bros, and Loew's, Inc., shall

submit a plan for ultimate separation of

their distribution and production business

from their exhibition business, with

final divorcement to become effective on

Feb. 8, 1953—three years from the day

the decree was entered.

2. Within one year, the defendants and

the Department of Justice shall submit

a list of theatres which must be divested

to satisfy requirements of the Supreme

Court.

3. No distributing company resulting

from the divorcement may engage in exhibition

of pictures and no exhibition

company created through divorcement

may engage in film distribution except

on permission granted by the court, upon

a showing that "such engagement shall

not restrain competition in the distribution

or exhibition of motion pictures."

This apparently is designed to enable the

new distribution companies to acquire

TRADE PRACTICE

The decrees for 20th Century-Fox, Warner

Bros , Loew's Inc., Columbia, United Artists

and Universal restrain these companies:

1. From granting any licenses in which

minimum prices for admissions are fixed,

either in writing, through a committee,

by arbitration or in any other manner.

1. From agreeing with each other or

with any exhibitors or distributors to

maintain a system of clearances.

3. From granting any clearance between

theatres not in substantial competition.

4. From granting or enforcing clearance

against theatres in substantial competition

with the theatre receiving the

licenses in excess of what is reasonably

necessary to protect the run.

though it probably would be impossible to

prove there was discrimination in negotiation

for clearance and runs on a theatre by theatre

basis. But, added the court, the system

which had been set up made competition

against the defendants practically impossible.

The surprise in the decree handed down

for the Little Three was the court's restraint

on the granting of franchises, Columbia,

UA and Universal had argued for this right,

and Edward Raftery, UA's counsel, held that

franchises were the small independent's insurance

that he would get a steady supply

of product from a distributor. The court

was not inclined to accept this viewpoint

showcases they contend is essential to a

successful operation.

4. No exhibitor company resulting from

divorcement may acquire directly or indirectly

any interest in any theatre

divested by another defendant.

5. The defendants are restricted from

acquiring any new theatres unless it is

shown first to the court that the acquisition

will not restrain competition in exhibition,

or the new theatre replaces one

lost through physical destruction, expiration

or cancellation of a lease under

which such a theatre is held, or disposition

other than dispositions made in compliance

with the decree.

6. For the purpose of securing compliance

with the decree, the Department

of Justice is permitted reasonable access

to records of the defendants and to interview

personnel as well as to request written

reports as may be necessary for compliance.

RESTRAINTS:

5. From granting franchises, except

for the purpose of enabling an independent

exhibitor to operate a theatre in

competition with a theatre affiliated with

a defendant or with theatres in new

circuits which may be formed as a result

of divorcement.

6. From entering into formula deals

or master agreements with circuits, calling

for blanket picture deals.

7. From entering into any license in

which the right to exhibit one feature

is conditioned upon the exhibitor's taking

one or more other features.

8. From licensing features in any other

manner than by offering them theatre

by theatre and without discrimination

in favor of affiliated circuits, circuit

theatres or others.

and it held that franchises could only be

made to enable an independent exhibitor

to operate a theatre in competition with a

theatre affiliated with a defendant or with

theatres in new circuits which may be formed

as a result of divorcement.

However, the Little Three may find some

satisfaction in the decree handed down for

20th-Fox, Warners and Loew's through the

provision which gives the new distribution

companies the right to acquire theatres,

where it is proven the acquisitions will not

restrain competition in exhibition. In some

quarters this was taken as an invitation to

the Little Three to acquire showcases for

f! BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950


Invitation to Arbitration:

"The defendants . . . and any others willing

to file with the American Arbitration Ass'n

their consent to abide by the rules of arbitration

and to perform the awards of arbiters are

hereby authorized to set up an arbitration

system with an accompanying appeal board

which will become effective as soon as it is

organized, upon terms to be settled by the

court, upon notice to the parties of the action."

their product. For while the court ordered

divorcement of production-distribution from

exhibition, as presently constituted, it did

not utter an absolute "no" to the right of a

distribution company to own theatres or an

exhibition company to produce and distribute

pictures. This "out" would permit the new

distribution companies to own some showcases,

if they can prove to the court that the

theatres are essential to a successful business

operation and will not stifle competition.

The court had a good word to say for arbitration.

The decree invited distributors and

exhibitors to take advantage of the American

Arbitration Ass'n. to create a voluntary

arbitration setup with court approval, along

with a mechanism for appeal from decisions

of arbiters. Tlie court held that the arbitration

machinery established by the old consent

decree in 1940 no longer was in force—except

as it was required to terminate matters currently

under consideration.

LOOKS AT NATIONAL PICTURE

The court, in coming to its conclusions,

looked at the national picture of distributorexhibitor

relations both from the practices

of the individual companies and the companies

as a group, i.e. both horizontally and

vertically. From this viewpoint, the court

came to the conclusion that "There is substantial

proof that the intent to exercise the

monopoly power existed among the defendants."

The court also took into consideration evidence

submitted since the case was returned

to it by the Supreme Court on the

change in status and practices since 1945,

but said the evidence "has been insufficient

to warrant a change in the findings and

judgment entered herein."

The court concluded that the defendants

did join in a system of price-fixing on admissions,

conspired with one another to restrict

competition for theatre patronage, to

set up a system of runs and clearances substantially

uniform: and fixing runs and

clearances to prevent effective competition,

to protect their theatre holdings and to safeguard

their theatre revenues.

INTO CLEARANCE PICTURE

The lengthy findings of fact went carefully

into the whole operation of clearances,

runs, regional monopolies and other trade

practices. The court commented that it was

essential to look at the national picture collectively

rather than individually to grasp

"the power which they exercised over the

market by theatre holdings."

"For the dependency of the defendants to

obtain pictures for their theatres on the

one hand and on the other to obtain theatre

outlets for their pictures has lessened competition

among defendants and between them

and independents."

Viewed collectively, the court found that

the major defendants in 1945 owned at least

70 per cent of the first run theatres in the 92

largest cities of the country, and that collectively

they also owned 60 per cent of all

the first runs in cities of 25,000 to 100,000 population.

"There is substantial proof." the court

found, "that in approximately 238 towns involving

all but 17 cases of populations of

less than 25.000 but having two or more

theatres, some single one of the five major

defendants or in about 18 cases two of the

defendants had all the theatres and therefore

possessed complete local monopoly in

exhibition." The court pointed out. however,

that this was not applicable to Loew's, Inc..

which had no theatres in these towns.

It also was pointed out that the major

defendants aided each other in attaining a

monopoly of exhibition and in restricting

competition from having theatre interests in

many areas where one of them had theatres.

Here was the total national picture as the

court saw it:

Taking in account all theatres across the

country in which the defendants had an

interest, the court said there were 2,020

houses located in 834 towns. In 26 towns

or 3 per cent containing 100 of their theatres,

or 5 per cent, there was competition

among some of them.

"In somewhat over 5 per cent of the towns,

competition between them was substantially

lessened or eliminated by pooling agreements,

and in this 5 per cent were located

7 per cent of their theatre interests. And

in somewhat less than 92 per cent of the

towns, containing 88 per cent of their theatre

interests, only one of the major defendants

owned theatres in the area.

"Thus there appears to have been little,

if any, competition among the five defendants

or any of them in 97 per cent of the

towns and in respect to 95 per cent of the

theatres in which they had an interest."

Divesting theatres where monopolies exist,

Finding on Clearance

"This system gave the defendants a

practical control over the run and clearance

status of any given theatre. It involved

discrimination against per.sons applying

for licenses and seeking runs and

clearances for their theatres, because

they had no reasonable chance to improve

their status by building or improving

theatres while the major defendants

possessed superior advantages. Therefore,

though the evidence was insufficient

to prove that there was discrimination in

negotiation for clearances and runs theatre-by-theatre,

because it was well-nigh

impossible to establish that a particular

clearance or run w'as not refused because

of the inadequacy of the applicant's theatre,

the system of clearances and runs

was such as to make competition against

the defendants practically impossible, and

there was discrimination in particular instances."

as defined by the Supreme Court, will be

one of the tougher problems facing the defendants

and the Department of Justice.

The defendants have one year in which to

list these specific theatres and the government

has six months within which to file

objections or submit alternate plans for accomplishing

the same results.

Turning to monopoly in distribution, the

court said that in the 1943-44 season, the

defendants as exhibitors played first run

substantially all of the feature films distributed

by the five majors in about 43 of

the 92 cities of more than lOO.ODO population

and substantially all of the featm-e films

distributed by the eight defendants in about

143 cities of the 320 cities of 25,000 to 100,-

000 population.

GET 94 PER CENT OF RENTALS

As distributors, viewed collectively, the

five majors received approximately 73 per

cent and the three minor defendants 21 per

cent of the domestic rentals from all films,

except westerns, in 1943-44.

"The percentages of first run theatre ownership

and domestic film rentals controlled

by the major defendants when coupled with

their strategic advantages of vertical integration

created a power to exclude competition

from the distribution and exhibition

markets when desired." the court said.

"This power." it continued, "might be exercised

either against nonaffiliated exhibitors

or distributors, for the ownership of what

was generally the best first run theatres

coupled with the possession by the defendants

of the best pictures enabled them to

control the market in first run pictures."

In establishing the procedure under which

the major defendants may operate under the

decree, the court restrained 20th-Fox. Loew's

and Warners from operating, booking, or

buying features for any of their theatres

through any agent who is known by it to

be also acting for any other exhibitor, independent

or affiliate. Tliis would prohibit

buying and booking relationships with any

circuits which may be formed out of divorcement

or with any of the buying organizations

already in existence.

While the court ordered a plan of divorcement

within a year, divestiture is likely

to move much faster. Warner Bros, has been

negotiating with the Department of Justice

for some weeks and it is believed that a consent

decree will be worked out within a very

short period. This decree is expected to be

followed by a similar decision on the part

of 20th-Fox to negotiate a consent decree.

Just what Loew's will do is not known.

Extra copies of the findings of fact, conclusions

of law and decrees in the antitrust

case, published in this issue, are available

without cost. Address your requests to:

BOXOFFICE, 825 Van Brunt Blvd., Kansas

City, Mo.

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950


'

'

TAX CUT PROSPECTS

AS INDUSTRY FIGHT

House Ways and Means

Committee Now Said

To Favor the Step

WASHINGTON—Pressure to ride over

the administration recommendations for

tax revision in order to cut the 20 per cent

federal admissions tax in half was mounting

in strength this week as the nationwide

theatre campaign began to be reflected

more and more clearly.

At the weekend it was even reported that

a majority of the key House ways and means

committee was ready to support reduction

of the admissions tax along with reduction

of other excise taxes asked by the administration.

Meantime. MPAA President Eric Johnston

predicted flatly that there will be a reduction

of the admissions levy this year, and

support for the battle was voiced by both

the AFX and the CIO.

TO PRESENT INDUSTRY CASE

It was announced that the industry's case

for reduction will be presented the committee—perhaps

next week—by Gael Sullivan

and A. F. Myers, respectively director of TOA

and chairman of National Allied. Myers is

also chairman of the COMPO tax committee

and thus head of the united industry

campaign.

Johnston will probably appear on behalf

of the National Committee to Remove Wartime

Excises. He said he will make a strong

plea for the removal of the 25 per cent

manufacturers' excise on photographic apparatus

and the 15 per cent levy on raw

stock.

Secretary of the Treasury John Snyder

told the ways and means committee last

week the government cannot afford to give

up any more revenue than would be lost by

enactment of the President's recommenda-

EDfTORI>tL PAGE OF THE DAILY MIRROR

NEW YORK. SATURDAY. JA.NUARY 28. 1950

Another Tax Gouge

VI/HILE THE NATION is aroused over the un-

*' fairness of the whole range of wartime excise

taxes, we hope people won't forget one particular

gouge that cuts into the purse of every

American family and bites those in the lower and

middle income ranges the hardest.

This is the flat 20 percent "amusement" tax

on movies, theatre, opera, sports events, etc. Let's

confine our attention at the moment just to the

movies.

"They affect more people, about 85,000,000

Americans being regular weekly moviegoers, and

the movies being their principle source of outside

recreation.

You take your wife to the neighborhood movie

and, on the average, you will be paying 30 cents to

the Washington spenders for the privilege of

watching the show. Multiply that by the number

of times you go to the movies in a year and you can

see it is a considerable tribute.

The movie people, through the Council of

-Mntion Picture Organizations, starting a dermined

is

battle on this discriniinatorv tax, and we

ivl' all for them. Moviegoers should take part in

iO

fight for their own self-interest.

The Tax Campaign:

1. Newspaper editorials across the country

call for tax aid to the industry.

2. Radio announcements now going on

the

air.

3. First shipment of 10.000,000 campaign

aids has been sent to exhibitors by

National Screen Service, which already

has requests for 8,000 more booklets.

4. Current newsreels carry an appeal

by Congressman Cecil R. King, and tell

theatre patrons to "sign up in the lobby."

5. Actors Equity, League of New York

Theatres and Committee of Theatrical

Producers pledge aid.

6. Fifteen New York congressmen will

support repeal with their votes, with

others due to follow their lead.

7. Eric Johnston, MPAA president, predicts

a cut in the tax.

8. Abram F. Myers, National Allied

general counsel, and Gael Sullivan, TOA

executive director, selected to testify at

House ways and means committee hearing.

9. John Balaban and Jack Kirsch, Illinois

Allied head, co-chairman of COMPO

committee in Chicago, consolidating drive

there.

10. Jerry Zigmond of Paramount becomes

general chairman of San Francisco

campaign.

11. Variety Clubs lining np all 35 tents

to join campaign.

12. Sam Pearlman, manager of Loew's

State, New York, sends initial batch of

900 protest cards to Congressman Walter

A. Lynch of House ways and means committee,

as New York theatregoers begin

mass support of appeal.

13. All amusements interests in New

Jersey to work together.

14. Many exhibitor groups publicly announce

they will pass on savings to the

public.

15. New York Bookers club says repeal

would increase business, employment and

taxes on profits.

16. Gael Sullivan warns exhibitor

inertia is greatest threat to a snccessfnl

campaign.

tions. He did not refer to the admissions

tax specifically in his formal statement, but

when asked if the admissions tax enjoys any

priority for reduction in the event the treasury

finds it can give up more revenue, Snyder

replied only that he would "have to look at

my list."

Both SulUvan and Myers warned against

exhibitor inertia, stressing that public relations

values going far beyond the tax battle

are to be gained from personal contact between

management and patrons.

Biggest Tax Repeal Danger

Is Inertia, Sullivan Warns

NEW YORK—The greatest danger to successful

completion of the industry's admis-

BRIGHTEN

BROADENS

sions tax repeal campaign is exhibitor inertia,

Gael Sullivan. TOA executive director, said

after conferences in Washington with A.

Julian Brylawski, TOA tax representative;

Abram P. Myers, National Allied general

counsel and chairman of the COMPO committee

on taxation, and Henderson M. Richey,

consultant.

"It will not be enough to show the trailer

and posters and set an unmanned table in

the lobby." Sullivan said. "Our patrons are

eager and willing to help, but we cannot

expect them to stand in line to sign the

petitions. We must make it convenient and

easy for them. Comparable theatres in comparable

locations show a wide variance in

totals. The results will match your enthusiasm

and efforts. The fight has just begun."

'HEARTENING ACTION'

Sullivan found "heartening" the action of

William Green and the AFL in maldng a

specific plea in Congress on the tax. He said

he had assurance from Philip Murray that

the CIO will reaffirm its position "in the

strongest possible language" to the President

and Congress for tax relief.

Referring to a postal deficit this year of

$500,000,000. Sullivan said over $225,000,000 of

it is a subsidy to the press for certain mailing

privileges which cannot be met by the

revenues from second-class mail.

"It has been said there are three great

freedoms in communication: freedom of the

press, freedom of the air and freedom of the

screen," Sullivan said. "Millions who benefit

from the motion picture industry, whether its

workers or general public, cannot understand

why the nation's screens should be imsubsidized

and overtaxed, while the nation's

press is subsidized and untaxed, except for

those normal taxes which apply to all business

enterprises."

New York World-Telegram

and

A SCRIPPS-HOWARD NEWSPAPER.

Tax That Should End.

Now that Congress is reported ready

to repeal the odious wartime excise taxes

on women's handbags, cosmetics, furs, luggage,

etc., motion picture theaters ask for

a rollback of admissions taxes which Congress

doubled to 20 per cent on the same

plea of war emergency.

The admissions tax is a tax on every

man, woman and child attending a movie.

They thus tax "the poor man's entertainment"

and discriminate against him and

his family.

In fairness, the admissions tax should

either be repealed or at least rolled back

to the pre-war rate.

It should not be allowed to become

permanent through sheer Congressional

neglect or refusal to keep the promise

made when the tax was doubled.

BOXOrnCE :: February 11, 1950


Text of the Findings of Fact, Conclusions

Of Law and Decrees in

the Antitrust Suit

In Litigation Against 20th Century-Fox, Loew's Inc., Warner Bros., United Artists,

Universal and Columbia Before the Statutory Court

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

Equity No. 87-273

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plointlff,

against

LOEWS INCORPORATED, WARNER BROS. PIC-

TURES, INC., WARNER BROS. PICTURE DIS-

TRIBUTING CORPORATION (formerly known as

Vltagroph, Inc.), WARNER BROS. CIRCUIT MAN-

AGEMENT CORPORATION, TWENTIETH CEN-

TURY-FOX FILM CORPORATION, NATIONAL

THEATRES CORPORATION, COLUMBIA PIC-

TURES CORPORATION, SCREEN GEMS, INC.,

COLUMBIA PICTURES OF LOUISIANA, INC.,

UNIVERSAL CORPORATION, UNIVERSAL PIC-

TURES COMPANY, INC., UNIVERSAL FILM EX-

CHANGES, INC., BIG U FILM EXCHANGE, INC.,

and UNITED ARTISTS CORPORATION,

Defendants.

FINDINGS OF FACT*

This action having been duly tried and the

proofs and arguments of the respective parties

having been duly heard and considered, this

court, having filed its opinions herein dated

June 11, 1946, and July 25, 1949, does hereby

find and decide as follows:

1. The following are definitions of terms

used in these findings and in the Judgment

to be entered hereon:

Block-booking—The practice of licensing,

or offering for license, one feature,

or group of features, upon condition that

the exhibitor shall also license another

feature or group of features released by

the distributor during a given period.

Clearance—The period of time, usually

stipulated in license contracts, which must

elapse between runs of the same feature

within a particular area or In specified

theatres.

Exchange District—An area in which

an office is maintained by a distributor

for the purpose of soliciting license agreements

for the exhibition of its pictures

In theatres situated throughout the territory

served by the exchange and for the

physical distribution of such films

throughout this territory.

Feature—Any motion picture, regardless

of topic, the length of the film of

which is in excess of 4,000 feet.

Formula Deal—A licensing agreement

with a circuit of theatres In which the

license fee of a given feature is measured

for the theatres covered by the agreement

by a specified percentage of the

feature's national gross.

Franchise—A licensing agreement, or

series of licensing agreements, entered

into as part of the same transaction, in

effect for more than one motion picture

season and covering the exhibition of

features released by one distributor during

the entire period of the agreement.

Independent — A producer, distributor,

or exhibitor, as the context requires, which

is not a defendant in this action or a

subsidiary or affiliate of a defendant.

Master Agreement—A licensing agreement,

also known as a "blanket deal,"

covering the exhibition of features in a

number of theatres, usually comprising

a circuit.

Motion Picture Season—A one-year period

begirming about September 1 of

each year.

Road-show—A public exhibition of a

feature in a limited number of theatres,

in advance of its general release, at admission

prices higher than those customarily

charged in first-run theatres in the areas

where they are located.

Runs—The successive exhibitions of a

feature in a given area, first-run being

the first exhibition in that area, secondrun

being the next subsequent, and so on,

and shall include also successive exhibitions

in different theatres even though

such theatres may be under a common

ownership or management.

Trade-Showing—A private exhibition of

a feature prior to its release for public

exhibition.

2. Paramount Pictures, Inc., Is a corporation

organized and existing under the laws

of the State of New York, with its principal

place of business at 1501 Broadway, New

York, New York, and is engaged in the business

of producing, distributing, and exhibiting

motion pictures, either directly or through

subsidiary or associated companies, in various

parts of the United States and in foreign

countries.

3. Paramount FUm Distributing Corporation,

a wholly owned subsidiary of Para-

•nount Pictures, Inc., Is a corporation organized

and existing under the laws of the State

of Delaware, with a place of business at 1501

Broadway, New York, New York, and Is engaged

in the distribution branch of the industry.

4. In 1916 or 1917, a group of exhibitors

which controlled many of the then best

theatres throughout the country organized

First National Exhibitors Circuit, Inc. Although

this corporation was Initially organized

to function as a film bujring combine, it

evolved into a film-producing company first

by financing the production of pictures by

others for exhibition in the theatres of its

members and finally by producing its own

motion pictures.

5. The members of this First National

group, consisting of many of the most important

exhibitors In the United States controlling

many of the best theatres, became

franchise holders of the distributing company

which they formed. They acquired not only

the right to exhibit in their own theatres

the pictures produced and distributed by

First National, but also they each obtained

the right to sub-franchise other exhibitors

in their respective territories. In a short time

there were some 3,500 franchise holders, representing

as many or more theatres.

6. First National soon began to negotiate

for the services of well-known stars and directors

in the employ of other producers, including

Paramount, and the members of First

National began to refuse to exhibit Paramount

films. Such well-known stars as Mary Pickford

and Norma Talmadge went over to the

First National group.

7. Many of the theatres owned by members

of First National had, for a long time prior

to 1918, exhibited Paramount pictures. The

formation and growth of First National gradually

cut down the number of Paramount

pictures exhibited in the theatres of the First

National group. By 1919 Paramount faced a

situation where a group of owners of many

of the best theatres in the large cities, many

of whom had been its customers in the past,

had combined together for cooperative buying

and had expanded into a strong organization

which distributed its own pictures and

threatened to supply its members with enough

pictures to permit them to operate without

using any pictures of other producers, including

Paramount.

8. In these circumstances Paramount determined

to acquire interests in theatres of

its own so that it might assure itself of

outlets for Paramount productions. Prior to

the fall of 1917 Paramount had no theatre

interests. Between 1917 and 1919 it acquired

an interest in two theatres in New York City

as show windows, to replace the Strand Theatre

which had gone over to the First National

group. During that year in conjunction with

its representative in the South, it formed

Southern Enterprises, Inc., which acquired

various theatres in the South. At about the

same time Paramount acquired a 50% interest

in the Black chain of theatres in New England.

Paramount continued to expand Its

theatre holdings.

9. In January 1932, Paramount went into

equity receivership in the United States District

Court for the Southern District of New

York. It stayed in equity receivership until

March 1933, when It went into voluntary

bankruptcy. It remained in bankruptcy until

June 1934, when upon passage of Section

77B of the Bankruptcy Law, it petitioned for

reorganization. It was finally reorganized under

its present name in June 1935. During

these years various companies operating theatres

in which Paramount was interested were

themselves the subject of bankruptcy or receivership

proceedings.

10. Some of the theatre Interests which

Paramount held at the time of the trial of

this action had been acquired and were wholly

owned by it either directly or indirectly

through subsidiary companies prior to bankruptcy

and reorganization. In the course of

BOXOFFICE :: February U, 1950


its reorganization, some of its partly owned

theatre interests were created, i. e., in some

instances the plan of reorganization approved

by this court provided for the sale or other

disposition by Paramount of a partial interest

(sometimes amounting to 50 ^t . sometimes

more and sometimes less) in theretofore

wholly owned theatre operating companies,

or companies holding legal or equitable interests

in theatres or theatre operating com«

panies. The result was the creation of many

of Paramount's present partly owned theatre

interests.

11. In the course of the reorganization proceedings

Paramount lost its interests in some

theatres and also changed its relationship

with respect to interests in some of its theatre

operating companies. The effect of these

proceedings and the policy of decentralization

inaugurated in the course thereof, was

that in some instances Paramount disposed

of a partial interest in companies theretofore

wholly owned.

12. Loew's Incorporated is a corporation

organized and existing under the laws of the

State of Delaware, with its principal place

of business at 1540 Broadway, New York, New

York, and is engaged in the business of producing,

distributing, and exhibiting motion

pictures, either directly or through subsidiary

or associated companies, in various parts of

the United States and in foreign countries.

13. Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation is a

corporation organized and existing under the

laws of the State of Delaware, with principal

place of business at 1270 Sixth Avenue, New

York. New York, and is engaged in the business

of producing, distributing, and exhibiting

motion pictures, either directly or through

subsidiary or associated corporations, in various

parts of the United States and in foreign

countries.

14. RKO Radio Pictures, Inc., a wholly

owned subsidiary of Radio-Keith-Orpheum

Corporation, is a corporation organized and

existing under the laws of the State of Delaware,

with a place of business at 1270 Sixth

Avenue. New York, New York, and is engaged

in the prodiytion and distribution branch of

the industry.

Organizational History

15. Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation was

a corporation organized and existing under

the laws of the State of Delaware, with a

place of business at 1270 Sixth Avenue, New

York, New York, and was engaged in the

business of exhibiting motion pictures prior

to its dissolution on September 29, 1944. Approximately

99% of its common stock and

33*:; of its preferred stock were held by

Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation.

16. RKO Proctor Corporation, a wholly

owned subsidiary of Radio-Keith-Orpheum

Corporation, is a corporation organized and

existing under the laws of the State ef New

York, with a place of business at 1270 Sixth

Avenue, New York, New York, and is engaged

in the business of exhibiting motion

pictures.

17. RKO Midwest Corporation, a wholly

owned subsidiary of Radio-Keith-Orpheum

Corporation, is a corporation organized and

existing under the laws of the State of Ohio,

with a place of business at 1270 Sixth Avenue,

New York, New York, and is engaged in the

business of exhibiting motion pictures.

18. RKO was organized in 1928 by Radio

Corporation of America largely for the purpose

of obtaining an effective means of developing

the use of its motion picture soxind

recording and reproduction devices in the

motion picture production and exhibition

fields.

19. At the time of its organization, RKO

secured production and distribution facilities

by merger with a small company, FBO Productions,

Inc., which had limited production

facilities and a national distributing organization.

RKO invested substantial sums to modernize

these facilities.

20. The formation of RKO introduced a

new and substantial competitive factor in

the production and distribution of motion

pictures.

21. During its Initial organizational period,

RKO acquired interests in a number of companies

operating circuits of vaudeville theatres.

22. RKO went into receivership in 1933

and continued in receivership and reorganization

until 1940. At the time of its receivership

RKO operated considerably more theatres

than its present total of 106. During the

receivership it lost 57 theatres.

23. The organization of RKO did increase

competition in each of the three branches of

the industry.

24. Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., is a corporation

organized and existing under the

laws of the State of Delaware, having its

principal place of business at 321 West 44th

Street, New York, New York, and is engaged

in the business of producing, distributing, and

exhibiting motion pictures, either directly or

through subsidiary or associated companies, in

various parts of the United States and in

foreign countries.

25. On April 4, 1923, the four Warner

brothers, Harry M., Jack L., Albert, and Sam,

transferred their business of production and

distribution of motion pictures to a corporation

known as Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

(hereafter referred to as Warner).

Develop Sound Films

26. Beginning in 1925, Warner began the

work of developing sound pictures under

license and agreements from Western Electric,

culminating in the production of such

sound pictures as "The Jazz Singer," starring

Al Jolson. in October, 1927, and the first

100% talking picture, "The Lights of New

York" in the summer of 1928.

27. The Stanley Company of America had

in 1928 and for a year prior thereto about

250 theatres situated principally in and

around Peruisylvania and New Jersey.

28. Negotiations were begun with the view

of exchanging stock of Warner for the stock

of Stanley Company of America. This transaction

was consummated late in 1928.

29. With the acquisition of the stock of

Stanley Company of America, Warner

acquired 250 theatres which could be immediately

equipped with sound installation.

30. In the year and nine months immediately

following the acquisition of the stock

of Stanley Company of America Warner

secured in a sirnilar fashion several other

circuits of theatres owning theatres in the

same general locality and a smaller number

of theatres scattered in various other parts

of the country.

31. In 1931 Warner had an interest in 591

theatres, the largest number of theatres in

which Warner has ever had an interest.

32. Today, the Warner companies have an

interest in 547 theatres—a net reduction of

44 from its peak holdings of 591 in 1931.

33. First National Pictures, Inc., & corporation

engaged in the production and distribution

of silent motion pictures, had been organized

as far back as 1917 by approximately 24

exhibitors on a cooperative basis for the basis

of acquiring film of first quality for exhibition

in their own theatres, as well as for distribution

by them for other theatres in the

respective territories in which they operated.

34. In 1928 Stanley Company of America

owned >3 of the stock of First National F>ictures.

Inc., all the stock of First National

Pictures, Inc., being subject to a voting trust.

35. Warner acquired as part of the Stanley

Company of America transaction in 1928, %

of the stock of F%st National Pictures, Inc.

36. At or about the time of the acquisition

of the Stanley Company of America stock, or

shortly thereafter, Warner purchased another

'3 of the stock of First National Pictures,

Inc., from other First National Pictures, Inc.,

stockholders.

37. Subsequently, in 1929, Warner acquired

the remaining % of the stock of First National

Pictures, Inc., from defendant Twentieth

Century-Fox.

38. Vitagraph, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary

of Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., is a

corporation organized and existing under the

laws of the State of New York, with a place

of business at 321 West 44th Street, New

York, New York, and is engaged in the business

of distributing motion pictures. On July

20, 1944, its name was changed to Warner

Bros. Pictures Distributing Corporation.

39. Warner Bros. Circuit Management

Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., is a corporation

organized and existing under the laws of the

State of New York, with a place of business

at 321 West 44th Street, New York, New York,

and, among other things, acts as booking

agent for the exhibition interests of the said

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

40. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

is a corporation organized and existing

under the laws of the State of New York,

having its principal place of business at 444

West 56th Street, New York, New York, and

is engaged in the business of producing, distributing,

and exhibiting motion pictures,

either directly or through subsidiary or associated

companies, in various parts of the

United States and in foreign coimtries.

20th-Fox Production

41. Twentieth Century-Fox produces Its

features in its own studio in Los Angeles,

California, distributes them in this country

through thirty-one branches or exchanges

which it operates in the principal centers of

population, and licenses its features for exhibition

in its own and other theatres.

42. Twentieth Century-Fox acquired its initial

interest in theatres through the purchase

of stock in corporations then engaged in operating

theatres. Since such original acquisition,

it has acquired additional interestis in

theatres, some of which were acquired in

competition with other defendants and with

independent circuits and some of .which are

new theatres constructed by it.

43. National Theatres Corporation is owned

and controlled by Twentieth Centiiry-Fox

Film Corporation, and is a corporation organized

and existing under the laws of the

State of Delaware, with a place of business

at 2854 Hudson Boulevard, Jersey City, New

Jersey, and is a holding company for the

theatre interests of the said Twentieth Century-Fox

Film Corporation.

43(a). The theatre holdings of the major

defendants have played a vital part in effecting

violations of the Sherman Anti-trust

Act.

43(b). Each of the defendants. Pox, Loew,

Paramount, RKO and Warner has since 1940

increased its interest in theatres in which

it had had an interest. Fox, Paramount and

Warner, and RKO to a lesser extent, have

acquired an interest since 1940 in a number

of theatres in which they had had no interest

prior thereto. The foregoing acquisitions

BOXOFFICE

:: February 11, 1950


were permitted under the consent decree of

November, 1940.

44. Columbia Hctures Corporation Is a

corporation organized and existing under the

laws of the State of New York, with its principal

place of business at 729 Seventh Avenue,

New York, New York, and is engaged

in the business of producing and distributing

motion pictures, either directly or through

subsidiary or associated companies, in various

parts of the United States and in foreign

countries.

45. Screen Gems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary

of Columbia Pictures Corporation, is

a corporation organized and existing under

the laws of the State of California, with a

place of business at 700 Santa Monica Boulevard,

Hollywood, California, and is engaged

in the business of producing motion pictures.

46. Columbia Pictures of Louisiana, Inc.,

a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Pictures

Corporation, is a corporation organized

and existing under the laws of the State of

Louisiana, with a pleice of business at 150

South Liberty Street, New Orleans, Louisiana,

and is engaged in the business of distributing

motion pictures.

47. Universal Corporation is a corporation

organized and existing under the laws of the

State of Delaware, with its principal place

of business at 1250 Sixth Avenue, New York,

New York, and is engaged in the business of

producing and distributing motion pictures,

either directly or through subsidiary or associated

corporations, in various parts of the

United States and in foreign countries. On

May 25, 1943, its name was changed to Universal

Pictures Company, Inc., when a subsidiary

of the same name was merged into it,

but Universal Corporation was the surviving

corporation.

48. The corporation named in the complaint

as Universal Pictures Company, Inc.

was a subsidiary corporation, controlled by

Universal Corporation, which was engaged in

the business of producing motion pictures,

prior to its merger into Universal Corporation

on May 25, 1943'.

Universal

Group

49. Universal Film Exchanges, Inc., a

wholly owned subsidiary of Universal Corporation,

is a corporation organized and existing

under the laws of the State of Delaware,

with a place of business at 1250 Sixth Avenue,

New York, New York, and is engaged in

the business of distributing motion pictures.

51. Prior to May 25, 1943, the name of Universal

Pictures (Company, Inc., was Universal

Corporation, incorporated in Delaware in

1936. It owned approximately 92 per cent of

the outstanding common stock of a Delaware

corporation which was incorporated in the

year 1925 and was also known as Universal

Pictures Company, Inc. Said corporation

last-named had its principal office in New

York, N. Y., and was engaged in the business

of producing motion pictures and distributing

the same through its subsidiaries. It

owned all of the outstanding stock of Universal

Film Exchange, Inc., and 20 per cent

of the outstanding common stock of Big U

Film Elxchange, Inc. The other 80 per cent

of said stock was owned by Universal Corporation.

On May 25, 1943, Universal Pictures

Company, Inc., (Delaware 1925) was merged

into Universal Corporation (the surviving

corporation), and the name of the surviving

corporation was changed to Universal Pictures

Company, Inc.

52. Big U Film Exchange, Inc., a wholly

owned subsidiary of Universal Corporation,

is a corporation organized and existing under

the laws of the State of New York, with a

place of business at 1250 Sixth Avenue, New

York, New York, and is engaged in the business

of distributing motion pictures.

United Artists Organization

53. United Artists Corporation is a corporation

organized and existing under the laws

of the State of Delaware with its principal

place of business at 729 Seventh Avenue,

New York, New York, and is engaged in distribution

of motion pictures in various parts

of the United States and in foreign countries.

54. During the entire period in question

United Artists Corporation distributed photoplays

in the United States of America that

were produced by David O. Selznick, Mary

Pickford, Charles Chaplin, Hunt Stromberg.

William Cagney, Bing Crosby, Edward Small,

Sol Lesser, Lester Cowan, Jack Skirball,

Benedict Bogeaus, Seymour Nebenzal, Jules

Levey, David Loew, Arnold Pressljurger,

Charles R. Rogers, Andrew Stone, Constance

Bennett, Howard Hughes, Preston Sturgis, J.

Arthur Rank, Edward Golden, or corporations

with which the aforesaid individuals

were associated and other independent producers.

55. United Artists Corporation maintains 26

branches or exchanges located throughout the

United States, and through these facilities it

distributes and has distributed all of the

product handled by it during the period in

question.

56. Paramount Pictures, Inc.; Loew's Incorporated;

Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation;

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.; and Twentieth

Century-Fox Film Corporation and

their respective distribution and exhibition

subsidiaries are the five major defendants.

Columbia Pictures Corporation, Universal

Pictures Company, Inc. and United Artists

50. The Universal group of defendants at

the time of the trial consisted of the following

corporations: (1) Universal Pictures Company,

Inc., (hereinafter sometimes called

Universal Pictures), a Delaware corporation

with its principal office in New York, N. Y.,

engaged in the business of producing motion Corporation and their respective distribution

pictures and distributing the same through subsidiaries are the three minor defendants.

wholly owned subsidiaries; (2) Universal Film

Exchanges, Inc. (hereinafter sometimes called

Universal Film Exchanges), a Delaware mount, Loew's, Fox, Warner, Columbia,

57. As between the eight defendants, Para-

corporation, with Its principal office in New United Artists, and Universal, there are no

York, N. Y., engaged in the business of distributing

motion picture throughout the said defendants owns any controlling stock

officers or directors in common, and none of

United States (except for the Metropolitan or other securities in any other of said defendants.

