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Boxoffice-December.20.1952

Minors Club Boosts

Minors Club Boosts Coming Attractions At RegaL Oxford D. A. C. Ewin. manager of the Regal Cinema, Oxford. England, got children to attend his Saturday Minors' matinees to start wordof -mouth publicity on two recent attractions. Ewin made announcements to the minors on "Breaking the Sound Barrier" and "Abbott and Costello Lost in Alaska." The youngsters did an excellent job. spreading the word on both pictures. Publicity thus landed directly in hundreds of local homes. On "Breaking the Sound Barrier." 1,000 special handbills quoting from favorable reviews were distributed by neighborhood shops. Posters were displayed in the lobby and foyer three weeks in advance. The daily paper published a serialization of the film, and tieups were made with top shops and florists for window displays. For "Lost in Alaska," a bicycle was promoted for a door prize at the Minors' matinee. Two thousand free comic books were promoted and distributed to the youngsters, and a quantity sent to local children's homes and hospital wards. This resulted in added publicity stories in the press. Eleven news agents displayed showcards plugging the picture, and Ewin set up window displays in 13 choice locations. Clergymen Cooperate On 'Cry' in Hove, England A week in advance of opening with "Cry, the Beloved Country," A.P.C. Bridger, manager of the Granada Cinema, Hove, Sussex, England, informed several local clergymen and informed them of the booking. The Reverend Hills, who was familiar with the theme of the film, was very desirous of having his congregation see it and offered to display a sign and stills in the church porch. Offers from two other clergymen followed. The picture was mentioned by these three clergymen in their .sermons on Sunday before playdate, and the local papers ran an item on Bridger's efforts in this connection. Special Anniversary News Pearl Bryant, manager of the Federal Theatre, Federalsburg, Md., celebrated the 21st anniversary of the theatre by promoting a special newspaper section in the local paper, with congratulatory ads from merchants. The newspaper devoted several news columns to highlights of the theatre's history. The first 21 women who attended the anniversary show each received a red ro.se, promoted from a local florist. At the evening performance, an anniversary cake donated by a bakery was sliced and a portion given to each patron. Rents Theatre to Santa George Cameron, manager of the Holland Theatre, Bellefontaine, Ohio, got several local merchants to play Santa Claus to the community's youngsters on Saturday, December 6. The merchants rented the theatre and distributed complimentary tickets to customers. Santa made a personal appearance and handed out the gifts. 40 C^xpectationd (Continued from preceding page) If these innovations lea.ve their mark on the presentation of motion pictures, imagine the impact they will have on the merchandising of product. Wliere newspaper advertising has been the most effective medium in the past, it may be too slow for a market where time and current events will give the showman only hours to "sell" his attractions. Radio and commercial television may become the principal media because of their ability to reach the public swiftly. It is a matter of record that the vast majority of managers grew up in the industry from the ranks. It was the glamor and the excitement of competing for bigger grosses that attracted and held so many theatremen in the industry. A whole new era of showmanship lies ahead in 1953. There is a job of selling to be done. We are happy that even as an observer we are privileged to be part of this exciting scene. We will be interested in watching developments. We will have special interest because so many of our personal and pen friends will be participating in the development of these new techniques and new methods of promotion and exploitation. From what we know about these friends —their ability, ingenuity and showmanship —we are sure the job is in the hands of the right people. Season's greetings to you all. Let's hear from thee—in '53. — Chester Friedman Posters and Windows Promote 'Superman' When A. T. Fowle, manager of the Astoria in Brighton, Sussex, England, played "Superman and the Strange People," he arranged with a local firm to display window publicity and an announcement to the effect that "Superman" would visit the store's toy department. Hundreds of children flocked to the store where the ballyhoo man distributed free comic books and throwaways advertising the film. Although street sunts are prohibited in Brighton, Fowle got around the obstacle by having a costumed superman visit Woolworth's. He was followed around by many ardent young admirers as he strolled through the premises and the desired effect was achieved even though he bore no written publicity for the picture. Leading news agents in Brighton cooperated with display signs advertising picture and playdates, and throwaways were u.sed as stuffers by newspapers. Superman comic book.s were given away free to youngsters at another neighborhood store. Posters were spotted around town in strategic locations and press coverage was excellent, with generous space in the Evening Argus and the Brighton paper plus photos in four newspapers. — 292 — Jewelry Store Tieup And Contest Boost 'Noon' in England Several lively promotions exploiting "Higl Noon" were executed by Rex Henderson, man ager of the Hippodrome, Nuneaton. England In the window of Bickell's jewelry store ten clocks displayed were set to show the timi in ten different countries when it is "higl noon" in Nuneaton. The clock in the cente; of the display carried full credits. This stun seemed to arouse a great deal of publii interest. A painting contest for youngsters was ar ranged with the Nuneaton Observer. Ove: 230 entries were received, something of i record for contests in this situation, of whicl about 100 were mounted by Henderson am exhibited in the theatre foyer during the cur rent playdates. Three weeks in advance of opening, patron. were surprised by a "ghost" voice emanatini from the stage, saying, "The time is now . . but on (date) it will be 'High Noon.'" Henderson prevailed upon the mayor o Nuneaton to obtain permission from Mitchell and Butlers, brewers, to erect banners on thet property beneath a clock in the town center This is avowedly the best site in Nuneaton, ont which, according to Henderson, has neve: before been used for such a purpose. Free Pass Offer Gag Tests Paper's Draw When the new Flamingo Drive-In new Laurinburg. N. C. opened recently, E. Y Stafford, district manager for H. B. Meiselmar Theatres, decided to test the drawing powei of a newspaper published at Bennetts ville, S. C. Since it was important to learn whethei folks would drive the 20 miles to the new drive-in, Stafford ran an ad in the Marlbort Herald-Advocate which included a free ad mission good during a specified week. Th« stunt proved that he could attract people from this distance, and he reports that many of those who redeemed the newspaper offei of free admission had several paying cus-i tomers with them in the car. In conjunction with the opening of thi drive-in. special heralds were distributed U 5,000 rural homes in the area. A weekly house program was introduced since there is no dail> paper in the immediate area. Dance School on Stage To pep up business diu-ing the pre-Christi mas season, Ken Carter, manager of the! Madi.son Theatre. Richmond. Ky., arranged with Sybil Garnett dance school to give a recital on the theatre stage. About 60 students appeared, giving readings and an exhibition ol dancing and singing. The local newspapei gave the event excellent publicity. A Health Promotion Lee Willi.s. manager of the Piqua lOhio) Theatre, contacted his local FTA and the Mental Health A.ss'n to promote "The Doctor." The executive .secretary of the healtb organization mentioned the picture dining 8 radio broadcast. Willis .sent personal letters with a pitch for the picture, to teachers and professional men in tlie community. BOXOFFICE Showmandiser : : Dec. *tioii 27, 1952 loxorncEs

