3 years ago


B. ^=.01 LETTERS Two

B. ^=.01 LETTERS Two Exhibitors View the Tax Question To BOXOFFICE: As a motion picture exhibitor for many years. I read with much interest your edilorial entitled "A Tax Angle for Study" in the December 13 issue of BOXOFFICE. Your point is very well made and worthy of study by every exhibitor. This question will most certainly arise when presentation is made of our request for removal of the 20 per cent federal tax on theatre admissions. My answer to this is simple and direct. Of course, we need the amount represented by this tax, because during the years of steadily Increasing costs, the years of Inflated values and wages, the years in which the average index of living has advanced tremendously, motion picture admission prices, at least in small cities and towns, have been advanced very little and, in some cases, not at all. The 20 per cent federal admissions tax, therefore, represents part of the increase we need to bring us part way up to the present average living index. Admission prices have not been rnlTA WINNER!] WIRE WRITE PHONE MimtQfh$: HALLMARK I B«anns^ The Fix For You In '52' HALLMADK tLDG., WILMINGTON. OHIO liVIRLY HILLS • CHICAGO • CLIVftAND • TORONTO MfXICO CITY • AUCKLAND • SYDNEY • SINGAPORE HONGKONG • CALCUTTA • KARACHI • CAIRO • ATHENS I . RARIS • LONDON . AMSTERDAM • STOCKHOLM raised nearly so much as most items in other industries. This is due. in part, to the difficult period through which our industry is now going and, in part, to fears of motion pictiu-e exhibitors that any raise in admission prices would lower our attendance volume even more. Even if we should be able to retain the 20 per cent, our admission prices will not be as high as the cuiTent average price index. We have been handing over to the government an amount representing a moderate increase in prices which every other industry has been able to apply to its own use. Now. when we are facing bankruptcy, we are asking for what should rightly have been ours for many years past. It was my understanding that this admissions tax was legalized "for the diuration" of World War II. If this is true, and no amendments have been made since, this tax has been illegally collected since the end of the war. Every exhibitor should express his ideas through our industry publications, or in some other manner, in order that they may come to the attention of industry leaders, who, in turn, may "divide the wheat from the chaff" in their efforts to help us all. Dopp Theatre Service, Johnstown, N. Y. C. H. DOPP To BOXOFFICE: Your editorial, "A Tax Angle for Study," BOXOFFICE, December 13, seems to miss the point and does not present a true picture of the federal admissions tax as applied to theatres. The facts are that the tax was levied at a time when regular admission charges were at a low level and. because of the tax, exhibitors have been unable to raise their admissions to meet the rising cost of repairs, replacements, taxes and the higher cost of living. Because of this, exhibitors were actually obliged to absorb the tax without passing it on to the customer. Now, the admissions tax becomes unfair because it does not apply to our competitors. And, believe it or not, most of our competition comes from local activities such as schools and other tax-free organizations that have gone out for public entertainment at a profit. In most cases the exhibitor is, for one reason or another, obligated to support these activities. So, in the end, the exhibitor finds that [HESTER * f he is helping to support his competition by EDIT taxes AND donations and is also paying a 20 per cent admissions tax of which his competition is free. In fairness to all, the admissions tax should apply to all—or be repealed. In the matter of taxes imposed on other lines of business, to which you referred, these do not seem to me to have any bearing on the admissions tax to which exhibitors are subjected. Dealers in the lines you mention carry lines of stock, which if not sold today will bel sold tomorrow. Motion pictures are a highly! perishable class of merchandise. If, because of illness, bad weather and other uncontrollable factors, the exhibitor is not able to sell his program on the date scheduled—he stands to,' take a loss. A motion picture theatre is a community asset—it should not be subject to an unfair " tax or any other form of discrimination. H. F. HIGGINS St. Marys, Kas. Los Angeles, New Orleans, Vancouver Win UA Drive NEW YORK—Top honors in the Unitedl Artists Bill Heineman sales drive went to Los Angeles. New Orleans and Vancouver. They led in their individual divisions. The drive wasj launched last June with Max E. Youngstei as drive captain. Runnersup in each of the three grou] were: San Francisco and Chicago. Group Charlotte and St. Louis. Group 2. and New Haven and Buffalo. Group 3. Prize money has been forwarded to branch managers, salesmen, bookers and cashiers in the winning offices. Special awards have gone to George Pabst, southern district manager and James Velde, southern-western division manager, for their showings in their terri' Iflrffoi tories. ILju Colien, i MGM to Up Advertising On 'Clown' for Yuletide NEW YORK—MGM will increase the ad- Red ^ vertising plans for "The Clown," starring Skelton and Jane Greer, to include TV andf" radio spots during the holiday season, accord-i ing to Howard Dietz, vice-president and di-i rector of advertising, publicity and exploitaip«i tion. Approximately 40 Christmas week bookings, n half of them Loew's situations, have already been set. The picture will be nationally tn rade-t "l shown December 22. Infori mm, set «[ i^ioitation deal aiiare," lie duo proii ftom the ^^^' *"« am was till teons «to a{ Sen trucks anbo window and four itaarks wei tali and boc The Diilerence is Amazing! INTRODUCINC THE... I OUTDOOR REFRESHMENT i SERVICE from Cooit to Coast ovor V4 C«ntury Refreshment Service for DRIVE - IN THEATRES One hundred A Dayslo p; lis* (rames. | • EllMINATION OF TO THE PICTURE. (LACK MASKING ADDS MAGNITUDE / • SPECIAILY DESIGNED WINGS GIVE A NEW DIMEN- SIONAl EFFECT. • SUBBOUNDINC UGMT AREA IMPROVES THE IllUSION OF DEPTH. • NO PERFORATIONS FOR PERFECT VISION FROM tVERT SEAT. • CUSTOM MADE AND INSTAllCO IN/ ir«/ EVERY I SITUATION. tiD«tt> iKiaiMa I F. SHEARER COMPANY SPORTSERVICE CORP. spoRTURVici iLDO. • Rurr DIT-MCO, the one and only ORIGINAL fLOOOllGHT RAMP IDENTIFICATION AND DRIVEWAY Better Marked Ramps Avoids Conlufion; Moves Traffic Foster DRIVE-IN THEATRE MFG. CO.*''K\«'.V^ir,*!;" Ihisi In this ne Sfrtsinore 'Jtalion. ,1 Pbiure «( Beeling „ '"tnl% 38 BOXOFFICE December 27, 1952 lOXOFncEj