District of New York City), a wholly owned

subsidiary of Universal Pictures; (3) Big U

58. Neither of the defendants Columbia,

Film Exchange, Inc. (hereinafter sometimes

Universal and United Artists owns any theatres.

called Big U), a New York corporation, with

its principal office in New York, N. Y., engaged

In the business of distributing motion 59. There exists active competition among

pictures throughout the Metropolitan District

of New York City, a wholly owned sub-

of motion pictures.

the defendants and others in the production

sidiary of Universal Pictures. The term

"Universal" as used herein means any or all

of the Universal defendants.

60. None of the defendants has monopolized

or attempted to monopolize or contracted or

combined or conspired to monopolize or to restrain

trade or commerce in any part of the

business of producing motion pictures.

61. In the distribution of feature motion

pictures no film is sold to the exhibitor; the

right to exhibit under copyright is licensed.

62. In licensing features, each of the distributor-defendants

has agreed with each of

its respective licensees that the licensee

should charge no less than a stated admission

price during the exhibition of the feature

licensed.

63. The minimum admission prices included

in licenses of each of the eight distributor-defendants

for any given theatre are

in general uniform, being the usual admisjsion

prices currently charged by the exhibitor.

64. The defendants' licenses are in effect

price-fixing arrangements among all of the

distributor-defendants, as well as between

such defendants individually and their various

exliibitors. Thus there was a general

arrangement of fixing prices in which both

the distributors and exhibitors were involved.

The licenses required existing admission price

schedules to be maintained under severe penalties

for infraction. In the case of such exceptional

features as "Gone With the Wind,"

"For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Wilson," and

"Song of Bernadette," licensed for exhibition

prior to general release and as to which the

distributors were not satisfied with current

prices, they would refuse to grant licenses

unless the prices were raised.

65. The defendants granting film licenses

have agreed with their licensees to a system

which determines minimum admission prices

in all theatres where feature motion pictures

licensed by them are exhibited.

In this way

are controlled the prices to be charged for

most of the feature motion pictures exhibited

either by the defendants or by independents

within the United States.

66. All of the five major defendants have

a definite interest in keeping up prices in

any given territory in which they own theatres

and this interest they were safeguarding

by fixing minimum prices in their licenses

when distributing films to exhibitors in those

areas. Even if the licenses were at flat rate,

a failune to require their licences to maintain

fixed prices would leave tnem free for

lowering' the current charge to decrease

through competition the income to the licensor

on theatres in the neighborhood. The

whole system presupposed a fixing of prices

by all parties concerned in all competitive

areas. There exists great similarity, and in

many cases identity, in the minimum prices

fixed for the name theatres in the licenses

of all the defendants.

Joint Theatre Operations

67. The major defendants made operating

agreements as exhibitors with each other

and with independent exhibitors in which

joint operation of certain theatres covered

by the agreements is provided and minimum

admission prices to be charged are either

stated therein or are to be Jointly determined

by other means. These agreements show the

express intent of the major defendants to

maintain prices at artificial levels.

68. Certain master agreements and franchises

between various of the defendants in

their capacities as distributors and various

of the defendants in their capacities as exhibitors

stipulate minimum admission prices

often for dozens of theatres owned by an exhibitor-defendant

in a particular area In the

United States.

69. Licenses granted by one defendant to

another disclose the same interrelationship

among the defendants. Each of the five major

defendants as an exhibitor has been licensed

by the other seven defendants as distributors

to exhibit the pictures of the latter

at specified minimum admission prices. RKO,

Loew's, Warner, Paramount, and Fox, in

granting and accepting licenses with mlni-

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950 m.


-

mum admission prices specified, have among

themselves engaged in a national system to

fix prices, and Columbia, Universal, and

United Artists, in requiring the maintenance

of minimum admission prices in their licenses

granted to these exhibitor-defendants,

have participated in that system.

70. The distributor-defendants have acquiesced

in the establishment of a price-fixing

system and have conspired with one another

to maintain prices.

71. In agreeing to maintain a stipulated

minimum admission price, each exhibitor

thereby consents to the minimiun price level

at which it wUl compete against other licensees

of the same distributor whether they

exhibit on the same run or not. The total

effect is that through the separate contracts

between the distributor and its licensees a

price structure is erected which regulates the

licensees' ability to compete against one another

in admission prices. Each licensee

knows from the general uniformity of admission

price practices that other licensees having

theatres suitable for exhibition of a distributor's

feature in the particular competitive

area will also be restricted as to maintenance

of minimum admission prices, and

this acquie.scence of the exhibitors in the distributor's

control of price competition renders

the whole a conspiracy between each

distributor and its licensees. An effective

system of price control in wliich the distributor

and its licensees knowingly take part by

entering into price-restricting contracts is

thereby erected.

71(a). This system also restricted competition

between the theatres of the major defendants

in those areas where there were theatres

of more than one defendant since the

minimum price to be charged by any theatre

licensee was fixed and the licensee was prevented

from competing in the business of

exiiibition by lowering his price.

71(b). Complete freedom from price competition

among theatre holders could only be

obtained if prices were fixed by all distributors

and such a result was substantially obtained.

Consequently the system of theatre

licensing had a vital and all-per\'asive effect

m restricting competition of theatre patronage.

Licensing Provisions

72. Tlie differentials in admission price set

by a distributor in licensing a particular feature

in theatres exhibiting on different runs

in the same competitive area are calculated

to encourage as many patrons as possible to

see the picture in the prior-rim theatres

where they will pay higher prices than in

the subsequent runs. The reason for this

is that if 10,000 people of a city's population

are ultimately to see the feature—no matter

on what run—the gross revenue to be realized

from their patronage' is increased relatively

to the increase in numbers seeing it in the

higher-priced prior-run theatres. In effect,

the distributor, by the fixing of minimum

admission prices, attempts to give the priorrun

exhibitors as near a monopoly of the

patronage as possible.

73. Among the provisions common to the

licensing contracts of all the distributordefendants

are those by which the licensor

agrees not to exhibit or grant a license to

exhibit a certain feature motion picture before

a specified number of days after the last

date of the exhibition therein licensed. This

so-called period of "clearance" or "protection"

is stated In the various licenses In

differing ways; in terms of a given period

between designated runs; In terms of admission

prices charged by competing theatres;

in terms of a given period of clearance

over specifically named theatres; in

terms of so many days' clearance over specified

areas or towns; in terms of clearances

as fixed by other distributors; or in terms

of combinations of these formiUae.

74. The cost of each black and white print

from $150 to $300, and of a Technicolor

is

print is from $600 to $800. Many of the

bookings are for less than the cost of the

print so that exhibitions would be confined to

the larger high-priced theatres unless a system

of successive runs with a reasonable protection

for the earlier runs is adopted in

the way of clearance.

75. Without regard to period of clearance,

licensing features for exhibition on

different successive dates is essential in the

distribution of feature motion pictures.

76. Either a license for successive dates,

or one providing for clearance, permits the

pubUc to see the picture in a later exhibiting

theatre at lower than prior rates.

77. A grant of clearance, when not accompanied

by a fixing of minimum admission

prices or not unduly extended as to area

or duration affords a fair protection of the

interest of the licensee in the run granted

without unreasonably interfering with the

interest of the public.

78. Clearance, reasonable as to time and

area, is essential in the distribution and exhibition

of motion pictures. The practice is

of proved utility in the motion picture industry

and necessary for the reasonable conduct

of the business.

Control Over Clearances

79. The major defendants have acquiesced

in and forwarded a uniform system of clearances

and in numerous instances have maintained

unreasonable clearances to the prejudice

of independents.

80. Some licenses granted clearance to all

theatres which the exhibitor party to the contract

might thereafter own, lease, control,

manage, or operate against all theatres in

the immediate vicinity of the exhibitor's theatre

thereafter erected or opened. The purpose

of this type of clearance agreements was

to fix the run and clearance status of any

theatre thereafter opened not on the basis

of its appointments, size, location, and other

competitive features normally entering into

such determination, but rather upon the sole

basis of whether it were operated by the exhibitor

party to the agreement.

81. The distributor-defendants have acted

in concert in the formation of a uniform system

of clearance for the theatres to which

they license their films and the exhibitor

defendants have assisted in creating and have

acquiesced in this system.

82. The defendants have acted in concert

in their grant of run and clearance.

83. Clearances are given to protect a particular

run against a subsequent run and the

practice of clearance is so closely allied with

that of run as to make findings on the one

applicable to the other.

84. Both independent distributors and exhibitors,

when attempting to bargain with

the defendants, have been met by a fixed

scale of clearance, runs, and admission prices

to which they have been obliged to conform

if they wished to get their pictures shown

upon satisfactory runs or were to compete in

exhibition either with the defendants' theatre

or theatres to which the latter had licensed

their pictures.

85. The fixed system of runs and clearances

which involved a cooperative arrangement

among the defendants, was also designed

to protect their theatre holdings, safeguard

the revenue therefrom, and eliminate

competition. The major defendants' predominant

position in first-run theatre holdings

was strongly protected by a fixed system of

clearances and runs. The power to fix clearances

and runs which existed and was exercised

by the major defendants was in itself a

power to exclude independents who were competitors,

and w£is accompanied by actual exclusion.

85(a). This system gave the defendants a

practical control over the run and clearance

status of any given theatre. It involved discrimination

against persons applying for

licenses and seeking runs and clearances for

their theatres, because they had no reasonable

chance to improve their status by building

or improving theatres while the major

defendants possessed superior advantages.

Therefore, though the evidence was insufficient

to prove that there was discrimination

in negotiation for clearances and runs theatre

by theatre, because it was well-nigh impossible

to establish that a particular clearance

or run was not refused because of the inadequacy

of the applicant's theatre, the system

of clearances and runs was such as to make

competition against the defendants practically

impossible, and there was discrimination

in particular instances.

86. Formula deals have been entered into

by Paramount and by RKO with Independent

and affiliated circuits. The circuit may allocate

playing time and film rentals among the

various theatres as it sees fit. Arrangements

whereby all the theatres of a circuit are included

in a single agreement, and no opportunity

is afforded for other theatre owners to

bid for the feature in their several areas, seriously

and imreasonably restrain compretition.

87. Loew's Is not, and never has been, a

party either as a distributor or as an exhibitor,

to any "formula deal" license agreements.

88. Master agreements which cover exhibition

in two or more theatres in a particular

circuit and allow the exhibitor to allocate the

film rental paid among the theatres as it sees

fit and also to exhibit the features upon such

playing time as it deems best and leaves other

terms to the circuit's discretion, have been

entered into by the distributor-defendants

and unreasonably restrain trade.

Franchises to 770

89. Franchises have been entered into by

the distributor-defendants with affiliated and

non-affiliated circuits which unreasonably

restricted the opportunities of small exhibitors

to license fiims in competition with the

theatres of such circuits by tying up the films

released for long periods of time. None of

the major defendants has entered into any

franchises since November, 1940, and they

have none in existence in 1950.

90. Loew's today has outstanding no franchise

agreements for any theatre In which It

does not have an interest, and Loew's is not

currently granting franchises. During its

entire history Loew's, as a distributor, granted

a total of 213 franchises, of which 154 were

to independent theatres and only 59 to those

in which any other producer-exhibitor had

an interest.

91. Twentieth Century-Fox has not granted

any franchises since June 6, 1940. In

1938-39, the motion picture season in which

Twentieth Century-Fox had the greatest

number of franchises outstanding, there were

400. Of these, 361 were with independent

exhibitors.

92. During the period in question Universal

entered into franchise agreements with

727 independent exhibitors and 43 affiliated

exhibitors.

93. Block-booking, when the license of any

feature is conditioned upon taking of other

features, is a system which prevents competitors

from bidding for single features on

their individual merits.

IV. BOXOrnCE :: February 11, 1950


94. For many years the distributor-defendants,

except United Artists Corporation,

licensed their films in "blocks" or indivisible

groups, before they had been actually produced.

In such cases the only knowledge prospective

exhibitors had of the films which they

had contracted for was from a description of

each picture by title, plot, and players. In

many cases licenses for all the films had to

be accepted in order to obtain any, though

sometimes the exhibitor was given a right of

subsequent cancellation for a certain number

of pictures. Because of complaints of block

booking and blind-selling based upon the supposed

unfairness of contracts which often includes

pictures the inferior quality of which

could not be known, Sections III and IV of

the consent decree required the five consenting

distributors to trade-show their films

before offering them for license and limited

the number which might be included in any

contract to five. More than one block of five,

however, could be licensed where the contents

of any had been trade-shown. While this

restriction in the consent decree has now

ceased by time limitation, the consenting distributors

have continued to observe the restriction.

The non-assenting distributors have

retained up to the present time their previous

methods of licensing in blocks, but have

allowed their customers considerable freedom

to cancel the license as to a percentage of

the pictures contracted for.

95. United Artists did not at any time

license the exhibition of Its pictures in blocks

but on the contrary licensed the exhibition of

its pictures separately and individually.

96. During the period in question United

Artists did not condition the licensing of any

photoplay in any exhibitor's theatre upon that

exhibitor's agreement to license other United

photoplays for exhibition In said theatre.

97. Blind-selling is a practice whereby a

distributor licenses a feature before the exhibitor

is afforded an opportunity to view it.

Poor Trade Show Attendance

98. Since the consent decree of November

20, 1940, the five major defendants have given

each exhibitor, whether a defendant or independent,

an opportunity at trade shows to

view each feature before licensing it. In general,

trade shows, which are designed to prevent

blind-selling, are poorly attended by exhibitors.

99. I>uring the 1943-44 season, the number

of features distributed by eight distributor

defendants and the three other national distributors

were as follows:

Percentages of Total

Number With With

Distributor- of "Westerns" "Westerns"

defendants: Mms included excluded

Fox 33 8.31 9.85

Loew's 33 8.31 9.85

Paramount 31 7.81 9.25

RKO 38 9.57 11.34

Warner 19 4.79 5.67

Columbia 41 10.32 12.24

United Artists 16 4.04 4.78

Universal 49 12.34 14.63

Sub-total 260


Producer or its representative shall return

such proposed contract to United with its

rejection noted thereon or appended

thereto.

Should the Producer or its representative

reject any such proposed contract

the Producer or its representative shall

have fourteen (14) days from the date of

rejection in which to obtain a more favorable

contract. Should the Producer or its

representative fail so to do the original

contract shall ipso facto be deemed approved

unless the Producer or its representative

shall have designated its original

rejection as final. No proposed contract

on which the rejection has been

designated as final shall be entered into

by United.

Should the Producer or its representative

at any time agree in advance with

United upon the rental terms or license

fees for the distribution, exhibition, or

marketing of any motion picture in any

specified theatre or situation. United shall

not be obligated to submit the contract

containing the terms so agreed upon to

the Producer or its representative for approval.

113. Other forms of operating agreements

are between major defendants and independent

exhibitors rather than between major

defendants. The effect is to ally two or more

theatres of different ownership into a coalition

for the nullification of competition between

them and for their more effective competition

against theatres not members of the

"pool."

114. In certain other cases the operating

agreements are accomplished by leases of

theatres, the rentals being determined by a

stipulated percentage of profits earned by the

"pooled" theatres. This is but another means

of carrying out the restraints found above.

115. Many theatres, or the corporations

owning them, have been held jointly by one or

more of the exhibitor-defendants together

with another exhibitor-defendant. These

joint interests have enabled the major defendants

to operate theatres collectively

rather than competitively. When one of the

major defendants has owned an interest of

five per cent or less, such an interest was

de minimis and was only to be treated as an

inconsequential investment in exhibition. A

summary of theatres jointly owned by two

defendants is set forth in the following tabulation

taken from RKO's Exhibit 11;

Paramount-Fox

Other Discriminations

110. Various contract provisions by which

discriminations against small independent

exhibitors and in favor of the large affiliated

and unaffiliated circuits were accomplished

are: suspending the terms of a given contract,

if a circuit theatre remains closed for

more than eight weeks, and reinstating it

without liability upon reopening; allowing

large privileges in the selection and elimination

of films; allowing deductions in fUm

rentals if double bills are played: granting

move overs and extended runs; granting roadshow

privileges; allowing overage and underage;

granting unlimited playing time; excluding

foreign pictures and those of independent

producers; granting rights to question the

classification of features for rental purposes.

These provisions are found most frequently

in franchises and master agreements, which

are made with the larger circuits of affiliated

and unaffiliated theatres. Small independents

are usually licensed, however, upon the

standard forms of contract, which do not

Include them. The competitive advantages of

these provisions are so great that their inclusion

in contract with the larger circuits

constitutes an unreasonable discrimination

against small competitors.

111. The discriminations refen-ed to in

Finding 110 can be enjoined but there is no

effective way of preventing similar results

from the use of other discriminatory devices

in tiie absence of divorcement relief.

112. Agreements were made by the exhibitor-defendants

with each other and their

affiliates by which given theatres of two or

more exhibitors, normally in competition with

each other, were operated as a unit, or most

of their business policies collectively determined

by a joint committee or by one of the

exhibitors, and by which profits of the

"pooled" theatres were divided among the exhibitors

in or owners of such theatres according

to pre-agreed percentages or otherwise.

Some of the agreements provide that the

parties thereto may not acquire other theatres

in the competitive vicinity without first

offering them for inclusion in the "pool."

The result is to eliminate competition pro

tanto both in exhibition and in distribution

of features which would flow almost automatically

to the theatres in the earnings of

which they have a joint interest.


and in some cases the operating companies

in which Paramount was interested were not

able to obtain the right to exhibit tlie feature

of some of the other defendant distributors.

130. Paramount features are licensed for

exhibition in from 8,000 to 14,500 theatres in

the United States annually. The number of

licenses each year varies from feature to feature

and from year to year.

131. In 21 of the 36 out of the 92 cities

where Loew's operates theatres none of the

other four producer-exhibitors licensed its

features in the 1943-44 season for first-run

exhibition in a Loew's theatre, to the extent

of more than three features, the Loew's theatres'

first-run exhibition being otherwise

limited to its own features and those of nontheatre-owning

producers.

132. Over the 10 years from 1935 to 1945,

the total number of features licensed by the

other four theatre-owning distributors to

Loew's first-run houses, decreased from 1,382

to 998 and the features of non-theatre-owning

distributors increased from 1,201 to 1,879.

133. In 1935, the other four theatre-owning

distributors earned $2,611,986 from Loew's theatres

and the non-theatre-owning distributors

earned $2,205,330 ($406,656 less). In 1944, the

non-theatre-owning distributors earned $5,-

261,116 in Loew's theatres, which was $419,477

more than the $4,841,639, earned in Loew's

theatres in that year by the four other theatre-owning

distributors.

Loew's Film Rentals

134. In 1944, the percentage of the total

film rental paid by Loew's theatres to each

of the non-theatre-owning distributors, Columbia

(8.8%), United Artists (8.3%) and

Universal (7.4%), was higher than that paid

to each of "three producer-exhibitors, RKO

(2.1%), Warner Bros. (2.1%) and Twentieth

Century-Fox (6.1%).

135. In the year 1944, of the total film

rental paid by Loew's theatres, 47.9% was to

Loew's itself for the exhibition of Loew's pictures,

and 27.1% was to non-theatre-owning

distributors. Thus a total of 75% of all film

rentals paid by Loew's theatres went to persons

other than the four other defendantproducer-exhibitors.

136. During the 1943-44 season RKO received

56.9% of its total license fees from independent

theatres, 14.1% from its own theatres,

and (in the aggregate) 29% from theatres

affiliated with other defendants.

137. In the 1943-44 season, of the total

number of exhibitions of features in first-run

and metropolitan second-run theatres operated

by RKO, 23.1% were exhibitions of featiu-es

distributed by RKO, 29.6% were exhibitions

of features distributed by other theatreowning

distributors, and 47.3% were exhibitors

of features distributed by non-theatreowning

distributors. In the same season the

respective peccentages of the feature film

rentals paid by RKO were 30.6 to RKO, 43.7

to other theatre-owning defendants, and 23.7

to non-theatre-owning distributors.

138. In the 4 pre-war seasons of 1937-

1940, Warner derived about 61-6/10% of its

domestic gross rentals from theatres not

affiliated with any of the defendants, about

14% from theatres in which it had an interest,

about 13 7o from theatres in which Paramount

had an interest, about 4% from theatres

in which Twentieth Century-Fox had an

Interest, about 6% from theatres in which

RKO had an interest, and less than 1% from

theatres in which Loew had an interest.

139. Of its total domestic and foreign

rentals Warner received about 30% from

abroad, about 43% from theatres in which

none of the defendants had an interest, about

10% from Warner's own American theatres,

and the balance, about 16%. from American

theatres in which one or more of the defendants

had an interest.

140. Not a single one of the Loew first run

theatres in the 39 of the 92 largest cities

where Loew operates or has an interest in

first run theatres licensed a Warner feature

for exhibition in the 1943-44 season. In the

same season the Warner theatres regularly

exhibited the Loew features in many of the

28 of the 92 largest cities where Warner

operated or had an interest in first run

theatres.

141. The dollars paid by Warner to each

of the other defendants and by each of the

other defendants to Warner show no uniformity

of pattern from company to company

from year to year.

142. There were marked variances from

year to year in the sums paid as rental by the

theatres in which Warner had an interest to

United Artists, Universal, and Columbia, the

non-theatre owning defendants.

443. Between 1937 and 1944 the theatres

in which Warner had an interest substantially

decreased the amount of film rental paid

to the 5 theatre owning defendants, and substantially

increased film rental paid to the

non-theatre owning defendants.

143(a). During the 9 prewar years of

1933-1941, the average cost of American made

Warner features rose from $241,000 in 1933

to $448,000 in 1940. By 1945 the average cost

had risen to $1,371,000.

143(b). In the past the foreign business

of Warner has been exceedingly profitable.

143(c). With the cessation of the war the

foreign market for Warner pictures is being

severely restricted.

144. Of the total film revenue received by

Twentieth Century-Fox in 1944 from all theatres

in the United States, 60.8 percent was

paid by exhibitors not defendants in this

action; 14.1 percent was paid by its own theatres;

1.26 percent by Loew theatres; 5.52

percent by RKO theatres; 13.46 percent by

theatres in which Paramount had an interest;

and 4.82 percent by Warner theatres.

145. On January 1, 1935, there were 13,386

theatres operating in the United States. In

1945, there were 18,076 theatres operating in

the United States.

146. In about 60% of the 92 cities having

populations over 100,000, there are Independent

first run theatres.

In 91 % of Big Cities

147. In about 91 percent of the 92 cities

with over 100,000 population there are first

run theatres of more than one defendant or

of a defendant and independents.

147(a). All the defendants entered into a

horizontal conspiracy to fix prices, runs and

clearances which was powerfully aided by the

system of vertical integration of each of the

five major defendants. Such a situation has

made the vertical integration an active aid

to the conspiracy. Vertical Integration has

furnished an incentive for such conspiracy.

147(b),. There is close relationship between

the vertical integrations and the illegal practices.

The vertical integrations were a means

of carrying out the restraints and conspiracies.

147(c). The interdependency of defendants

to obtain pictures for their theatres, on the

one hand, and on the other, to obtain theatre

outlets for their pictures has lessened competition

among defendants and between them

and independents.

147(d). There is substantial proof that

monopoly power existed among the eight distributor-defendants

who were all working together.

Considering that the vertical integrations

aided the horizontal conspiracy

mentioned in Finding 147(a) at every point,

the defendants must be viewed collectively

rather than independently as to the power

which they exercised over the market by

major defendants' theatre holdings.

147(e). Viewed collectively the major defendants

owned in 1945 at least 70 percent of

the first run theatres in the 92 largest cities.

148. In the aforementioned 92 cities, at

least 70% of all of the first run theatres are

affiliated with one or more of the major

defendants. In 4 of said cities there are no

affiliated theatres. In 38 of said cities there

are no independent first run theatres. In the

remaining 50 cities the degree of first run

competition varies from the most predominantly

affiliated first run situations, such as

Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia,

St. Paul, and Washington, D. C, in each of

which the independent first run theatres

played less than eleven of the defendants'

features on first run during the 1943-44 season,

to the most predominantly independent

first run situations, such as Nashville, Louisville,

Indianapolis, and St. Louis, where the

affiliated first run theatres played at least

31 of the defendants' pictures on first run

during that season. In none of the said 50

cities did less than three of the distributordefendants

license their product on first run

to the affiliated. In 19 of said 50 cities less

than three defendant-distributors licensed

their product on first run to Independent theatres.

In a majority of said 50 cities the major

share of all of the defendants' features were

licensed for first run exhibition in theatres

affiliated with the major defendants.

148(a). Viewed collectively the major defendants

owned 60 percent of the first run

theatres in cities with populations between

25,000 and 100,000.

Control in Small Cities

148(b). In addition to the proof of monopoly

control in cities of more than 25,000, there

is substantial proof that in approximately 238

towns involving in all but about 17 cases

populations of less than 25.000 but having two

or more theatres, some single one of the

five major defendants, or in about 18 cases

two of the defendants, had all the theatres

and therefore possessed a complete local

monopoly in exhibition. (See Government

Exhibit 488.) This Finding is not applicable

to Loew's, which had no theatres in the foregoing

towns.

148(c). The film distribution in the 1943-

44 season shows that one or more of the five

major defendants exhibited on first run substantially

all of the feature films distributed

by the five major defendants in about 43 of

the 92 cities of over 100 thousand, and substantially

all of the feature films distributed

by the eight defendants in about 143 of the

320 cities of 25,000 to 100,000. (See Government

Exhibits- 489, 490, 490A.)

148(d). As distributors, the five major defendants

viewed collectively, received approximately

73 percent and the three minor defendants

21% of the domestic film rentals

from the films, except Westerns, distributed

in the 1943-44 season.

148(e). The percentages of first run theatre

ownership and domestic film rentals controlled

by the major defendants when coupled

with the strategic advantages of vertical

integration created a power to exclude competition

from the distribution and exhibition

markets when desired.

148(f). This power might be exercised

either against nonaffiliated exhibitors or distributors,

for the ownership of what was generally

the best first run theatres coupled with

the possession by the defendants of the best

pictures, enabled them substantially to control

the market in first-run pictures.

148(g). There is .substantial proof that the

intent to exercise the monopoly power existed

among the defendants.

BOXOrnCE :: February 11, 1950 vn.


149. Loew's operates first-run theatres in

36 of the 92 cities in the United States with

more than 100.000 population; in every one

of these 36 cities, there are other "first-run"

theatres exhibiting the features of one or

more of the other defendant distributors; in

21 of these 36. one or more of the other firstnm

theatres are operated by independents.

150. Of the 92 cities in the United States

having a population in excess of 100,000,

Twentieth Century-Fox is interested in first

run theatres in 16 and licenses its features

to them. In 4 of the remaining cities, none

of the defendants has theatre interests. This

leaves 72 cities in which there are first run

theatres operated by defendants other than

Twentieth Century-Fox. In 23 of the 72

cities, Twentieth-Century-Fox Ucenses its features

to independent exhibitors.

151. Except for a very limited number of

theatres in the very largest cities, the 18,000

and more theatres in the United States exhibit

the product of more than one distributor.

Such theatres could not be operated on

the product of only one distributor.

152. The major defendants aided each

other ui attaining a monopoly of exhibition

and in restricting competition by refraining

from having theatre interests in many areas

where one of tliem had theatres.

Pooling Agreements

153. In cities of less than 100,000 in population.

Paramount, Warner, Fox and RKO

owned or operated theatres either in largely

separate market areas or in pools, without

more than trifling competition among

themselves or with Loew's. In cities having

a population of more than 100,000, there was

in general little competition among the major

defendants, although considerably more

than in towns of under 100,000.

153(a). In cities of less than 100,000,

Paramount had complete or partial interests

in or pooling agreements* with other defendants

affecting 1,236 theatres located in

494 towns. In 13 of these towns containing

31 of the theatres—only 3%—were theatres

of another defendant. In 9% of these towns

competition between Paramount and the only

other defendant in the town was substantially

lessened or eliminated by means of a

pooling agreement affecting some or all of

their theatres; and in this 97c were located

10% of Paramount's theatre interests. And in

88 7o of the towns, containing 87% of Paramount's

theatre interests. Paramount was

the only defendant operating theatres. Thus

it appears that there was little, if any, theatre

competition between Paramount and any

other defendant in 97% of the towns under

100,000 and in respect to 97% of the theatres

in which Paramount had an interest.

153(b). Fox had similar theatre interests

in 428 theati-es located in 177 towns. In 13

of these towns containing 29 Fox theatres, or

about 7% thereof, there were theatres of another

defendant. In about 93 7o of the towns

containing the .same percentage of Fox's theatre

interests. Fox was the only defendant

operating theatres; in 22 of these towns there

was but one theatre and a population capable

of supporting only one theatre.

153(c). Warner had similar theatre Interests

in 306 theatres located in 155 towns of

less than 100,000. In 17 towns, or 11%, containing

30 Warner theatres, or 10% of its

holdings, there were theatres of another major

defendant. In 37c of the towns, competition

between Warner and the only other defendant

in the town was substantially lessened

or eliminated by means of pooling

agreements; and in this 3% were located 47o

of Warner's theatre interests. In 86% of the

'Pooling agreements cmd joint interests among defendants

are treated in Findings 153-153(g) and 154-

154(h) as indistinguishable for the purpose of summarizing

geographical distribution.

towns containing the same percentage of

Warner's theatre interests, Warner was the

only defendant operating theatres. Thus,

there appears to have been little, if any, theatre

competition between Warner and any

other defendant in 89% of the towns and in

respect to 90% of the theatres in which Warner

had an interest. In 33 of these towns

there was but one theatre and a population

capable of supporting only one theatre.

153(d). Loew had interests in only 17

theatres located in 14 towns. In 4 towns

containing 4 Loew theatres, there were theatres

of another defendant. In 2 of the towns,

competition was substantially lessened or

eliminated by means of joint interests; and

in these 2 were located 3 of Loew's theatre

interests. In 8 of the towns, containing 10

Loew's theatre interests, Loew was the only

defendant operating theatres. Thus, there

appears to have been little, if any, theatre

competition between Loew and any other defendant

in 10 of the towns and in respect to

13 of the theatres in which Loew had an

'

interest.

153(e). RKO had interests in 150 theatres

located in 66 towns. In 6 towns, or 10%,

containing 6 RKO theatres or 4%, there was

competition with another major defendant.

In 60% of the towns, competition was substantially

lessened or eliminated by means of

pooling agreements, and in this 60% were

located 73%, of RKO's theatre interests. In

30% of the towns, containing 23 %> of RKO's

theatre interests, RKO was the only defendant

operating theatres. Thus, there appears

to have been little, if any, competition between

RKO and any other defendant in 90 %>

of the towns and in respect to 96%; of the

theatres in which RKO had an interest.

153(f). The major defendants had interests

altogether in 2,020 theatres located in

834 towns. In 26 towns, or 3% containing

100 of their theatres, or 5%, there was conpetition

among some of them. In somewhat

over 5% of the towns, competition between

them was substantially lessened or

eliminated by means of pooling agreements,

and in this 5%! were located 7% of their

theatre interests. And in somewhat less than

92% of the towns, containing 88% of their

theatre interests, only one of the major defendants

owned theatres in the area. Thus,

there appears to have been little, if any, competition

among the five defendants or any

of them in 97% of the towns and in respect

to 95% of the theatres in which they had an

interest.

Eliminated

Competition

The effect of the geographical dis-

153(g).

tribution in towns having a population of

less than 100,000 was largely to eUminate

competition among all of the defendants in

the areas where any of them had theatres.

The statistics upon which these findings are

based are contained in the appendix to this

Court's opinion of July 25, 1949.

154. In cities of over 100,000 Paramount

had complete or partial interests in or pooling

agreements with other defendants affecting

352 theatres in 49 cities. In 18 of

these cities, or 37%, containing 91 Paramount

theatres, or 26%, there were theatres of

other defendants. In an additional 10% of

the cities, containing 17% of Paramount's

theatre holdings, there were other defendants

having theatre interests, but those interests

were so relatively small as compared with

Paramount, both on first and later runs, that

competition with Paramount was unsubstantial

owing to the dominance which the latter's

theatre holdings gave it. In 12% of these

cities competition between Paramount and

the only other defendants in the city was

substantially lessened or eliminated by means

of a pooling agreement affecting some or

all of their theatres, and in this 12% were

located 18% of Paramount's theatre interests.

And in 41% of the cities, containing 39%

of Paramount's theatre interests, Paramount

was the only defendant operating theatres.

Thus, it appears that there was little, if any,

theatre competition between Paramount and

any other defendant in 63% of the cities of

over 100,000 and In respect to 74% of the

theatres in which Paramount had an interest.

154(a). Fox had similar theatre interests

in 211 theatres located in 17 cities. In 5 of

these cities, or 29%, containing 54 Fox theatres,

or 26%, there were theatres of other

defendants. In an additional 18% of the cities,

containing 41% of Fox's theatre holdings,

there were other defendants having theatre

interests, but those interests were so relatively

small as compared with Fox, both on

Fox was unsubstantial owing to the dominance

which the latter's theatre holdings

first and later runs, that competition with

gave it. In 53% of the cities, containing 33%

of Fox's theatre interests. Fox was the only

defendant operating theatres. Thus, it appears

that there was little, if any, theatre

competition between Fox and any other defendant

in 71% of the cities and in respect

to 74% of the theatres in which Fox had an

interest.

Warner Theatre

Interests

154 (b). Warner had similar theatre interests

in 243 theatres located in 26 cities.

In 14 of these cities, or 54%., containing 89

theatres, or 37%, there were theatres of other

defendants. In an additional S% of the cities,

containing 5% of Warner's theatre holdings,

there were other defendants having theatre

interests, but those interests were so relatively

small as compared with Warner, both

on first and later runs, that competition with

Warner was unsubstantial owning to the

dominance which the latter's theatre holdings

gave it. In 19% of these cities competition

between Warner and the only other

defendants in the city was substantially

lessened or eliminated by means of a pooling

agreement affecting some or all of their theatres,

and in this 19% were located 51% of

Warner's theatre interests. And in 19% of the

cities, containing 7% of Warner's theatre interests,

Warner was the only defendant operating

theatres. Thus, it appears that there

was little, if any, competition between Warner

and any other defendant in 46% of the

cities and in respect to 63% of the theatres

in which Warner had an interest.

154 (c) . Loew had similar theatre interests

in 144 theatres located in 37 cities. In

32 of these cities, or 86%, containing 122

Loew theatres, or 85%, there were theatres

of other defendants. In 3% of these cities,

competition between Loew and the only other

defendant in the city was eliminated by

means of a pooling agreement affecting aU

of their theatres, and in this 3% were located

7% of Loew's theatre interests. And in 11%

of the cities, containing 8% of Loew's theatre

interests, Loew was the only defendant

operating theatres. Thus, it appears that

there was little, it any, theatre competition

between Loew and any other defendant in

14% of the cities and in respect to 15%,

of the theatres in which Loew had an interest.

154 (d) . In New York City Loew and RKO

divided the neighborhood prior run product

of the various defendant distributors under

a continuing arrangement so that there was

no competition between them in obtaining

pictures. On one occasion where

Paramount was having a long dispute with

Loew's as to rental terms for Paramount films

to be shown in Loew's New York neighborhood

circuit of theatres, no attempt was made by

Paramount to lease its films to RKO for exhibition

in the latter's circuit, nor was any

effort made by RKO to procure Paramount

films as they both evidently preferred to adhere

to the existing arrangement, under

which Loew's circuit consistently exhibited

the films of itself. Paramount, United Artists,

Columbia and half of Universal, while

RKO exhibited the films of itself. Fox, Warvm.

BOXOrnCE :: February 11, 1950


ner, and half of Universal. Accordingly, the

showing that 85 per cent of Loew's theatres

are in competition with theatres of other defendants

is misleading and may properly be

reduced by the exclusion of its New York

neighborhood theatres. If this is done, it

would give Loew a percentage of approximately

52 per cent of its theatres in competition

with other defendants in cities over

100,000.

154(e). RKO had similar theatre Interests

In 256 theatres in 31 cities. In 22 of these

cities, or 72 per cent, containing 190 theatres,

or 74 per cent, there were theatres of other

defendants. In an additional 6 per cent of

the cities, containing 4 per cent of RKO's

theatre holdings, there were other defendants

having theatre interests, but those interests

were so relatively small as compared

with RKO, both on first and later runs, that

competition with RKO was unsubstantial

owing to the dominance which the latter's

theatre holdings gave it. In 16 per cent of

these cities, competition between RKO and

the only other defendants in the city was

substantially lessened or eliminated by means

of a pooling agreement affecting some or all

of their theatres, and in this 16 per cent were

located 15 per cent of RKO's theatre interests.