Merchant and Paper Give Theatre Co-Op For The Fighter' A. J. Kalbcrir, cily miuiiinfr for Swltow' Theatres, Wa.shlngton. Ind.. nrruiiKed n prrtentlou.s tieiip for "Tlu' FlKhtor" in cooporutlon with the WashliiKtoii Herald a ii d Shlff's .shoe store. The paper publl.shed Illustrations of famous fighters In history on four successive days a week prior to opening Captions furnished clues to help traders Identify the fighters. At the conclusion of the series, contejtants were required to submit the four illustnitlons with a 25-word statement on why thfy would like to see "The Fighter" at the Timplc Court Theatre. The store donated cash prizes and gifts, and bought tickets for presentation to all contestants. The newspaper ran a page one story announcing the contest and each day used a box story on the front page calling attention to the contest. The theatre received more than a full page of free publicity, culminating in a layout of photos on opening day showing the contest winners. For the Thanksgiving school recess. Kalberer arranged an amateur talent shew for the Indiana Theatre in cooperation with the Campbell music studios. Thirty boy.^ and girls, members of the theatre's Roy Rogers Riders club, participated in the show The studio provided 15 accordionists for musicbackground. During December, Kalberer promoted a free show for kids on the Saturday before Christmas. He booked a barn dance stage show from a nearby television station and promoted a puppet show for the annual kiddy Christmas party at the Indiana. Sales Copy and Illustrations Should Blend for Best Impact Gestapo Uniforms Scare DP.'s at Brantford Stan Andrews, manager of the Paramount. Brantford. Ont.. put two ushers on the street to Ballyhoo "They Came to Blow Up America" and had local D.P.s in an uproar. The ushers were dressed in Gestapo uniforms. They distributed cards with picture and theatre imprint. Without advance notice, Andrews released a barrage of balloons from the roof, precipitating a mad ,'cramble. Attached to each balloon was a slip imprinted with theatre copy. Scouts See Free Show As Guests of Merchants Harry Weiner. manager of the Oswego (N. Y.) Theatre, had a local automobile agency sponsor a free show for nearly 1.000 Girl Scouts and Brownies during National Girl Scout week. The sponsor rented the entire ,( iK theatre and played host to the scouts. On the screen were a film on Girl Scouting and a j|];5i selection from the Children's Film Library. ,],(5( The promotion rated a story in the Syracuse Herald-Journal. Readers of this department frequently write asking for ideas which ore dilierent from pressbook display ads and suitable lor use in the smaller situations. Pictured above are some fine examples of off-the-beaten-track ads of small space dimensions created by Larry Grabum. ad director for Odeon Theatres. Ltd. Grabum's talents are well known to theatremen in Canada and the United States. His ideas have been widely copied in both countries. He has been reccgniied for his ability to use sharp, terse, copy in complement with illustrative elements that convey the story theme to the reader with impact. All ads shown are reduced from sizes ranging from one to three columns. Note the horizontal ad at top. BOXOFFICE Showmandiser : : Dec. 27, 1952 — 293 — 41