4 years ago



I HUGHES IS BACK AT CONTROLS H^ AS CHAIRMAN OF RKO'S BOARD 8(i HOLLYWOOD—That Howard Hughes, who until three months ago held the controlling interest in the company, will again play an active part in guiding the destinies of RKO Radio was affirmed on Wednesday (17) when he was elected chairman of the board. The selection of other new officers, including a president, and the naming of a production executive were momentarily expected. OTHER OFFICERS NAMED At the same board meeting. A. D. Simpson, vice-chairman of the National Bank of Commerce of Houston, joined the directorate as a replacement for Maurice H. Bent, previously and apparently erroneously announced as a board member. The directors now comprise Hughes, Simpson, Noah Dietrich,, executive vice-president and a director of the Hughes Tool Co.; J. Miller Walker, for 21 years an employe of RKO in such capacities as vicepresident and general counsel, and Edward G. Burke jr., only member of the new directorate who is associated with the Ralph Stolkin Syndicate, which recently acquired control of the company. Earlier, the board accepted the resignation of Sherrill C. Corwin. coast exhibitor, as an officer and director. Meantime litigation involving the company's corporate affairs continued to crop up with the filing of a minority stockholders' suit in federal district court here, the action being a duplicate of a recent action lodged in New York requesting a temporary receivership from the firm. After the reconstitution of the directorate, statements were issued by Hughes, Stolkin and Ned E. Depinet, former RKO president. Hughes reviewed the series of meetings between himself and the Stolkin group, which he said was initiated by Stolkin because Hughes has a "continuing financial interest of very large magnitude" in the company. RE-EMPHASIZES CONFIDENCE Stolkin, re-emphasizing his "confidence" in the RKO investment and his "sincere feeling of responsibility toward the company and the other stockholders," declared himself confident that the men elected to the board "will immediately focus their attention and effort upon the revitalization of RKO," and will "effect the necessary economies and expansions consistent with .sound business management." Depinet, before his recent departure for New York, confirmed reports that Hughes had asked him to return to the RKO board and resume the presidency of the company, and declared that "due to existing circumstances" it was his "considered decision that it would serve no useful purpose for me to re-enter the management of RKO at this time." He declared him.self sure that Hughes will "do whatever is necessary to give RKO good management and I hope with all my heart that he succeeds." The new board, since Its selection, has held two meetings, but at midweek had not reached any definite conclusions relating to the .selection of officers and/or production heads. The minority stockholders' suit was brought Speculate on How Active Role Hughes Will Take NEW YORK—How active Howard Hughes intends to be in the management of RKO Pictures and for how long continued to be a topic of speculation during the week. It is pretty generally understood that Ralph Stolkin and his associates want to get rid of the 1,013,420 shares for which they agreed to pay $7 per share over a period of two years. Its a problem with the stock selling for less than $4 per share on the market. As a solid block it is a controlling interest. For this reason the purchasers agreed that any decision to sell would have to be unanimous. Early last week Sherrill Corwin, Los Angeles theatre man, who was one of the group, resigned as acting chairman of the board and also as a member of the board and it is reported that he has been released from the agreement not to sell. The time of Corwin's resignation—Friday (12)—after three weeks of off and on conversation with Hughes it was announced that the new board had been named. About the time that this took place Ned E. Depinet, who had refused to return to the presidency unless he was given full control, returned to New York, and Hughes sent for Charles Boasberg, who was named general sales manager a few days after Stolkin and his associates took over. He was still on the coast late in the week. In the meantime the stockholders suit for a receivership and an accounting of the $3,- 000,000 profit Hughes is supposed to have made in the stock transfer took a new turn. The case was first filed in the New York supreme court, a state tribunal, in behalf of on behalf of Eli B. and Marion V. Castleman and Louis Feuerman, and charges that Hughes should be required to repay some $1,296,000 which he expended for various items and which .sum allegedly is not recoverable by RKO. The action also asks that Hughes be required to pay the company for any damages suffered during his stewardship. Correction "The Greatest Show on Earth" (Para) is a 1952-,53 release, therefore, it should not have been included in the rating; of top hits among feature releases for the 19.51-52 season, as reported in BOX- OFFICE, Dec. 6, 1952. Prereleased early this year, the Cecil B. DeMille production is now in general release. In its advance runs it scored a high g;rossing mark and, based on current showings, Paramount executives expect it to be their bi|;f;est money-maiter. HOWARD HUGHES Back in RKO Control two stockholders. During the first hearings which resulted in two postponements, anj RKO attorney questioned whether the court had the power to appoint a receiver who could function outside of the state of New York. To meet this question, apparently, another suit was filed this week in federal court in Los Angeles. Eric Johnston Has No Plan For Retiring, Say Aides NEW YORK— Ei-ic Johnston doesn't inten( to retire from the presidency of the Motloi Picture Ass'n and has no plans for taki: another government post, according to un official word issued in his behalf from thei MPAA offices. The report that he might retire originated in Er.skine Johnson's syndicated column inj the Scripps-Howard papers. Johnson saldi George Murphy was being groomed to take! over the MPAA presidency as his "diplomacyi missions for Hollywood have far over-, shadowed his acting career during the last few years. Mr. Johnston, it's said, is eager to step down as movie czar." i This appeared in print on the same day that Johnston visited President-elect Eisenhower at his Hotel Commodore headquarters, and speculation became widespread. (iibilors itoblei JVORK- : "CarWD" IM awedtlist soti Lee, N.J sas |ra-p.icE SI rteie, publlcity-i with ffltandexpn ; toliiMist!. If ai ii'J SI, ktofiniiiiovi f and bring I a) |ii estimated th Ushowiiis u liiaties' sliin ratter, .C iDd U of l» tapacitj, p: sitm genei ir similar ai •artedlartiie siiits can be wTVpri 21 interest in '*' pout i*icn; tUli *Rfaiii BOORI ; tlio St, '''estrt, if SI -»o a *Sll|)St; Aji profit ^ lo llot , ' l«t llis j, ty RMoitr Settoj. •-?taer.-_ sit (,: -*!ht'. 8 BOXOFFICE :; December 20, 1962 .CE