And in 6 per cent of the cities, containing

7 per cent of RKO's theatre interests,

RKO was the only defendant operating theatrestle,

if

Thus, it appears that there was lit-

any, theatre competition between RKO

and other defendants in 28 per cent of the

cities and in respect to 26 per cent of the

theatres in which RKO had an interest.

154(f). Approximately 58 per cent of RKO

theatre interests were located in New York

on neighborhood runs, and the same comments

as to distribution of film made in regard

to Loew's are applicable to RKO. If

its New York neighborhood theatre interests

were excluded from the category of theatres

in competition with other defendants the

RKO percentage would then be only about 16

per cent in competition with other defendants.

154(g). The major defendants had interests

altogether in 1,112 theatres located in

87 cities of more than 100,000. In 46 per

cent of these cities, containing 23 per cent

of their theatre interests, only one of the

major defendants owned theatres in the area.

In 11.5 per cent of the cities, competition

between them was substantially lessened or

eliminated by means of pooling agreements,

and in this 11.5 were located 16 per cent of

their theatre holdings. In an additional 11.5

per cent of the cities, containing 17 per cent

of their theatre interests, there was

more than one defendant having theatre

interests in the city, but the position

of one defendant was so dominant relative

to the others that competition between them

was unsubstantial. In 31 per cent of the

cities, containing 44 per cent of their theatre

interests, there was competition among the

defendants. But the New York neighborhood

theatres of Loew and RKO, which are

included in reaching the 44 per cent figure,

should properly be excluded because there is

no competition between Loew and RKO in

obtaining pictures for the reasons we have

already given. This would reduce the percentage

of defendants' theatres which compete

with one another to 27.

154(h). The effect of the geographical distribution

in cities having a population of more

than 100,000 was substantially to limit competition

among the major defendants.

155. Although there was no agreement to

divide territory geographically in the original

organization of the defendants' theatre

circuits, the geographical distribution of theatres

among the major defendants became

a part of a system in which competition was

largely absent and the status of which was

intentionally maintained by fixed runs, clearances

and prices, by pooling agreements and

joint ownerships among the major defendants,

and by cross-licensing which made it

necessary that they should work together.

156. In the relatively few areas where more

than one of the major defendants had theatres,

competition for first-run licensing privileges

was generally absent because the defendants

customarily adhered to a set method

in the distribution and playing of their

films.

156(a). A study of four seasons between

the years 1936 and 1944 shows that during

this period the privilege of first-run exhibition

of a defendant's films was ordinarily

transferred from one defendant to another

only as the result of dissolution of a theatre

operating pool or an arbitrary division of the

product known as a "split."

156(b). Effective relief from the monopoly

power of and its exercise by the major defendants

cannot be obtained without divorcement.

No adequate competition among

the defendants or between defendants and

independents can exist in the presence of

interdependency among the defendants on

the one hand to obtain pictures for their

own theatres and on the other to obtain

theatre outlets for their own pictures. Divorcement

is necessary to prevent the

major defendants from being in a state

of interdependence which too greatly restricts

competition. Divorcement is a necessary

remedy to introduce competition into

defendants' system of fixed admission prices,

clearances and runs, and to remove a major

incentive to discriminatory trade practices.

157. The arbitration system and the Appeal

Board which has been a part of it have been

useful in the past and should be continued

upon terms to be settled by the Court.

158. Evidence submitted since the remand

of this case has been considered by this

Court. Such evidence has been used by the

Court in making its findings as to the situation

in 1945. The change in status and practices

since 1945 revealed by this evidence has

been insufficient to warrant a change in the

findings and judgment entered herein.

159. A consent judgment was entered on

March 3, 1949, against defendants Paramount

Pictures, Inc. and Paramount Film

Distributing Corporation, and neither of

these companies nor their counsel appeared

or participated in any of the proceedings

after the entry of that consent judgment, except

that, on April 21, 1949, counsel for these

companies presented, and the court made and

directed the entry of, an order severing and

terminating, as of March 3, 1949, this action

as against said defendants.

160. A consent judgment was entered on

November 8, 1949, against defendants Radio-

Keith-Orpheum Corporation, RKO Radio

Pictures, Inc., RKO Proctor Corporation,

RKO Midwest Corporation and Keith-Albee-

Orpheum Corporation, and none of these

companies nor their counsel appeared or

participated in any of the proceedings after

the entry of that consent judgment, except

that on January 18, 1950, counsel for these

companies presented, and the court made

and directed the entry of, an order styled

United States v. Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation,

et al, severing and terminating, as

of November 8, 1948, this action as against

said defendants.

CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

1. The Court has jurisdiction of this cause

under the provisions of the Act of July 2,

1890 entitled "An Act to Protect Trade and

Commerce Against Unlawful Restraints and

Monopolies," hereinafter referred to as the

Sherman Act.

2. Universal Pictures Company, Inc. and

Screen Gems, Inc. have not violated the

Sherman Act and should be dismissed as

defendants herein.

3. None of the defendants herein has violated

the Sherman Act by monopolizing or

attempting to monopolize or conspiring to

monopolize the production of motion picture

films.

4. The consent decree entered herein on

November 20, 1940 does not foreclose enforcement

in this suit at this time of any rights

or remedies which the plaintiff may have

against any of the defendants by virtue of

violations of the Sherman Act by them, except

such acts as were in accord with such

decree during the period it was in force.

5. None of the defendants herein has violated

the Sherman Act by combining, conspiring

or contracting to restrain trade in any

part of the business of producing motion pictures

or by monopolizing, attempting to monopolize,

or conspiring to monopolize such

business.

6. The defendants, and each of them are

entitled to judgment dismissing all claims of

the plaintiff based upon their acts as producers,

whether as individuals or in conjunction

with others.

7. The defendants Loew's, Incorporated;

Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.; Warner Bros. Pictures

Distributing Corporation, (formerly

known as Vitagraph, Inc.); Warner Bros.

Circuit Management Corporation; Twentieth

Century-Pox Film Corporation; National Theatres

Corporation; Columbia Pictures Corporation;

Columbia Pictures of Louisiana, Inc.;

Universal Corporation; Universal Film Exchanges,

Inc.; Big U Film Exchange, Inc.;

and United Artists Corporation have unreasonably

restrained trade and commerce in

the distribution and exhibition of motion

pictures and attempted to monopolize such

trade and commerce, both before and after

the entry of said consent decree, in violation

of the Sherman Act by:

(a) Acquiescing in the establishment

of a price fixing system by conspiring

with one another and with Paramount

and RKO to maintain theatre admission

prices;

(b) By conspiring with one another

and with Paramount and RKO to restrict

competition for theatre patronage with

each other and with independents

through a system of admission price fixing;

(c) Conspiring with each other and

with Paramount and RKO to maintain

a nationwide system of runs and clearances

which is substantially uniform in

each local competitive area;

(d) Fixing, together with Paramount

and RKO, a system of runs and clearances

which prevented effective competition

by outsiders and which was designed

to protect the theatre holdings of

the major defendants and to safeguard

the revenue therefrom.

8. The distributor-defendants Loew's, Incorporated;

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.;

Warner Bros. Pictures Distributing Corporation

(formerly known as Vitagraph, Inc.);

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation;

Columbia Pictures Corporation; Columbia

Pictures of Louisiana, Inc.; Universal Corporation;

Universal Film Exchanges, Inc.; Big

U Film Exchange, Inc.; and United Artists

Corporation, have unreasonably restrained

trade and commerce in the distribution and

exhibition of motion pictures and attempted

to monopolize such trade and commerce, both

before and after the entry of said consent

decree, in violation of the Sherman Act, by:

(a) Conspiring with each other and

with Paramount and RKO to maintain

a nationwide system of fixed minimum

motion picture theatre admission prices.

(b) Agreeing individually with their respective

licensees to fix minimum motion

picture theatre admission prices;

(c) Conspiring with each other and

with Paramount and RKO to maintain

a nationwide system of runs and clearances

which is substantially uniform as

to each local competitive area;

(d) Agreeing individually with their

respective licensees to grant discriminatory

license privileges to theatres affiliated

with other defendants and with large

circuits as found in Finding 110 above;

(e) Agreeing individually with such 11-

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950 K.


:

censees to grant unreasonable clearance

against theatres operated by their competitors:

(f) Making master agreements and

franchises with such licensees;

(g) Individually conditioning the offer

of a license for one or more copyrighted

films upon the acceptance by the licensee

of one or more other copyrighted films,

except in the case of the United Artists

Corporation;

9. The exhibitor-defendants Loew's, Incorporated;

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.;

Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corporation;

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation;

and National Theatres Corporation,

have unreasonably restrained trade and

commerce in the distribution and exhibition

of motion pictures both before and after the

entry of said consent decree in violation of

the Sherman Act by:

(a) Jointly operating motion picture

theatres with each other, with Paramount

and KKO, and with independents

through operating agreements or profitsharing

leases;

(b) Jointly owning motion picture theatres

with each other, with Paramount

and RKO, and with independents through

stock interests in theatre buildings:

(c) Conspiring with each other, with

the distributor-defendants named in

Paragraph 8 above, and with Paramount

and RKO, to fix substantially uniform

minimum motion picture theatre admission

prices, runs, and clearances;

(d) Conspiring with the distributordefendants,

named in Paragraph 8 above

and with Paramount and RKO to discriminate

against independent competitors

in fixing minimum admission price,

run, clearance, and other license terms.

10. The formula deals, master agreements

and franchises referred to in Findings 86,

88, and 89 have tended to restrain trade and

violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

11. Block-booking, as hereinabove defined,

violates the Sherman Act.

12. As an aid to the conspiracy to fix

prices, runs, and clearances hereinabove

described, and as a means for carrying out

such conspiracy, the maintenance of vertical

integration by the major defendants named

in Paragraph 7 above has violated the Sherman

Act and effected a situation where the

creation of competition require dissolution of

these vertical integrations.

13. The collective monopoly power of the

defendants named in Paragraph 7 above

(taken together with Paramount and RKO)

to exclude competitors from first run coupled

with their intent to exercise this power violated

Section 2 of the Sherman Act.

14. Their use of this power to actually exclude

independents from the first run market

and to restrict the distribution of pictures to

independents violated Sections 1 and 2 of the

Sherman Act.

15. The power of the defendants named in

Paragraph 7 above to fix runs and clearances

when exercised by the major defendants

named in Paragraph 7 above to exclude independent

competitors violated the Sherman

Act.

16. Loew's, Incorporated, has violated the

Sherman Act by conspiring with RKO to

monoplize and monopolizing the first neighborhood

run in New York City, and by the

dividing of that

RKO.

market between itself and

17. Further conclusions of law are made

and embodied in the decree filed herewith.

Dated: February 8, 1950.

AUGUSTUS N. HAND,

United States Circuit Judge.

HENRY W. GODDARD,

United States District Judge.

ALFRED C. COXE,

United States District Judge.

FINAL DECREE

for

Columbia, United Artists,

The plaintiff, having filed its petition

hereon on July 20, 1938, and its amended and

supplemental complaint on November 14,

1940; the defendants having filed their answers

to such complaint, denying the substantive

allegations thereof, the court after

trial having entered a decree herein, dated

Dec. 31, 1946, as modified by order entered

Feb. 11, 1947; the plaintiff and the defendants

having appealed from such decree; the

Supreme Court of the United States having in

part affirmed and in part reversed such decree,

and having remanded this case to this

court for further proceedings in conformity

with its opinion dated May 3, 1948; this court

having, on June 25, 1948, by order made the

mandate and decree of the Supreme Court

the order and judgment of this court;

Now, having considered the proposals of

the parties, having duly received additional

evidence and heard further arguments, and

having rendered its opinion on July 25, 1949,

and having filed its findings of fact and

conclusions of law in accordance with said

opinion

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED.

AND DECREED that the decree heretofore

entered by this court on Dec. 31, 1946, as to

the defendants Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Screen Gems, Inc., Columbia Pictures of

Louisiana, Inc., Universal Corporation, Universal

Pictures Company, Inc., Universal Film

Exchanges, Inc., Big U Film Exchange, Inc.,

and United Artists Corporation, is hereby

amended to read as follows:

1. The findings of fact and conclusions of

law heretofore made are superseded by the

findings and conclusions now entered in support

of this decree.

2. The complaint is dismissed as to the

defendants Screen Gems, Inc., and the corporation

named as Universal Pictures Company,

Inc., merged during the pendency of

this case into the defendant Universal Corporation.

The complaint is also dismissed

as to all claims made against the remaining

defendants herein based upon their acts as

producers, whether as individuals or in conjunction

with others.

n

The defendants Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Columbia Pictures of Louisiana, Inc.,

Universal Corporation, Universal Film Exchanges,

Inc., Big U Film Exchange, Inc., and

United Artists Corporation^ and the successors

of each of them, and any and all individuals

who act in behalf of any thereof with

respect to the matters enjoined, and each

corporation in which said defendants or any

of them own a direct or indirect stock interest

of more than fifty percent, are hereby

enjoined:

1. From granting any license in which

minimum prices for admission to a

theatre are fixed by the parties, either ili

writing or through a committee, or through

arbitration, or upon the happening of any

event or in any maimer or by any means.

2. From agreeing with each other or with

any exhibitors or distributors to maintain a

system of clearances; the term "clearances"

as used herein meaning the period of time

stipulated in license contracts which must

elapse between runs of the same feature

within a particular area or in specified theatres.

3. From granting any clearance between

theatres not in substantial competition.

Universal

4. From granting or enforcing any clearance

against theatres in substantial competition

with the theatre receiving the license

for exhibition in excess of what is reasonably

necessary to protect the licensee in the run

granted. Whenever any clearance provision

is attacked as not legal under the provisions

of this decree, the burden shall be upon the

distributor to sustain the legality thereof.

5. From further performing any existing

franchise to which it is a party and from

making any franchises in the future, except

for the purpose of enabling an independent

exhibitor to operate a theatre in competition

with the theatre affiliated with a defendant

or Vvfith theatres in new circuits which may

be formed as a result of divorcement. The

term "franchise" as used herein means a

licensing agreement or series of licensing

agreements, entered into as a part of the same

transaction in effect for more than one motion

picture season and covering the exhibition of

pictures released by one distributor during

the entire period of agreement.

6. Prom making or further performing any

formula deal or master agreement to which

it is a party. The term "formula deal" as

used herein means a licensing agreement

with a circuit of theatres in which the license

fee of a given feature is measiired for the

theatres covered by the agreement by a specified

percentage of the feature's national gi'oss.

The term "master agreement" meairs a licensing

agreement, also known as a "blanket

deal," covering the exhibition of features in

a number of theatres usually comprising a

circuit.

7. From performing or entering into any

license in which the right to exhibit one

feature is conditioned upon the licensee's taking

one or more other features. To the extent

that any of the features have not been trade

shown prior to the granting of the license for

more than a single feature, the licensee shall

be given by the licensor the right to reject

twenty percent of such features not trade

shown prior to the granting of the license,

such right of rejection to be exercised in the

order of release within ten days after there

has been an opportimity afforded to the

licensee to inspect the feature.

8. From licensing any feature for exhibition

upon any run in any theatre in any other

manner than that each license shall be offered

and taken theatre by theatre, solely upon the

merits and without discrimination in favor

of affiliated theatres, circuit theatres or

others.

in

The defendants named in Section II of

this decree and any others who are willing

to file with the American Arbitration Association

their consent to abide by the rules of

arbitration and to perform the awards of

arbitrators, are hereby authorized to set up

or participate in an arbitration system with

an accompanying Appeal Board which will

become effective as soon as it may be organized,

upon terms to be settled by the court

upon notice to the parties to this action.

IV

The provisions of the consent decree of

November 20, 1940, are hereby declared to be

of no further force or effect.

1. For the purpose of securing compliance

with this decree, and for no other purpose,

duly authorized representatives of the Department

of Justice shall, on written request of

BOXOFFICE :: February H, 1950


;

the Attorney General or an Assistant Attorney

General, and on notice to any defendant

bound by this decree, reasonable as to time

and subject matter, made to such defendant

at its principal office, and subject to any

legally recognized privilege (a) be permitted

reasonable access, during the office hours of

such defendant, to all books, ledgers, accounts,

correspondence, memoranda and other records

and documents in the possession or under the

control of such defendant, relating to any of

the matters contained in this decree, and that

during the times that the plaintiff shall

desire such access, counsel for such defendant

may be present, and (b) subject to the reasonable

convenience of such defendant, and

without restraint or interference from it, be

permitted to interview its officers or employes

regarding any such matters, at which interviews

counsel for the officer or employee

interviewed and counsel for such defendant

may be present. For the purpose of securing

compliance with this decree any defendant

upon the written request of the Attorney General,

or an Assistant Attorney General, shall

submit such reports with respect to any of

the matters contined in this decree as from

time to time may be necessary for the purpose

of enforcement of this decree.

FINAL

for

2. Information obtained pursuant to the

provisions of this section shall not be divulged

by any representative of the Department of

Justice to any person other than a duly

authorized representative of the Department

of Justice, except in the course of legal proceedings

to which the United States is a

party, or as otherwise required by law.

VI

Jurisdiction of this cause is retained for the

purpose of enabling any of the parties to

this decree, and no others, to apply to the

court at any time for such orders or direction

as may be necessary or appropriate for

the construction, modification, or carrying out

of the same, for the enforcement of compliance

therewith, and for the punishment

of violations thereof, or for other or further

relief.

Dated: February 8, 1950.

AUGUSTUS N. HA^^^,

United States Circuit Judge,

HENRY W. GODDARD,

United States District Judge.

ALFRED C. COXE,

United States District Judge

DECREE

20fh Century-Fox, Loew's, Inc., Warner Bros.

The plaintiff, having filed its petition herein

on July 29, 1938, and its amended and

supplemental complaint on November 14,

1940; the defendants having filed their answers

to such complaint, denying the substantive

allegations thereof; the court after

trial having entered a decree herein, dated

December 31, 1946, as modified by order entered

February 11, 1947; the plaintiff and

the defendants having appealed from such

decree; the Supreme Court of the United

States having in part affirmed and in part

reversed such decree, and having remanded

this case to this court for further proceedings

in conformity with its opinion dated

May 3, 1948; this court having, on June 25,

1948, by order made the mandate and decree

of the Supreme Court the order and judgment

of this court; a consent decree having

been entered on November 8, 1948, against

the defendants Radio-Keith-Orpheum Corporation,

RKO Radio Pictures, Inc., RKO

Proctor Corporation, RKO Midwest Corporation,

and Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation;

orders having been entered on stipulation

against the Fox, Loew, and Warner defendants

respectively, and Loew having further

stipulated in the record, with respect to certain

theatre interests held jointly with others;

and a consent judgment having been

entered on March 3, 1949, against defendants

Paramount Pictures, Inc. and Paramount

Film Distributing Corporation; and an order

having been entered on April 21, 1949, severing

and terminating, as of March 3, 1949,

this action as against defendants Paramount

Pictures, Inc. and Paramount Film Distributing

Corporation; and an order having been

entered on January 18, 1950 severing and

terminating as of November 8, 1948 the

action as against defendants Radio-Keith-

Orpheum Corporation, RKO Radio Pictures,

Inc., RKO Proctor Corporation, RKO Midwest

Corporation and Keith-Albee-Orpheum

Corporation;

Now, having considered the proposals of

the parties, having duly received additional

evidence and heard further arguments after

entry of the consent decree against the RKO

defendants, and having rendered Its opinion

on July 25, 1949, and having filed its findings

of fact and conclusions of law in accordance

with said opinion:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED,

AND DECREED that the decree heretofore

entered by this court on December 31, 1946

is

hereby amended to read as follows:

1. The findings of fact and conclusions of

law heretofore made are superseded by the

findings and conclusions now entered in support

of this decree.

2. The complaint is dismissed as to all

claims made against the defendants herein

based upon their acts as producers, whether

as individuals or in conjunction with others.

II

Each of the defendant distributors, Loew's,

Incorporated; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.;

Warner Bros. Pictures Distributing Corporation

(formerly known as Vitagraph, Inc.)

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation,

and the successors of each of them (including

but not limited to companies resulting

from divorcement), and any and all individuals

who act in behalf of any thereof

with respect to the matters enjoined, and

each corporation in which said defendants

or any of them own a direct or indirect stock

interest of more than fifty per cent, is hereby

enjoined:

1. From granting aiiy license in which

minimum prices for admission to a theatre

are fixed by the parties, either in writing or

through a committee, or through arbitration,

or upon the happening of any event or

in any manner or by any means.

2. Prom agreeing with each other or with

any exhibitors or distributors to maintain

a system of clearances; the term "clearances"

as used herein meaning the period

of time stipulated in license contracts which

must elapse between runs of the same feature

within a particular area or in specified

theatres.

3. Prom granting any clearance between

theatres not in substantial competition.

4. From granting or enforcing any clearance

against theatres in substantial competition

with the theatre receiving tlie license

for exhibition in excess of what is reasonably

necessary to protect the licensee in the run

granted. Whenever any clearance provision

is attacked as not legal under the provisions

of this decree, the burden shall be upon the

distributor to sustain the legality thereof.

5. From further performing any existing

franchise to which it is a party and from

making any franchises in the future, except

for the purpose of enabling an independent

exhibitor to operate a theatre in competition

with a theatre affiliated with a defendant

or with theatres in new circuits

which may be formed as a result of divorcement.

The term "franciiise" as used herein

means a licensing agreement or series of

licensing agreements, entered into as a part

of the same transaction, in effect for more

than one motion picture season and covering

the exhibition of pictures released by one

distributor during the entire period of agreement.

6. From making or further performing any

formula deal or master agreement to which

it is a party. The term "formula deal" as

used herein means a licensing agreement with

a circuit of theatres in which the license

fee of a given feature is measured for the

theatres covered by the agreement by a

specified percentage of the feature's national

gross. The term "master agreement" means

a licensing agreement, also known as a

"blanket deal," covering the exhibition of

features in a number of theatres usually

comprising a circuit.

7. From performing or entering into any

license in which the right to exhibit one

feature is conditioned upon the licensee's

taking one or more other features. To the

extent that any of the features have not

been trade shown prior to the granting of

the license for more than a single feature,

the licensee shall be given by the licensor

the right to reject twenty per cent of such

features not trade shown prior to the granting

of the license, such right of rejection

to be exercised in the order of release within

ten days after there has been an opportunity

afforded to the licensee to inspect the feature.

8. From licensing any feature for exhibition

upon any run in any theatre in any

other manner than that each license shall

be offered and taken theatre by theatre, solely

upon the merits and without discrimination

in favor of affiliated theatres, circuit theatres

or others.

in

Each of the defendant exhibitors, Loew's

Incorporated; Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.;

Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corporation;

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation;

and National Theatres Corporation;

and the successors of each of them (including

but not limited to companies resulting

from divorcement), and any and all individuals

who act in behalf of any thereof

with respect to the matters enjoined, and

each corporation in which said defendants

or any of them own a direct or indirect stock

interest of more than fifty per cent, is hereby

enjoined and restrained:

1. From performing or enforcing agreements,

if any, referred to in Paragraphs 5

and 6 of the foregoing Section II hereof to

which it may be a party.

2. From making or continuing to perform

pooling agreements whereby given theatres

of two or more exhibitors normally in competition

are operated as a unit or whereby

the business policies of such exhibitors are

collectively determined by a joint committee

or by one of the exhibitors or whereby profits

of the "pooled" theatres are divided among

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950 XI.


the owners according to prearranged percentages.

3. From making or continuing to perform

agreements that the parties may not acquire

other theatres in a competitive area where

a pool operates without first offering them

for inclusion in the pool.

4. From making or continuing leases of

theatres under which it leases any of its theatres

to another defendant or to an independent

operating a theatre in the same

competitive area in return for a share in the

profits.

5. From continuing to own or acquiring

any beneficial interests in any theatre,

whether in fee or in shares of stock or

otherwise, in conjunction with another defendant,

or with any company resulting from

divorcements provided for in decrees entered

in this cause.

6. From acquiring a beneficial interest in

any additional theatre unless the acquiring

company shall show to the satisfaction of

the court, and the court shall first find, that

such acquisition will not unduly restrain

competition in the exhibition of feature motion

pictures, provided, however, that the

acquisition of a theatre as a replacement for

a theatre, held or acquired in conformity

with this decree, which may be lost through

physical destruction, conversion to nontheatrical

purposes, disposition (other than

the disposition of a theatre in compliance

with this decree) or expiration or cancellation

of the lease under which such theatre

is held, shall not be deemed to be the acquisition

of an additional theatre.

7. From operating, booking, or buying features

for any of its theatres through any

agent who is known by it to be also acting

in such manner for any other exhibitor, independent

or affiliate.

rv

2. Within one year from the entry of this

decree the Government and each of the defendant

exhibitors named in Section III of

this decree shall submit respectively such

plans for divestiture of theatre interests,

other than those heretofore ordered to be

divested, which they believe to be adequate

to satisfy the requirements of the Supreme

Court decision herein with respect to such

divestiture. Upon the filing of such a plan

the Government and the affected defendant

shall have six months within which to file

objections thereto and propose amended or

alternative plans for accomplishing the same

result. Such further proceedings with respect

to such plans may then be had as the

court may then order.

3. No defendant distributor named in Section

n of this decree, and no distributor

company resulting from the divorcement ordered

herein, shall engage in the exhibition

business; and no defendant exhibitor named

in Section ni of this decree, and no exhibitor

company resulting from the divorcement

ordered herein, shall engage in the

distribution business, except that permission

to a distributor company resulting from divorcement

to engage in the exhibition business

or to an exhibitor company resulting

from divorcement to engage in the distribution

business may be granted by the court

upon notice to the United States and upon

a showing that any such engagement shall

not unreasonably restrain competition in the

distribution or exhibition of motion pictures.

4. No exhibitor company resulting from

the divorcement ordered herein shall acquire

directly or indirectly any interest in any theatre

divested by any other defendant pursuant

to any plan ordered under Paragraph 2

of Section IV hereof or pursuant to Paragraph

C 1 of Section II of the Consent Judgment

as to the Paramount defendants entered

March 3, 1949.

Nothing contained in this decree shall be

construed to limit, in any way whatsoever,

the right of each major defendant bound by

this decree, during the three years allowed

for the completion of the plan of reorganization

provided for in Section IV, to license,

or in any way to provide for, the exhibition

of any or all the motion pictures which it

may at any time distribute, in such manner,

and upon such terms, and subject to such

conditions as may be satisfactory to it, in

any theatre in which such defendant has a

proprietary interest, either directly or through

subsidiaries.

1. Within sLx months from the entry of

this decree each of the major defendants

named in Sections II and III of this decree

•shall submit a plan for the ultimate separation

of its distribution and production business

from its exhibition business. Upon the

filing of such a plan, the Government shall

VI

have three months within which to file objections

thereto and propose amended or altion

n of this decree and any others who

The defendant distributors named in Secternative

plans for accomplishing the same are willing to file with the American Arbitration

Association their consent to abide

result. Such further proceedings with respect

to such plans as the court may then by the rules of arbitration and to perform

order shall then be had. Such plans shall, in the awards of arbitrators, are hereby authorized

to set up an arbitration system

any event, provide for the completion of such

separation within three years from the date with an accompanying Appeal Board which

of the entry of this decree.

will become effective as soon as it may be

organized, upon terms to be settled by the

court upon notice to the parties to this

action.

VII

The provisions of the existing consent decree

are hereby declared to be of no further

force or effect, except in so far as may be

necessary to conclude arbitration proceedings

now pending and to liquidate in an orderly

manner the financial obligations of the defendants

and the American Arbitration Association,

incurred in the establishment of

the consent decree arbitration systems.

Existing awards and those made pursuant to

pending proceedings shaU continue to be

enforceable.

vni

1. For the purpose of securing compUance

with this decree, and for no other purpose,

duly authorized representatives of the Department

of Justice shall, on written request

of the Attorney General or an Assistant

Attorney General, and on notice to

any defendant bound by this decree, reasonable

as to time and subject matter, made

to such defendant at its principal office, and

subject to any legally recognized privilege

(a) be permitted reasonable access, during

the office hours of such defendant, to all

books, ledgers, accounts, correspondence,

memoranda and other records and documents

in the possession or under the control of

such defendant, relating to any of the matters

contained in this decree, and that during

the times that the plaintiff shall desire

such access, counsel for such defendant may

be present, and Cb) subject to the reasonable

convenience of such defendant, and

without restraint or interference from it, be

permitted to interview its officers or employees

regarding any such matters, at which

interviews counsel for the officer or employee

interviewed and counsel for such defendant

may be present. For the purpose of securing

compliance with this decree any defendant

upon the written request of the Attorney

General, or an Assistant Attorney General,

shall submit such reports with respect to any

of the matters contained in this decree as

from time to time may be necessary for the

purpose of enforcement of this decree.

2. Information obtained pursuant to the

provisions of this Section shall not be divulged

by any representative of the Department

of Justice to any person other than a

duly authorized representative of the Department

of Justice, except in the course of

legal proceedings to which the United States

is

a party, or as otherwise required by law.

IX

Jurisdiction of this cause is retained for

the purpose of enabling any of the parties

to this decree, and no others, to apply to the

coiu-t at any time for such orders or direction

as may be necessary or appropriate for

the construction, modification, or carrying

out of the same, for the enforcement of

compliance therewith, and for the punishment

of violations thereof, or for other or

further relief.

Dated: February 8, 1950.

AUGUSTUS N. HAND,

United States Circuit Judge

HENRY W. GODDARD,

United States District Judge

ALFRED C. COXE,

United States District Judge

xn. BOXOmCE

:: February 11, 1950


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1


REPORT ON ALLIED BOARD MEETING:

MYERS WARNS ALLIED AGAINST

RELAXING ON VIGILANTE ROLE

Can't Rely on Decisions

Alone, He Says, to Win

Free Market Fight

WASHINGTON—Allied Board Chairman

A. F. Myers warned this week that any

relaxation of exhibitor vigilance at this

stage of the battle for an open market

for film "would be to snatch defeat from

the jaws of victory." In his annual report

to the Allied board, which met here

Pi-iday and Saturday, he said the future

is bright for exhibitors but that it

would be folly to sit back and rely upon

court decisions and other legal documents.

Stressing the importance of Allied pressure

for divorcement, he called for continued

strong exhibitor organization as the surest

safeguard for the gains made thus far. In

general, lie was complimentary to the government

in discussing the settlements

achieved, but he did criticize the consent

settlement in the Schine case.

ON CONSENT DECREE

The conclusion of separate consent decrees

in no way relieves the signatory parties

from having the evidence heretofore brought

out in the case used against them in federal

court, Myers stressed. "The entry of

separate decrees may make it a little awkward

for private litigants desiring to use

them as evidence, but since they could not

have been entered but for the joint conspiracy,

and since proof in support of the

decrees was received both at the trial and

after the Supreme Court's mandate had come

down, it is not now seen how this maneuver

can impair their effectiveness."

Already, said Myers, "with their films no

longer moving in fixed channels, the distributors

are beginning to revive the lost

art of salesmanship. The independent exhibitors

are receiving more consideration than

they have in many years, and the end is not

in sight. We look forward with confidence

to the day when the playing time on every

screen will be at least as important to the

distributor with a picture to sell as that particular

feature is to the exhibitor."

The Allied chairman .said the consent decrees

entered in the Paramount and Schine

cases could more properly be called "litigated

decrees," since they follow court decisions.

He recalled that he had in the past

been critical of the widespread use of consent

settlements, but conceded that "to apply

the Supreme Court's doctrine to each

community in which a major circuit operates

would require the taking of much proof and

the expenditure of much time—moreover,

proof may no longer be available—and—the

matter of regional divestiture will have lost

some of its urgency. In the pending cases

all we are entitled to ask is that an aggressive,

bona fide effort be made to require

the divestiture of enough theatres so

\'.:At the segregated circuits will be exposed

'Continued on next page)

Phonevision Real Threat,

Rembusch Tells Board

WASHINGTON—Phonevision was termed

by Allied television Chairman Trueman Rembusch

"the greatest threat to exhibition conceived

to date." Reporting to the Allied

board on the current effect of video on the

film business, Rembusch related that he and

W. A. Carroll had been tremendously impressed

by the possibilities of Phonevision

as they viewed it during a demonstration

in Chicago last month.

The board was told also by President Wilbur

Snaper of Allied of New Jersey that "the

impact of television on the theatre business

is becoming greater as each set is sold."

Referring to the prospects for better TV

programming, Snaper said, "I myself made

a terrible error in judgment when I said if

the worst competition we ever get is old

films we'll be O.K. but now I find people

stay and watch those, too."

Gloomily he added, "television is going to

grow and grow and grow and our customers

are going to go and go and go. Good

pictures alone are not the answer to TV."

WARNS OF MONOPOLY

Warning of the danger of monopoly in

theatre TV. Rembusch said Allied should join

with other industry groups in asking the

FCC for "suitable" frequencies for theatre

TV. But he made it plain that he does not

consider the microwave bands suggested in

other quarters as suitable, since it would be

extremely difficult and expensive to rural or

even suburban theatres via microwave. He

said the "powers that be in the motion picture

industry" slept on TV until little more

than a year ago, when suddenly they demanded

action from their technicians.

Technicians know that "microwaves are

neither technically suitable nor economically

suitable for general theatre TV," he reported.

Because of coverage problems he said

it would be necessary to have a separate

transmitter for each theatre, with coverage

limited to distances of 25 miles. Vast quantities

of equipment and huge technical staffs

would be required.

"Large metropolitan theatres could use it,

but adoption of microwaves for theatre TV

precludes small rural subrun or suburban

theatres receiving service because of attendant

costs. Microwaves for theatre TV would

mean a TV monopoly for the large affiliated

theatres."

Rembusch said the Zenith Radio Co., promoters

of Phonevision, is ready to run a test

of the system in 300 Chicago homes almost

immediately now that the FCC has given

the green light. The system furnishes programs

to subscribers when they call their

FCC Okays a Test

For Phonevision

WASHINGTON—While Trueman Rembusch,

AUied's TV chairman was reporting

to the Allied board, the FCC announced

formally its approval for the 90-

day test of Phonevision. Two commissioners

who had previously voted to deny

the testing until a general hearing was

held reversed themselves, but Commissioner

Edward M. Webster wrote a vigorous

dissent from his colleagues.

Commissioner Webster said this is the

first step toward possible introduction of

subscription TV and radio and that "such

a momentous change in the American

system of broadcasting" should not be

taken without full hearing. If authorized

on a continuing basis and successful, he

said. "I do not believe that very much

vision is required to see that—the best

evening hours, every day in the week,

will be devoted to subscription television

rather than to free television programming.

"Every television station license will be

clamoring for a subscription television

franchise and will be pounding on the

commission's door for regulation insuring

that will be no discrimination in the

issuance of such franchises or the rates

charged therefor. Television receiver

owners will expect the commission to promulgate

rules which will provide to each

listener a choice of some free television

programs during the best listening hours

and which will insure that the listener

be charged a reasonable and non-discriminatory

fee for viewing television programs."

Webster said the step is so important

that it should perhaps be taken by Congress

rather than by the FCC.

telephone operators and ask for a release so

that the Phonevision program can come in

properly. In return the subscriber is billed

on a monthly basis. Non-subscribers cannot

get the programs because the electronic release

signal is essential.

"Zenith has interested some producers to a

point where top reissues may be supplied for

the test run." He explained that the Zenith

proposal would return 50 per cent of the program

intake to the producer—so that if

50,000 subscribers tuned in for a film the

return to the producer would be $25,000.

12 BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950


to, and the public will enjoy, substantial competition

in all situations."

The government has done an effective job,

he wrote, in all instances but the Schine

decree, "which must always rank as one of

the government's poorest bargains." He referred

to "woefully weak provisions for divestiture"

and charged that the government

lawyers had not actually been sufficiently

familiar with the local situations involved in

the Schine settlement.

"It would be a travesty of justice and a

reproach to all concerned if these proceedings

should result merely in enabling the circuits

involved to case of£ a lot of rundown,

unprofitable theatres and to retain all

the efficient, up-to-date ones."

COMPETITIVE BIDDING

Exhibitors were told that distributors resort

to competitive bidding practices to resolve

competition between two or more independent

exhibitors is absolutely unjustified

"in any existing or prospective decree." What

the court was seeking to wipe out when the

idea of competitive bidding was first advanced,

he said, "Favoritism to the affiliated

circuits and discrimination against the independents.

But the court went too far and

ordered bidding in all competitive situations."

