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Boxoffice-December.20.1952

:|C- IN ADDITION THESE

:|C- IN ADDITION THESE SUPER'HITS ARE YOUR PARAMOUNT FUTURE FOR ROMAN HOLIDAY A William Wvler Production Gregor\' Peck, Audre\' Hepburn, Eddie Albert. ARROWHEAD Charlton Heston, Mary Sinclair, Jack Palance, Michael Keith. Produced by Nat Holt Color by Fechnicolor. SHANE A George Stevens Production. Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Brandon de Wilde. Color b\' Technicolor. STALAG 17 Produced by Hilly Wilder William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Premmgei. 1' rom the Mroadway stage success. LITTLE BOY LOST A Perlberg-Seaton I'lodiution Ring Ci()sl)\-, Claude Dauphin. SCARED STIFF A Hal Wallis Production. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Lizabeth Scott, Carmen Miranda. HOUDINI Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh Produced by George Pal Color b\' Technicolor FOREVER FEMALE Ginger Rogers, William Holden, Paul Douglas, Par Crowley. Produced by Pat Duggan HERE COME THE GIRLS Bob Hope, Arlenc Dahl, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Nhirtin. Produced by Paul Jones. Color by Technicolor. THE CONQUERORS John Payne, C\)leen Grey, Jan Sterling, Lyle Bettger. Produced by Pine and Ihomas. Color b\' Technicolor. AND LEADING SUPER-HITS TO COME Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS Bing Crosby- Fred Astaire - Rosemary Clooney