1 CHESTER FRIEDMAN i^lHL EDITOR HUGH E. FRAZE Asiocialc Editor umm SECTION PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR SELLING SEATS BY PRACTICAL SHOWMEN heatremen Put Snows All Over hrtford in 40-Step Campaign IUUtl>( Lou Cohen, manager of the Poh Theatre, lartford. Conn., and Norman Levin.son. his .s.sLstant. .set up 40 separate advertising and .xploitation deals to sell "The Snows of Kiliiianjaro." The duo promoted a half-hour radio proram from the theatre lobby every day for |lve days. Aired by station WTHT. the proram was titled, "What is Kilimanjaro?" ersons who appeared on the show received sses. News trucks .servicing the area carried thektre banners on both sides. Three hundred umbo window cards were distributed in Hartford and four surrounding towns, and 10.000 okmarks were circulated through libraries. Chools and bookstores. One hundred Connecticut imprinted vith Dayglo paint displayed 22x27 cards on butside frames. A jeep towed a trailer with six-sheet boards through the main streets and covered schools, factories and football games. One of Hartford's leading department stores used six full windows tied in with the picture. Fourteen separate news stories and art breaks were planted with daily papers and the foreign language Paid spot announcements and promoted air time publicized the attraction over five radio .stations. Sidewalks were stenciled, and theatre employes used bumper strips on their cars plugging the playdates. Supplementing these facets were lobby and outside displays at the theatre, and teaser trailers which were spliced into the new.sreel four weeks in advance. Cross trailers and lobby displays were used at the Palace Theatre, another Loew's Poll circuit theatre in the city of Hartford. Note the outdoor ballyhoo above. Harry Wilson Clicks With Big Campaigns On Split-Week Bill Harry WlLson, manager of the Capitol Theatre. Chatham. Ont.. played "Fearless Fagan" and "Ivanhoe" on a split-week booking and gave both attractions strong campaigns. For "Fearle.-s Fagan." he rented a Hon costume and had one of hi.s employes visit all the local .schools as "Mr. Lion" and appear on the downtown streets with signs. During peak hours he cut capers atop the theatre marquee to the amusement of pa.s.sersby. For "Ivanhoe." Wilson worked out a deal with Mirwin's department store whereby the owner agreed to give away Black Knight rings to the first 150 children who visited the toy department accompanied by their parents. The store ran a 170-llne co-op ad In the Dally News advertising the offer, with prominent mention of "Ivanhoe." They devoted a full island counter display in the center of the store to "Ivanhoe" archery equipment, giving more than 60 per cent of the display space to picture and theatre credits. The public library and two bookstores distributed bookmarks and displayed lithos. A walking book ballyhoo appeared on the streets during peak shopping hours. At slack periods, he sat on the curb in front of the theatre. The Kent news service bannered all delivery trucks with picture copy. Wil.5on persuaded the principals in several -schools to announce the theatre dates to students over the public address system. A Car for 'Plymouth' A four-column newspaper co-op ad plugping "Plymouth Adventure" was promoted from the Plymouth motor sales company of Cortland. N. Y.. by Bob Anthony, manager of the local State Theatre. reat C^xpectationA This is the last writing for this column until next year. In retrospect, 1952 has been an exciting and wonderful experience. In this crossroads of correspondence, we have met several hundred new friends. Across the threshold of our office there are scores more we have greeted as they came to stay a few days during vacation. And there have been many with whom we have had the pleasure of clasping hands at conventions and meetings. These meetings represent to us the most cherished of attainments friendship. From onr office in Rockefeller Center we look sonth, with the television mast atop the Empire Slate building framed in the center of the window. Like a giant hypnderniir needle pointed skyward, it appears to pres;»ge the "shot in the arm" television will tiring to worried exhibitors during the year ahead. For closedcircuit theatre television may make it possible for theatres to sell tickets to what are now home audiences. It should become a profitablp reality for some exhibitors during the next 12 months. There are other innovations, to be sure. Cinerama and thirddimensional films are likewise destined to make revolutionary changes in the presentation of motion pictures. They already have made a sen.sational impression on the entertainment-minded public. (Continued on next page) immiimiiMiiiiwiMmiMMMMiiiiiiiiiiM^^ BOXOFFICE Showmiandiser : : Dec. 27, 1952 — 291 — 39