That, Myers said, was the main reason the

competitive bidding system was eliminated

from the New York court's decree. But to

prevent a renewal of this type of discrimination

against which the case originally directed

the New York court included its "antidiscrimination"

clause. The purpose of this

clause, he said was "to prevent discrimination

by permitting independents to compete

with the entrenched monopoly for preferred

runs." It in a way requires competitive bidding.

The Allied chieftain dwelt upon the court's

requirement that licensing of features be on

a "theatre-by-theatre" basis, observing that

"discrimination is inherent in any contest

between an independent exhibitor and a circuit.

So the court ordered, in such a contest,

that the pictures shall be licensed theatre-bytheatre;

i.e., that each theatre shall stand on

its own merits and not absorb merit or

strength from other theatres in the chain."

He also attacked any disposition on the

part of distributors to license films solely on

the basis of which distributor offers the most

money, recalling the Supreme Court opinion

that established business relationships should

not be overturned lightly.

"The sense of all this," he went on, "is that

competitive bidding is merely a weapon by

which an independent exhibitor may battle

the circuits for a place in the sun. Independent

exhibitors should resist to the utmost

all efforts by the distributors to use competitive

bidding as a means of putting one independent

against another, or to disrupt harmonious

competitive situations, merely as

a means of increasing film rentals. Discrimination,

like fraud, is hard to define but we

recognize it when we see it. Even after divorcement

has been effected, there will be a

temptation to continue the old discriminatory

methods of distribution. Independent exhibitors

and their organizations will have to be

alert to detect any hangover of former practices.

This provision will be a pillar of

strength to the independents in their efforts

successfully to compete with the divorced circuits

and the value of the words 'without

discrimination' will become more important

as time wears on."

ARBITRATION

On the matter of arbitration. Myers al-

Allied Actions

Washington — The Allied board this

week ratified the new COMPO, in the

form outlined by the December meeting.

Approval is with the notation that Allied

surrenders no rights of independent action.

Allied members will be urged by their

board of directors not to show the Ingrid

Bergman film "Stromboli," and a vigorous

protest against its release has been directed

to RKO President Ned E. Depinet.

The Allied board voted Thursday to

employ engineering and legal counsel to

help it prepare for the FCC's theatre television

hearing.

Suggestions that the Allied constitution

be amended to provide for a new post of

vice-president and to reactivate the executive

committee were voted down by

the board.

lowed that despite AUied's longstanding opposition

there might be limited value to arbitration

in clearance cases. He said he is

not sure the distributors are still interested,

but that there might be some point to having

an Allied committee sound out distribution

sentiment toward an inexpensive system of

commercial arbitration for clearance and licensing

disputes.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

On the matter of industry public relations,

Myers suggested that in the view of reheadline

stories -about the "private" lives of

big boxoffice attractions that the so-called

Finneran plan to force stars to keep their

lives free of scandal be dusted off and reexamined.

If the industry's "big brass" still

finds it unworkable, he said, "let them produce

a better one."

He said the industry is coiirting disaster if

it continues to ignore "flagrant violations

of the moral code by those it has elevated to

stardom."

Brotherhood Week Drive

Continues Climbing

NEW YORK—All phases of the industry's

effort in behalf of Brotherhood week are

meeting with success, says Ted R. Gamble,

national chairman of the motion picture

division of the National Conference of Christians

and Jews. A record number of branches

have reported 100 per cent participation in

the drive scheduled from February 19 to 26,

he states.

Six more branches have signed up all employes

for membership contributions. They

are: Paramount, Albany; RKO, Des Moines;

Universal-International, Cleveland, and Film

Classics, Chicago.

"While I am very pleased with the results

of the campaign to date," Gamble

stated, "I would like to remind the industry

of the importance of enlisting new members

in the National Conference of Christians

and Jews during Brotherhood Week. If we

can get only ten new members from eacli

theatre in the country as a result of this

drive, we will have made an important contribution

for a worthy fight against bigotry

and racial discrimination," he said.

Unnecessary Bidding

Unsounl Says Levy

SPRINGFIELD, ILL.—Producers are automatically

throwing certain areas into competitive

bidding whenever there is a request

for it, Herman Levy, general counsel of the

Theatre Owners of America, told United Theatre

Owners of Illinois at the convention

here Thursday (9). He said this was unnecessary,

unwarranted and economically unsound.

.

"Further," he continued, "in the absence

of extenuating circumstances, such use of

competitive bidding would appear to be,

prima facie at least, an attempt to obtain

increased film rentals. There are legal and

economically sound ways of providing product

to competing exhibitors without resort

to competitive bidding. These are well known

to production and distribution.

"No company should be willing to sit idly

by watching an exhibitor pay more for film

than his theatre grosses warrant. It is unsound,

illogical and poor business. It may

well result in that company's top pictures

only being sold. The others may go unhid

for—and not because of collusion between

exhibitors, but because the theatres may decide

to do without that product rather than

to get involved in bidding. There is substantial

evidence that this is already happening."

Levy also discussed the Ascap problem.

He said that if producers pay performing

rights fees to Ascap and do not pass the

charges along to exhibitors, everything will

be fine.

If they attempt to pass the charges along

to exhibitors, there will be a "harrowing

howl," he predicted.

Levy's remarks were prompted by the fact

that negotiations between Ascap and the

Department of Justice for a revision of the

1941 consent decree to bring Ascap's operations

into conformity with the Judge Leibell

decision in New York and the Judge Nordbye

decision in Minneapolis are nearing completion.

"At the present time Ascap seems to have

no definite policy," Levy said. "The best

available information is that it is not accepting

payment for performance rights

from exhibition. It has also come to my

attention that production has been, and is,

at the present time, agreeing to pay for performance

rights at se\seral times more than

exhibitors ever paid."

Nat Nathanson Succeeds

Schnitzer in UA Sales

NEW YORK—Nat Nathanson, branch manager

of the United Artists Chicago exchange,

has been named to .succeed the late Edward

M. Schnitzer as eastern and Canadian general

sales manager by Gradwell L. Sears,

president.

Nathanson has been with United Artists

since 1935 when he became a salesman at the

Denver exchange. Two years later, he moved

to the Chicago exchange in a similar po.st

In 1941, Nathanson was named manager of

the Milwaukee office, which he held until

1944, when he returned to Chicago as branch

manager. A year later, he was shifted to San

Francisco, where he also held the post of

branch manager. He returned to Chicago in

1947 as branch manager. He is assistant chief

barker of Chicago Tent No. 26, Variety Club.

BOXOFFICE :; February 11, 1950 13


o/mr

—The Exhibitor

lifHILE IT'S HOT!

!^

EDWARD L. ALPERSON presents

starring

Wi mmmm


rod gameiion • marie Windsor

WALLACE JACK LARRY Produced by Directed by

Associate Producer

lY • FORD • LAMBERT • JOHNS • EDWARD L ALPERSON . LESLEY SELANDER • JACK JUNGMEYER, JR.

lay by MAURICE GERAGHTY • Based upon a story bv Frank Grjber • Music by Dimitri Tiomkin • An Alson Production • Released thru Twentieth Century-Fox

lo ^Md^rUZtf^- m^l. 2m ^



Protests and Bookings

Race on Stromboli'

NEW YORK—At the weekend it appeared

that a national race was in progress with

RKO on one side trying to roll up as many

bookings as possible for a February 15

opening of "Stromboli." and with clergymen,

civic groups and exhibitors on the

other side trying to roll up national opposition

to the booking of any Ingrid Bergman

films.

Observers agreed that women and the

younger set among moviegoers would be the

judges of Miss Bergman's future as a screen

attraction. Public reactions to escapades of

screen stars is unpredictable, as has been

demonstrated in the Flynn, Mitchum and

other cases.

JOHNSTON IS NONCOMMITAL

&ic Johnston, MPAA president, refused to

make any comment in response to a request

from a coast ministerial union that he attempt

to bar "Stromboli" from the screen, and

RKO went ahead with its plan for general

key city openings February 15. This is the

day on which, it is expected, Miss Bergman's

Mexican divorce will become effective.

In order to do this RKO canceled tradeshowings

scheduled for February 14 in some

places and February 15 in others. The sales

department moved swiftly and set the New

York opening for the Criterion Theatre and

38 RKO houses with 300 bookings in other

cities.

In the meantime ministerial associations

were publishing protests, individual clergymen

were expressing themselves from the

pulpit and by means of communications to

newspapers, and columnists were having

field days. From the trade standpoint interest

centered in the decision of Interstate

Circuit of Texas and of other smaller organizations

not to play the film.

Karl Hoblitzelle, president of the Interstate

circuit, which operates more than 175

theatres in Texas, issued a statement in

which he declared that "We regret exceedingly

the unfortunate circumstances and publicity

which surround the picture. Without

having any desire to act as self-appointed

censors, we feel that we would be rendering

our communities a disservice to exhibit

this picture."

ALLIED UNITS OPPOSE FILM

In Indiana, TYueman Rembusch, president

of A.ssociated Theatre Owners of Indiana,

recommended that the picture not be played

and J. p. Finneran, author of Allied's socalled

Finneran plan for disciplining of film

stars, announced that he would not book the

picture into any of his 12 theatres.

North Central Allied issued a bulletin in

which it suggested that its members take

newspaper space and radio time to inform

patrons that they will not play the film,

pointing out that if the film is played it

will be the exhibitor who is blamed.

In Ohio, the attorney general handed down

an opinion that the state censor board is

without authority to recall its approval of

"Stromboli," originally given January 30. Dr.

Clyde HLssong, chief state film censor, was

told that there is no legal authority for

the recall of a film because the state cannot

Ban on Ingrid s Films i

Spreading Over U.S. \

ll„-"..lv

:',~^^.:' huUfiiUi Tlieiitrr Cliitin

American Women

!^;u|

Urged to Boycott |

Ingrid's Pictures

^

The above reproduction of newspaper

clippings is indicative of press reaction

to the showing of Ingrid Bergman films.

go into the private lives of characters in the

cast. Dr. Hissong thought he had a legal

right to recall the film although his original

approval indicated there was nothing objectionable

about the film itself.

The Memphis Press- Scimitar editorially

opposed the banning of the picture and other

Bergman films, although the town's wellknown

censor, Lloyd Binford, banned the

film. "If the people want to stay away from

the pictures to rebuke Ingrid Bergman and

Roberto Rossellini for their conduct, they

are free to do so," the newspaper commented.

"But this is not a field for official public

censors to enter. Official banning would tend

to defeat its own purposes. The mere banning

of a picture prejudices many people in

favor of it and tends to heroize those who

made it."

During the week, there also was an attempt

in the Texas legislature to introduce

a resolution seeking to ban the picture in

that state. By a 67-43 vote, the house refused

to take immediate action on the legislation

and referred it to a committee.

Chicago Censor Okays

Showing of Picture

CHICAGO—The Chicago censor board has

approved "Stromboli" for showing at the

Grand Theatre, starting February 15.

Police Captain Harry Fulmer, head of the

board, commented: "It's the board's job to

judge a film on its merits and not worry

about the personal life of the actors. If we

werp going to delve into the past of every

Hollywood actor, we'd be eliminating about

two-thirds of the films."

Guilds Should Enforce

Discipline: Sullivan

SPRINGFIELD, ILL.—The responsbility

for disciplining erring members of the industry

rests with the guilds to which they

belong because producer chastisement is

ineffective, Gael Sullivan, Theatre Owners

of America executive secretary, told

the opening meeting of the annual convention

of the United Theatre Owners

of Illinois. He did not mention any individual

by name.

"Each segment of the industry has its

own guild and its own definite obligation

to its members—actors, directors, technicians

and the others," he said. "Each

guild has the right and the duty of selfdiscipline.

Each guild must work aggressively

to advance the welfare of its worthy,

conscientious members. Each guild

should have the grave responsibility to

discipline those members whom they find

to be fugitives from moral decency and

offenders against good taste. That is

where the real responsibility lies.

"All the codes in creation will not help

unless there is some penalty for flaunting

those codes, and when any members of

the separate guilds run out on their responsibility

to the accepted canons of

good taste and right acting, they should

be answerable to their guilds and disciplined

in line with their public offense

and disciplined also in line with what

that guild considers a public offense."

Sullivan said that "Individual producer

chastisement of any erring star is ineffective

to prevent any star's further employment.

Combined producer chastisement

may well be a violation of the nation's

laws."

Ask Atlanta Court Ruling

On Freedom of Screen

ATLANTA—U.S. Judge Neil Andrews was

asked this week to decide whether motion

pictures come under the freedom of the

press provision of the Constitution.

Samuel I. Rosenman. New York, counsel

for Louis DeRochemont and Film Classics,

producer and distributor of "Lost Boundaries,"

contended that motion pictures are entitled

to the same privileges that newspapers and

other publications receive. Christine Smith,

city censor, and the board of directors of the

Carnegie, through attorney J. M. B. Bloodworth,

argued that films do not come under

the freedom of the press provision and are

subject to community censorship.

Rosenman became nationally known as

personal adviser to the late President Roosevelt.

If Judge Andrews upholds Rosenman's

view, the local board of film censors, and

similar boards throughout the nation, possibly

could be outlawed.

DeRochemont is seeking an injunction

against enforcement by the board of its banning

the showing of the racial film on

ground that it "would adversely affect the

peace, morals and good order" of the city.

The legal arguments involved a 35 -yearold

decision of the Supreme Court in an

Ohio case that motion pictures do not come

under the press freedom clause. Rosenman

argued that the points of the case have been

swept away by the Supreme Court and asked

Judge Andrews to "throw away this last

obstacle."

16 BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950


,

Mr. Martin Quigley takes pen in hand...

.he legend, "Darryl F. Zanuck Presents," gains a new

and brilliant lustre from its main-title position in association

with this markedly different kind of motion

picture. In the imposing storehouse of Zanuck productions

there is nothing quite like "Three Came Home."

While stark and realistic at times, it also has moments

of quiet, restrained power that bespeak a harvest of

both talent and experience.

There is a story behind the story. An American

woman, Agnes Newton Keith, born in Oak Park, Illinois,

married a British consular agent and went to live

in North Borneo. She wrote a book telling of her

experiences when she, the lone American, and 79 Europeans

became prisoners of the Japanese in the early

days of the late war.

^

The book became a Book of the Month selection

and gained a large reading public. It was distinctly

out of the usual pattern of motion picture stories and

there was little or no competition for it for screen

purposes. But Zanuck determinedly acquired it and

put in train a long series of preparations which included

the photographing of considerable material in

Borneo.

The production which eventually ripened out of

long and careful preparation is notable in its human

that audiences long remember. In addition to the efforts

by the principals two effective performances are contributed

by Patric Knowles and Florence Desmond.

The story in which Claudette Colbert plays the real

life role of the author of the book is depicted untheatrically

and with a great deal of genuineness. The

Japanese captors are not made out as melodramatic

fiends. They are dealt with much more severely by

means of an authentic interpretation of the true facts

of their behavior. Hayakawa gives a vivid portrayal

of the Japanese militarist's confusion of loyalties,

hatreds and devotions.

There is an inspiring example of high courage in

the manner in which the Colbert character and the

Europeans meet the terror, torment and privation of

the three years during which they are the captives of

the oriental horde that once so savagely swept through

the South Pacific.

"Three Came Home" seems destined to make a

sharp impress upon audiences — and upon current

screen history as well.

"^/^ also appeared as a

Reader's Digest Feature, Mr. Quigley.

impact. While studiously minding its own business in

telling its story it becomes incidentally a striking argument

against war and the inhumanities that war breeds.

Two of the acting performances, by Claudette Colbert

and the veteran Sessue Hayakawa, are of Academy

award calibre. Nunnally Johnson makes distinguished

contributions as the producer and the writer. The di^

rection by Jean Negulesco is sharp, sensitive and

adds up to many moments that are of the stuff

World Premiere, February 20th, Astor Theatre, New York



ilwaukee Suit Brings

$1295,000 Verdict

MILWAUKEE—The Towne Theatre

here,

owned by C. J. Pappas and his brother-inlaw

Andrew M. Spheeris, was awarded damages

of $1,295,000 in its antitrust suit against

six major distributors and the two Warner

Bros, theatre operating concerns.

The decision of U.S. Judge John P. Barnes,

handed down last week in Chicago, may have

far-reaching effects on the clearance arrangement

in Milwaukee, comparable to that

which occurred in Chicago as a result of the

Jack.son Park Theatre verdict.

Defendants in the Towne case are Loew's,

Inc.. Paramount Pictures Corp.. RKO, 20th

Century-Fox, Warner Bros. Distributing

Corp., Columbia, Warner Circuit

ment Corp. and Warner Theatres.

Manage-

INJUNCTION IS

GRANTED

Judge Barnes also granted an injunction

prohibiting the defendants from "further

conspiracy to deprive" the Towne of first

run pictures. The judge did not rule, however,

on the Towne's petition that the motion

picture companies be forced to divest

themselves of their theatre ownership. An

attache in the judge's office said a ruling

might be made on that point later.

In addition to the damages, the judge

ruled that the Towne should be paid costs

of its suit and attorney fees. Pappas and

Spheeris said these costs would "run into

.several hundred thousand dollars."

B. P. Burnham, Chicago, counsel for Loew's,

RKO and Columbia, indicated the verdict

would be appealed.

The attorney for the Towne Corp. was

Thomas C. McConnell of Chicago, the same

lawyer who broke the old Chicago clearance

system in 1945 with a victory in the Jackson

Park case.

Commenting that no exhibitor could successfully

operate a first run theatre in Milwaukee

without "reasonable access" to the

product of the defendant distributors, Judge

Barnes gave the following summary:

AGREEMENT MADE IN 1930

In July 1930, the defendant distributors

made an agreement fixing the designation

of first run theatres and clearances for runs

of pictures. In July 1933, uniform zoning and

clearance schedules were drafted for all motion

picture theatres in Milwaukee zones and

subzones.

Subsequent to June 11, 1946, and pursuant

to an opinion of the statutory court in New

York they removed from their licensing

agreement provisions fixing minimum admission

prices. However, they directed branch

managers to watch reductions in prices and

advise the home office of their effects on

theatres.

Each chain also maintained that it was

able to refuse pictures if uniform prices and

clearance schedules were not maintained.

As a result, the Towne was prevented from

buying first run pictures.

The purpose of the system established

July 28, 1933, and carried on subsequent to

June 11, 1946. was a combination and conspiracy

to restrain trade, the judge held.

On April 3, 1946, the Towne Corp. started

to negotiate for the old Miller Theatre. Be-

Towne Theatre, Milwaukee

tween April 3 and April 18, the Towne tried

to get first run pictures and was told that

the Miller was a second run house and

not entitled to first run pictures.

On Aug. 15, 1946, the Miller Theatre was

closed and the Towne Corp. remodeled it at a

cost of $200,000. It reopened December 26,

as the Towne Theatre. The Towne again

asked the defendants for first run pictures

and was refused.

With the exception of a smaller number

of seats, the theatre is comparable to other

first run theatres in Milwaukee, and, the

judge held, the number of seats was not important

to the case. If they could have obtained

first run pictures, without restraints,

they could have grossed as much as other

theatres, he held.

Nevertheless, Judge Barnes ruled, the defendants

knowingly entered into their conspiracy

to restrain trade.

GET MORE THAN ASKED

The case was tried for six weeks last fall

and winter and the judge took it under advisement.

The Towne originally asked triple

damages totaling $1,050,000. but Judge Barnes

set damages at $431,959.42. totaling $1,295,-

873.26 under the triple damage provisions of

the law. Court attaches in Chicago said the

judge based his decision on what the Towne

might have grossed but did not.

Milwaukee's leading theatremen in charge

of exchanges here, testified. In his closing

arguments, McConnell said the case was

unique in one respect.

"The ordinary conspiracy case," he said,

"is established by inference and circumstantial

evidence. Here we have produced direct

evidence."

Testimony during the trial frequently alluded

to the "Wisconsin plan." This plan,

according to testimony, was an agreement between

Milwaukee movie distributors to allocate

first run features and to set minimum

admission prices.

To Handle 'Francis' Promotion

NEW YORK—Benjamin H. Serkowich has

been engaged by Universal-International for

special promotions on "Francis." He will work

on the New York and other key city campaigns.

Ask SIMPP Support

In Fight on Decree

LOS ANGELES—Charging a new form of

monopoly in the motion picture industry

"monopoly by nepotism"—the Independent

Theatre Owners of Southern California and

Arizona came out swinging in round two of

its campaign of protest against the reportedly

impending consent decree on behalf of 20th

Century-Fox, whereunder Charles P. Skouras

would be permitted to remain in control of

National Theatres and its subsidiaries, while

Spyros Skouras would continue as president

of 20th Century-Fox.

In a telegram directed to Ellis Arnall, president

of the Society of Independent Motion

Picture Producers, currently in New York, the

ITO—through its general counsel, Fred

Weller—sought SIMPP aid by calling for a

united protest to the Department of Justice

against divorcement consent decrees under

U.S. vs. Paramount, which Weller contended

would permit "the Skouras brothers—and

other 'brothers' within the Big Five—to divide

between themselves major motion pictui-e

exhibition and distribution production interests."

A few days earlier the ITO had protested

the reported 20th Century-Fox decree in a

telegram to Howard McGrath, U.S. attorney

general, and Herbert Bergson, assistant attorney

general in charge of the antitrust division.

McGrath and Bergson were urged to

give the matter their "earnest reconsideration"

and were informed that the reports were

"a severe shock to independent theatre

owners."

The ITO's telegram to Arnall charged that

if the "Skourases, Warners, Balabans,

Schencks and Loews were enabled to divide

their respective companies' exhibition and

distribution-production activities between

them, there will result a series of monopolies

out of reach of existing laws because they

are, presumably, based upon love and affection,

brother for brother."

The communique attacked the "baleful effects

of nepotism in Hollywood production

organizations" and warned that the alleged

"monopoly by nepotism" w^ould "gravely

jeopardize independent producers as well as

independent theatre owners."

Ass'n of M. P. Producers

Re-Elects All Officers

HOLLYWOOD—All officers of the Ass'n

of Motion Picture Producers were re-elected

to serve through 1950 at the organization's

annual meeting. At the helm are Eric Johnston,

president: Y. Frank Freeman, board

chairman: Charles S. Boren, vice-president

in charge of industrial relations; B. B. Kahane

and Louis K. Sidney, vice-presidents,

and James S. Howie, secretary-treasurer.

Two changes were made in board membership.

Gordon E. Youngman replaces Leon

Goldberg, for RKO Radio, and Robert Newman

replaces Allen Wilson for Republic.

20th-Fox Names 2 Judges

NEW YORK—Ted Gamble, head of Gamble

Enterprises and past Theatre Owners of

America board chairman, and Reba Schwartz

of the Capitol Theatre, Dover, Del., have

joined Trueman Rembusch in accepting the

invitation of 20th Century-Fox to judge the

national "Mother Didn't Tell Me" contest.

18

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950


I

<

'

U-l Campaigns to Sell

The Public on a Mule


By J. M. JERAITLD

NEW YORK—How do you make the American

public want to see a mule?

Answer that question blithely—and effectively,

of course—and you can qualify as an

expert merchandiser.

How do you make the American public

want to see a talking mule on the screen?

Answer this one so that the advertising

researchers will start talking about "wantto-see"

ratios and "penetration" and you will

really be going places as an answer man.

Mules are not noted for their beauty, or

their spirit. No mule ever appeared in a

competitive exhibition. Usually they pull

loads or carry them on their backs. At times

they are obstinate—even mean. When a mule

lays his ears back and lets his heels fly

it's just as well if the target isn't within

to see the picture and to cogitate. (That's

what they do before coming up with ideas.)

Finally, it was decided to show "Francis"

(the quotes indicate the picture, not the mule)

to as many moulders of thought as possible

and to hold sneak previews in key centers

for exhibitors. These were so numerous they

broke the record set in "The Egg and I"

campaign.

Then it was agreed that the picture should

be shown to the army in Germany. This

was done with the help of the Air Force,

which flew Jackie Coogan. Yvonne DeCarlo,

Patricia Medina, Louis Andrews, Leslye Banning,

Donald O'Connor and Peggy Castle,

along with a number of correspondents, to

Germany for personal appearances. Louella

Parsons broadcasted from Germany to this

country. Showings were put on in Frankfurt,

Erding, Berlin, Purstenfeldbruch, Neuberg

and Landsberg.

range.

Up to late September no mule ever jabbed

at stuffed shirts, or punctured balloons, or

TN the meantime the radio campaign gained

kidded an army officer, or said all the things

momentum in this country. Art Linkletter's

"People Are Funny" program had a

that a lot of GIs wanted to say while making

the Asiatic jungles safe for monkeys and

special contestant on the trip. Three successive

ABC network shows plugged "Francis"

unsafe for Japs.

David Lipton, director of publicity and advertising

for Universal-International, and

two Sundays. Walter Winchell reported that

Fred Allen had described the picture as the

his aides were confronted by this mule problem.

Simply telling people that Francis

funniest he had ever seen. Allen remarked

that it had been a tossup between Jack

spelled with an I—was a talking mule, they

Benny and Francis as to who should get

figured, would be something like saying the

the lead in the film, and "he was happy

Empire State building tower had chromium

that the jackass with talent had won."

trimmings. The natural answer to that would

The American premiere was held February

be: "What of it?"

3 at New Orleans, where David Stern, author

Pictures need "names" and Francis was

of the story, who also is publisher of the

well, just a cognomen.

New Orleans Item, resides. Tlie Crescent

They went to work on "Francis" and before

the beginning of February every im-

City populace stopped chuckling the following

weekend.

portant radio commentator and hundreds of

The slow buildup to this premiere was

exhibitors had described "Francis" as the

elaborate. Newsfiapermen received Muletide

funniest picture they had ever seen. More

greetings at Christmas. They received Muleimportant,

from the trade viewpoint, William

O-Grams before the German showing. They

A. Scully, vice-president in charge of sales,

received mule-shoe paperweights to hold

was selling the picture on percentage.

down the flow of publicity releases. Four

Francis went on tour. Everywhere crowds

of them would have been more effective.

gathered to watch him flick an ear and to

U.S. Attorney General J. Howard Mcwait

for a wisecrack, but Fi'ancis was taciturn.

Grath was host at a screening in the Academia

Theatre of the MPAA in Washington.

Let's go back to the start of the campaign.

In September Lipton summoned the

Even the Republicans liked the Democratic

trademark.

east and west coast ad staffs to the coast

The American War Correspondents Ass'n

Francis at the world premiere in New saw the film at the annual awards dinner

Orleans, where the "star" participated in in the Hotel Pierre, New York, with many

a March of Dimes campaign. The mule army and navy officers present. It is being

will get to as many cities as possible as shown at all army installations in the U.S.

part of the exploitation for the film. Members of the Washington press corps

saw the film at the National Press club.

New York press and radio representatives

attended a screening at the Museum of

Modern Art.

Francis may need vitamins before he gets •

back to his corral; the campaign has already

had them.

r-

The hilarious talc of

a Talking Army Mule

...and a dumb 2nd Looic

who darn

wrecked the

U. S. Army, gfe ^^ j4 TW>^^-

\

7

DONALD O'CONNOR

"^1 PATRICIA MEDINA

• ZASU PITTS


^»^ RAY COLLINS JOHN MclNTIRE

^'i^to?'

and "FVanciS" The-mtmsuml

o ®


4ST,Wf

iNCHELL WROTE:

m;'iL-{OiI:Ii[i

»h n n maiiiii

'Gone With The Wind' that promises to

gross more than that record grosser."

NOW TO EXHIBITORS EVERYWHERE PARAMOUNT SAYS:

Please do not use ANY previous ppi

measuring rod for what Paramoui

sensational grosses now being re

25 key engagements clearly indiae

money attraction like

CECIL B. De|||

am$on

I

BROTHERHOOD WEEK— February 19-26.

Brotherhood—for Peace and Freedom.

Color byE

Mille s SAMSON AND DELILAH • -• Hedy Lamair-Vi

uiur by TECHNICOLOR • Produced and Directed by Cecil B DeMille • scr.tnpi.r by !.>•« l toky ir Fr«di

I


.

ture - however great - as a

s greatest can do for you. The

rded at every one of its first

that there has never been a

I LIE'S Paramount Masterpiece .

lECHNICOLOR

Tell

Your Congretiman To Vole

To Repeol The Movie Ton

Jijr

Mature -George Sanders -Angela Lansbury • Henry Wilcoxon

Prom orlglnBl triatminti by Harold Lamb and Vladimir Jabotlnaky

• Baaad upon Iha hlalory oi Samaon and Dalllah In tha Holy Bibia, ludgaa 13-16


, and

^^He^tcutcC S(^^€*tt4^

Petitions Roll In

rVEN in the present early stages of the

ticket tax fight petitions are being

signed by the hundreds of thousands and

a second printing of several million has

been made. They will be on their way to

congressmen and senators in every district

before long, tied in neat packages as fast

as they come along.

Already a number of congressmen have

gone on record in writing in favor of outright

repeal of the ticket tax. The weak

link in the chain is in the house ways and

means committee. Some of the Republican

members favor repeal, but the Democratic

members who feel called upon to support

the administration tax policy are noncommittal.

Some of them say their votes

will be conditioned on finding substitute

tax sources before the excise taxes are

discarded.

The campaign is gathering speed. Nothing

like it has been attempted before. The

nearest approach to the present technique

was put on several weeks ago in

Yonkers where a united protest from

theatregoers was effective in two days.

It is obvious that theatre patrons are

all for repeal. If exhibitors persist in their

efforts and do not become over-confident,

the chances are good for action in Congress.

In several cities newspapers have joined

in the campaign by giving editorial support.

The Daily Mirror in New York was

the first. No exhibitor should fail to present

his arguments to his local editor.

We Stand Corrected

JN THE January 14 issue of BOXOFFICE

we stated in this column that the 1947

Pennsylvania law permitting municipalities

to tax a variety of things, including

admissions, went through "without notice."

R. F. Klingensmith, western Pennsylvania

correspondent for BOXOFFICE,

challenges this statement. He writes:

"I want it remembered that Fred J.

Herrington, veteran secretary of Allied

MPTO of Western Pennsylvania, fought

this bill every paragraph of the way for

weeks, by personal interviews and contacts,

telephone messages throughout the

state, bulletins, telegrams. He pleaded for

a uniform measure iwhen it became obvious

the bill

>

would pass he pleaded

for a limit, as he visualized some political

subdivisions going hog-wild with

their new power of taxation (which is the

power to destroy!. That happened, of

course.

"In 1949 the Permsylvania general assembly

had to do just that, limit the

total admission tax in any political subdivision

to 10 per cent. This nullified the

effectiveness of any ordinance or resolution

which called for more than 10 per

cent, or any measure which affixed 'or

fraction thereof.'

"That's what he fought for in 1947. He

certainly brought the facts before exhibitors

and other business groups. They

-By JAMES M. JERAULD

were apathetic. Now they are hurt—very

much so."

We are glad to give Herrington full

credit for his single-handed fight. Now

that the results of the general apathy are

known, it is to be hoped that future efforts

of leaders like Herrington wiU receive

general support.

MPAA Restores Funds

THE Motion Picture Ass'n of America decision

to restore financial support for

the annual award of Oscars by the Academy

of Motion Picture Ai'ts and Sciences

will be generally approved. The decision

will disarm those outside critics who have

been suggesting that the withdrawal of

funds was due to the award to "Hamlet,"

a British picture. It will help the industry

effort to unite behind the Council of Motion

Picture Organizations in an overall

public relations program.

If those producers who have been rushing

pictures into a one-theatre showing on

the coast simply for the purpose of qualifying

will refrain from the practice, there

will be better feeling all around.

The publicity value of the awards is

enormous.

Black Plague

JNTRIGUING caption, eh what? Leo F.

Wolcott, chairman of the board of Allied

of Iowa and Nebraska and at the same

time author of some of our favorite literature,

used it in the January 7 bulletin.

Says Leo: "When you get a disease you

attempt to get at the source of the trouble.

Well, the black plague of the show business

is auditing. What is the source of

this dreaded disease? Nothing but percentage.

It is very easy at this time of the

year, a few bad grosses, a few bad days

at below zero weather, not a handful of

people in your theatre, and you get to

thinking maybe percentage is OK. Just

remember, if you don't want the black

plague, do not sign percentage 'contracts.' "

Another choice item: "Popcorn sales

have for a long time been the measure in

these midwest prau-ies of the popularity

and drawing power of the stars. Personally,

I'll stack good ol' Roy Rogers up against

any of 'em. The 'class' stars, Colbert,

Crawford, Davis and Garson, are the poorest

popcorn sellers."

No literary flourishes, no fancy verbiage

—just the simple jotting down of thoughts

of a grassroots philosopher with a talent

for observing things close at hand.

Dr. Handel Writes Book

About Film Audiences

NEW YORK—The University of Illinois

Press has scheduled June as the tentative

publication date of the book. "F^lm Audience

Research." written by Dr. Leo A. Handel.

MOM director of audience research.

The book is the first on this subject and

Dr. Handel has emphasized the sociological

and psychological aspects in his study of

motion picture audiences.

Jock Lawrence Fills

Lynn Farnol Post

NEW YORK—J.

B. L. "Jock" Lawrence ha.s

been signed by Samuel Goldwyn Productions

as vice - president in

charge of public relations,

publicity and advertising.

He succeeds Lynn

Farnol, who had been

publicity and advertising

director for Goldwyn

for more than 22

years. Farnol resigned

Monday (6).

Lawrence had been

vice-president of the J.

Arthur Rank Organization,

Inc., since early J. B. L. Lawrence

in 1945. The Rank office here recently dropped

most of its staff and moved into Universal-

International office space at Park avenue

and 57th street. Lawrence has withdrawn

as vice-president of the Rank organization,

but will continue in an advisory capacity on

public relations and as a member of the

American board of directors.

From 1933 to 1939 Lawrence was director

of advertising and publicity and assistant

to Goldwyn on the coast. Then he became

executive secretary to the publicity directors'

committee in Hollywood.

During the war Lawrence was a colonel and

served as chief public relations officer in

the European theatre of operation under

General Eisenhower. Prior to that, he was

chief public relations planner for the combined

operations headquarters of British commandos

and American rangers.

Farnol was a lieutenant-colonel with the

air force public relations office during the

war and is widely known both inside and

outside the industry. During the period of his

association with Goldwyn he has also been

director of advertising and publicity for

United Artists. He has been associated with

Donahue & Coe, handling the Radio City

Music Hall and other Rockefeller Center accounts.

An Hour a Day Will

Keep TV Worry Away

CHICAGO — Harry M. Warner, on a

stopover here this week, said there is so

much loose talk in Hollywood on what

television is going to do to the film

business that he is contemplating the

same ban he put into effect in the early

1930s.

"Those were the depression days," he

said, "and the studios were in bad shape.

All our employes talked about how bad

conditions were. So we decided that if

the employes would concentrate on their

work instead of worrying about radio and

the depression we might be able to make

some good pictures and pull through. So

we banned all discussions about the depression—except

between 10 a. m. and

11 a. m. on Thursdays. That was known

as the "worry hour" for the week, during

which we could all cry about conditions.

"And that's what we're going to do

now, but instead of depression talk, we'll

make it no television talk," he said.

22 BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950


and

LETTERS

EXHIBITOR ANSWERS GOLDWYN

To BOXOFFICE:

I have read with care . thoroughly

digested the words of Samuel Goldwyn in

your January 28 issue concerning the terrible

attitude of exliibitors toward exploiting

and advertising pictures.

We exhibitors always welcome constructive

criticism from any member of our industry,

and cherish it even more coming

from such an artist as Sam Goldwyn.

However. I think some of Mr. Goldwyn's

comments were made in haste—without mucli

thought—and I think we exhibitors have a

right to explain our point of view.

CITES SOME PROBLEMS

Mr. Goldwyn states in no uncertain terms

that we do not properly advertise and exploit

American pictures as we should. Since

this maker of top-grade pictures is not next

Perhaps Mr. Goldwyn is like AlexaiKier

Hamilton in that he doesn't believe in the

basic intelligence of the common man. Maybe

he feels that you can go on telling them

each picture is better than the last and

fool them. But we who are next to the

public, we who get the dissatisfied looks,

we who have to listen to the off-color comments

we can tell you from practical experience

you can fool them once or twice,

but. brother, that's all. You definitely can

cry 'wolf!', which makes it bad when you

do have a good one.