Newsreel Is Missed When You Drop It Eric Johnston Says Elimination of News Can Be a Factor in Patronage Slump By ERIC JOHNSTON President, Motion Picture Ass'n WASHINGTON- Wf hiul somo people over to the house the other iilKht and after some talk 1)11 the state of the iiuMon, the conversalloii veered—as I expected II would to the motion picture business. "You people are turning out some pretty good pictures." one of my guests observed. "But you continue to clutter up your shows With second features. And you're making a mistake by cutting out the newsreels." 1 went along with my giiest on the double bills and explained in some detail why a lot of exhibitors felt they needed them. USED IN 83% OF TIIF.ATRKS Then we turned to the newsreel— the newsreel my guest couldn't find. I pointed out quickly that 83 per cent of the theatres in the country recognize the value of newsreels, show the newsreels and wouldn't do without them. I wanted to know more of this man's reitlon to the newsreel—and his reaction to ng it. My friend lives in a suburban, one-theare community. He and his wife patronize e theatre whenever a good picture comes long—and that, in recent months, has iveraged about once every three or four weeks. Last summer the theatre dropped the news- Is. Since then, my guest and his wife stew 'er its absence whenever they go to that leatre. They miss it. They think they're ig cheated. They want it back. They still go to the movie house to catch e better films, he -said, "but some of our fthusiasm was chipped off when they tossed lUt the newsreel." An hour later, after the guests left, I found lyself plunk in the middle of a flash-back to le newsreel conversation. I wondered how many other movie fans round the country felt cheated when they iscovered the newsreel was dumped. The 'urvey made on fan preferences for the ewsreel on movie programs showed nine out f every ten fans liked them and wanted them. lAY BE A DETERRENT I wondered how many thousands of potenal moviegoers wavering over a nocturnal deision to go to the movies, are dissuaded by Mine newsreel that i.sn't there. The newsreel • the shortest item on a theatre bill and the ast expensive, but it's long on value and nportance. It's weighty enough to tip the ales of decision one way or the other for a it of people. I wondered what impels an exhibitor, in lese days of the vanishing SRO sign, to .link that the newsreel is expendable. But •HI hu don't woo movie fans by taking away )mething that 90 per cent of them like and ant. I thought of the pale reasons some of the Khibitors give for abolishing the newsreels. M"We have to cut down expenses. So we'll lit out the newsreel. The fans won't miss it." iThat's penny - wise - and - pound - foolish ^inking. You eliminate the newsreel and you ^^Ko eliminate customers who'll settle for their ^^Bwsreel needs and eventually all of their t)XOFFICE December 27, 1952 ERIC JOHNSTON visual ent-ertainment needs on another medium. But they still prefer the movie newsreel. And they want it. If you don't believe they do. make this simple test. Pa.ss out questionnaires all of next week at your theatre and ask them. The odds are ten-to-one you'll restore the newsreel in a hurry. "Why book the newsreel when people get it on television—and faster?" TV CAN'T MATCH QUALITY Surely TV gets the news faster. But what kind of news? There's a whale of a lot of difference between the news that comes through on the cathode tube and the news that's presented on your large-size screen. And it's much more than just the size and the clarity of the image. You consistently get top-notch production quality and expert editorial treatment in the movie newsreel which the TV people, with rare exceptions, can't possibly provide. Take a close look at the make-up and quality of news presentation that comes through on your TV set for a few nights. Then stack it up against your movie newsreel. The contrast, if you haven't discovered it by now, is startling. And your fans—your TV set-owning fan.s—know it. The argument that the theatre's news is old hat by the time it reaches the screen is pretty flimsy. TV newscasts are no competition to movie newsreels. No more than daily newspapers are competition for weeklies like Time magazine and Newsweek. The fact that the newspapers report the news hot off the wire hasn't made a dent in the enormous circulations and readership of the new-s weeklies. Nor have the daily TV newscasts dented the popularity and preference for the theatrical newsreel. In the quiet of the night, I wondered how many exhibitors ever really considered the broader plus-values of newsreels—that to untold millions they bring knowledge and information and pleasure: that they stimulate interest in the day-to-day events that make up the liLstory ol uur tunc, thai they perform a prlccle.s.s .service to the people of our nation through their support of humanitarian, civic and charitable cause.s; that they rank second to none as a medium for acqualntlnt; peoples the world over with the Ideals and concepts of democracy. Big talk? Sure It's big talk—but It actuaUy understates what the newsreel means to the Industry, to the nation and to our government. WILL SEEK REEL ELSEWHERE Movie funs may not holler or scream when the newsreel Ls yanked. They don't sign petitions to have it restored. Many of them will Just .seek out houses that do show newsreels. Others, sooner or later, will adjust them.selves to catching the news m their living room. There used to be a time when fans accepted what you offered them—when the exhibitor could afford to .say "like It or lump It." Those days are gone. The cinematic fare you serve is less tempting, less zestful without the sidedish. If the big problem today is to hold and build our audiences, then good programming balanced programming— is one of the .solutions. Programs are not at their best, programs cannot be balanced, without the newsreel. I slipped into my pajamas and snapped off the light. Before dozing off I recalled the w'ords of a Times Square exhibitor who brought newsreels back to his theatre after experimenting for a year without them. "Take away the newsreel from a movie program." he said, "and you commit larceny on your fans and a disservice to your community." Feldmon Is Distribution Chairman for the MPAA NEW YORK—C. J. Feldman, general sales manager of Universal Pictures, has been named chairman of the distributors' committee of the Motion Picture Ass'n. He succeeds A. W. Schwalberg, president of Paramount Film Distributing Corp. Schwalberg was host at a dinner honoring the sales executives of the companies. Those present, in addition to Schwalberg and Feldman, were: Al Lichtman. William C. Gehring. Charles M. Reagan, Maurice Goldstein. William J. Heineman, Bernard G. Kranze, George F. Dembow. Ralph D. Hetzel. Ned E. Depinet. Robert Mochrie, Martin Quigley, John J. O'Connor. E. K. (Ted) O'Shea and Monroe Goodman. Three-Dimension Feature To Be Made by Warners HOLLYWOOD — Report,-; that Warner Bros, was preparing to jump aboard the three-dimension bandwagon were confirmed with disclosure that the company has inked a commitment with M. L. Gunzburg's Natural Vision Corp. for the making of a threedimension feature, to be photographed in WarnerColor. A mid-January start is planned for the as-yet-untitled project. 19