4 years ago


— Treasure Chesl Tieup

— Treasure Chesl Tieup Nets Big Publicity For 'Blackbeard' A three-way tieup betwen the Washington Daily News, the Gibson electrical appliance distributor and the RKO Keith's Theatre in the nation's capital resulted in a citywide promotion for "Blackbeard the Pirate" prior to the picture's opening. The tieup was made by Jerry Baker, manager of the theatre, and involved a treasure chest contest. The appliance dealer donated, as the main prizes, a nine-foot refrigerator, a home air conditioning unit and 20 items of costume jewelry. The prizes were displayed in the theatre lobby, sunounding a padlocked treasure chest. Keys for the chest were available at 60 Gibson dealers thi-oughout Washington The dealers displayed one-sheets in their windows, explaining the free key offer and plugging the picture playdates. The distributor used large newspaper ads and provided the 20,000 keys and envelopes for distribution. The Washington Daily News covered the contest with stories and art. The theatre share in the tieup involved a trailer explaining where keys could be obtained, and an announcement to the public to watch the Daily News for further details of the promotion. Baker tied in on a USO goodwill promotion which got the picture special newspaper publicity. A treasure chest was placed in the Lafayette USO, containing a miniature picture of "Blackbeard" and several hundred blanks. Mothers with sons serving in the armed forces were invited to dip into the chest, and the one who selected the lucky symbol was given a free telephone call to her son. Army recruiting posters were promoted, with theatre and picture playdates in bold type. Three thousand "Blackbeard the Pirate" coloring contest heralds were distributed at grade schools. A girl in pirate costume handed out quantities of pirate candy in the downtown shopping section. Movie Marathon Clicks To Start the New Year "Starkey Howard, manager of the Waco Drive-In Theatre. Goldsboro, N. C, recently scheduled a third all-night Moviethon for New Year's eve. It consisted of six feature films and a succession of shorts. Confetti and serpentine favors were given to every person who attended, and for a lucky door prize, Howard promoted a $250 diamond ring. Free coffee and doughnuts, also promoted, were served to the patrons at dawn. Wives in Contest To exploit "The Planter's Wife" at the Regal Cinema. Cambridge. England, Manager C. G. Mangold promoted a newspaper contest with the Cambridge Daily News. Local residents who had formerly been planters' wives in Malaya, .scene of the picture plot, were invited to submit letters regarding their experiences. More than 30 entries were received and the women's adventures reported in the press. Mangold invited each of the entrants to a screening, and the paper ran a three-column photo of the event along with an interesting story. 26 msisss^smm Shaded of (Continued from preceding page) Out went the riot call to the police. A squad of 16 with a sergeant in charge, plus every usher in the theatre, struggled manfully to get the doors, which opened outward, free. The picture started on schedule. For one show and a half, the theatre was empty. By the time the police were sufficiently organized to let the crowd start seeping slowly through the gantlet, the crowd had swelled to about 8,000. It was almost noon when we got our first customer into the house. With a 62-minute feature and three minutes of newsreel as an abbreviated screen show, we began to make progress and get turnover just as the price went up to 15 cents at 1 o'clock. All through the afternoon, we struggled with the police in the bitter cold and rain to control the street mob which seemed to grow larger by the hour. One humorous incident remains from that nightmare of frenzy—a man and his child left the theatre and to find his wife, Screening for Navy Men Launches 'Flat Top' Bill Powelson, manager of the Grand, Steubenville, Ohio, invited navy recruiting officers in the ten-iotory to an advance screening of "Flat Top" and enlisted their aid in exploiting the regular engagement of the picture. Navy officers made speeches at the Rotary and service club luncheons and plugged the picture to students at the naval training school and at meetings of the Navy Mothers club. They were interviewed on radio programs and plugged the picture several times throughout. The navy supplied window cai'ds for distribution in store windows and furnished the theatre an exhibit of knot-boards. Charlie Jones Offers Big Small-Town Idea Charlie Jones, Elma, Iowa, exhibitor, is credited with an idea for small-town theatres in the service bulletin published by the Independent Theatre Owners of Ohio, Jones believes that every woman, no matter how fat or old she has become, still has her wedding gown tucked away in the attic. She probably has, too, a newspaper clipping describing the nuptial ceremony, attendants, etc. Jones' idea is to get the