'SHOW THEM WHAT THEY WANT'

I think Mr. Goldwyn has overlooked the

one thing which has become so evident to

the exhibitors in tlie last year or so. That

is the fact that if you are playing what they

want to see, all you have to do is tell them

where it is and what time, and they'll go

see it. On the other hand, if you have something

they don't want to see, you can beat

your head against the wall and scream until

you're hoarse, and you will still just play to

the u.shers and projectionist. It just shows

they are picking them carefully. Why? Because

they have been fooled too many times

in the past.

I certainly do not mean by this that the

exhibitor should eliminate all exploitation

quite the contrary. But we try to use a

little common sense. Exploitation properly

used can mean lots of dollars and cents, but

exploitation used indiscriminately means

nothing at all—and can even be injurious.

In closing, I would like to say one thing

to all the movie makers as well as Mr. Goldwyn.

We are at a crossroads in our industry.

Let's make sure we go the right way.

Give us more "Male War Brides" and


"Yellow Ribbons" and "Battlegrounds"—give

us more pictures that we don't have to exploit

to get them in, and we will exploit

them and we'll get back that goodwill of the

public wliicli we have come close to losing.

Don't oversell every picture you make, and

try to make us believe that it's the biggest

thing you ever did. If you're truthful, you'll

see how quickly 99 out of 100 exhibitors fall

in line and play ball. And believe us when

we tell you we're all trying our best to help

the industry that butters both your bread

and mine, for what's good for one is good

for all.

Stop and realize, Mr. Goldwyn, that possibly

exhibitors aren't stubborn, blockheaded

jackasses—maybe they have a reason for what

they are doing.

KEITH COLEMAN

American and Uptown Theatres,

Mt. Carmel, 111.

it through a defense article, by some one

capable of refuting all the charges that are

being hurled. Since another article in BOX-

OFFICE said 20 per cent of the theatres are

located in towns over 100,000. the remaining

80 per cent are those exhibitors in towns of

less than 100.000 of which we are one. Therefore.

80 per cent of the criticism is directed

to us small exhibitors.

Let's take the article in question and feee

how it could be refuted by a more capable

per-son than I am. We'll tear it down by

statements . . . "It is nothing short of disgraceful

the way these pictures are being

treated." As I recall it double features were

resorted to because the exhibitor could not

get strong enough pictures to get people in

his theatre and therefore had to resort to

bargain sale tactics. If the exhibitor had

been able to get strong enough pictures to

bring people in there would be no double features

in theatres now.

Now in regards to exploitation it says,

"Goldwyn has just completed four features

in one season." In our theatre we show 260

different pictures in one year. Will Mr. Goldwyn

be so kind as to tell me how that many

pictures can possibly be exploited. It would

hardly be fair play to exploit the four pictures

of Ml-. Goldwyn's and not exploit the

other producers' picture output.

Another factor in regards to exploiting.pictures

that must be taken into consideration

here in the sticks. Does Mr. Goldwyn give

reduced rentals if the picture is exploited?

No. the film rental for a picture is based on

the gro.ss. either anticipated or actual. The

exhibitor is faced with tw-o problems—either

exploit the picture to get Iris film rental

back or exploit the picture with the distributor

getting the benefit of the extra gross

without sharing the extra cost of exploiting.

Therefore, the exhibitor must exploit

pictures that will return this extra cost to

him. though there are a few exceptions such

as super pictures which he plays simply to

get patrons into the theatre to sell them on

coming back in the future.

SMALL THEATRES NEED HELP

In regards to the distributor and producer

selling the picture for the exhibitor: May

I ask if there is ever an advertisement in a

magazine or radio announcement or anything

whatsoever to indicate that the picture

"Roseanna McCoy" is still being shown in

the small theatres. You can search high and

low and find nothing. Any poor exhibitor

who didn't play it while it was hot is still

faced with a selling job or take a chance

on an empty house. But. suppose our friend

the producer goes all out on a saturation

campaign on a picture and lo it turns out

to be a dud. Then, brother, the poor exhibitor

who didn't play this picture prior to the

fact it was nationally classed as a dud is

their spunk. I don't see any sense in losing

money on both ends of the business. Wish

that we could do the same occasionally.

No distributor that I have ever done busi-

to the public every day. as we are. perhaps

really up against it. He hasn't a chance of

lie does not often have occasion to be around ANOTHER EXHIBITOR REPLY

getting even.

a theatre at the conclusion of the performance

of some highly touted, heavily ex-

To BOXOFFICE:

In regards to Fox West Coast pulling the

Ever since I have been able to read ..trade picture out because it did not do any popcorn

ploited picture that has been sold to us at

magazines I have resid the same old story or candy business. I can only say I glory in

top terms, preferred time, and described as

about exhibitors—the only change in the

the biggest thing the company has ever done

criticism being who said it. Never have I

and is breaking records everywhere. Of

read about the poor exhibitor defending himself

or any exhibitor association saying any-

course, we exhibitors all know without asking

that each picture is doing 25 per cent

thing in defense of the poor exhibitor or any

to 50 per cent more business than the previous

picture. Perhaps he has never seen

exploited, all they ever ask is will you give

ness with gives a hang about how the picture

defense of any kind.

is

I have just finished reading the article

the dissatisfied looks, nor heard the off-color

this much rental for the picture? The rental

in regards to the same criticism by Mr. Samuel

remarks that we see and hear as they leave

for us, and the exhibitor can get it back the

—feeling our exploitation misled them.

Goldwyn.

best he can. If Mr. Goldwyn wants the exhibitor

to exploit his pictures why doesn't

Why don't you give the exhibitors' side of

he make allowances for this when setting up

liis rentals for the theatre, and make it encouraging

for the exhibitor to get out and

.sell the picture?

SELL AS BEST AS CAN

Still 260 pictures is a lot of pictures and

we still sell them the best we can and,

brother, if the returns on these 260 give us

enough to keep the wolf from our door we're

thankful. And Mr. Goldwyn is worrying about

four pictures.

I believe that if you could get some capable

exhibitor to defend the rest of us poor exhibitors

it could be proved that most of the

smoke comes from a producer or distributor

covering up some bad product that the public

doesn't want and. rather than go ahead and

call it a dud. uses the excuse that the exhibitor

isn't selling the picture.

Ti-ust that you can understand why it

makes me so hot to hear the same exhibitor

taken over the fire by every one every so

often.

Swiss Theatre,

Tell City. Ind.

SILVER RALEY

White Crocus Plans Film

NEW YORK—"Edge of Innocence" has

been selected as the title for the film White

Crocus Productions will start shortly, according

to Fred Pressburger and Peter

Packer, production heads, who are also writing

the scenario. It is being adapted from

a novel by Packer. "White Crocus." Joseph

Brun. recently elected to the American Society

of Cinematographers, has been signed

as cameraman.

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950 23


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Keene, N.H. • Ployhouse, Randolph, Vt. • Eost Greenwich,

Greenwich, R.I. • V^indsor, Windsor, Vt. • Ideal, Springfield,

20th Century, Buffalo, N.Y. • Jefferson, Auburn, N.Y. • Fan

Batovio, N.Y. • lafoyelte, Botovio, N.Y. • Capitol, Binghomlon, I

State, Cortland, N.Y. •Regent, Dunkirk, N.Y. • Regent, Elmiro, I

Genevo, Genevo, N.Y. •Temple, Geneva, N.Y. • Strand, Ithaca,

Y. • Wintergorden, Jomeslown, N.Y. • Colarocl, Niagara Falls, I

Havens, Oleon, N.Y. •

K.Y. • Playhouse, Conandaigua, N.Y, • Bobcocic, Both, NY.A^

lum. Perry, N.Y. • Elmwood, Penn Yon, N.Y.»Fo«, Coming,

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Willlomson. W.^'a, • Var

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Newark, O. • MiomI Weslern, Oxford. O. • Stole. Washington CT"'

LOEWS INC • WARNER • SKIRtALl THEATRES • TEO GAMBLE THEATRES • SHEA • SCHINE • UNITED PARAMOUNT NORTHIO CIRCUIT • DARNELL THEAT HI

ASSOaATED THEATRU (Cleveland) • CO-OP THEATRES OF OHIO (Cleveland) • ASSOCIATED THEATRES (Cincinnati) • CO-OP THEATRES OF OHIO (CIntlnni Xm,

Hippodrome, Gloveriville, N.Y. -Olyi c, Watertown, N.Y. • Riolto,

Glons Folli, N.Y. •Riollo, little Fo N.Y. •State, Tupper lake,

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General Storke, Bennington, Vt. • . IRiolto, Potidam, N.Y. • lyric,

Rouie'i Point. N.Y. • AmericQi), Conton, N.Y. • Riolto, Amsterdom,

N.Y. -Slrond, Carthoge, N.Y. • Stole, Hamilton, N.Y. • Molone,

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'i^oU^fewMd ^e^iont

By

IVAN SPEAR

Story Sales Climb to 12;

MGM Buys Four Yarns

With an impressive total of 12 sales recorded

during the period, the story market

broke wide open as MGM set the pace for

the field by acquiring no less than four sub-

jects. To Leo's lair went "The Loco Motive,"

detective yarn by Craig Rice and Stuart

Palmer, which is being scripted by William

Bowers and will be produced by William H.

Wright; "Darling, I'm Stuck," an original

comedy about a Broadway hoofer, by Ruth

Brooks Plippen, also to be produced by

Wright; "This Is News," a newspaper-background

yarn by Jerry Horwin. which was

added to Nicholas Nayfack's production slate,

with Irwin Gielgud set to script; and "When

In Rome," by Robert Buckner, dealing with

a priest who visits the Italian capital during

Holy Year. Clarence Brown will produce and

direct . . . Two properties went to RKO Radio.

"Target." forthcoming magazine serial by

Martin Goldsmith and Jack Leonard, will be

produced by Stanley Rubin as a starring subject

for Charles McGraw; "No Place Like

Home," a historical western by William R.

Cox and William R. Lipman, goes on the

studio docket as a John Wayne topliner . .

.

To his production schedule at Columbia

William Etozier added "The Nice Mrs. Gary."

an original by Mary McCarthy . . . Producer

Joe Kaufman acquired from Roy Del Ruth

Productions a screen treatment of "The Lady

and the Tiger," short story by Pi-ank Stockton

for independent production.

Prank Ross purchased "Save Your Kisses,"

an original comedy by Ross and Robert

Russell . . . Norma Productions—the Burt

Lancaster-Harold Hecht company—picked up

"Our Enemy, the Baby," by Hugo Butler and

Jean Rouverol, and booked the authors to

write the screenplay Pacific,"

by George Waggner, went to War-

SIGmNG THE DEAL—President Steve

Broidy (seated) of Monogram affixes his

signature to the contract whereby David

Diamond (right) is bringing to the

screen, for Monogram release, "A Modern

Marriage," story of the problems arising

from a young girl's frigidity in marriage.

The subject bears the endorsement

of the American Institute of Family Relations,

of which Dr. Paul Popenoe (left)

is the director, and is based on a case

history from its files.

ners, where it will be prepared as a costarring

subject for John Wayne and Virginia

Mayo . inclusion in the forthcoming

"Queen for a Day." Robert Stillman

Pi'oductions purchased "The Gossamer

World." a .short story by Faith Baldwin.

"Queen" will be Stillman's second project for

United Artists release.

Three Producers Pitching

For Baseball Film Fare

World leaders may fret over the H-bomb,

the populace may stew over high taxes, the

coal strike may cripple a vast segment of

U.S. industrial production, but spring is just

around the corner—which, to a substantial

proportion of American citizenry, means just

one thing:

The 1950 baseball season is almost here.

And, foreshadowing the crack of bats and

the roar of "Kill the umpire!" from millions

of throats that will ensue when the season

gets under way, the magi of production are

paying more than ordinary attention to the

revenue possibilities inherent in film fare

glorifying that great national pastime. Seldom,

in recent years, has there been such

widespread interest in baseball as the subject

for screen entertainment.

Over at Warners, for example, an early

camera start has been set for "Elmer the

Great." adapted from the widely read Ring

Lardner story, and to insure authenticity as

well as add exploitation value thereto, the

studio has booked both the New York Yankees

and the St. Louis Cardinals to appear

in the picture.

A similar move has been made by MGM,

which signed 30 pro and semi-pro horsehiders

to appear in diamond sequences in

"Three Little Words," including stars of such

teams as the Detroit Tigers, the Boston Red

Sox, the Chicago White Sox and the Hollywood

Stars.

Eagle Lion, meantime, is readying "The

Jackie Robinson Story," a biography of, and

starring, the celebrated Negro athlete and

Brooklyn Dodgers star; and Columbia has

already completed, as a William Bendix

topliner, a baseball comedy appropriately

titled "Kill the Umpire."

Armand Deutsch to Produce

The Magnificent Yankee'

Armand Deutsch has been set to produce

MGM's "The Magnificent Yankee," starring

.

Louis Calhern in the film version of Emmet

Lavery's Broadway play Mate replaces

Leslie Fenton as megaphonist on

"Montana Rides." with Fenton switched to

Stephen Auer and Phil

"The Jewel" . . .

Ford are set as producer and director, respectively,

on Republic's "State PoUce Patrol"

. . "Tall Timber" will be Lindsley

.

Parsons' next production toplining Roddy

McDowall for Monogram release . . 20th

.

Century-Fox's "Lydia Bailey." to be produced

by Sol C. Siegel. is being .scripted by

Charles O'Neal . . . Milton Krims is screenplaying

"Christmas Present," from a novel

by Margaret Cousins, for Producer Samuel

Goldwyn.

LOBBY HUDDLE

Toppers of Lippert Productions hold

a sidewalk conference to discuss audience

reactions after the first sneak preview

of "The Baron of Arizona," staged

at Fox West Coast's first run Ritz Theatre

in Los Angeles. The chit-chatters,

left to right: Al Grubstick, assistant

sales chief; Arthur Greenblatt,

general sales manager; William Pizor,

vice-president in charge of foreign distribution;

and President Robert L. Lippert.

"The Baron" will be world-premiered

March 1 at the Orpheum Theatre

in Phoenix.

Torero' Is Bullfight Subject

On Republic-Wayne Slate

Add another one to the bullfight cycle.

Under terms of his ticket as an independent

producer releasing through Republic, John

Wayne will produce and star in "Torero," a

matador melodrama, which he plans to shoot

on locatidn in Mexico. Oscar Boetticher has

been set to direct and Grant Withers will

function as Wayne's associate producer. No

starting date has been scheduled.

The Wayne project is the third to embrace

the not-so-gentle art of matching man

against bull. Set for an early launching is

"The Brave Bulls," which Robert Rossen will

produce and direct for Columbia release,

while MGM recently acquired "Montes, the

Matador," which Jack Cummings will produce

as a starring vehicle for Ricardo Montalban.

'Condemned to Live' Set

For Eagle Lion Release

Current headline hysteria concerning socalled

"mercy killings" have led Eagle Lion

to capitalize thereon by setting a deal to

release "Condemned to Live," an exploitation

subject to be produced by Walter Jurmann.

With shooting scheduled to begin

in April, the script has been completed by

Ken Britton. It will be filmed almost entirely

on location in a typical, but as yet

unselected, American small-town.

Claudette Colbert Signed

For 'All About Eve' Role

Claudette Colbert was inked by 20th Century-Fox

to co-star with Anne Baxter in "AH

About Eve," being scripted and to be directed

by Joseph Mankiewicz

Productions booked Actor

. . . Lippert

Don Castle on a

one-year ticket and .set him for the lead in

"Highway Patrol."

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950 27


nAGINC ISLAND..

^%^

ThSs Ss /T!

THE PLACE:

STROMBOLI

THE STAR:

THE INSPIRED

UNDER

:^mm^

DIRECTION OF

ROSSELLI

Produced and Directed by Roberto Rossellini • Released by RKO Radio Pictures


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SAILOR JULES MUNSHIN AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL

STUDENT ANN MILLER DANCE IN A MUSEUM

ALICE PEARCE, THE •IMPOSSIBLE" ROOMMATE.

TRIES TO CONSOLE GENE KELLY FOR VERA-ELLEN

SIX GAY YOUNG PEOPLE IN A ROMANTIC SETTING

ON EMPIRE STATE BUILDING REST FROM DANCING

'On the Town' Is January Winner

Of Boxoffice Blue Ribbon Award

By VELMA WEST SYKES

J^ETRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER again carries off the BOXOFFICE Blue Ribbon Award

honors, the January winner being "On the Town," sparkling screen musical comedy starring

Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra. Jules Munshin. Betty Garrett, Ann Miller and Vera-

Ellen. Patrons take a Cook's Tour of New York City with three lively sailors and their gals,

whose singing and dancing spell entertainment for family audiences that enjoy its beauty

of color and costume, its action and gay tunes as well as its light-hearted, episodic story.

National Screen Council members voted it the picture currently playing which was most

likely to prove pleasing as whole family entertainment, and was also outstanding in many

respects. In addition to leading the dance sequences which form the top entertainment in

the film. Gene Kelly acts as co-director.

The review carried in BOXOFFICE, issue

of December 10, 1949, described the picture

in these terms: "MGM has turned out a

lavish, sparkling musical comedy in Technicolor

loaded with gay tunes, smart dancing

and ticket-selling names. Gene Kelly, Frank

Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller, Jules

Munshin and Vera-EUen recreate the characters

of the Adolph Green-Betty Comden

Broadway show that scored a hit several seasons

back ... It rates A playing time and top

budget advertising and exploitation . . . The

dance sequences with Kelly, Miss Miller and

Vera-Ellen are standouts."

Delightful for the Family

According to the MPAA Green Sheet,

"Superlatives are needed to catch the flavor

of warm, gay, beautifully-produced comedy

which retains pleasing air of fantasy . . .

a

There is expert and novel dancing, tuneful

singing and dialog that is fast and funny. The

Bernstein music heightens the mood of a

picture that is delightful entertainment for

the whole family."

In UNBIASED OPINIONS (Fox West Coast

Theatres), the California PTA is quoted: "Recommended

as light entertainment for the

The eastern committee of

family" . . .

G.F.W.C. calls it, "delightful cinematic entertainment

for the whole family" . Protestant

Motion Picture Council mentions,

"There are some fine dancing sequences by

Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen." And the Los Angeles

Council of Jewish Women says "it proves

Gabey

Gene Kelly

Chip

Frank Sinatra

Brunhilde Esterhazy Betty Garrett

Claire Huddesen Ann Miller

Ozsie

Jules Munshin

Executive Producer Louis B. Mayer

Produced by

Arthur Freed

Directed by Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen

Associate Producer

Roger Edens

Screenplay by lalso original by)

Adolph Green, Betty Comden

From Idea by

Jerome Robbins

Music by

Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics by Adolph Green,

Betty Comden, Leonard Bernstein

Musical Director

Lennie Hayton

Orchestrations by Conrad Salinger

Vocal Arrangements by Saul Chaplin

delightful entertainment for those who like

good clean fun." According to the Southern

California Council of Church Women: "Beautiful

dancing, gay lyrics, and vivid Technicolor

provide a rare treat for the young and

young in heart."

From the first run reports obtained on

engagements in key cities, "On the Town"

has been given an average of 154, with holdovers

predominating. It is an 11-plus picture

in the Review Digest, and it starts 1950 for

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with a winner — the

company that won five out of the 12 Blue

Ribbon awards for 1949. This will be

the fifth Plaque received by Producer Arthur

Freed and the third for actors Gene Kelly,

Frank Sinatra and Ann Miller. Among the

players, Betty Garrett and Jules Munshin

now have two Blue Ribbons, Vera-Ellen a

single. On the production staff, Stanley

Donen, Adolph Green and Betty Comden now

have two each.

Ballots of the National Screen Council

members contained comments in many instances,

a few of which are given here:

"A gay, bouncing comedy of sailors on the

loose in the world's greatest fun city. What

more could any family ask?" writes Russell

Rhodes, New York Journal of Commerce. (He

could be prejudiced, of course. Maybe we'd

better quote from out-of-town members.)

"Such gay fun." Elisabeth Murray, Long

Beach Teachers' Ass'n . a musical it

shows more originality than anything Hollywood

has turned out in a long time."—Tom R.

Gilliam jr., Fort Wayne Journal Gazette . . .

"Any Gene Kelly movie can be depended

The Cast

upon as first rate entertainment."—Henry

Decker, Frederick (Md.) News Post.

"Wholesome entertainment, bright, catchy

musical numbers that the teen-agers adored."

—Mrs. W. H. Barker, San Antonio Motion

Picture Council.

Ivy Smith

Mme. Dilyovska

Lucy Shmeeler

Professor

Production Staii

Vera-Ellen

Florence Bates

Alice Pearce

George Meader

Director of Photography

Harold Rosson, A.S.C.

Technicolor Color Coiisultants

Henri Jaffa, James Gooch

Art Directors

Cedric Gibbons, Jack Martin Smith

Fihn Editor Ralph E. Winters

Recording Supervisor Douglas Shearer

Set Decorations by Edwin B. Willis

Associate

Jack D. Moore

Special Effects by Warren Newcombe

Costumes by

Helen Rose

Hair Styles Designed bj/..Sydney Guilaroff

Make-Up Created by

Jack Dawn

!J This Award is given each month by the National Screen Council on the basis of outstanding merit

and suitability for family entertainment. Council membership comprises motion picture editors, radio

film commentators, and representatives of bette- film councils, civic and educational organizations.


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1

TV Building Audiences

For Westerns: Lippert

NEW YORK—The dynamic Robert L.

Lippert,

exhibitor and president of Lippert Productions,

expounded on television's influence

on audiences for westerns, the increase in

drive-ins, the difficulties in securing independent

financing and Samuel Goldwyn's recent

gripes about exhibitors on his recent

visit to Manhattan. Lippert. who came east

to talk to exhibitors about his big-budget

film. "The Baron of Arizona" started back

west February 6 and gave luncheons for

75 to 100 exhibitors and circuit buyers in

Detroit, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and

Kansas City before February 11.

The opening of "The Baron of Arizona"

will be held in Phoenix. Ariz., March 1 with

Vincent Price and Ellen Drew, stars of the

picture, and other Hollywood stars present.

Immediately after the opening the film is

booked day-and-date in every theatre in

Arizona. Lippert said. A $100,000 ad campaign

will start in March and the picture

will be plugged in 15 top radio shows starting

late in February.

Lippert believes that the film industry

should "work with television instead of ignoring

it" and should make television trailers

plugging new releases. In Los Angeles,

which has more television sets per person

than any other city in the U.S., neighborhood

theatre business is off 40 per cent and

first runs off 20 per cent. However. "Hopalong

Cassidy" has staged a comeback due

to television and Lippert was influenced to

make a series of westerns starring James

Ellison and Russell Hayden (two former

"Hopalong" stars) due to their popularity

with kids at a recent personal appearance

in the Los Angeles area.

Drive-ins are also hurting business at regular

theatres in the west and one of the

Denver drive-ins is doing bigger business

than any downtown spot there, he said. Theatre

television will never compete with home

sets, except in the rare cases of an outstanding

sports event. Regarding Samuel

Goldwyn's recent criticism of exhibitors. Lippert

scoffed at it and classed the veteran

producer as one who should step out of the

industry in favor of "younger blood with new

ideas."

The independent producer is still finding

it difficult to secure financing for his lowbudget

films. Lippert gets most of his financing

from private individuals or companies.

Walter Heller Co. put up the money

for seven of his recent films. Lippert claims

he made a profit of $400,000. before taxes,

for the first 11 months of 1949.

Lippert. who owns or controls 64 theatres

in northern California and Washington, also

has bought out 11 of the 34 Screen Guild

exchanges. The others are owned by franchiseholders.

He recently put on seven more

salesmen for the Lippert 1949-50 program

and added a midwest division manager. Harris

Dudelson. formerly with Eagle Lion.

Dudelson will make his headquarters in

Detroit.

Star's Pulpit Appearance

Gets Plenty Publicity

NEW YORK—Colleen Townsend's appearance

in Punxsutawney, Pa., where she

preached from the pulpit of the local Presbyterian

church Sunday (Feb. 5). brought a

barrage of publicity for the 20th Century-Fox

star, who recently announced that she was

leaving the screen to devote herself to religion.

Twenty-three wire service representatives,

reporters and photographers attended the

Punxsutawney event and special stories and

pictures appeared in the Herald Tribune.

Daily News. Compass. World Telegram and

Journal American. Miss Townsend appeared

in Punxsutawney at the opening of her latest

picture, "When Willie Comes Marching-

Home," February 4.

Terrell Now Heads MGM Exploitation

NEW YORK — Dan S. Terrell took ovei

operation of the MGM exploitation depart-

.„ ment on Monday (6),

succeeding

^^1^^

WiUiam R.

^^^^B^ Ferguson, who retired

M after 30 years with the

Fg^

^I company. Terrell was

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assistant to Ernest

* Emerling, advertising

and publicity head for

Loew's, Inc. for the

past four years.

Dan S. Terrell

Terrell has already

held meetings with

Frank Whitbeck, MGM

studio advertising

head, and Ralph

Wheelwright, assistant to Howard Stickland.

and plans to visit the Culver studio shortly

for meetings with the publicity and advertising

staffs.

William R. Fergruson (left) is seen with

J. Robert Rubin, Loew's vice-president

(center) and Charles C. Moskowitz,

Loew's vice-president and treasurer, at his

farewell luncheon last week.

Theatre

Openings and

CONSTRUCTION:

Construction,

Sales

Alvin, Tex.—Roy Lambden and M. A. Matlock constructing

Tex Theatre, 500 seats. To open in April.

Berryville, Ark.—Site on Highway 62 selected by

Mo-Kan Dnve-In, Inc., lor 200-car drive-in.

Berryville, Ark.— J. Fred Brown has begun rebuilding

of tire-destroyed Ozark.

Blythe. Calii.—Bob Dunmgan building 500-car

drive-in.

Charlotte, N. C—70Q-seat, $100,000 Belvedere under

way lor Herb, Hal and Art Sherman, Sherman Enter-

Forest, Tex.—Rebuilding of the fire-destroyed Forest

Thecrtre begun by co-owners Mrs. Nettie Brown

and Central States Theatres Corp.

Fort Worth, Tex.—Bids being taken by E. Foster

J,

i Son for $250,000, 1.000-seat Weslcliff.

Honey Grove, Tex.—Work under way on 79J-seat

Stale.

Houston. Tex.—Construction started on $400,000

shopping center to include theatre.

North Fort Worth, Tex.—Line Harrington and as

sociates building drive-in, with Jack Corgan as

architect.

Oil City, Pa,— Construction begun on drive-in for

Arthur Kunes.

Pratlville, Ala.—G. C. Coburn and sons Grover R.,

I- T. and H. D. Coburn building $75,000 drive-in on

Highway 31.

Providence, R. I.— Liberty Theatre undergoing $60,-

000 renovations for Samuel Homes.

Tompkinsville, Ky.—Midstate Theatres, Inc., purchased

site for construction of 1,000-seat theatre.

OPENINGS:

Bryson City, N. C.—Gem opened by Gomer Martin.

Miss.—525-seal Ritz opened by J. C.

Moore

Cuero. Tex.—$35,000 Cuero D: -In opened by

Video Independent Theatres, Inc.

Curtis, Neb.—425-seaf, $60,000 Star opened.

De Land, Fla.—R. E. Hawker and H. W. Alexander

opened 300-car drive-in.

Elmer. N. J.—Star opened.

Hermleigh. Tex.—Ken, 279 seats, opened by J. H.

Hutcheson.

Leesburg, Fla.—Carver, 300 seats, opened by R. A.

Getford.

Providence, R. I.— 1,000-seat Elmwood opened by

Ralph Snider circuit.

Salisbury, Pa.—750-seat Village opened by T. J.

Cramblett.

Sterling, Okla.—Friendship Theatre opened by Jim

Mote alter rebuilding.

Whitesburg, Ky.—300-seat Alene opened by Cumberland

Amusement Co,

SALES:

Carnegie, Okla.—Nu-Sho sold to H. D. Cox and

Clint Applewhite by George Payne.

Carnegie, Okla.—H. D. Cox and Clint Applewhite

purchased Liberty from Carl Hartman.

Detroit, Mich.— Martin H. Popielarski has taken

over the Forest from Edward Jacobson.

Grand Rapids, Mich.—Albert May purchased Art

from Milton lacobson.

Harrison, Arlc.—250-car drive-in under way f'r

Nichols (S Hinze purchased by Commonwealth Amusement

Co.

Mexico, Mo.—500-car Little Dixie Drive-ln, under

construction, purchased by Frisina Amusement Co.

Quitman, Ark.—Forace Kennedy bought Quitman

Theatre.

Racine. Wis.—Main Street purchased by Joseph J.

Lee and Alvin Slutz from Standard Thealres.

ry. Conn.—Raymond Joyce sold 460-seal Eno

Me

jle. Mo.—Henry Pickens purchased Semo from

: A. Gilliland.

Wakaw, Sosk.—240-seat Wakaw sold by George

lerzowsky to Steve Sryniuck.

Ten Republic Releases

For February, March

HOLLYWOOD—Republic will put in national

release 10 features during the current

month and March.

This month's releases include "Gunmen of

Abilene." February 6: "The Arizona Cowboy"

(15); "Singing Guns" and "Tarnished" (28).

The March lineup includes "Federal Agent at

Large" (12); "Twilight in the Sierras" (22);

"The House by the River" and "Code of the

Silver Sage" (25); "Harbor of Missing Men"

(26); and "The Vanishing Westerner" (31).

32

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950


CHESTER FRIEDMAN

EDITOR

HUGH E. FRAZE

Associate Editor

SECTION

PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR SELLING SEATS BY PRACTICAL SHOWMEN

^-(l5omb

If the enthusiasm displayed by

New York theatre managers can be

accepted as a criterion, the effort

to enlist public sympathy in the crusade

to repeal the federal tax on

admissions is succeeding.

During the past week, inspection

of theatres in this area revealed

that the material furnished by the

committee leading the repeal campaign

is in good hands. The effort

and result leave nothing to be desired.

Nor does the enthusiasm of

audiences after seeing trailers and

newsreels urging public support.

If the industry maintains this unified

effort, continued support of

news-disseminating agencies and

rising public interest could provide

Congress with a T-type of bomb,

one with greater explosive force

than any other fissionable product.

* * *

In this week's mail we received

evidence of a promotion from an exhibitor

on what he calls a piece of

timely showmanship. The contributor

writes that he feels he deserves

"mention." We hasten to accede.

To this exhibitor, the recent million-dollar

holdup of the Brinks

company in Boston and a booking

two days later of a short subject

titled, "So You Want to Get Rich,"

was coincidental and offered opportunity

for special exploitation.

Whereupon he rushed to the newspaper

office and inserted an advertisement

asserting that the Boston

robbery might have been "inspired"

by "So You Want to Get Rich."

For years, meddlers, reformers

and crackpots have tried unsuccessfully

to indict this industry as a contributing

influence on delinquency

and crime. Educators, psychiatrists

and a free press have been our

strongest allies in disproving these

accusations.

Every bit of film on the screen is

deserving of exploitation. In our

anxiety to prove we are showmen,

let's first make a careful analysis of

the effect each promotion will have

on industry relations with the public.

And let's be careful that in our

eagerness, we do not furnish agencies

hostile to our industry with ideas

which can boomerang.

Three Texas Showmen

Win January Bonuses

Bill McSpedden

Julius Henderson

Bill Hendrix

Texas, the largest state, and the leading

cotton and petroleum producing state, also

produced a bumper crop of BOXOFFICE

Bonus winners during January. Three exhibitors

from the Lone Star state submitted outstanding

ideas and promotions to the Showmandiser

section and were each awarded $10

and a Citation of Honor from BOXOFFICE.

J. Jantz, a novice exhibitor operating the

Fi-ost (Tex.) Theatre, developed a house program

of special merit and several ingenious

features. G. W. Amerine, who operates the

Jewel at Humble, took top honors in the lobby

display category. The most noteworthy newspaper

advertisement submitted during the

month came from James Alexander, manager

of the Wallace Theatre, Sundown.

Apparently showmanship developed regionally,

with two Bonus winners representing

North Carolina and an equal number from

Ohio. O. D. Calhoun, owner-manager of the

Carolina. Spruce Pine, N. C. led the entries

in the General Tieup classification. Bill

Hendrix, manager of the Rockingham Theatre,

Reidsville, N. C was cited for exceptional

showmanship promoting "Father Was a Fullback."

A co-op ad earned a Bonus for Jack

Mitchell, manager of the Weslin Theatre,

Massillon, Ohio; and Millard Ochs. manager

of the Strand, Akron, led all submissions for

a campaign on "The Hasty Heart."

An adaptation of an original idea in which

two newspapers published a photo of several

collie dogs watching a screening of "Master

of Lassie" earned high commendation and a

Bonus for an overseas contributor, C. H. G.

Evill. manager of the Coliseum Cinema. Whitley

Bay, Northumberland, England.

Julius Henderson, manager of the Strand

in Jacksonville. Fla.. earned a Bonus for a

low-cost theatre front he created for "Mighty

Joe Young."

Skillful handling of an unusual newspaper

plant by Bill McSpedden, manager of the

Palace, Greenville, Ky.. earned a $10 Bonus

and a Citation of Honor.

The January Bonus was the 33rd consecu-

monthly award of $100 offered by BOX-

tive

OFFICE for outstanding promotions or ideas

administered by theatre managers, assistants

and publicity managers in behalf of the boxoffice

and public relations in behalf of the

theatre. Bonuses of $10 plus a Citation of

Honor are presented for theatre fronts, lobby

displays, co-op ads and tieups and each individual

facet of exploitation.

Millard Ochs

Jack Mitchell

James Alexander

G, W. Amerine

BOXOFFICE Showmandiser :: Feb. 11, 1950 —49— 33


BOXOFFICE Bonus

For Brotherhood Week

• Offering special encouragement to theatremen during the Brotherhood

week drive, February 19-26, BOXOFFICE will present a special Bonus

and a Citation of Honor to the manager, assistant manager or theatre

publicist who enrolls the greatest number of members during the 1950

drive as a result of personal and theatre promotion.

• Announcement of the special Brotherhood Bonus vnnner will be made

in the March 11th issue of BOXOFFICE. The wirming manager will receive

$10 and a Citation as evidence of outstanding support and achievement

in behalf of the industry's participation in Brotherhood week.

• Campaigns should be forwarded to: The Showmandiser, BOXOFFICE,

9 Rockefeller Plaza, New York 20, N. Y. They should be postmarked no

later than midnight, February 28. Attached to each campaign must be a

copy of the report on enrollment of members which goes to the regional

exhibitor chairman of the Brotherhood week committee.

Score Guessing Snags

Grid Game Broadcast

Loren Parker, manager of the Liberty in

Cumberland. Md.. tied up with a new radio

station in the community to obtain plugs for

"Easy Living" and "Apache Chief." Parker

took advantage of the fact that the opening

broadcast of the new station was the Los Angeles

Rams vs. Philadelphia Eagles football

game. He accordingly arranged a score-guessing

contest, awarding passes to those coming

ci-...sest to the actual score. Each time the

contest was announced, the two film attractions

and the Liberty playdates were mentioned.

Another contest which paid off recently at

the Liberty was a "wild tie" contest as an

aftermath of the recent holiday season.

Parker inyited all men who received loud ties

for Christmas gifts to enter a free-for-all

contest on the theatre stage. Guest tickets

went to those with ties of the more flamboyant

hues and patterns.

Class A Entertainment

Sold as 'Must See' List

W. S. Baskin jr., manager of the Florida,

Daytona Beach. Fla.. designated a recent

week's attractions as "Class A entertainment

with bookings of top hits for patrons' 'must

see' list." The idea was advertised through

all facets of promotion, and a special lobby

display attracted favorable comments.

To exploit "Always Leave Them Laughing,"

an usher dressed in tuxedo jacket, top

hat and a pair of patched trousers circulated

around city streets, provoking laughter

from pedestrians. A sign on his back

announced the picture playdates.

Plants 'Holiday' Story

Andy Sette, manager of the Capitol. Springfield,

Mass., got several breaks on "Holiday

Affair" in the local dailies when be notified

them that Wendell Corey, a featured player in

the film, was at one time active in a dramatic

stock company m Springfield.

Paper Lauds Manager

On 25th Anniversary

When somebody tipped off the editor of the

local newspaper that Harold Lee was observing

his 25th anniversary as manager of the

Babcock Theatre, Bath, N. Y., the surprised

theatreman was not prepared for the fine

publicity breaks which resulted. The newspaper

ran a picture of Lee on the front page

with his complete biography and highlights

of his career since coming to Bath 25 years

ago. Another portion of the front page was

devoted to a three-column story covering

some of the outstanding events of Lee's career.