! without 1 As Hollywood . . Generally t ^ ES iW iedeni lo^l NoPla icjolfe* 'CARMEN' NO B. O. SENSATION jolii«' it's*" ii" , BUT STIRS HOPE FOR FUTURE Exhibitors View Opera as One Way to Make TV Use Profitable on Screen NEW YORK— Reports from 27 cities 1 11 1 to which "Carmen" was televised Thursday showed that It was something less than a boxoffico sensation, with the exception of Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and Minneapolis. In Milwaukee. Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Fort Lee, N. J., it stirred up enthusiasm being a sellout. 1 |FRONT-PAGE STORIES PRINTED a publicity-getter It was sensational ieverywhere, with stories starting on front Ipages in many places, followed by editorial 'comment and expressions of conflicting opinions by columnists. This angle as much as any other Interested [ jtheatre operators who have been casting about trying to find novelties to bring in new paroas and bring back old ones. They all jigreed that opera has possibilities. It is estimated that 67,000 persons attended the TV showings and it is also estimated that Jie theatres' share of the take ran over 100,000. Bad weather, Christmas shopping pres- ;ures, and lack of Interest In opera were jlamed in those places where the showing vas not capacity. Theatremen generally agreed there should le further similar attempts, with the prepara- Uons started farther in advance so wire arrangements can be made for more theatres •Ut of the estimated 100 now equipped with trge-screen TV projectors. Chief interest in the experiment from the 'xhibltors' point of view rested on the drawis strength of opera as a possible use for 'V installations. REGULAR BOOKINGS SUGGESTED Walter Reade jr., head of the Walter Reade iTcuit, who showed "Carmen" at the St. ames Theatre, Asbury Park, came through ith the suggestion that theatre TV could put on a profitable basis if regular atactions could be booked. He suggested that fi pera be included among these and that the erformances be scheduled on a seasonal Mis, with subscriptions. He made no suggesons as to how often opera should be iniuded. but his idea was received with inirest by Rudolph Bing, general manager of le Met, and Nathan L. Halpern, president of heatre Network Television, which set up le arrangements for "Carmen." John Gutman, assistant manager of the let, said no plans had been made yet for lother opera telecast, but added that he id his associates were "excited" over the isslbilities and felt that the first opera d not "come off too badly considering that le technique is new." Technically the telecast was far from perct on long shots and some criticism was ade of the quality of sound, but opera vers, whether critics or just ordinary fans, enchanted. j(](iotel"''''fc lire enchani Opera Telecast Grosses Big in Los Angeles LOS ANGEXES—Mixed critical reactions but undisputed financial were recorded by the precedential largescreen theatre TV telecast of the Metropolitan Opera's "Carmen," brought to Warner. ' and the downtown Orpheum Theatre here by means of Theatre Network Television. The two showcases grossed close to $10,000. regarded as very good In consideration of the fact that the program began at 5:30 p. m.. PST, during the height of Christmas shopping and returning home from work traffic. Reception was good In both houses. The performance marked the debut of RCA theatre TV equipment at the Hollywood. Tj'pical of lay press comment was a story in the Los Angeles Times which, while criticizing the sound as "much too large and oversize." said the quality was "remarkably faithful." It declared the program "was not perfect, but the wonder of the feat was little less than breathtaking." The Herald-Tribune editor wrote; "Certainly a successful televising system could revolutionize the musical life of the country, bring opera to places out of reach of tours and bring an appreciation of opera to audiences cultural appetites are normally satisfied by the motion picture industry. Some local critics tried to be funny by saying that theatres served popcorn to the carriage trade, but most of them discu.ssed the matter seriously, Wanda Hale of the New York Daily News called It "a world-shaking event" and added she "was happy and proud" that she saw the show in the Guild Theatre. She is a film critic as a rule. Like many other observers, she thought the closeups and medium shots were excellent, but found the long shots of crowd scenes were badly lighted and out of focus. Halpern said TNT had learned and he was sure the Metropohtan had from this effort, and he said he was certain big improvements could be made in quality of sound and picture the next time. Comment4> on the lack of color were general The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about "remarkably clear pictures, often superior to motion pictures in depth and shading" and found camera work "generally excellent." It noted "frequent and spontaneous applause." The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that •big-screen theatre television has a magnificent prospect" and that through it opera "can become in the U.S. the same theatre for the masses that it is in other countries where it is state subsidized." It said that when color is available, "opera will find a ready public and its producers a small but tidy Income." There wa« crlttctom of the itt«XOFFICE December 20. 1952