granddaughters or nieces of women, or perhaps just .some attractive high school girls of their acquaintance, to model the wedding gowns on the theatre stage. The escort of each girl might read the newspaper account of the bygone wedding as she takes her place on the stage. The idea, according to Jones, is that small-town can be filled with friends of these women who cannot conjure up a picture of their neighbor as a slim young bride. — 2 — J Ljedheruear who had been with him when he entered, still waiting in the outer lobby to get into the auditorium. Such was the fascination of the picture and so effective the turnover with a show that lasted five minutes past an hour. Even with its small capacity of about 1,700 seats, the Regent that Saturday afternoon outgrossed theatres with twice the capacity. Our status with the RKO circuit was made secure. Karloff—the monster took a soUd hold on the pubUc and even as we introduced him to the A.MPA party, we could feel the nervous excitement of that memorable day more than 20 years ago when we stood with a cordon of police and earnestly but fruitlessly pleaded with people to "go home and come back tomorrow . . . we'll have this picture a full week." Below in the city, holiday crowds are surging in and out of theatres and milling about inside. Up here in Rockefeller Center, all is quiet and peaceful. Too darned quiet—if you must know. — Chester Friedman Fake Currency Dodge Aids Xonfidentiar Bill Brereton, publicity manager for the Lafayette, Buffalo, N. Y., worked with Max Miller. United Artists exploiteer, in setting up an aggressive campaign to exploit "Kansas City Confidential." The general manager of the American News Co. utilized displays on all newsstands in downtown Buffalo for special tieup cards. This wa,s hooked in with the Dell Books series . . . "Chicago Confidential," etc., which the company dLstributes. In lieu of street ballyhoo, several thousand phony million-dollar bills were dLstributed to downtown shoppers and diners. The bills were imprinted with picture title and theatre playdates. One hundred silk screen cards printed in Dayglo colored inks were placed on the rear of taxicabs operated by a large Buffalo fleet. Block-letter 24-sheets were imprint«d locally and posted in 11 choice locations throughout the city. Jumbo window cards were placed in 100 prominent stores. The Harvey and Carey Co., operating 14 soda fountains in Buffalo, displayed posters with copy. "Confidentially, we have the famous nut-brown chocolate drink." Theatre dates were included. As an inducement for the fountain attendants to promote the drink. Brereton offered theatre passes to the girl in each store who sold the most. Bookstores used lavish window displays tieing in books on crime. Royal Crown Cola trucks carried posters proclaiming the Lafayette playdates, and a tieup was made giving the picture a plug on 150.000 circular.s distributed free to bus passengers. Windows were tied up through national hookups with Mido watches, Polaroid sunglasses and Luxite lingerie. Displays were placed in leading hotels and bus terminals. In addition to excellent publicity in the daily papers, 16 weekly publications were serviced with scene mats and stories. BOXOFFICE Showmandiser : : January 3, 1953

: January Four Days Is Enough To Set Big Campaign Selling Ivanhoe' Ted Davidson returned to Lima, Ohio, recently as manager of the Ohio Theatre, and with only four days to exploit "Ivanhoe," managed to put on a thorough campaign. He set up a screening of the picture for teachers, members of the clergy and businessmen. Coffee and cookies promoted from a bake shop were served the guests at an informal reception following the screening. Candy girls and theatre cashiers acted as hostesses. Followup letters were sent to teachers explaining the student discount tickets which were distributed in classrooms and valid during the engagement of "Ivanhoe." The Dodge Motor Sales Co. provided a new car for street ballyhoo. The vehicle was bannered with signs, "Two great classics—the new Dodge and 'Ivanhoe.' " The auto firm used newspaper co-op ads and radio advertising on a co-op basis in advance and during the current playdates. Davidson engaged a mounted rider and a "knight" in armor for a street ballyhoo, and tied in with several florists via National Flower week for window displays and an exhibit of flowers in the theatre lobby. A special front was built to attract patronage. Two affiliated theatres in Lima were supplied with cross trailers and lobby signs. Stores Sponsor Styles On Stage at Olney, 111 Fourteen local stores recently cooperated in sponforing a fashions-on-parade style show on the stage of the Arcadia Theatre, Olney. 