Pepsi Sponsors Circular

Lou Merenbloom, manager of the Hippodrome,

Corbin, Ky., used a herald to help sell

his New Year's eve program that featured

"She Wore a Yellow Ribbon." Merenbloom

got the Pepsi Cola distributor to underwrite

the cost of the herald in exchange for the

back page.

Dave lones, publicity director lor the Senate

Theatre, Springfield, 111., tied up wfith Fred

Astaire dance school and a local iurniture

store to exploit "Jolson Sings Again." School

instructors entertained pedestrians via this

novel salute and dance routine in store window,

at scheduled intervals.

National Promotions

Plus Local Tieups

Exploit 'Mrs. Mike'

Taking full advantage of national and local

tiein possibilities. Jack Sidney, publicist for

the Century Theatre, Baltimore, obtained

extensive cooperation in the promotion of

"Mrs. Mike."

Two weeks prior to opening, Sidney used

the screen trailer contest offering theatre

tickets to patrons sending in the best letters

describing the parts of the novel which had

impressed them. A good response to this

contest attested to widespread interest

aroused.

The Baltimore News-Post tied in with the

theatre on a four-day contest in which readers

were invited to submit letters on the

"heart sacrifice" angle. A Savings Bond was

awarded to the winner and theatre tickets

were given as consolation prizes. Throughout

the duration of the contest, the picture

was well publicized through columns of free

space.

One of the most popular radio programs

invited all persons in the city whose name

is "Mrs. Mike ." . . to be guests of the management

during the picture playdates. This

was plugged daily and provided the picture

with excellent publicity. Sidney landed free

plugs on all the popular disk jockey shows

which were interspersed with paid commercials.

With all downtown stores featuring a

January White Sale. Sidney made up special

window streamers with a cut of Evelyn

Keyes and copy: "'Mrs. Mike' says Save

Now by buying at our January, etc." The

bottom of the streamer was imprinted with

the theatre name and the playdates.

Another type of window streamer was made

which was distributed by Standard Brands

to all retailers in the area handling the

products, which also carried full theatre

credits. This tieup provided excellent coverage

in Baltimore and throughout the metropolitan

area.

The Bantam Pocketbook tieup yielded 13

attractive window displays including the Read

Drug chain. Special advance lobby displays

also helped to focus attention on the opening

of the picture.

Valentine for Stars

Patrons of the Rivoli Theatre on Broadway,

New York, are being asked to send their

Valentine greetings to Hedy Lamarr and Victor

Mature, stars of the current attraction,

"Samson and Delilah." Manager Monte Salmon

has set up a giant-size greeting card

in the shape of a heart on the mezzanine

foyer. Girls are asked to sign for Mature

and the boys have an opportunity to express

their sentiments towards Hedy.

Marines See 'Jitna'

A group of local marines were interested

spectators at a screening of "Sands of Iwo

Jima." arranged by Matt Saunders, manager

of Loew's Poll Theatre. Bridgeport, Conn.

The immediate result of the invitation performance

was a three-column break in the

local daily, with a photograph of the marines

watching the show.

34 —50— BOXOFFICE Showmandiser :: Feb. 11, 1950


Dodge Dealer Tieup

Sells Extra Tickets

For 'Splendor'

Francis Lattin, manager of the Avalon

Theatre in Easton, Md., made an excellent

tieup recently with the local Dodge dealer

in behalf of "Savage Splendor." The dealer

purchased for distribution 414 children's

tickets, good at matinees only, for which he

paid the regular price. He supplied a new

Dodge truck with an A-board on which

Lattin posted a three-sheet on "Savage

Splendor" and "Ichabod and Mr. Toad."

Bannered with playdates, the truck toured

the streets two days before opening and

during the run.

The dealer showrooms were plastered with

three 40x60s and two one-sheets. The material

was supplied by the Dodge manufacturers

and Lattin had snipes made for them.

The crowning part of the tieup were three

superior newspaper co-op ads which the

dealer paid for; one 4-column, 10-inch, another

3x8 and the third 2x7.

The free ticket deal rated a one-column

story in the local daily.

Cracker Contest Helps

'McCoy' in Olympia, N.Y.

Milt Baline, manager of the Olympic Theatre,

Watertown, N. Y., took advantage of

the national tieup with the Sunshine Biscuit

Co. on "Roseanna McCoy." The Syracuse office

of Sunshine sent a representative to

Watertown to set up displays and crackerguessing

contests in numerous markets.

Shoppers were asked to guess the correct

number of crackers in a jar and the first ten

coming closest were awarded guest tickets to

the Olympic.

A square dance contest was held in the theatre

between the local group and a championship

4-H group. Music was furnished

by a hillbilly band promoted by Baline.

Cafe Feeds Newlyweds

To Help 'Bride for Sale'

Jerome Baker, manager of the RKO Coliseum

Theatre, New York, used a novel tieup

with a local restaurant on "Bride for Sale."

The restaurant played host to all brides married

during the two weeks prior to the opening

of the picture, following which they were

to be guests of the theatre to see "Bride for

Sale."

Baker publicized the stunt through lobby

displays, a trailer, and a sign in the restaurant

window. Marriage certificates were required

to verify the wedding dates.

'Hasty Heart' Co-Op Ad

Sold in Danbury, Conn.

Irving Hillman, manager of the Empress

Theatre, Danbury, Conn., tied up with eight

merchants for a full-page newspaper co-op

ad on "The Hasty Heart" in the Danbury

News-Times. Theatre copy and a large cut

of Richard Todd consumed almost half the

upper portion of the page. Tie-in copy read.

"Ten years from now you'll remember the best

performance of any year, etc. . . . and ten

years from now you will still remember these

merchants for their outstanding merchandise

and service."

Train Giveaway Zooms

Candy Stand Sales

H. G. Kempton. manager of the Gillioz,

Monett, Mo., recently completed a

successful promotion in which concession

sales increased considerably over a sixweek

period.

Coupons were given away with each

ten-cent purchase of candy, popcorn, hot

dogs and soft drinks. Patrons dropped

their coupons into a drum after filling

in their name and address. An electric

train was awarded to the lucky coupon

holder at the conclusion of the six-week

period.

Concession sales boomed and on the

day of the giveaway, the house attendance

was far above average, with most

of the younger population on hand In

eager anticipation.

Mystery Girl Quest

Is Merchant Co-Op

Two Markets Sponsor

Country Store Night

George Cameron, manager of the Holland

Theatre in Bellefontaine, Ohio, tied up with

two markets as sponsors of a Country Store

night every Thursday during January. In

addition to grocery baskets which will be

awarded to lucky ticket holders, Cameron

promoted the services of an orchestra to feature

square dance music plus a demonstration

and contest for square dancing. Cameron

officiated at each Country Store night

dressed in a "loud" outfit and boots supplied

gratis by the Montgomery Ward store.

For background atmosphere, a rustic setting

was built and racks constructed on stage

to display the prizes and groceries.

Veterans, Guard Unit

Stage Parade to Aid

'Battleground'

Murray L. Scharff, manager of Loew's

State, Newark, N. J., enlisted the cooperation

of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign

Wars and the National guard to stage

a parade in behalf of "Battleground." Representatives

from the various posts participated

in the parade, and army air force

carrier pigeons were released from the theatre

marquee to add an effective note to

the proceedings.

War heroes who saw action in the Battle

of the Bulge were guests of the theatre on

opening day, where they were welcomed on

the stage by the mayor of Newark. A-boards

announcing the attraction were planted

throughout the city, and shields on lighting

poles solicited recruits for the army while

calling attention to "Battleground" and the

playdates.

Window displays were promoted, tied In

with Hershey's chocolate bars: radio was

tapped for transcriptions over station WNJR;

and teaser stories were planted in local newspapers

reasonably in advance. A phonograph

in the theatre lobby kept playing the

Jody chant, heard throughout the picture,

and on opening day wsis transferred to the

army recruiting station.

A Mystery Girl promotion, not unlike a

Raffles quest, was worked by Fred Barthel,

manager of the Margie Grand Theatre, Harlan,

Ky., in conjunction with the retail division

of the Chamber of Commerce. Barthel

sold his idea on the basis of stimulating shopping

Scharff was aided In this campaign by his

on certain bargain days. The public assistants, Joe Fuller and Bernard Grasso.

was asked to identify the girl in the following

manner. On two specific days, she and

an escort visited each participating store.

Customers holding sales receipts were given

the privilege of asking the girl one question

School Aid and Windows,

Lift 'Hamlet' in Glasgow

to which her answer was simply "yes" or Lily Watt, manager of the Florida Cinema

"no."

in Glasgow, Scotland, used several facets of

The customer was then urged to keep her promotion on "Hamlet." Window displays

identity secret if he or she knew who she were arranged in eight stores and 25 shops

was and submit a guess on a slip at the used interior hanging cards advertising the

theatre. That evening the Mystery Girl was theatre dates. An artistic display was arranged

unmasked on the stage of the Margie Grand

in the waiting room of the theatre.

by the mayor, and the winning customer was School headmasters directed that children

presented prizes. The local newspaper and be informed of the Florida booking In their

the radio station each contributed $50. Merchants'

classrooms.

gift awards pushed the total to $1,000. For another recent program consisting of

All cooperating stores displayed signs and "A Song Is Born" and "40 Minutes at the

advertised the tieup in their regular newspaper

Zoo," posters were placed in pet shops, and

and radio announcements. The paper Wilson's zoo displayed three separate signs

and radio station cooperated by giving the with theatre copy. The Leisure library tied

stunt plenty of free publicity.

in with book displays on animals and Hall's

The idea is adaptable in any type of community

canteen plugged the pictures via still dischants

and on any occasion when the merplays

and color enlargements.

are desirous of promoting a Bargain

Day or Special Sales.

Hometown Fetes General

At 'Iwo Jima' Opening

The historic flag which was used on Iwo

Jima recently was flown from Camp Pendleton,

Calif., to the Marine Corps museum

at Quantico, Va., by Maj. Gen. G. B. Ersklne.

The general stopped off at his hometown of

Monroe, La., to be honor guest at the opening

of "Sands of Iwo Jima" at the Paramount

Theatre there. Melvin Greenblatt,

manager of the Paramount, arranged a series

of interviews for the general. Gold Star

Mothers presented the visitor with a gift on

the stage of the theatre. Several mayors of

communities in the Monroe area were on

hand to extend an official greeting when the

general landed at the airport. The newspapers

covered each event with stories and

art plus mention of "Sands of Iwo Jima."

BOXOFFICE Showmandiser :: Feb. 11, 1950 —51— 35


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JOHN AGAR • ADELE MARA • FORREST TUCKER

with WALLY CASSELL . JAMES BROWN . RICHARD WEBB • ARTHUR FRANZ

JULIE BISHOP • JAMES HOLDEN • PETER COE • RICHARD JAECKEL

Screenplay by Harry Brown— James Edward Granl • Story by Harry Brown

DIRECTED BY

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

ALLAN DWAN • EDMUND GRAINGER


. . and

Novice Showmen Prove Ingenuity

Can Substitute for Experience

how the picture can help the child's educational

experience.

For "Task Force," they reported: "The

importance of aircraft carriers is explained

and a background into the services

of the naval air reserve is given."

They had this to say about "Riders of

the Whistling Pines": 'TProblems of Forest

Rangers and the importance of forest

preservation, mixed with an entertaining,

tuneful story." "Scene of the Crime" had

this to recommend it: "The effectiveness

of modem police methods and the futility

of crime." "Slattery's Hurricane" offered

the youngsters an educational insight to

the workings and service of the navy and

When Mr. and Mrs. Jantz purchased the

Frost (Tex.) Theatre, they had high

hopes, a detennination to succeed and no

experience. Frost has a population around

2,000. Experience is important in operating

a small town theatre, but the Jantzes

are already proving that success in theatre

operation is mainly learning what

kind of entertainment the townspeople

like, providing that type of entertainment

and servicing the theatre in a manner

which appeals especially to family trade.

One of their plans embraces a method

of presenting each feature attraction to

parents so that they can judge the suitability

of the picture for their children.

This is accomplished by publication of the weather bureau.

a 12-page mimeographed monthly booklet The booklet cover is bound in a color

prepared entirely by the couple.

contrasting with the rest of the program.

On each page, two features booked at It is used to emphasize special programs

the Frost are reviewed by the Jantzes in or special holiday bookings and attractions.

The text is written in a breezy,

thumbnail form. Complete billing credits

and playdates. the cast and a brief outline

of the story theme are included. At that the Jantzes are homefolks. Personal

personal style which reflects that the fact

the bottom, a footnote provides an innovation.

Uifder the heading, "Educa-

interest help to increase its general ap-

messages in the booklet and items of local

tional Standpoint," parents are informed peal to theatre patrons.

Screenings and Ads

Launch The Idol'

"The Fallen Idol" was presented at the

Welton Theatre, formerly the Telenews, in

Denver, as the recent holiday attraction with

considerable fanfare and wide newspaper

publicity promoted by Manager Ross McCausland.

The newspapyer publicity began 11 days

PM-ior to opening, with the regular ad campaign

launched a week in advance. Screenings

were held for newspaper and radio people

and for numerous women's clubs and

heads of the Film Arts Study group from

Denver university. More than 100 persons

attended the screenings.

A special invitational opening performance

was held for a group comprising state and

city officials, British consulate members and

a selected list of British subjects obtained

from the consul.

A special theatre front consisting of blowups

and still boards was constructed for eurrent

use.

PTA 14 Miles Away Runs

Benefit on 'Columbus'

George Cameron, manager of the Holland

Theatre, Bellefontaine, Ohio, found it difficult

getting local organizations to tackle a benefit

performance of "Christopher Columbus." He

accordingly traveled 14 miles to another community

to set up a benefit with the Parent-

Teacher Ass'n which sought funds to send the

school senior class to Washington next spring.

The school superintendent arranged to have

buses bring the townspeople in on two successive

nights since no other transportation

to Bellefontaine was available except private

car.

Big Parade Highlights

Portland, Ore., 'Iwo Jima'

Highlight of the campaign for "Sands of

Iwo Jima" at the Broadway in Portland, Ore.,

was a parade promoted by Jack Matlack, general

manager and advertising director for

the J. J. Parker Theatres. The parade included

a marine corps band, color guard,

platoons of marching men, and motorized

units with trucks, weapons, tanks, etc. The

procession paraded the full length of Broadway,

which is the main downtown street in

Portland, halting in front of the Broadway

Theatre to salute the showing of "Sands of

Iwo Jima." Thoiisands of people were attracted

to the demonstration with resulting

effect at the boxoffice.

Postal Cards Displace

More Costly Programs

Norman Lofthus, manager of the California

Theatre in Santa Barbara, recently discontinued

house programs in favor of a direct

mail. Lofthus changed after an analysis disclosed

that programs cost an average of 5

cents each including delivery whUe the postal

cards, imprinted and mailed, cost $1.80 a

hundred. Reaction to the new type of advertising

has been favorable.

Free Plugs for Smiley

The appearance of Smiley Burnette at the

Milford (Del. I Theatre was well publicized

by Manager Harold DeGraw. Free radio

plugs were promoted from local disk jockeys

ten days in advance. One hundred window

cards were distributed, and there were publicity

stories published in eight daily and

weekly newspapers. The master of ceremonies

of the vaudeville show made announcements

two weeks in advance.

Newspaper Promotion

Gets Women's Interest

For 'All King's Men'

Morris Rosenthal, manager of the Poll

^

Theatre in New Haven, went after the ^«

women's patronage to help "All the King's

Men." He used a direct approach to get

space on the women's page of the New Haven

Journal-Courier.

The newspaper regularly runs a news brief

in Feminine Topics section among which are

advertising paragraphs. The section editor

offered theatre passes to persons who found

their names scattered throughout the section.

Each time a winner was paragraphed,

the picture and playdates were mentioned

and the first paragraph gave complete details

with another fine plug for the show.

Libraries distributed bookmarks carrying

picture credits and by displayed posters listing

prize-winning Pulitzer plays and books

with "All the King's Men" included.

A music store helped distribute 10,000 lucky

numbered heralds and devoted a full-window

display to the theatre attraction. Window

cards were distributed and special posters

tied in with the February issue of Esquire

were displayed at newsstands.

Signs with art illustration were placed in

downtown hotels, restaurants and at bus

stations. The Pulitzer award to the author

of "All the King's Men" made it possible

for Rosenthal to promote announcements

over the Yale university radio station which

also pipes music and comments into all

dormitory rooms.

^^

The New Haven Sunday Register ran a ^~j

special feature story on the Pulitzer angle ^^

and both daily and weekly publications ran

advance art and stories heralding the Poll

engagement.

Animated Lobby Displays

Help 'Wheel' and 'Lover'

An animated lobby display helped to promote

advance interest in "The Big Wheel"

for Al Hatoff. manager of the Park, Brooklyn.

A lithograph from the picture was

placed in the lobby, topped with a Stop

and Go sign distinguished by green and

red lights and copy: "STOP for your safety's

sake, look both ways when crossing at street

comers . GO to see one of the year's

big hits, etc.. etc." The red and green bulbs

flashed at intervals, helping to attract people

to the display.

For "The Great Lover," a three-sheet was

placed on display, with the tip of Bob Hope's

nose converted into a transparency. At intervals,

a flasher bulb lit up the proboscis,

drawing humorous chuckles from onlookers.

Lip Imprint Adds Color

To Miami 'Kiss' Heralds

Herb Rubenstein added a "handy" idea to

a herald on "That Midnight Kiss" which

captured the fancy of Miamians and stimulated

extra business at the local Center Theatre.

Circulars were imprinted with a regular

display ad cut from the press book. A rubber

stamp was then prepared and in each corner

of the herald, a red imprint was affixed. The

extra color gave the handbills a bit of novelty

and attracted unusual attention.

o

38

BOXOFHCE Showmandiser :: Feb. 11, 1950


TECHNICOLOR

IS THE TRADE MARK OF

TECHNICOLOR MOTION PICTURE CORPORATION

HERBERT T. KALMUS, PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER


Annual Dance Revue on Salt

Lake Stage

Every year a local dance school stages a revue at the Utah Theatre in Salt Lake City.

Manager Charles Pincus made the tieup several years ago. The show has been built

into one oi the more popular attractions in the city. The most recent program included

lull stage settings, a cast of almost 200 children and a full orchestra of students. The

show was staged for four days during the recent holidays. Because of its great local

appeal, the show rates strong support from the press and radio stations. Parents and

relatives of the children who are in the show make up a good portion of the audience.

Pictured is the complete cast on the Utah stage in the finale.

Campaign on 'Jolson'

Beats Competition

strong competition for "Jolson Sings Again"

when it played the Russell Theatre. Maysville.

Ky.. inspired Manager Ben Tureman to

put on a forceful campaign which resulted in

exceptional business. Tureman planted a 16-

minute transcription of Jolson songs with the

disk jockey on the local radio station. Fifty

window cards were planted locally and in

surrounding towns. A 40x60 was placed In the

theatre lobby, cards with picture playdates

were put in restrooms. and all theatre employes

wore cardboard badges imprinted with

picture copy.

A block of tickets was sold to a supermarket

for distribution as gifts to employes. Several

disk jockey shows featured Jolson records with

picture and playdate credits.

The largest record store In town tied up

for a colorful window exhibit of Jolson records,

and in addition featured them over a

public address system with an amplifier on

the main street.

Talent Search Garners

Profits at Three Shows

A search-for-talent contest, the first of a

series to be introduced at the Rialto Theatre,

Amsterdam, N. Y., was launched recently by

Manager Fielding O'Kelly. A 40x60 lobby

board Invited entries 18 days in advance.

O'Kelly also combed students of the senior

high school and obtained talent with a large

popular following. Tryouts were held at the

theatre and entrants were lined up for a

three-week show.

Names of the students were plugged in

newspaper ads for two days and through the

regular theatre advertising facets. As a grand

prize, O'Kelly promoted a $40 wrist watch,

and merchandise certificates for runnersup.

Horsey-Type Ballyhoo

Exploits 'Seabiscuit'

To exploit "The Story of Seabiscuit," Johnny

Manuela, manager of the Strand Theatre.

Cumberland, Md., borrowed a horse costume

of the type which has to be manned by two

persons, and used it as a comic street ballyhoo.

For "The Great Lover," Manuela located a

small Mexican burro and had a theatre employe

lead the animal around town with a

sign reading, "I'm the only jackass in town

who's going to miss seeing Bob Hope in 'The

Great Lover.' "

Oriental Rug Display Aids

'Bagdad' in Hamilton, Ont.

Ken Davies, assistant at the Palace in Hamilton,

Ont., promoted an attractive window

display on "Bagdad." Davies arranged with

a carpet firm for a display of oriental rugs

in its main window. In the foreground, a

life-size cutout figure of the dancing star of

the film gave a realistic touch to the display.

The title in huge cutout letters was placed

against the front of the window, and at the

extreme right a sign on an easel read, "Come

away on a magic carpet to 'Bagdad,' etc."

Toledo Exhibitors Run

'I Am Movie Fan' Co-Op

Recently the Toledo (Ohioi Blade observed

the approach of the halfway mark of the

20th century with a special edition. Twentyfour

exhibitors subscribed for a quarter-page

newspaper co-op ad using the copy of "I Am

a Movie Fan." which has received wide propagation

since it first appeared on the cover

of BOXOFFICE several months ago. The incident

was one of the rare occasions when

theatres have pooled their resources in a

united effort for public relations in Telodo.

Civic Activity Plus

Rogers Club Keep

Business Good

A. J. Kalberer. manager of the Indiana in

^^

Washington. Ind., has launched a campaign

^J

designed to keep the theatre in the forefront ^^

of local activities by giving all organizations,

civic clubs, etc.. a helping hand. Business

has been good, according to Kalberer, and is

probably accounted for by a succession of late

promotions.

A Roy Rogers Riding club formed some time

back has weekly meetings at a Saturday

morning show. Children have manifested a

keen interest in the roundup meetings of the

sroup which has consistently grown and fills

the house each week.

HrOE CARD TO ROGERS

A mammoth post card w-as mailed to Roy

Rogers with signatures of all the members.

For over a week, the card was on display in

the theatre lobby and the greetings were

mailed to the star in Hollywood. Receipt

of the post card was acknowledged in a personal

letter to "Ranch Foreman" Kalberer.

Rogers also sent the club photos of himself

posing with the card.

The Washington Herald runs a Roy Rogers

comic strip every day. Kalberer approached

the editor of the paper and obtained permission

to publicize the weekly meetings of the

Rogers club at the Indiana in a special notice

over the top of the daily syndicate feature.

To sustain interest each week, contests and

competitions are staged at the theatre. Under

proper supervision, boxing bouts for boys and

^^

a baby-doll contest for girls proved highly fl

successful. These were publicized in advance

of the meeting and in display signs out front.

At another meeting of the club, Jeanne La-

Duke, a 12-year-old 4-H girl who has a part

in "The Green Promise," was invited to meet

members of the club from the theatre stage,

at which the young thespian was welcomed

by Mayor Ralph Burris and presented a bouquet

and various other gifts as a token from

the city.

DOG, MONEKEY SHOW, TOO

A dog and monkey show presented for members

of the club as an added attraction drew

a re :crd -breaking crowd and received wide

publicity in art and stories in the Washington

Democrat and the Washington Herald.

Kalberer recently was appointed county

campaign director of the annual fund-raising

drive for the National Foundation for Infantile

Paralysis. Under Kalberer's guidance and

experience, the entire community was set up

to collect the greatest sum ever achieved for

this purpose.

Kalberer participates in various other community

enterprises. He assisted the Fraternal

Order of Police in obtaining a band, stage

show and dance for a special fund-raising

drive. The program was presented on the

stage of the Indiana Theatre on two consecutive

days.

In conjunction with the Indiana's Christ-

^^

mas show, Kalberer obtained the voluntary Q j

services of the Glee club from Washington

Catholic High school. The group presented

"The Wondrous Story" in four tableau scenes

with music and vocal accompaniment. The

stage presentation helped to attract added

patronage to the theatre and created goodwill

\^ith the school faculty.

40

BOXOFFICE Showmandiser :: Feb. 11, 1950


French Exhibit and Tower Replica

Focus Attenfion on Eiffel Tower

The personal appearance of Franchot Tone

at the opening of "The Man on the Eiffel

Tower" provided extra publicity breaks for

Ansel Winston, manager of the RKO Palace,

Chicago.

Winston arranged a schedule for the Hollywood

visitor which included personal appearances

on the Palace stage at each performance

on opening day, an interview on the

Welcome, Travelers network radio show, an

interview on the Breakfast Club show and a

broadcast on the Let's Have F\tn program.

Tone also appeared on Tony Oilman's television

show over WENR-TV, and at the La

Salle hotel to officially open a "France Come.i

to You" exhibit, resulting in picture breaks

in the Herald-American and the Sun-Times.

In a tieup with Bond's department store.

Tone made an appearance there where he

interviewed 50 members of the Charm sorority.

This event was plugged on Bond's air show

every day a week in advance, with newspaper

ads in all Chicago papers announcing it. The

star also distributed 2,000 autographed photo.s

to store customers, with complete theatre

imprint.

The TWA Airlines cooperated by providing

a novel lobby display consisting of an eightfoot

replica of the Eiffel tower, a large map

of Paris pointing out various landmarks, and

French flags and posters. Two uniformed

hostesses representing TWA were in attendance

at this exhibit during peak hours. Displays

of "The Man on the Eiffel Tower" were

also installed at both TWA offices in the

Loop district.

The sponsors of the "France Comes to You"

exhibit extended further cooperation by installing

displays plugging the picture playdates

in 60 travel agencies throughout the

Chicago area. Heralds plugging the picture

were inserted in special programs distributed

at the exhibit.

Tone's personal appearances and interviews

were covered by all Chicago newspapers, resulting

in several stories, photos and column

breaks, with mention of the picture's engagement

at the Palace.

Al St. John in Person

Provides Coop Angle

For Theatre, Stores

Aside from his duties as manager of the

Elkton (Va.) Theatre, Lurty C. Taylor doubles

in brass as district manager for operations

in three other towns in the Valley, one of

which is the Stanley (Va.) Theatre.

Lurty had an opportunity recently to book

Al "Fuzzy" St. John and his Musical Rangers

for a stage appearance. He approached the

merchants of Stanley, told them he would

bring a Hollywood actor to town "in person"

on the last Saturday of the holiday shopping

season, and asked for their support in exploiting

the event, in view of the fact that they

would reap rich rewards from extra business.

The Merchants Ass'n called a meeting, a3

a result of which Taylor was provided enough

funds to run a full-page spread in the Page

county paper and pay for 20, 100-word spot

ads on WSVA. the powerful radio station in

Harrisonburg which covers the entire state

of Virginia.

Taylor laid out the full-page ad which was

completely devoted to the St. John personal

appearance, and had it ready to hit on Thursday,

the same day he began blasting the radio

with announcements. When Saturday rolled

along, the people came from miles around to

see the show.

The results were highly successful, Taylor

reporting that he had "patrons hanging from

the rafters."

COLUMBIA PICTURES ANNOUNCES THAT PRINTS OF THE (FOLLOWING

PICTURES ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN

OUR EXCHANGES FOR SCREENING


PTA-Sponsored Series

Fills Theatres on

II Saturdays

Louis Orlove, MGM exploiteer in Wisconsin

and Minnesota, is calling to exhibitors' attention

a stunt conceived by Elmer Brennan,

district manager for Standard Theatres,

Green Bay, Wis.

Brennan, enlisting the Green Bay school

superintendent's cooperation, put over a PTAapproved

film show plan running for 11

weeks, with a $1 "season ticket" good for all

11 shows. The school superintendent wrote

letters to all principals, asking them to cooperate

and assist. Mimeographed letters

were sent by Brennan to all parents. They

had subscription coupons attached.

On the first Saturday Brennan had $500 in

admissions sold for the 900-seat Bay Theatre,

and it was also necessary to utilize the Packer

Theatre. Additional "subscriptions" poured

in, particularly after Brennan sent out post

cards to parents, telling them of the heavy

demand and warning that soon more tickets

wouldn't be available. The final result was

that Brennan sold 3,000 tickets at $1 each

and had to use three theatres, instead of two.

"This is what I call good showmanship, and

I'd say Brennan hit on a formula that really

hit and spelled good public relations," commented

Orlove.

NUGGETS

Special "reminder" circulars were used by

Murray Melnberg, manager of the Rltz Theatre,

Brooklyn, on "Pinky." They were imprinted,

"Tie this string around your finger

to remind you, etc." Pieces of cord were

stapled to the cards and were then distributed

throughout the neighborhood.

Ken Carter, manager of the Madison Theatre,

Richmond, Ky., tied up with the jukebox

dealer to place cards throughout the county

plugging Jolson records and the playdates for

"Jolson Sings Again." Window displays were

set with music shops centered around the

Jolson albums.

A false front was built under the direction

of Sam George, manager of the Paramount

Theatre in Atlanta, for "Samson and

Delilah." On both sides of the entrance

large display pieces were built, using three-

Sheet Utho cutouts with title and cast in

cutout letters. An overhead banner and a

valance aroimd the outer edge of the marquee

provided additional flash. Near the boxoffice,

a large billboard included highlights

of production scenes with captions giving

details of the action.

. . . Nuff Sed!"

Elihu M. Glass, owner-manager of the Majestic,

West Springfield, Mass., ran special

ads in the local dailies on "I Was a Male War

Bride," headed "It's Here

Copy comprised a personal postscript from

the management to the effect, "If you see

only one picture a year, this is the one to see."

Neighborhood Merchants Support

Theatre 'Dimes Collections

The National Foundation for Infantile

Paralysis received strong support from Harold

Grott, manager of the Rialto, Baltimore, as a

result of his aggressive drive to collect funds.

Grott displayed a novel combination poster

and game board in the theatre lobby, much

on the order of a pinball machine. Patrons

were invited to insert coins and try their skill

at directing the coins into a crutch lined with

nails on the regular March of Dimes poster.

If the coin landed in the proper position, a

red light was automatically illuminated and

the patron was presented a pass to the theatre.

The device was set into a large display,

tied in with the March of Dimes and an explanation

that all money collected would be

contributed to the fund.

The large amount of money which dropped

into the device was visible to the public

through a glass frame, and attracted such

great attention in the neighborhood that one

of the merchants on the block volunteered

to give a prize to the person estimating the

nearest figure to the actual amount of money

collected at the conclusion of the drive.

Encouraged by the merchant's interest,

Grott contacted the other shopkeepers in the

neighborhood and obtained prizes from each

one on the block where the theatre is situated.

A secondary sign was then placed near the

display, explaining to the public how the

prizes would be awarded. Envelopes were

made available in which they could enclose

42

a contribution to the fund and an estimate

of the amount which would ultimately be

collected.

The stunt was exceptionally successful and

helped to raise a sum of money for the March

of Dimes far in excess of any previous drive.

—58—

Exhibit and Windows

Plus Marine Co-Op

Sell 'Iwo Jima'

Arthur Keenan, manager of the Strand, ^^

Lowell, Mass., was fortunate in securing the C^

services of one of the three living survivors ^^

of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima, for a personal

appearance in connection with the

opening of "Sands of Iwo Jima." The marine

hero, a native of Manchester, N. H., appears

in the picture and cariie down on opening

night to greet patrons of the Strand in

Lowell.

Keenan obtained the full cooperation of

the local Marine Corps league, the state

department of the Marine league and marine

recruiting officers. Thirty marines in

uniform with colors and color guard marched

through the audience to the stage opening

night to open officially the stage presentation.

The audience was addressed by the

marine commandant who introduced state

and city executives in addition to local heroes

who had served on Iwo Jima.

The marine recruiting services suppUed

souvenirs of Japanese and marine fighting

equipment for lobby and window displays.

Recruiting A-boards were sniped, and Keenan

used additional lltho posters in regular

billing spots throughout the area.

The newspaper cooperated by running a

coloring contest a week in advance, and

furnished advance publicity which enabled

the picture to open its engagement with capacity

business.

Jap Currency Imprinted

With Lucky Pass Numbers

Lucky numbered heralds representing Japanese

invasion currency were distributed by

Bill GoUer, manager of the Tower, Mianii,

as advance exploitation for "Tokyo Joe." Fifty

numbers were posted on a board in the theatre

lobby and people whose numbers matched

those listed received a free pass. Instructions

printed on the currency advised people to

check numbers in the Tower lobby. Reverse

side of the heralds carried a cut advertising

the picture playdates.

Passes /or Yule Displays

Irving Cantor, manager of the Auburn

(N.Y.) Theatre, rewarded home owners having

the most novel and attractive Christmas

decorations with passes, rating feature stories

and photos in the local paper. Cantor drove

around the city after dark, stopping at homes

which had the most striking holiday displays,

introduced himself to the occupants, and with

a cheerful "Merry Christmas," handed them

a pass to see "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon."

S Promotes 'Adam's Rib'

George Sawyer, manager of the Victory in

New London, Conn., promoted a newspaper ^^

co-op ad on "Adam's Rib." An insurance C_J

broker sponsored the ad which was topped ^^

with "Are you insured for laugh assurance?"

Novelty cards were distributed to pedestrians

with copy: "Who Wears the Pants In Your

Family?" Sawyer promoted several thousand

sticks of chewing gum, and pasted them to

the cards,

BOXOFFICE Showmiandiser :: Feb. 11, 1950

3


D

Roosevelt in Miami

Opens With Fanfare

And 'Battleground'

Edmund Linder, manager of the Roosevelt,

the newest theatre to open in Miami Beach,

civic, army and Hollywood personalities

broadcasting from the lobby over WKAT on

opening night.

A sign measuring 30x15 feet was stretched

across the building facade announcing the

twin premiere. Two hundred window cards

were distributed throughout the area and

smaller cards were placed in hotels and stores

which normally cannot display the regular

cards.

Two hundred copies of the study guide on

"Battleground" were distributed to English

teachers of, the Miami schools. The army

provided A-boards for posters plugging the

picture and opening, illumination for the

theatre exterior on opening night, radar and

other equipment for outside display and a

band to play as the guests arrived.

Opening night proceeds were donated to

the National Children's Cardiac Home. The

organization handled the advance sale of

ticlcets, and much publicity and goodwill was

derived from this.

Exhibit of Tiny Ships

Borrowed for 'Sailor'

As the result of a tieup with the navy, a

set of miniature ships and an eight-foot

cruiser, valued at $4,000, were loaned to Joseph

Geller, manager of the Castle Theatre,

Irvington, N. J., for a lobby display in connection

with his booking of "The Lady Takes

a Sailor." Geller, with the aid of two naval

keyed his opening campaign to the local premiere

of "Battleground," with numerous tieups

helping to focus attention on the dual tive display that the navy took photographs

officers, arranged such an unusually attrac-

event.

of it for its private collection, and many

A tremendous newspaper and radio campaign

presaged the opening with

patrons were moved to remark about the

leading

Winners Shore $250 Prize

In 'Beautiful' Contest

Ted Flodis, manager of the Pilgrim, Bronx,

N. Y., staged a beautiful doll contest in conjunction

with his booking of "Oh, You Beautiful

Doll." The promotion was staged on a

balloting basis. Children entered their dolls

which were displayed in the lobby with an

entry number. Patrons were invited to vote

for their choice. Two local merchants sponsored

the tieup and contributed $250 in prizes

for 15 winners. Winners were presented oit

the stage during the current showing of the

picture.

11

THIS

has outgrossed any

picture played at this /^

theatre during my six >^

years with the company.* f

Says:

T. G. PROPHET, Mgr.

PICTURE

interesting exhibit. Pamphlets were distributed

in the lobby by navy personnel to aid

in enlisting recruits.

Interests Women

In 'Battleground'

Dorris Moss Pearl, publicist for the Adams

Theatre, Detroit, concentrated her sales

campaign for "Battleground" on the feminine

angle, helped by the personal appearance of

Denise Darcel at five scheduled performances.

Mrs. Pearl arranged for interviews with the

star on various women's radio shows and by

reporters and columnists who have special

appeal for women in their columns.

Miss Darcel appeared at the Grand River

Chevrolet factory, leading to three full-pages

of cooperative advertising by dealers and a

sales piece mailed to 4,000 car owners.

your pafroiis eyesl

fauf SELL FRONT and SIDE SEAT SATISFACTION

with the

Sensational

__^ ^ tf fl ^

CYCL^AMIC

CUSTOM SCREEN

Magic

Screen

of the Future

HOY/l

'^^^^^

NO PERFORATIONS

More light without

Reflection Glare

ACTUAL COMMENTS FROM PLEASED PATRONS

• "No glare or distortion from

any angle . . . front or side seats. . .eye strain eliminated . .

delighted with improvement .. .permit children to attend

more often .. .amazingly fine sound rendition .. .softer,

brighter picture. . .wonderful definition and clarity. . .

third

dimensional illusion in color as well as black and white."