  • Page 1 and 2: launch Feldmon annivertary drive. L
  • Page 3 and 4: COSMOUUUN Co\umn'»st Syn dica^ed H
  • Page 5 and 6: MOTION PICTURES! ^ ^f T PRODUCTION
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  • Page 11 and 12: 20th Century-Fox has invested n 00,
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  • Page 15 and 16: ecause world acclaimed best-sellers
  • Page 17 and 18: I I theatre I $33 MILLION IN DAMAGE
  • Page 19 and 20: PARAMOUNT "^m SALUTES fill Burt Lan
  • Page 21 and 22: PARAMOUNT SALUTES Shirley Booth as
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  • Page 35 and 36: BOXOFFICE BAROMETER Thit chort rcco
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  • Page 41 and 42: A Stction of December 20. 1952 wt T
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    ! hlttee, fHenry Greenberger J I ge

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    li 1 m* I SPRINGFIELD, *r *Ct i Slo

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    1 I ', ! unit ' BOSTON— I I ment

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    I . Mabel k Add 30 Members MONTREAL

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    I [ Arthur i Calhern. tng flMficE(I

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    Mu^tttpnUym onolyilt ot lay and tra

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    + Very Good; • Good; ~ Foir; - Po

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    Kim 206 REPUBLIC * ii Wallir, . g .

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    I 5-29-52 rll Mfel>"*< lliXO By com

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    )pinions on Current Productions; Ex

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    ),Mille's "The Cireatest Show On fh

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    )ie to the screen widely publicised

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    [(vvmanship meet the challenge of (

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    Newsreel Is Missed When You Drop It

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    1 ,-*' INEW-YEAR-RIGHT TIP I le fac

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    7tm}un€€4 FEEL THERE IS NO FINE

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    . ceive 1 ; ulwill ' r.tribution %h

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    ; . : -.t^ w>th HUGH O'BRIAN CAROLE

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    The story of a flame named Ruby ...

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    Merchant and Paper Give Theatre Co-

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    Stencils on Sidewalk With Bread Cru

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    Navari Bros. Suit Placed On Februar

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    1 Basil . . Theatres; Clayton Eastm

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    , premier . . Division [PHILADELPHI

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    ! Alaska—Cindy p EWS AND VIEWS OF

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    , ... . Francis . . was Invasion' S

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    in Parties for Needy Given in St. L

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    . . Tony . . The MPTO Grievance Uni

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    inancing of Drive-ins Basy in Minne

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    . . . . Forty-five MEMPHIS Ti;Nr ::

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    I I DALLAS—Members . Movietime MA

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    ^i Big D Manager Plays Santa to Chi

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    I tig Campaigns Help pombal Xmas Sl

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    . . . Eddie . . RKO's . . W. Ir. ii

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    Rot. «.t Dillon Krepps Buys 'Siars

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    . . Marjie . . . Lester Cattle Town

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    . . Shirley . . Miss . . The " lii

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    . . Although 'Battle Zone' Is Best

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    j QUEBEC—If . . R. isiiQuebec Lea

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    . . . John . . Two . . K. . . Notio

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    Para " ' VP •rpr«tlv« onalytit

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    . Rep WB "isi pH Very Good; + Good;

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    I Mias. C. I^RAMOUNT laf Boora (101

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    .:j ' )pinions on Current Productio

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