111. The promotion was set up by E. F. Gallagher, manager of the Arcadia, in cooperation with the Olney Mail. The newspaper published advance stories under a headline in the second section and followed it up with additional stories and art. Twenty-four models participated in the show which was tied directly in with the exhibition of "Paula." Merchant Yuletide Ads Bring in Extra Receipts To increase pre-holiday receipts, Murray Meinberg, manager of the Sumner Theatre, Brooklyn, N. Y., sold several hundred dollars worth of Christmas greeting ads to local merchants. Meinberg got the owner of two neighborhood restaurants to sponsor a free Christmas show for kids. Santa appeared in person to present candy canes to every child who attended. The sponsor paid all costs of advertising including theatre signs, trailer, heralds, etc. Limericks for 'Plymouth' Ted Barker, publicist at the State Theatre. Cleveland, promoted a limerick contest which ran in the Cleveland News for ten days prior to the opening of "Plymouth Adventure." Ca;h prizes totaling $300 were awarded to contestants submitting the best last line for the daily limericks. BOXOFFICE Showmandiser : 3, 1953 Sponsor of 'You Contest Splurges With Advertising in Newspapers UNIVERSAL-INTERNATIOKAL PICTURES Because of You Girl" Contest ••BECAUSE ""A t.M'Oi^ . Entry 8l.fllt A.oltbk O'f At . "TOUR (ASMION CfNTtR- I '"-"S-.r*'' — ' .'•--". {kjJL. Harold Heller, manager of RKO Keith's Theatre, Grand Rapids, Mich., tied in with the Universal-International "Because of You" contest six weeks in advance of the opening. A fashionable women's shop. Flecks, sponsored the entire promotion which was further supported by station WOOD-TV, outlet for the Big Payoff program. The store supplied special lobby displays, a trailer, and paid for a pianist, master of ceremonies and the overtime for stage hands, etc. Flecks, in addition, used daily display ads promoting the contest in the Grand Rapids Herald and the Press, plus spot announcements over station WOOD and WOOD-TV. Throughout the campaign, local contestants Yo-Yo Contest Conducted At Milford. Del.. Theatre Ed Evans, manager of the Milford (Del.) Theatre, recently concluded a yo-yo contest held at his weekly kiddy shows. Merchants donated prizes. On the following Saturday he presented a hillbilly band on stage to augment the regular show, and the Saturday before Christmas he staged a Santa Claus kiddy patry. Gifts and prizes were promoted for the youngsters. On Evans' agenda for next month is a minstrel show which he will present in cooperation with the local Lions club. Many Prizes Promoted For 'Senorita' Contest For "The Fabulous Senorita" at the Patricia Theatre in London, Ont., Manager Tom Mc- Knight promoted a "Fabulous Senorita" contest with the help of the London Free Press. Promoted prizes included candy, permanent waves, shoes, hose. etc. All were displayed in the lobby a week prior to opening. Bach woman patron received a small numbered card, and on opening night a drawing was held for distribution of the gifts. Nothing is spared in potient's core ot amusement industry's WILL ROGERS MEMORIAL HOS- PITAL. — 3 — "I GRAND FINALS-DECEMBER 10TH Wednesday Nite, 8 P. M. "Because of You" Girl Contest ON STAGE AT RKO KEITH'S THEATER 777777?? Come n.Olt brau'ilj irodclt compalinq (o' n»cki B>ctui« ot Ymi" P'iifil LoK o' ptttty 9.rk . . . lolt o( b«*u*'(ul clolht, . . . Cent* k«lp yo«f U»»nl» *o -.n. Spomot^d ON THE SCHEfSi MONROE A V L N VL were invited to compete in the "Because of You" girl competition, with the local winner receiving a complete wardrobe from Flecks valued at $350 plus a Helbros watch. The winner was selected on the stage of the theatre opening night of the picture. At the Regent Theatre, Heller promoted an annual Christmas show with 12 local merchants buying out the theatre for the special kiddy show on December 24. The merchants sponsored newspaper ads advertising the program in both daily papers beginning two weeks in advance. As an additional- pre-Christmas business booster. Heller sold 500 tickets to the Jewish Veterans post for a kiddy Chanukah party. Star Stand-in Is Sub At 'Montana' Opening The RKO studio sent Jane Russell's standin. Gloria Christian, to San Francisco for the opening of "Montana Belle" at the Golden Gate Theatre. Manager Mark Ailing had Miss Christian walk up and down Market street, dressed in levis, with handcuffs on her wrists and armed with a cap pistol. It created quite a stir and was picked up as an item by the San Francisco Examiner. The young lady appeared on the Trumbull show over KSFO. Del Courtney's KPIX-TV show. Anne Holden's KGO program, and with Jane Todd on KCBS. In each instance, she announced that persons who identified her on Market street opening day of the picture would receive free theatre passes. About 65 persons made the identification. Miss Christian was interviewed by several of the daily newspaper reporters. A FEW DIT-MCO Products IN-A-CAR SPEAKERS RAMP LIGHTS STANDEE SPEAKERS AlSli LIGHTS 40" ENTRANCE A EXIT LIGHTS (DOUBLE OR SINGLE FACE) 14-2 SOLID SR. ft JR. NEO-SEAL •UR1*J- WIRE LAMPHOUSE AND PORTHOLE BLOWERS DIT-MCO EASY CHANGE MARQUEE IfTTERS DRIVEIN THEATRE MFG. CO »k *.?.'?rSt!' 27