^^

Dlsfribufed through Theatre Supply Deolers in All film Centers

Manufactured by

B. F. SHEARER COMPANY

2318 Second Avenue, Seoltle 1, Woshingfon

Sold Exclusively in Export by fRAZAR X HANSEN, Lid. 301 Clay St., Son Francisco II, Calif.

BOXOFFICE Showmandiser :: Feb. 11, 1950

—59— 43


Zenith Distributor Tieup Spreads

Interest in 'Jolson

at Savannah

Mm

Leslie Swaebe, manager of the Avon Theatre,

Savannah, Ga., contacted the distributor

of Zenith radios and obtained nine excellent

window displays in music and record shops

throughout the city to publicize "Jolson Sings

Again."

Each of the music stores devoted a complete

window to the display. Set against a black

background, cutout hands, eyes, mouth and

bowtie covered with metallics gave the general

idea of the famous Jolson pose. In the

foreground was a life-size cutout of Larry

Parks in a singing pose, and a large sign calling

attention to the theatre dates. From the

top of the window to the bottom, production

stills were placed in orderly array, along with

albums of Jolson song hits.

The Zenith distributor provided special

window cards which were also displayed, and

many of these were placed in other windows

throughout the city. The Decca Record Co.

supplied Jolson records to juke boxes, the

latter tagged with stickers, and additional

records were furnished to disk jockeys on

three radio stations. According to Swaebe,

although no money was spent for radio promotion,

free plugs received in connection with

the records netted greater coverage than a

paid campaign.

Menu imprints in downtown restaurants

and soda fountains also helped to promote

the playdates.

Swaebe had a print of the picture flown to

Savannah by the Delta Airlines, and after the

newspaper refused to run the photo, he had


.

Here's what the RCA

plan will do for you:

You furnish the land . .

Have RCA do the rest

By having RCA arrange for the construction,

operating equipment and

financial planning, you eliminate confusion

and costly mistakes . . . save -time

. . . save money. You deal with ONE

reliable source of supply for the complete

RCA "PACKAGED" Drive-In.

Your drive-in is built to specifications

approved by you. You know, in advance.

the low, fixed contract price of your

drive-in, all ready and set to go on

opening night.

An RCA "PACKAGED" Drive-In

costs less than you think. For complete

details see your nearest Independent

RCA Theatre Supply Dealer. Or write:

Theatre Equipment, Dept. 18L, Radio

Corporation of America, Camden, N.J.

Contracts are being booked tioiv for

RCA "PACKAGED" Drive-ins in all sections oj the Nation

Arrange a Financing Plan adjusted

to your requirements.

Provide planned layout and



Co-Op and Baby Derby

Exploit 'War Bride'

And 'On Town'

Spencer Steinhurst, manager of the Weis

Theatre. Savannah. Ga., promoted a full-page

merchant Co-Op ad in his campaign for

"I Was a Male War Bride." The ad included

a six-column cut on the film, topped

by a streamer reading, "For the merriest

comedy of the season, etc. . . For bigger,

.

better values, patronize these local merchants."

Among other things, Steinhurst invited all

war brides in the city to be guests on opening

night. A 24-sheet cutout of the pictorial

illustration was placed in the lobby.

With "On the Town" booked as a New

Year attraction, Steinhurst tied up with a

number of merchants to give the first baby

born on New Year's day a considerable

amount of gifts "On the Town." A special

promotion tied in with the picture booking.

In addition to providing the gifts which included

milk, a layette, shoes, baby clothes,

a ring and a savings account, the cooperating

merchants paid for a full-page newspaper

advertisement advertising the baby derby,

with a fine plug for "On the Town." The

Savannah Morning News and the Evening

Press ran newspaper stories publicizing the

derby and the picture playdates.

DON'T WAIT!

the

"M

New DRIVE-IN version

for Mixed Audiences

of

A

Start your 1950 Season

with a proven Profit^maker!

HyGIENIC PRODUCTIONS

liim, Cma: HTGIENE BIDG. WILMINGTON, OHIO, u,

Style Show Triples Take

At Fitzgerald, Ga., Grand

T. C. Laird, manager of the Grand Theatre,

Fitzgerald, Ga., staged a full-scale fashion

revue in conjunction with the local department

store which tripled the theatre gross

and was so successful that the sponsor immediately

agreed to undertake a spring fashion

show.

The winter revue, in addition to exhibiting

the newest styles, included entertainers obtained

locally at no cost. The sponsor advertised

generously through newspapers, radio

spot armouncements, and provided 3,000 oversize

handbills for door-to-door distribution.

The theatre played up the show through

its usual facets of advertising, trailer, lobby

and newspaper.

Local Queen Is Selected

As 'Vanity' Sidelight

When the "Vanities of 1950" stage attraction

was booked at the Wallace Theatre, Andrews,

Tex., Manager A. J. Burleson conducted

a local queen contest to stimulate

interest.

Patrons of the theatre were invited to cast

ballots to determine the most popular girl in

Andrews. On opening night of "Vanities,"

the queen was announced and presented a

bouquet by the cast of the show. Window

cards, newspaper ads and a lobby display

helped to focus attention on the contest. Fifteen

girls were nominated for the title as an

indication of the public interest aroused.

Heralds, Direct Mail

Promote 'Intruders'

Bud Sommers, manager of the Rialto Theatre,

Amsterdam, N. Y., ordered a threecolumn

mat on "Intruders In the Dust," had

it imprinted locally, sold the back page to

an advertiser and had them distributed

door-to-door. A mailing list of doctors, ntu-ses

and members of women's clubs was circularized

and three local stores devoted full

window displays to exploitation for the picture.

An usher dressed in an impressive black

outfit with mask, ballyhooed the playdates

with a sign reading: "Death Stalks Its

Victims, etc."

CLEARING HOUSE

(Continaed from inside back cover)

BUSINESS STIMUIATORS

Comic books again available as premiums, giveaways

at jour kiddy shows. Large variety latest

48-page newsstand editions. Comics Premium Co.,

412B Greemvich St.. New York City.

Bingo with more action. $2.75 thousand cards.

Also other games. Novelty Games Co., 1434 Bedford

Ave., Brooklyn. N. Y.

Bingo die-cut cards, two colors, 75 or 100 numbers.

$3 per M. Premium Products, 354 W. 44th

St.. New York 18.

Giveaway everything now, dinnerware to cars!

Merchant advertising tie-up. No cost to theatre.

Interstate Theatre Service, 1115 East Armour,

K. C.. Mo.

Dishes are back! Beautiful 44-piece set. Average

cost 10c piece. Arkansas Equipment Co.,

Sulphur Springs. Ark.

Comic books proven the most successful method

of attracting the "small fry" to their Saturday

matinees- Always large variety and latest popular

title-^ all Sold on newsstands at lOc; $22.50

per 1.000, F.O.B. New York City. Dumont Sales,

15 Park How, New York City.

Dartavray: Two sensational new theatre games

of skill. Fill those empty seats. Don't wait

start now. Over 200 theatres now using our games.

No theatre too big or too small. Write or wire

Dartaway Enterprises. Inc., Shawnee, Kas.

THEATRE SEATING

Cliair-ity liegins at S.O.S. We're practically

giving 'em away. 271 sturdy veneer folding chairs.

$2.95: 293 rebuilt panelback spring cushion, only

2.0(|i» $4.05; late American 7-ply veneers, lllie

for new. $5.25. Send Cbalr Bulletin for complete

list. Dept. C. S.O.S. Cinema Supply Corp.,

602 W. 52nd St.. New York 19.

Patch-0-Seat ctmaii. I'atchlng cloth, solvent,

e lc. l''ensin Seating Co., CMcago 5.

Tishten loose chairs with Permastone anctior

cement. Fensln Seating Co., Ctllcago 5.

Chair supplies. Everything for theatre .Aairs.

rensin Seating Co., Chicago 5.

Used cliairs, guaranteed good. Advise quantity

wanted- Photographs mailed with quotation. Fensln

Sgitlng Co., Chicago 8.

No more torn seats: Repair with the original

Patch-A-Soat. Complete kit. $6. General Chair

Co.. gilcago 22. III.

Chair Parts: We fumish most any part you require.

Send sample for price, brackets, backs

and seats. General Chair Co.. 1308 Elston Ave..

Ctiicago 22. 111.

Several thousand used opera chairs now in

stock. Can furnish any amount you reqirest. Full

upholstered back. Insert panelback, boxsprlng and

spring edge seat. Write for photo and state

amount and Incline. We also manufacture new

chairs. General Chair Co., 1308-22 Elston Ave..

Chicago 22. III.

Many years In the seating business is your

guarantee. Good used chairs are not too plentiful

but we have the pick. Full upholstered, panel

back and many other styles. We furnish proper

slope or level standards to fit your floor. All

size 18x21-inch chairs. Our prices are lowest.

Write for exact photo and price. We Inrnish parts

for all makes. Send sample. Good quality plastic

coated leatherette 25x26-lnch. all colors, 55c ea.

Ctllcago Used Chair Mart, 829 South State St.,

Chlc.igo 5. 111.

No more loose chairs: Get "Flrmastone" \nchor

cement, $5 per box. General Chair Co., Chicago

22. 111.

nple for quotation.

PLANNING a DRIVE-IN?

W» can fumish Junction Box Post Lights with any

of our In-A-Car speakers at a VEHY SMALL addl-

Uonal cost,

DRIVE-IN THEATRE

MANUFACTURING CO.

729 Baltimore (Phone HA, 8007) Kansas City. Mo.

3 Unit

Manual.

Completely Rebuilt Machines

LIKE NEW

^115""

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2 Unit

Electric.

3 Unit

Electric.

^1575"

$24500

Geno/ne standard models such as Gold Seal,

Simplex, etc., supplied.

2 YEAR

GUARANTEE

TICKET

Ll°

Allowances made on old machines.

Trade in your obsolete

ticket machines for modem

guaranteed like new registers.

REGISTER INDUSTRIES

Chicago 3, III

'U

Theatre chairs, 4.000 In stock. $1.50 up, exporting.

Photograph-s furnished. -Tesse Cole. 2565

McCldlan. Phone Valley 23445. Petrolt, Mich.

Theatre chairs, many reconditioned. Trade your

veneers on cushion chairs. Lone Star Film Co.,

Pallas.

Tex.

THEATRE TICKETS

Prompt service Special printed roll tickets.

100.000, $23.95: 10.000. $6.85: 2.000, $4.45.

Each change in admission price, including change

in color. $3.00 extra. Double numbering extra.

(F.O.B. K.ansas City, Mo.) Cash with order. Kansas

City Ticket Co.. Dept. 9, 1819 Central, Kansas

City, Mo.

MOR£ CLASSIFIED ON

INSIDE BACK COVER

46

— 62 — BOXOFFICE Showmandiser :: Feb. 11, 1950


Mayfair Corp. Files

$1320,000 Lawsuit

PHILADELPHIA—The Mayfair Amusement

Corp. has filed an antitrust case in federal

court here, naming the eight major film distributors

and seeking triple damages of

$1,320,000. The action was launched by Lewis

and Sadie Sablosky. Marion Fox and Myrtle

Singer, making up the Mayfair company.

They claim the film companies are guilty

of criminal conspiracy because of an alleged

combination to deprive the 805-seat Penypak

Theatre of product on key run basis. They

say that the Penypak is situated in a metropolitan

section in northeast Philadelphia and

is not in substantial competition with any

other key run houses. The clo.sest competition,

they allege, are Stanley Warners' Circle

and Paramounfs Roosevelt, both more than

three miles from the Penypak.

They charge they have been trying to get

product on a key run basis since acquiring

the theatre in 1939. The house was built in

1929 and was known as the Holme. It had

1,400 seats until it was renovated by the

present owners in 1941 who charged its name

to the Penypak and reduced the seating

capacity to 900.

They allege that the reduction in capacity

was necessitated by "wrongful conduct of the

defendants," and say that they plan to expand

back to 1,400 seats by removing partition

walls which were installed in the renovation.

Plaintiffs charge that it is unfair to discriminate

against the Penypak by placing it

on a clearance basis of seven days after the

1,372-seat Liberty Theatre in the Tacony section

of town. They allege that the Liberty

gets product seven days after the key rims.

Further, plaintiffs state, when the Penypak

was leased to SW Theatres, the theatre was

on a day-and-date basis with the Liberty from

1929 to 1936.

Defendants in the case are Paramount Film

Distributing Corp., RKO. Warners Distributing

Corp., Columbia, Universal, United Artists.

Loew's, Inc., and 20th-Fox.

Distributors Are Targets

At Allied Convention

PHILADELPHIA—Distributors were blamed

for the poor relationship between film distributors

and exhibitors at the recent meeting

of the Allied Exhibitors of Eastern Pennsylvania.

Members charged that the film

exchanges were "woefully undermanned."

They declared that film sale.smen called on

them "very infrequently," but that branch

managers visited them even less.

The exhibitors said that all major exchanges

except UA called for percentage deals instead

of permitting them a choice of flat

rentals. Some said that 20th-Fox also allowed

them their choice of deals.

Newspaper Cooperation Is

To Boost Theatre Attendance

NEW YORK—A cooperative effort to

stimulate film theatre attendance has been

worked out between the New York Journal-

American and the advertising and publicity

directors committee of the Motion Picture

Ass'n The committee is now trying to extend

it nationally.

The New York tieup was made by Silas

F. Seadler. advertising manager for MGM,

in behalf of the picture companies. It consists

of a series of ads contributed by the

Journal-American. Each advertisement reproduced

a still from a forthcoming picture

and carries the slogan— "Let's Go to the

Movies," with copy urging frequent attendance

and citing the film services of the

newspaper.

Copy for the ads is along the following

lines:

Let's Go to the Movies:

Entertainment is a tonic for everyone—and

movies are good entertainment.

The Journal-American is outstanding

in its coverage of Hollywood

in news and photos. Read Louella Parson's

column and Rose Pelswick's reviews

of the new films. Let's make

'Let's go to the movies' a family phrase

... a family habit.

Advertisements have already appeared In

behalf of "The Hasty Heart" (MGM)

"Deadly Is the Female" (UA), "Blue Gra.ss

of Kentucky" (Mono), "Ambush" (MGM)

and "Samson and Delilah" (Para).

The publicity directors committee will

circularize all field men, theatre repre-

Civil Liberties Affiliate

Assails 'Stromboli' Din

NEW YORK—The National Council of

Freedom From Censorship, an affiliate of the

American Civil Liberties union, has protested

the demands of various groups throughout

the country to ban the exhibition of "Stromboli."

Elmer Rice, chairman of the council,

.sent telegrams to Sidney K. Rogell, production

chief at RKO, and to Eric Johnston,

president of MPAA, in which he termed the

group demands "an outrageous and illegal

denial of free speech and expression as guaranteed

by the First amendment."

Rogell protested that the issue opened new

channels of censorship activity against the

personal lives of film participants and not

against the contents of the film itself. He

stated that "films, like speech or written

statements, must stand or fall on what the.v

show and say, not on the personal conduct

of the picture's stars."

Started

LET'S GO TO THE MOVIES!

JOURNAL-AMERICAN

sentatives and exchange affiliations with

reproductions of the Journal-American ads

urging that they be brought to the attention

of local newspapers to duplicate the

plan. It is believed that with the spread

of this nationwide propaganda the industry

will get effective stimulation of theatre

attendance.

Highway Billboard Control

Is Sought in Four Bills

ALBANY—Pour bills

which would establish

control of billboards along highways and

roads in New York have been reintroduced

by Senator Thomas C. Desmond. Pointing

out that the state spends $400,000 annually to

advertise its scenic and recreational advantages.

Desmond said that the exploitation

program is being handicapped by outdoor

advertising which increasingly is lining highways

and roads.

The four bills would ban billboards on the

New York to Buffalo highway, restrict billboards

on all local roads designated as scenic

routes by counties, cities, towns and villages,

require the licensing of outdoor advertisers

and the payment of fees based on sizes of

boards used, and establish commercial and

non-commercial areas on highways for locations

of billboards.

Philco Corp. Executive

Blasts Proposed TV Tax

PHILADELPHIA—Courtney Pitt, vice-president

in charge of finance for Philco Corp.,

said here recently that the 10 per cent excise

tax on television sets proposed by Secretary

of the Treasury John W. Snyder would

"undo part of the progress already made in

bringing the price of television within reach

of every family in the United States."

Legion Auxiliary Leader

Calls for Film Boycott

ATLANTIC CITY—Mrs. Dorothy Pearl of

Detroit, former national president of the

American Legion women's auxiliary, was

loudly cheered when she called for a boycott

of films featuring stars involved in moral

scandals. Her address was made before the

23rd Area B child welfare conference of the

American Legion and affiliated organizations

at the convention in the President hotel here.

Bingo Bill Reintroduced

In lersey Legislature

TRENTON—Robert Vogel, state .senator,

has reintroduced a bill to legalize bingo

playing in churches and civic auditoriums.

The measure was defeated by organized New

Jersey theatre owners in the 1949 session,

many exhibitors believe that it will not

come up for vole by the legislature during

1950.

BOXOFTICE :: February 11, 1950 47


. . . W.

. . Harry

I

I

. . Don

.

"

Syracuse

:

BROAD\MAY

prrol FljTUi, who has been wortong in India

on MGM's •'Kim," arrived on the lie de

France February 9 en route to Hollywood

where the picture will be completed. Victor

FTamcen. French screen actor: Henri Diamant

Berger. FYench film producer: Andre Halley

des Fontaines, president of the Association of

Movie Producers of Paris, and Joan BlondeU

came in on the same boat . . . H. C. Potter

.vho has been directing MGM's "The Miniver

Story" in England, flew in from London and

Compton Bennett, another MGM director,

arrived on the way to Hollywood.

George Kochifer. BUI Shanks and Bill Watson,

of the "King Solomon's Mines" production

unit working in South Africa, came in

by plane en route to the coast . . . Agnes

Newton Keith, author of "Three Came Home."

which will open at the Astor February 20.

will fly in from her home in Borneo to attend

the event . . . Frederick Badden. Powell Weill

and N. A. Bronsten. English film producers,

flew west to discuss deals with several Hollywood

writers . . . Frederick N. Polangin. vicepresident

in charge of the Los Angeles office

of Buchanan & Co.. was here for conferences

with United Artists home office executives

on campaigns for new releases.

Samuel H. Stiefel, producer of "Quicksand"

for UA release, was here for talks with Edward

J. Peskay, his representative, and UA

officials on the picture's March release . . .

Carroll Puciato. Realart manager in charge

of exchange operations, was back from a twoweek

tour of Philadelphia, Washington, Cincinnati,

Indianapolis and other exchanges.

Paul X. Lazarus jr., executive assistant to

Gradwell Sears at United Artists, has postponed

his trip to the west coast indefinitely

C. Gehring. 20th-Fos assistant general

sales manager, left for Dallas to conduct sales

meetings there . M. Warner arrived

with Mrs. Warner for a Manhattan stay . . .

Eddie Ruff. New England di\-ision manager

for Motion Picture Sales Corp., conferred with

NeU Agnew and Charles Casanave on the

Anna Magnani film. "'Volcano" . . R. M.

.

Sa\-ini. president of Astor Pictures, returned

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BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950 49


Congressman Pledge

Tax Drive Support

NEW YORK—Fifteen New York congressmen

had pledged unconditional support of

the admissions tax repeal campaign by

Wednesday (8), according to Harry Brandt,

ITOA president. Tliey are Leonard W. Hall,

L. Gary Clemente, Louis B, Heller, Edna F,

Kelly. Eugene J. Keough, John J. Rooney,

Donald L. O'Toole, Abraham J, Multer,

Emanuel Celler, James J. Murphy, Frederic

R. Coudert jr.. Jacob K. Javits, Isidore Dollinger.

Anthony F. Tauriello and Daniel A

Reed.

Five of them went on record at a February

4 meeting with Brooklyn exhibitors after

hearing reports on curtailed theatre operations

and theatre closings. Emanuel Pi-isch,

chairman of the tax committee of the Metropolitan

Motion Picture Theatres Ass'n, said.

Frisch said exhibitors will step up the campaign

by bombarding Congressman Walter A.

Lynch, New York member of the House ways

and means committee, with messages urging

tax repeal, and will also concentrate on Congressman

Joseph L. Pfeifer and James J. Heffernan,

who had not gone on record. Newspapers,

radio stations and other media will

cooperate in the overall campaign.

Further progress on campaign plans was

made at a February 6 meeting of exhibitors

attended by Walter Brecher, Oscar A. Doob,

Eugene Picker. Ernest Emerling, Russell V.

Downing. Harry Goldberg. Leslie Schwartz.

Edward N. Rugoff. Sam Rosen. Edward L.

Fabian, Louis Goldberg, Nat Lapkin, Harold

Fischer, O. R. McMahon. Fred Lakeman.

Harry Mandel, Robert K. Shapiro, Jack Mc-

Inerney. Louis Weber. Vernon Hammer. Peter

Fink. M. O. Strausberg. D. John Phillips,

Harry Brandt, Joshua Goldberg and Morton

Sunshine.

Stockholders Help Asked

In Ticket Tax Campaign

NEW YORK—Stockholders in film companies

are being urged to send letters to

congressmen in support of the campaign for

repeal of the admissions tax. The COMPO

committee has sent out appeals for this

support.

Warner Bros, included a tax message in

its annual statement to stockholders. Loew's,

Inc., and 20th Century-Fox will include letters

when they send out dividend checks.

Eastman Kodak Employes

Get $191,000 for Ideas

ROCHESTER—The Eastman Kodak Co.

paid out $191,000 for suggestions submitted

by company employes in 1949. During the

year the organization adopted 9,711 ideas,

almost a third of those submitted.

This is an alltime record for the suggestion

system which has been in operation

for 51 years. More than $900,000 has been

paid out in that time.

Holiday in Home Offices

NEW YORK—MGM, 20th Century-Fox and

Loew's home offices will be closed on Monday

1 131 in observance of Lincoln's birthday.

Monogram. Warner Bros., Paramount, Columbia,

United Artists and RKO will close down

at 1 p. m., and Eagle Lion will remain open

all day.

Tax Repeal Drive

Gains Momentum:

New York City Projecfionists Waive

Overtime on Tax Trailer Showings

NEW YORK—Projectionists will waive all

overtime payments in connection with the

showing of trailers attacking the admissions

tax. according to Herman Gelber, president

of the lATSE local 306. He made the pledge

at a meeting of representatives of the three

New York exhibitor associations and the distributor

chairman which is planning its part

in the excise tax campaign. Gelber said all

labor organizations, both AFL and CIO. will

cooperate with management in the fight.

At the meting were Sam E. Diamond. New

York distributor chairman; Wilbur Snaper.

president of Allied of New Jersey; D. John

Phillips and Morton Sunshine, executive directors

of MMPTA and ITOA respectively.

The following appointments to the distributors

committee have been made: Nat Cohn

and Saul Trauner, Columbia; Harrison Duddleson.

Eagle Lion; George Waldman. Film

Classics; Jack Bowen. Ralph Pielow and Lou

Allerhand. MGM; Nat Purst, Monogram;

Myron Sattler and Henry Randall. Paramount;

William Murphy and Robert Fannon,

Republic; Lou Gruenberg and Phil Hodes,

RKO; Dave Schmer. Screen Guild; Martin

Moskowitz. 20th Century-Fox; Abe Dickstein,

United Artists; David Levy. Universal-International;

Norman Ayres and Ben Abner,

Warner Bros.; Harold Bennett, National

Screen Service.

Variety Clubs Joining

In Tax Repeal Fight

DALLAS—R. J. "Bob" O'Donnell. international

chief barker of Variety Clubs, is lining

up the full strength of the 35 tents in the

U. S. in the campaign to repeal the theatre

excise tax. A petition will be sent all members

of the house ways and means committee,

O'Donnell has asked that individual tents

cooperate with state and regional exhibitor

organizations in their areas in getting thousands

of additional petitions to Congress.

"The increasing importance and strength

of the Variety Club membership in the motion

picture industry." O'Donnell said, "is rapidly

being recognized by all branched of the industry

as a powerful weapon that can be utilized

for the benefit of the industry in any

effort that is important to our business. As

one of the constituent members of COMPO,

we are lined up solidly behind that organization

to further their aims and purposes.

Tills tax battle simply serves to emphasize

again how important the Variety Clubs

are to the industry. We are confident that

the combined elements of all the organizations

and individual exhibitors working for

the repeal of the excise tax will add up to

enough strength to insure some action being

taken along with the repeal of other excise

taxes."

Newark Theatres Issue

Petitions for Tax Repeal

KTEWARK—While local newspapers have

run very little publicity on the campaign for

the federal amusement tax repeal, all theatres

are participating in the industrywide

drive by distributing forms to be filled out

by patrons and to be used as a petition

against the tax. Proctor's and other houses

plan to incorporate in their theatre ads a

request to fight for repeal. Joseph Gibson,

manager of the Broad, sends out forms by

registered mail to Robert C. Hendrickson and

H. Alexander Smith, senators from New

Jersey. Other theatres mail the forms in

allotments of 300. 400 and 500 to New Jersey

congressmen.

Practically all theatres report an excellent

response in the few days the forms have been

placed in the lobby. Most theatres have run

trailers. Ushers in Warner's houses are wearing

tags on their sleeves, calling attention

to the drive.

Attendance Decline Due

To Tax, Bookers Find

NEW YORK—Repeal of the "punitive" 20

per cent admissions tax would "undoubtedly

result in increased business, increased employment

of personnel, increased taxes on

profits and a healthier economy throughout

the industry," according to a resolution adopted

by the Motion Picture Bookers club of

New York, which called on Congress to give

priority to action on the admissions levy.

The 135 members, who book 950 theatres in

the metropolitan New York and New Jersey

area and represent every distributor in the

area, found "from actual experience" that

the tax is the main reason for a decline in

attendarice, that the industry needs a "shot

in the arm" and that Congress is in a position

to give much needed relief by a repeal

or rollback of the tax.

"Our livelihoods are imperiled by this

onerous tax on admissions." the resolution

said. It told Congress that the tax hits lowincome

groups and "works an inequity in that

it increases as the family increases, regardless

of the family income." Harold Margolis.

president, signed the resolution.

Legitimate Theatre Men

Join Excise Tax Fight

NEW YORK — Actors Equity Ass'n. the

League of New York Theatres and the Committee

of Theatrical Producers have joined

the battle on the federal admissions tax.

Equity is cooperating with lATSE in calling

on theatre audiences to send protests to Congress.

The producer committee, headed by

Robert E. Sherwood. Oscar Hammerstein II,

Leland Hayward, Gilbert Miller. Howard

Lindsay and Herman Shumlin, is studying the

relation of the tax to production. James F.

Reilly, executive director of the league, is

making plans for a theatre campaign with

the Committee for the Reduction of Excise

Taxes, which represents many industries.

'Wall' Opening Feb. 17

PHILADELPHIA—U-I's 'Outside the Wall."

which was shot in part on location here, win

open at the Aldine Theatre February 17

backed by an intensive promotional campaign

handled by Abe Bernstein.

DRIVE-IN THEATRE COMBINATION ENTRANCE

and ENTRANCE DRIVEWAY FLOODLIGHT

Also available with Exit Panels

Arrows may be either right or left.

DRIVE-IN THEATRE MFG. CO.

729 Baltimore

Kansas City, Mo.

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950 51


. . . Messrs.

. . Mr.

. . The

. . Ray

. . Joan

. . John

WASHINGTON

Oidney Lust's office reports construction has

started on a shopping center at New

Hampshire avenue and East West Highway

in Prince George county. The center is being

built by Kass Realty Co. for New Hampshii-e

Shopping Center. Inc.. and was designed by

James F. Hogan. local architect. Outstanding

in the new shopping center is the modern

design of a group of buildings including

a 1.500-seat theatre to be leased by Lusf

Enterprises. It will have an entii-e glass lobby

through which may be seen a mural executed

in architectural concrete. A large marquee

covers the approach to the ticket booth and

the entrance so that the entrance of the

theatre is protected from the weather. There

will be vaudeville shows presented throughout

the season, and the theatre is equipped for

the presentation of television. Hogan says

the theatre will be ready for occupancy on

or before Sept. 1. 1950.

The Variety Club women's committee, under

the direction of Mrs. Araline Adams, is

making big plans for the Valentine card

party and tea which will be held in the clubrooms

Tuesday 1 14 1 ... Leon Makover, chairman

of the entertainment committee of Tent

11, and Jerry Adams, chairman of the house

committee, are responsible for the successful

Valentine party held in the clubrooms Saturday

night . . . Board of governors met February

6 . . . Happy birthday to barkers Ervin

Ornstein, Fritz Hoffman, Lloyd J. Wineland.

Frank Fletcher, Max Rosenberg, Edward Norris.

Mac Mannes. Joseph Zamoiski and James

Neu.

The annual Tent 11 Brotherhood luncheon

will be held at the Mayflower hotel Monday

1 20 1. Speakers will be Chester M. Bowles,

governor of Connecticut, and Col. William

McCraw. executive director of Variety Club

International. In addition, there will be entertainment

arranged by Joel Margolis, Arnold

Fine and Morgan Baer.

Columbia Manager Ben Caplon and his wife

are in Florida vacationing. They took with

them greetings from Filmrow to Mr. and

Mrs. Earl Taylor, who are residing in Miami

Beach . . . It's a boy for the Jerry Prices,

UA manager . and Mrs. Buck Stover.

Alexandria Amusement Co., have returned

from a Miami Beach vacation.

Kenneth Clem has taken over the Earle

Theatre, Taneytown, Md., from Max Goodman

. Eyrey, field supervisor for Warner

Bros, contact department, was in town

. . . Vince Dougherty,

pinch-hitting for C. E. McGowan, who was

vacationing in Florida

U-I salesman, spends several hours in the

office each day now and soon will be out

on the road again . . Eilleen Olivier, husband

.

and son, leave Sunday for a

two-week

vacation in New Orleans. She plans to attend

the Mardi Gras.

. . .

Myron Mills, son of Equity's Bernie Mills,

planning a spring wedding with Joan Alice

is

Mrs. Mary Margaret

Weil of Hewlett, L. I . . .

Ludwig, formerly with Republic, died recently.

She was residing in the Canal zone at the

time . Wheeler, daughter of Mr. and

Mrs. Sam Wheeler, Screen Guild, graduated

with honors from Wilson High school

May Feldman entertained her brother Si and

his daughter Rita en route home from Florida

to Rochester. N. Y.

.

Frank Boucher is the busiest man in town

these days with the opening of the K-B

Amusement Co.'s latest theatre, the Flower

in Silver Spring, Md. Barrymore

jr. was a visitor Henderson and

Ham Durkee

.

were

. . Billy

here. They operate the

Washington and Baltimore Film Express and

this was one of their rare visits to Filmrow

New Theatre to Be Built

In Mount Vernon Plaza

MOUNT VERNON, N. Y.—A 600-seat

. . . Florence Garden, Fred Rohrs' secretary,

is looking for a new car. Having trouble

with her old Buick, she says, but daily riders

Sally Myers and Sara Young are not complaining.

theatre

will be part of a railroad shopping center

to be built here this spring by the Schein-

Cohen Co., construction firm of Mount Vernon

and White Plains. The New York, New

Haven & Hartford Railroad Co., in conjunction

with the Mount Vernon city administration,

originally proposed the idea to the

. . Miss

.

Louis Bernheimer says his Sylvan Theatre

will be converted into a Negro house

Mike Leventhal and Bill

builders.

March 1 . . .

Allen came over from Baltimore

Thompson

to attend

the Allied meetings

the Schine circuit

.

home office recently

of

became

Gus Lampe. Schine

Mrs. Torrey . . . district manager, appeared as a talent scout

on Arthur Godfrey's television talent show

Branscome and Chitwook were westbound side of the tracks.

in town buying and booking for their Sky-

View Drive-In, Marion, Va. Robert

Levines came in from Norfolk to buy for their

Portsmouth and Norfolk theatres. Head

booker Evelyn Butler was a member of the

party.

DRIVE-IN THEATRE IN-A-CAR SPEAKERS

and Junction Boxes. For new jobs or replacements

caused from theft or vandalism

DRIVE-IN THEATRE MFG. CO.

729 Baltimore

Kansas City, Mo.

It is believed that, outside of large cities,

this will be the first time a theatre has

ever been a part of a railroad station arcade.

The entire station will be rebuilt and the new

development will occupy 108,000 square feet

of property owned by the railroad on the

There will be facilities for approximately

35 shops, a bus terminal, a department store,

and roof and basement parking, in addition

to the theatre. Patrons will be protected in

bad weather, whether arriving by train, bus

or car. Boak & Road, New York City, are

the architects.

Exhibitors in 70 Cities

To See 'Riding High'

NEW YORK—Paramount will hold approximately

70 additional exhibitor screenings of

the Frank Capra production, "Riding High,"

in cities other than exchange cities between

February 14 and 28, according to A. W.

Schwalberg, distribution head. The exhibitor

screenings in the 32 exchange cities were held

from January 6 to 30.

In most cases, the showings will be in the

form of sneak previews for the general public

with only the exhibitors knowing that "Riding

High" will be shown at the theatres.

James Hendel Named

EL District Manager

NEW YORK—James Hendel, Pittsburgh

manager for Eagle Lion, has been promoted

to New York district

manager by William J.

Heineman, vice-president

in charge of distribution.

John Zomnir,

sales manager at

Pittsburgh, has been

promoted to manager

there. Hendel entered

1^

the film industry in

1938 as salesman for

United Artists at

Cleveland. In 1941, he

was promoted to

Cleveland manager James Hendel

where he remained until 1944. For six

months he was with Universal, then in 1945

he joined PRC as Pittsburgh manager. Shortly

after, he was promoted to PRC district

manager of the Pittsburgh, Cleveland and

Cincinnati territory. He retained this post

until PRC was absorbed by Eagle Lion in

1947 when he was named Pittsburgh manager.

Zomnir entered the industry with MGM

in the Pittsburgh, where he was shipping

clerk, then student booker, head booker and,

finally, office manager. In 1945 he joined

PRC as salesman in Pittsburgh under Hendel

and was promoted to branch manager when

Hendel became district manager.

Area Distribution Heads

Named to Aid Tax Drive

NEW YORK — Distribution forces aiding

the COMPO federal tax repeal campaign have

now been organized and exchange area chairmen

have been selected, according to Andy

W. Smith jr., distribution chairman for the

industry. The area chairmen are:

Albany, John Bullwinkel; Atlanta, Clyde

Goodson: Boston, Jim Connolly; Buffalo,

Dave Miller: Charlotte, Al Duren; Chicago,

Tom Gilliam; Cincinnati, J. S. Abrose: Cleveland,

Oscar Ruby; Dallas, Phil Longdon;

Denver, R. C. HiU; Des Moines, Jim Veldes;

Detroit, W. D. Woods; Indianapolis, G. R.

Frank; Kansas City, James W. Lewis; Los

Angeles, Jack Laughlin; Memphis, Ed Williamson;

Milwaukee, John G. Kemptgen;

Minneapolis, William H. Workman; New Haven,

Arthur Greenfield; New Orleans, C.

James Bryant; New York, Sam Diamond;

Oklahoma City, Ralph B. WUliams; Omaha,

Harold Johnson; Philadelphia, William Mansell;

Pittsburgh, Saal Gottlieb; Portland,

Ralph Amacher; St. Louis, Ned Steinberg;

Salt Lake City, Gifford Davidson; San Francisco,

Neal East; Seattle, A. J. Sullivan;

Tampa, Harold Laird; Washington, D. C, Joseph

Brecheen.

Joe Wolhandler to Para.

NEW YORK—Joe Wolhandler has been

taken on the Paramount publicity staff by

Max E. Youngstein, advertising-publicityexploitation

director, and will work under

Mort Nathanson, pubhcity manager. Wolhandler

was formerly with United Artists

and has handled publicity for many foreign

films.

52 BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950


. . The

. . Monogram

. . The

. . Milton

. . Jack

. . Milton

New Eslimales Sheet P H I L AD E LP H I A

Lists 17 Pictures

NEW YORK—Among 17 pictures on the

green list of joint estimates of current films,

issued for the period ending January 31, are

four from Columbia, two each from RKO,

Republic, United Artists and Universal-International,

and one each from MGM, Paramount,

20th Century-Fox and Warner Bros.

Tliere is also •'Tlie Titan," story of Michelangelo,

which is not credited with having a

distributor as yet. One is recommended for

children's programs and three are listed as

acceptable.

Tlie list follows: "Davy Crockett, Indian

Scout" (UAi, which is recommended both

for the family and children's programs: "East

Side, West Side" (MGM), rated for adults;

"The Man on the Eiffel Tower" (RKO).

recommended for adults and young people

over 12 years of age: "Montana" (WB), rated

for family and as acceptable for children's

programs: "Twelve O'clock High" (20th-

Foxi, rated as exceptional and recommended

for adults and young people over 12 years of

age: "The Nevadan" (Col) recommended for

adults and young people; "The Rugged

O'Riordans" (U-I), recommended for the

family: "The Titan," recommended for

adults and young people: "My Foolish Heart"

(RKO), recommended for adult and young

people; "The Blonde Bandit" (Rep), recommended

for adults and young people:

"Borderline" (U-I), recommended for adults

and young people: "Captain China" (Para),

recommended for adults and young people:

"Cow Town" (Col), recommended for the

family and acceptable for children's programs:

"Deadly Is the Female" (UA), recommended

for adults; "Gii-ls' School" (Col),

recommended for the family; "Pioneer Marshal"

(Rep), recommended for the family,

and "Trail of the Rustlers" (Col), recommended

for the family and acceptable for

children's programs.

Reade Circuit Conducts

Jersey Newsreel Survey

NEW YORK—The Walter Reade circuit

is conducting a theatre-by-theatre survey in

its Jersey houses as to whether the average

patron still wants to see newsreels. The

MPAA is conducting a similar poll in metropolitan

New York houses.

Reade theatre managers personally interview

patrons. The initial response is that a

majority still are interested in the reels.

The survey will continue several months,

according to Walter Reade jr., head of the

circuit. The chain was among the first to

cancel newsreels in a number of houses shortly

after spot news on television began to

be felt. Reade now is convinced that the

reels "have gone a long way in doing a

better job."

MGM Signs Bob Sherwood

NEW YORK—Bob Sherwood, now appearing

in the Broadway play, "Mr. Roberts,"

has been signed to a long-term contract by

MGM after screen tests here directed by Al

Altman, studio talent representative. Sherwood

will report to the studio February 15

and his first role will probably be in "Running

of the Tide," film version of Esther

Forbes' novel.

TTniversal-International is rushing extra

prints of "Outside the Wall," which concerns

a $1,000,000 robbery, in order to ca.sh

in on the recent Brink's robbery . . . Bernie

Haines, who is building a new theatre in

Sellersville, disclosed that he will give a lifetime

pass to the person submitting the best

name for the house . Pix showed

"Lost Youth" and "Merchant of Slaves" first

run in this area . . . Scenario, a new audience

participation quiz show with a $750 weekly

jackpot, opened Thursday (9) in more than

30 houses.

.

Melvin Fox was said to be planning to

build a theatre at Fourth and Spruce. Some

exhibitors claim that the deal hinges on

whether the Dock street area will be developed

into a residential .section . . Lex

.

Barker, the new "Tarzan" was in town recently

Irving Coopersmith has been

. . . appointed feature booker, and Muriel Marlin,

shorts booker for the Allied Motion Picture

Booking Service Philadelphia Home

and School council discussed the place of

motion pictures in the visual education programs

of schools, and the part they can play

in adult education through home and school

associations at a meeting Tuesday (7).

A film which is being reissued by an independent

exchange was .shown on television

Sunday (5). This situation is drawing

the anger of various industryites . . .

Gloria Newman, 20th-Pox switchboard operator,

. has resigned is distributing

Whip Wilson comic books to exhibitors

Mike Katz, Monogram salesman,

. . . Dave Yaffe of

was ill . . . The

was on sick leave . . . the Y & Y Supply Co. also

Paramount Decorating Co. is repainting the

Plaza Theatre in Washington,

William Goldman is constructing a drivein

theatre near Pottstown . . . Holiday magazine

will have a story on William Goldman's

fight against the majors in its next

AWARD TO BALABAN—John L.

Sullivan,

former secretary of the navy, presents

a Brotherhood award to Barney

Balaban, Paramount president, at the

Brotherhood luncheon held last week at

the Waldorf hotel in New York City.

George Murphy, film actor, and Maxwell

Anderson, playwright, also were honored.

K&B Theatres opened its new

issue . . .

Flower Theatre Thursday (9> in Tacoma

Park. Md. . Goldman, Boxoffice

Pictures booker, brought back gifts from

Florida for the office staff . . James Reimel,

,

EL booker, who co-authored "My Heart's

Aflame" with John A. MacKay, won a weekly

prize in the Top Tunes contest on KYW.

Bill Brooker, Paramount exploiteer, went

to Pittsburgh to help in exploiting "Samson

and Delilah," which opens at the Warner

Theatre there February 23. Betty Wagner,

secretary to Brooker, disclo.sed her engagement

on her 19th birthday . Hale,

Paramount, has lined up a campaign for

plugging "Samson and Delilah." He arranged

a tieup with Samson tools and secured

165 window displays, full-page cooperative

newspaper advertisements, 250,000

two-page colored circulars, and hundreds of

three sheets on a fleet of S-B-S trucks.

Milton Hale is going upstate for Paramount

to help in the exploitation of "Dear

Wife," "Thelma Jordon" and "Captain

China" . Schosberg. who was on

Vine street last week, is building a drive-in

near Coatesville. It is expected to be ready

April 1 . . . Lou Colantuona, manager of the

Keystone Tlieatre, was a winner of a $25

bond in 20th-Fox's "Father Was a F^iUback"

exploitation contest.

INCORPORATIONS

—ALBANY—

Telco, Inc.: Sound equipment, machinery

and television, in Buffalo: $100,000; Jo-seph

M. Crotty, 232 Tuscarora Rd.; Peter J. Crotty,

78 Milford St.; Alice T. Nediak, 114 Eckhert

St., Buffalo.

Four Star Productions: Motion picture

films in New York; $1,000, $1 par value.

Governor Films: Motion pictures, in New

York; 200 shares, no par.

Israel Classics: Motion picture and recording

business in New York; 1,000 shares,

no par.

B. P. Schulberg Productions: To provide

entertainment and to produce radio and television

programs; 200 .shares, 100 "A" at $100

par and 10 "B" at no par.

Visual Educational Building Corp.: Realty

and building business in New York; 100

shares, no par.

Daniels' High Speed Motion Picture Corp.:

Photographic equipment in Rochester; 200

shares, no par; Victor J. Daniels, 395 Barry

Rd.; Richard B. Secrest, 103 Landon'Pkway;

Ell.sworth Van Graafeiland, 36 Allerton St.,

Rochester.

Trovatore' Opens

'II

NEW YORK—Roberto Tarchiana. Italian

ambassador, and wife, Arturo and Mrs. Toscanini

and Licia Albanese, Jarmila Novotna,

Salvatore Baccaloni and Ri.se Stevens of the

Metropolitan Opera attended the opening of

"II Ti-ovatore" at the Little CineMet February

8. The picture stars Enzo Mascherini. currently

appearing with the Metropolitan

Opera. A ballet short, "Graduation Ball,"

was on the program.

BOXOFFICE ;: February 11, 1950 53


. . . Charles

.

-NOW!

. . George

. .

. . Pranchot

. .

. .

BUFFALO

The Variety Club entertained with a Valentine

party Saturday night (11) in its clubrooms.

Following a dinner, a program Included

dancing and other entertainment.

Elmer F. Lux is chief barker . H.

Gammel. president of Gammel Theatres and

western New York MPTO head, and his wife

Eddie Meade of Shea Theatres here and

Arthur Castner, Seneca, Salamanca, were

winners of $25 bonds from 20th-Fox for exploitation

campaigns for "Father Was a

Fullback."

Rollin Palmer, in his Courier-Express column,

pointed out two persons of local interest

in the cast of "Samson and Delilah," currently

at the Center Theatre. When Dick

Condon brought the special display on the

film to the Statler. Palmer was invited to

view it. He recognized Buffalo's popular stock

company idol of other days, William Farnum,

and a currently popular local wrestler. Wee

Willie Davis, who often appears on local

wrestling cards. Palmer used a long story

on two men in his column on the opening day

of the Cecil B. DeMille masterpiece.

Schine's Auburn Theatre is celebrating the

first anniversary of its vaudeville-film policy.

Vaudeville was revived in the Auburn just a

year ago after a lapse of nearly 30 years, and

it has been popular with local theatregoers

E. Daniels, new manager of the

Kenmore Theatre, is a graduate of Harvard

and has a degree from the Harvard Graduate

School of Business Administration. Daniels,

who is a native of Connellsville, Pa., served

47 months in the U. S. naval reserve after

completing his college studies.

Frank H. Bassett, manager of the Clean

Theatre for the last year, has been named

manager of the Bailey, a Dipson neighborhood

house here. Before going to Clean, Bassett

managed Dipson theatres in Hornell.

Joe E. Brown will bring his show, now on

a nationwide tour, to Kleinhans Music Hall

February 21. The presentation here will be

sponsored by the Kiwanis club and will be

staged for the benefit of its Underprivileged

Children's club . . . Elmer F. Lux, general

manager of Darnell Theatres. Inc., has been

named a director of Kleinhans Music Hall

Management, Inc., for a three-year term .

Joseph F. Szell, former manager of the Palace

Magic

NO PERFORATIONS: 20^ More Light and Better Vision

CYCLWAMIC

Screen

of the future

.

Custom Screen

•Potent applied for

in Lockport. has been transferred to the West

End Theatre in Rochester, and he has been

replaced by George Secord, former manager

of the Palace in Lockport.

William C. Gehring, 20th-Fox assistant

general sales manager, was here for a conference

w'ith Charlie Kosco, branch manager

. . . Anthony Quinn, film player who was here

last week as a member of the cast of "A

Streetcar Named Desire," said in a local interview

that he thinks producers should consider

films more as a form of art. He would

like to see such classics as Tolstoy's "War

and Peace" on the screen. Quinn is a sonin-law

of Cecil B. DeMille, whose "Samson

and Delilah" is current at the Center.

Ed Don George, former wrestler and now

operator of the U State Athletic club here,

booked the Gene Autry show now touring the

nation for 14 performances in New York,

Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada .

"Stromboli," the much-discussed Ingrid Bergman

film, was to have its initial showing here

February 15 at the 20th Century Theatre .

Friends here of James Whitmore. who appears

in "Battleground," were pleased to learn that

the former Buffalonian will play one of the

principal roles in "The Next Voice You Hear"

soon to be made by MGM.

Al Pierce, manager of Shea's Bellevue in

Niagara Falls, is cooperating with merchants

there by offering guest tickets to persons

whose names and addresses are inserted in

advertisements urging shoppers to trade in

their home community . Tone,

film player who is a native of Niagara Falls,

recently visited relatives there. F. Jerome

Tone jr.. his brother, is vice-president of the

Carborundum Co. While in this area. Tone

made personal appearances in connection

with showings of "The Man on the Eiffel

Tower."

UA Workers Get Awards

NEW YORK — Hyman Perlowitz of the

United Artists foreign department and Jack

Wright, company porter, were awarded Saks

Fifth Avenue $25 gift certificates for their

faithfulness to duty during 1949. Both had

perfect punctuality and attendance records.

Robert Goldfarb, personnel director, made the

awards.

Installed

SCHINE'S GLOVE THEATRE

Gloversville, N. Y.

By JOE HORNSTEIN, Inc.

630 Ninth Ave. Theatre Equipment Specialists New York City

at

Funeral Services Held

For E. M. Schnitzer

NEW YORK—Funeral services were held

Sunday morning (5i at Riverside Memorial

Chapel for Edward M. Schnitzer. 56. eastern

"

.^IHKfev

Edward M. Schnitzer

and Canadian sales

^ manager of United

^^^^JBP^k Artists, who died Feb-

^m ^ ruary 2 of a heart at-

^P J tack while preparing to

T -T^Sf^- 4^

leave for a vacation

with Vitalis L. Chahf,

—1^ a member of the UA

-^"i"-'

^^ board of directors.

^^^^j^^ ^ Burial was in Beth

^^^H^*^^^^^ David cemetery.

^^^^^^Ml^^B Schnitzer a mem-

^B^BBHB^W^

years in the industry.

ber of the Motion Picture

Pioneers and a

veteran of almost 30

He was active in charitable

drives and had served as assistant

chairman of the distributors division of the

War Activities Committee. Born in Poland,

he came to this country at an early age, and

after becoming successful in the ornamental

feather business and as a hotel resort operator,

he entered the film industry in 1922 as

an associate of Samuel Seidler.

Schnitzer joined Commonwealth Pictures

in 1923 and Producers Distributing Corp. in

1924. The following year he joined Fox, becoming

branch manager of the New York and

Brooklyn territories. In 1932 he left Fox to

become New "^ork manager for World Wide,

in which post he continued until Fox took

over distribution. On March 20, 1933, he

joined Columbia as New York exchange head,

and in 1936 went to Republic as eastern district

manager. Two years later he joined

Warner Bros, as eastern district manager. He

joined United Artists in January 1942, holding

the posts of eastern district manager and

western division sales manager until 1946,

when he became eastern and Canadian sales

manager.

He leaves his wife. Mrs. Rose Schnitzer; a

son. Gerald Schnitzer. of Hollywood; a daughter,

Mrs. Lawrence Parsly; a brother. Louis

Schnitzer; four sisters, Mrs. Samuel Rinzler,

Mrs. William Schutzer, Mrs. Jack Bernstein,

Mrs. William Morel, and four grandchildren.

Robert L. Lippert Speaks

To Buffalo Theatremen

BUFFALO—Robert L. Lippert, San Francisco,

head of Lippert Productions, w-as a

guest at a luncheon given at the Statler hotel

here by William P. Rosenow. general manager

of the Screen Guild branch here. Pi-oduction

problems in Hollywood were discussed by Lippert

in a talk. He invited exhibitors who were

interested to buy stock in the Lippert organization,

pledging that the full resources of

the company are being devoted to production

of better product.

Lippert was accompanied here by Arthur

Greenblatt, general sales manager of the

company. Among those attending the luncheon

were Robert T. Murphy, Max Yellen and

Sam Yellen, 20th-century Theatre; Spance

Balser and Jerry Westergren, Basil Theatres;

James H. Eshelman and Charles B. Taylor,

Paramount Theatres; Marion Gueth, MPTO

of New York secretary; Eleanor Paradeis,

Screen Guild office manager; Al Heckler jr..

Screen Guild, M\Ton Gross, Schine Theatres.

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 195C


. . Others

. . The

Tax Repeal Meeting A L B A N Y

Tuesday in Albany

ALBANY—A luncheon meeting of Albany

exchange area exhibitors will be held at

Jack's Restaurant here Tuesday (14) to coordinate

local effort to repeal the federal

ticket tax with that of the COMPO taxation

committee. Leonard L. Rosenthal, general

counsel for the Albany TOA. sent letters

to exhibitors urging attendance and stressing

that the area drive should be tied up

with national campaign "to make certain we

are assuming our responsibility with sufficient

vigor and coverage."

The TOA counsel that the interest of all

exhibitors, large and small, will be affected

by the outcome of the fight to repeal the

20 per cent admission tax. For this reason,

he declared, it is imperative that each exhibitor

order a tax protest trailer, protest

cards, one sheet, repeal stickers for boxoffice

windows and other material, to write

to his congressman and to urge employes and

friends to take similar action.

Support of war veteran organizations in the

campaign has been pledged by Ben Chuckrow,

chairman of the central veterans committee

in Rensselaer county, to Larry Cowen, area

chairman of publicity for the drive. Cowen,

who served in the army in World War I and

the navy in World War II, said that the support

of the group would be warmly received.

Cowen. who is manager of the 2,700-seat

Proctor's, declared that he expected to receive

the signatures of at least 25,000 theatre patrons

on repeal petitions during a threeweek

period. Every effort to discourage the

signing of petitions by "repeaters" would be

made, so that an accurate count of bona fide

petitions could be maintained.

A plea for active participation by theatre

patrons in the drive to effect repeal of the

ticket tax was made by Dan Houlihan, area

distribution chairman for the campaign. He

urged that theatre employes as well as patrons

should write to their senators and

representatives in behalf of the drive.

Monogram's 'Blue Grass'

Is Booked by RKO Circuit

NEW YORK—"Blue Grass of Kentucky,"

Monogram's Cinecolor production, has been

booked for the long five-day half of the

week in the entire RKO metropolitan circuit,

starting February 21. This is one of

the most important bookings on a Monogram

film within the past year and will require

78 prints.

'Love Happy' Release Set

NEW YORK—Lester Cowan's "Love Happy,"

starring the Marx Bros, and Ilona Massey

and Vera-EUen, which was originally scheduled

for release by United Artists in early

fall, will finally be released March 1, according

to Gradwell L. Sears, president.

I. P. Bethell to Retire

PHILADELPHIA — J. P. Bethell. retiring

RCA theatre equipment sales representative

in this area, was given a silver cigaret box by

his associates in the engineering products

department.

Toe Agresta of the Orvis, Massena, and the

Palace in Fort Covington, made one of his

infrequent visits to Filmrow . in to

book included Phil Baroudi of Warrensburg,

North Creek and Indian Lake; Morris Slotnick,

Waterville and Oriskany Falls, and

Clarence Dopp of Johnstown. Frankfort, Poland

and Northville . . . Mrs. Arthur Newman,

wife of the Republic manager, underwent an

operation in Albany hospital . . . Frank Mc-

Lane, new chief of service at the Strand, is

the brother of the chief usher at the Palace.

Dan Houlihan, 20th-Fox manager, was

awarded a wrist watch for heading the exchange

which made the best showing in the

Empire state division of the branch managers

drive that ended December 31. Presentation

was made at a district meeting in Buffalo at

which W. C. Gehring was the principal speaker.

The Albany office staff also received a

The Strand

bonus of three weeks' salary . . .

sneak-previewed "Chain Lightning." new

Humphrey Bogart release, Tuesday night . . .

The Schine circuit showed "Sands of Iwo

Jima" at the Hippodrome, Gloversville. four

days after the picture had played the Glove.

This gave it a week's time.

Rene Gagon, one of the marines who participated

in the raising of the American flag

on Iwo Jima. will come here for opening night

ceremonies on the stage of the Palace of

"Sands of Iwo Jima." Gagnon lives in Manchester,

N. H. Major Thomas Hutton, In

charge of marine corps recruiting here, has

sent out a call, via radio and otherwise, to

all marines in this area who served on Iwo

Jima and Tawara to participate in the Palace

ceremonies.

Fred Schader and Clarence Bell were here

several days arranging the Strand Theatre

appearance of Tallulah Bankhead in "Private

Lives" February 21. Schader was to fly to

Binghamton Monday, but Bell planned to

remain here longer. The Noel Coward comedy

will play Warners' Avon in Utica the night

before it visits this city, and will fill out the

week with dates in Schenectady. Binghamton

and Syracuse (two days). A stage crew of

21 is required to take the show in and out

of town, and 12 to work it.

Rapidly shaping plans for the Variety Club

dinner honoring Saul J. Ullman, retiring chief

barker, at the DeWitt Clinton hotel. March 3.

include the appearances of Gael Sullivan,

executive director of Theatre Owners of

America, as toastmaster. and Eric Johnston,

president of the Motion Picture Ass'n, as a

speaker. It is expected that 300 or 400 will

attend the affair, wives and sweethearts of

Variety Club members will be present, for

the dinner dance. Si Fabian is honorary

dinner chairman. Spyros Skouras. 20th-Fox

president, has also accepted an invitation to

attend. The dinner will be a triple celebration

for Ullman. who celebrates his 25th wedding

anniversary that day and his 30th year

with the Fabian organization that month.

Charles A. Smakwitz. new chief barker, will

introduce Sullivan. Leo Rosen, first assistant

chief barker, is dinner chairman.

Editorial endorsement and front-page publicity

for "Guilty of Trea.son" came from the

Evangelist, official weekly of the Albany

Catholic diocese, before the picture opened

at the Strand. Wednesday (8). The paper,

for the first time, deviated from its policy of

refusing advertising copy for a commercial

film. A two-column, eight-inch insertion was

carried on page five. The page-one story on

"Guilty" was topped by a two-column heading,

"Local Film Tells Story of Cardinal

Mlndszenty" . Evangelist, in an editorial

titled "Movie Cooperation," said the

action of Warners in canceling the showing

of "Etevil in the Flesh" at the Ritz here was

worthy of commendation. The show opened

Wednesday. Local officials of the Legion

of Decency protested to the Warner offices

and it was decided to yank.the film, and the

companion, "Sarumba."

Representatives from the ranks of exhibitors,

radio people, fashion editors, department

store stylists and others attended the

six-hour showing at the Ten Eyck Hotel of

jewelry, costumes and other material used in

"Samson and Delilah." They met Dick Condon,

who has been traveling for several

months on behalf of the DeMille-Paramount

picture. He made five radio appearances during

a busy day here.

. . . George Miller,

Jack Bullwinlde, Columbia manager, was

to leave for a vacation in Florida. He has not

been in the best of health since he sustained

a sunstroke last June

Republic salesman in Syracuse, Rochester and

the Albany territory, was here Monday to

confer with Arthur Newman, branch manager.

He attended the Variety Club dinner Monday

night . . . Carl Goe, former Warner salesman

here, has resigned as manager of the company's

New Haven exchange.

Edgar S. Van Olinda, film, drama and

music critic for the Times-Union, sang for

a $25 pledge to the March of Dimes on an

all-night program broadcast over WPTR.

Malcolm Atterbury, actor and owner of the

Playhouse, recited the soliloquy from "The

Glass Menagerie" for another $25 donation.

More than $1,200 was pledged ... A Warner-

Pathe newsreel cameraman photographed legislators

and legislative rooms Monday night

when a 14-member delegation from the Japanese

Diet visited the state capitol. Governor

Thomas E. Dewey greeted the delegation.

A million copies of a folder on "Guilty of

Treason" have been distributed to Catholic

churches and schools in a tieup between

Eagle Lion and the Rev. Patrick Peyton of

the Family Rosary. They were passed out

at masses in churches in the Albany and

Troy areas Sunday and in parochial schools

Monday before the picture opened at Warners'

Strand here and at Warners' Lincoln in

Troy. More than 1,100 pastors and over 900

heads of schools received the pamphlets. The

distribution was effected before the national

release date for the film in New York state,

Ohio, Indiana, Massachu-setts, Virginia and

elsewhere.

Drawings by Hy Rosen, Times-Union cartoonist,

of characters appearing in that paper

were featured at the weekly dinner of the

Variety Club Monday night (6). Lou AUemann.

Times -Union promotion manager and

former RKO exploiteer: Fred I. Archibald,

publisher, and Edgar S. Van Olinda. film

critic and columnist, were "kings for a day."

George O. Williams, managing editor and

active Variety member, had left on a trip

to Mexico and could not attend. Leo Rosen.

first assistant chief barker, introduced Archibald

and Hy Rosen.

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950 N 54-A


. . . John

. . Sam

. . Harry

. . Louis

. . Stanley

. .

. .

NEWARK

l^urray Mankowitz, manager of the Pic Theatre,

tied in with the national guard when

playing "The True Glory" and used war souvenirs

as displays, and tanks in front of the

theatre . Broskie, manager of the

Rivoli, set up a wishing well in the lobby as

a bid for the March of Dimes donations .

Dick Behul, son of Mrs. Yolanda Behul,

cashier at the Rivoli, was given an audition

with Paul Whiteman's orchestra. An

accomplished accordionist, Behul was the winwinner

in a recent talent contest held in

Elizabeth.

Bill Hamilton, Rivoli assistant chief of

service, works parttime for the Newark News,

and he is planning a career in journalism .

Mayor Ralph Villani proclaimed the period

of February 3-10 as Iwo Jima week in connection

with the opening of "Sands of Iwo

Jima" at the Paramount Theatre. Preceding

the initial showing of the film, city officials,

a 75-piece marine corps band, a color guard

and two companies of the marines took part

in a street parade. Marine corps officers and

city notables were guests at the premiere.

Herbert Heintz, manager of RKO Proctor's,

used a variety of methods to exploit "Hamlet."

Swords similar to those used in the

film were used in a lobby display. Newark

schools and those in surrounding suburbs

were supplied with student discount tickets.

Participants in a contest were asked to guess

how many times the name of Hamlet appeared

on a 40x60 lobby display . . . Rocco

Zarra, student assistant at Proctor's, and

Rose Nigro of East Orange will be married

this month.

Weekly amateur shows at the Liberty, Elizabeth,

are gaining in popularity. Jackson

Hurford, manager, attributes their success to

the cooperation of retail merchants who provide

$150 each week for prizes. Contestants

are auditioned Sundays at the theatre and

only selected performers try their skills on the

stage. Applicants have come from Newark,

Vaux Hall, Linden. Nutley and other suburbs.

Besides the awards, all who appear on the

programs are given prizes for their efforts

L. Stanek, manager of the Cranford

Theatre in Cranford, ran "Hamlet" for a twoday

engagement.

.

Ed Kane, manager of the Regent in Elizabeth,

in having success with his family nights

on Fridays. Although "That Forsyte Woman"

was not a picture of family appeal, it was run

at the Regent in conjunction with shorts.

The theatre will run special Lincoln and

Washington birthday kiddy shows . . . Wendy

Barrie, film star, was a recent guest here

at the Tavern . Simon of the Essex

doing exceptionally well with his toy giveaways

Is

Tuesdays Tryon is new

electrician at the Savoy.

Isabel Dickson, relief cashier at the Savoy,

was ill at a hospital . . . The theatre will run

special Lincoln and Washington birthdaj

kiddy shows

. Lowenstein, owner of

the Court Theatre, attended the national

Allied board meeting in Washington. Al

Lippe, manager of the Court, is using grocery

giveaways as well as toy giveaways on Saturdays

for children.

Broadway actor Ted Andrews will play the

male lead in RKO's "Nobody's Safe."

MAKE AWARDS — Howard

CRITICS

Barnes, vice-chairman of the New York

Film Critics, hands a scroll to Olivia De-

Havilland for the best female performance

of 1949 in "The Heiress." Wanda

Hale, New York Daily News motion picture

critic,

passes a scroll to the actor of

the year, Broderick Crawford, for his outstanding

performance in "All the King's

Men." The ceremony was held In the

Rainbow room of the RCA Bldg., Radio

City, N. Y.

Wilcoxon to Resume Tour

For 'Samson' Feb. 13

NEW YORK—Henry Wilcoxon will resume

his tour in behalf of "Samson and Delilah"

February 13 at Charlotte which will be the

first of 12 southern cities he will visit in a

three-week period, according to Max E.

Youngstein. Paramount advertising-publicityexploitation

director. Wilcoxon figured in a

highly successful tour last fall when he addressed

12,000 public opinion leaders in 15

key cities. He suspended it temporarily when

his health was taxed.

From Charlotte he will go to Columbia, Augusta,

Savannah, Macon, Louisville, Montgomery,

Birmingham, Nashville, Chattanooga

and Knoxville. He will speak at joint meetings

in theatres in each city between 10:15

a. m. and noon, and in the afternoon will give

press and radio interviews and make television

appearances. He will be flown from

Macon to Louisville February 21 to address

a Brotherhood Week gathering.

Wilcoxon spoke February 9 at the annual

convention of the United Theatre Owners

of Illinois in Springfield at the invitation of

Edward G. Zorn, president.

Eastman Kodak Graduates

ROCHESTER—The sales training center of

Eastman Kodak Co. graduated 346 persons

during 1949, according to Howard Kalbfus,

director. They consisted of 19 groups, with

enroUees from 41 states, and included 35

women. The center will hold open house for

Kodak dealers en route to the convention of

the Master Photo Dealers and Finishers Ass'n

in Cleveland, March 27 through April 1.

Gift to Barton Kreuzer

CAMDEN — Barton Kreuzer, manager of

theatre sound and visual products in the RCA

engineering products department, was given

a desk and pen set by his associates during

recent annual sales sessions in Camden.

RKO Starts Proceedings

For Trenton-NB Split

TRENTON—RKO started legal proceedings

February 8 seeking dissolution of Trenton-

New Brunswick Theatres, circuit of 11 houses

owned jointly with Walter Reade. The suit

asks for the appointment of a trustee to operate

the circuit pending sale of assets and,

upon sale, divide the proceeds.

Repeated efforts by RKO and Reade to

negotiate a settlement were unsuccessful and

RKO was forced to take some definite action

before February 15, as called for in its

consent decree. The circuit is reported to

have a market value of approximately $3,-

000,000.

RKO has also been unsuccessful in disposing

of its stock in Metropolitan Playhouses,

New York circuit, and may ask for

a trustee for this. Talks are continuing between

RKO Skouras Theatres, leading to the

breakup of their joint ownerships, and with

the Hyman Brothers for an agreement for an

amicable split of their co-ownership of seven

theatres in Huntington, W. Va.

Arthur Davis Associates

To Offer Foreign Films

NEW YORK—Arthur Davis Associates has

opened offices at 55 West 42nd St. to distribute

foreign films with English subtitles.

Arthur Davis, publisher of the Foreign Film

News, will head the company. Among the

early releases scheduled are a French film,

"Caged Men," with Michael Simon and Yves

Vincent; two Swedish pictures, "Caged Women,"

with Eva Dahlbeck and Cecile Ossbahr,

and "Girls in Every Port," with Nils Poppe

and Cecile Ossbahr.

Several foreign classics of the past are

being re-edited and retitled for future release.

They will be shown in this country

for the first time.

Four More Loew's Houses

Abroad Get Glascreens

NEW YORK—Shipments of four more

Glascreens to key theatres in Loew's International

circuit in Brazil have been made by

Nu Screen Corp., according to Herman Gluckman,

president. Three of the theatres ai'e

located in Rio de Janeiro and the fourth in

Sao Paulo. Recent Glascreen installations in

Loew's International theatres were in Bogota,

Calcutta and San Juan.

Local 306 Awaits Walsh

NEW YORK—lATSE Local 306 will refuse

to have any further contract talks with

the theatre circuits pending the return of

Richard F. Walsh, lATSE president, from

Florida, according to Herman Gelber, head

of the New York projectionists union.

To Prerelease 'Samson'

NEW YORK—Thirty-two prerelease engagements

have been arranged for "Samson

and Delilah" during February and March by

A. W. Schwalberg, Paramount vice-president.

They cover theatres in 15 states.

Garthwaite Elected to U Board

NEW YORK — Albert A. Garthwaite has

been elected to the board of directors of

Universal Pictures. He has been president

and general manager of the Lee Tire & Rubber

Corp. since 1939.

54-B

BOXOFFICE :: February 11, 1950


Victor Norton Joins NBC

In Big Reorganization

NEW YORK—A major reorganization at

the National Broadcasting Co. has brought

Victor T. Norton to the company as administrative

vice-president, according to

F>resident Joseph H. McConnell. He has been

president of American Home Foods and a

vice-president and director of the Kenyon &

Eckhardt ad agency.

The network has been divided into three

major operating divisions and a number of

staff units. Charles R. Denny, executive vicepresident,

is head of the radio network

pending appointment of an executive to have

overall charge. Sylvester L. Weaver is vicepresident

in charge of the television network.

James M. Gaines Is director of I


TBA Re-Elects Raibourn;

TV Film Problems Aired

NEW YORK—Paul Raibourn, Paramounl

vice-president and television expert, was reelected

a director and assistant secretarytreasurer

of the Television Broadcasters Ass'n

at its annual clinic February 8 at the Waldorf-Astoria.

His term as director is foi

three years. J. R. Poppele was re-elected

president and Will Baltin secretary-treasurer.

Ernest B. Loveman of Philco was elected vicepresident

and re-elected to the board for

three years. A resolution was adopted protesting

the suggested imposition of a 10 pei

cent excise tax on television receivers.

Ralph M. Cohn, manager of the television

department of Screen Gems, a subsidiary ot

Columbia, discussed the relative merits of film

versus live programming. He favored live production

for programs such as quiz shows,

guessing games and audience participation

shows, and film for programs where the

effect is to entertain by telling a story. He

pointed out that live costs are rising rapidly.

'PREPAID SALES' EXPLAINED

Cohn suggested a method of "prepaid sales"

which he explained by reviewing motion picture

history.

"Thirty years ago," he said, many picture

producers who had developed a reputation for

stability and reliability as well as for quality,

financed their pictures by selling them either

to exhibitors or statesright distributors before

the films were made. The producer

made up a program of 12 or 14 pictures he

planned to make, and then toured the country

getting advances on the strength of his

campaign book. When he had enough money

to get started, he went to Hollywood and

knocked the first of the pictures out. As soon

as he started delivery of his program, additional

advances were made, and so he continued

to finish his commitment.

"Eventually a farsighted banker, 'Doc'

Giannini, began lending money to the best

of these producers, which graduaUy replaced

the need for advances. The 'Doc' was a great

man, requiring as his security only his own

judgment of the character and talent of the

producer. Since banks don't work that way

any more, something similar to the system of

advances must be developed in the field of

television if the vast needs of local advertisers

are to be satisfied.

OTHER EXECmVES' VIEWS

"Why isn't it

pKJssible for a producer or distributor

to get advances from stations, advertising

agencies or local advertisers, so that

he can start production? I double that the

initiative and trust that characterized the

American way of doing business has gone out

of our lives. Most television stations, owned

as they are by newspapers, AM broadcasters

or motion picture exhibitors, can raise enough

cash to help finance reliable producers. So

can many large local advertisers or their

agencies."

Russ Johnston of Jerry Fairbanks I^roductions

said that, by and large, the local television

package has not yet emerged and that

the reasons are that the stations won't sell

them and that none good enough to sell have

yet been made. He was convinced that television

film programs properly prepared by

qualified persons and properly exhibited will

become the salvation of the television industry.

Ned Irish, executive vice-president of Madison

Square Garden, New York, said gate receipts

are not adversely affected by television,

except in instances of unusually severe

weather or by mediocre attractions on a

schedule which may include many standout

features in a relatively short time. "That we

have proved and hope to get further proof

before April 1 when our indoor sports programs

conclude," he said.

President Poppele, in his annual report,

said that "there is no reason—beyond just

plain indifference—why every television operator

in the country should not be a member

of TBA." He called for the lifting of the

government freeze on new station grants. The

association distributed a sample rate card as

a guide to formulating more uniform rate

practices. Its preparation took a year. Charles

C. Barry, vice-president, American Broadcasting

Co., was chairman of the chnic.

DuMont Says Two U.S.

Officials Hold Up TV

NEW YORK—Two government officials are

chiefly responsible for the freeze on construction

of new television stations and are

stifling the industry by their "arbitrary"

action. Dr. Allen B. DuMont, president of

the television company of the same name,

told the fifth annual Television Institute and

Industry Trade Show February 6. He identified

the officials as Sen. Edwin C. Johnson,

Democrat, of Colorado, and Robert F.

Jones of the Federal Communications commission.

DuMont said that Senator Johnson, as

chairman of the senate committee on Interstate

and foreign commerce, has supervisory

responsibility over FCC, and that Jones

"has no eye or ear for anything that doesn't

look or sound like color." Tests show, he

said, that color transmitters can operate on

present channels with no additional interference

problems than those involved with

present black-and-white transmission. He

urged continued experiments in color but

said a final decision on its use may take

years. He said "these two laymen" insist

that "we standardize on a color system now."

House of Lords Decides

For MGM in Libel Suit

LONDON—The House of Lords has dismissed

an appeal by E. Arnot Robertson,

English author and critic, against an earlier

verdict by the court of appeals in her suit

against MGM for libel and slander. She

originally had been awarded 1,500 pounds

damages after a jury found the company

guilty of malice when it barred her from

MGM previews following her radio review of

"The Green Years" in 1946 on the BBC.

The court of appeals reversed the decision,

finding no evidence of malice in the company's

action or in its letter of protest to

the BBC. Cost of the lawsuit to Miss Robertson

is estimated at 13,000 pounds.

MPIC Ailer More Data

On Foreign Siiualion

HOLLYWOOD—Spurred by the Hollywood

AFL Film Council—long a bitter foe of socalled

"runaway" foreign production by American

film companies—the Motion Picture

Industry Council, of which the AFL group

a member, has set machinery in motion to

is

seek additional information through which

a joint program may be initiated to study the

entire foreign situation, including the problem

of frozen funds and the upcoming renegotiation

of the Anglo-American film

agreement.

At the last MPIC membership meeting,

representatives of the AFL council reiterated

its strong opposition to foreign production

as a solution to frozen dollar difficulties on

the grounds it creates unemployment ameng

Hollywood film workers.