3 years ago


. . : January Silver

. . : January Silver Reports Big 3 Pittsburgh Giveaway A Theatre Goldmine Shower of Passes Adds To New Year Eve Gaiety A gala New Year's eve midnight show attracted a big house for Elmer DeWitt, manager of the Valentine Theatre, Defiance. Ohio. DeWitt advertised the distribution of free hats, horns and a balloon shower of theatre pa-sses. In conjunction with a local service organization, a free kiddy show was scheduled during the week prior to Christmas. Mailer Bros., operators of the Valentine, gave the use of the theatre gratis. The film companies supplied a cartoon show at no cost, and the club provided free candy for every child attending. The free show is an annual goodwill promotion. Stencils on Sidewalk Ballyhoo Playdates For lost Worlds' / Z LOST ' /HfOIILOS N Z PLUS t . COLLEGE . M. A. Silver, left, presents check ior SI. 000 as part of citywide jackpot to winner George Neff, center, as Jack Eahn holds winning ticket. According to M, A. Silver, zone manager for Warner Bros. Theatres in the Pittsburgh area, the "big three" promotion giveaway reported recently in BOXOFPICE accounted for the largest attendance ever realized through a giveaway in Pittsburgh. The "big three" prize was a -six-room ranch house, a $3,200 Hud.son car, and $1,000 in cash —all three gifts being awarded to one person. Twenty-one local theatres were involved in the tieup which was engineered by Jacques L. Kahn. circuit ad director. The campaign embraced saturation newspaper advertising, television and radio .spots, circular distribution house to house, theatre displays, sound trucks, and newspaper co-op ads by the merchants who tied in on the deal for ten weeks prior to the giveaway. To allow ample time for theatre patrons to register, three registration nights were set aside for the purpose, requiring a theatre admission. On December 4, the night of the giveaway, all the theatres were hooked up by a single phone circuit enabling a patron in any one of the 21 houses to win the "big three" prize. The citywide promotion engendered incalculable goodwill for the theatres when it was announced that the winner was a laborer with children, two of whom are .serving with the armsd forces in Korea. Gas Range Promoted Jerry Baker, manager of RKO Keith's Theatre in Washington, promoted a $360 Roper automatic control gas range as a giveaway in his campaign on "The Lusty Men." The 50 Roper dealers were given a lobby credit card. Each used window display signs plugging the picture and the giveaway. Baker made a lobby display centered around the gas range. Castle-Like Theatre Front A false front used during "Ivanhoe" at the Kingston (N. Y.) Theatre boasted simulated castle walls, sheilds and other medieval paraphernalia. Manager Joe Sommers promoted two quarter-page co-op ads from neighborhood merchants, and had an usher garbed as a Roman warrior out on the streets for ballyhoo. High School Students Attend 'Stars' Show To exploit "Stars and Stripes Forever." Christma.s attraction at the Theatre, Fort Wayne, Ind., Manager Sam Greisman made up a striking display piece which he placed at one end of the lobby facing the entrance. Students from four local high schools attended a special screening on Monday following Christmas. They paraded to the theatre en masse, headed by four bands. Thirty students from the dramatic cla-ss of the James Smart Jimior high school were guests of the management and made a tour of the theatre from projection booth to basement. Essentially a public relations project, each student wa.s required to prepare an e.ssay on the tour for grading on the .subject. The newspapers publicized this promotion with stories and a photo. Clergy Sees 'Quiet' For "The Quiet Man" at the Holland Theatre, Bellefontaine, Ohio. Manager Lewis Thompson promoted a full window display of Irish music with a prominent record shop. Thompson invited ministers and the Catholic priest to be his guests opening day and the pictiu-e was mentioned from several pulpits on Sunday. \ a" A / V 1/ V/ Sid Kleper, manager of the College Theatre, New Haven, has sidewalks stenciled with foot imprints of a prehistoric monster to exploit "Two Lost Worlds" and "Unknown Island." and built a flash front for current ballyhoo. He distributed 100 window cards and 3,000 .special heralds in neighborhood schools. One thousand balloons with picture and theatre copy were distributed to news carriers. Boy Scout troops and at playgrounds. Station WELI sponsored a two-day anagram contest, and .spot announcements were purchased on WBIB and WYBC. Kleper set up window displays with travel agencies on the street level and placed directory ads in downtown hotels and beauty salons. Restaurants were supplied with placesetting doilies imprinted with cuts advertising both pictures. For street ballyhoo, two boys dressed in prehistoric costumes strolled amidst the shopping crowds three days prior to opening and during the run. Newspaper ads and all copy .sold the double feature program as "the all-time thrill show." BOXOFFICE NUGGETS George Landers, division manager for E. M. Loew's Theatres, Hartford, Conn., screened "Invasion. U.S.A." for representatives of the Hartford Red Cross, civil defense, and city executives. Mayor Joseph V. Cronin issued an official proclamation designating the week of December 11 as I*revent Invasion Week. Local newspapers published pictures and stories. Passholders who receive privileges from Statewide Drive-In Theatres, Inc., San Antonio. Tex., find the pass enclosed in a novel greeting card signed by Arthur Landsman, president of the operating company. Landsman's message reads. "Season's Greetings . Our gift to you ... A full year of the finest entertainment at Statewide Drive-In Theatres, etc." Ed Richardson, manager of the Granada Theatre, Cleveland, built two large display pieces to pre-sell "The Quiet Man." Litho cutouts were pasted to the display which was surrounded by stills and headed with copy. "They called him 'The Quiet Man,' but ..." The Lakewood Post devoted a front-page story to the announcement of a classified ad contest. Bob Walker, owner-manager of the Uintah Theatre, Fruita, Colo., booked a lineup of December attractions having strong family appeal and advertised the shows through calendars and regular theatre promotion. The films included popular favorites such as "My Friend Flicka," "Smoky." "With a Song in My Heart," "Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair." "Tembo." etc. The calendars were printed in traditional red and green ink symbolic of the holiday season. 28 — 4 — BOXOFFICE Showmandiser : 3, 1953

Mayor of New Orleans Gives Proclamation On 'Eight Iron Men' With three new pictures opening in rapid succession. Ross McCausland, manager of the RKO Orpheum in New Orleans. reporUs a number of creditable tieups in behalf of eacli attraction. For "Eight Iron Men." the army recruiting service installed a recruiting booth in the theatre lobby. Army men placed banners on 12 cars and trucks which toured the city to whip up interest in the picture and in recruiting. The mayor of New Orleans issued an official proclamation honoring opening day as Salute to Infantry day. Enlisted personnel from the army. WACS included, posed in the theatre looby to get the picture additional publicity. McCausland revised the pre.ssbook ads to capitalize on the action theme of the picture. He used lifesize cutouts of Mary Ca.stle in the theatre lobby a week prior to opening and promoted a number of radio .spot plugs. On "The Four Poster," McCausland supplemented his ad campaign with co-op ads promoted from the Hurwitz-Mintz furniture company. He planted an eight-column spread in the New Orleans States and a quarter-page layout in the Item. Additional stories and art broke in the amusement pages of all three daily papers. To sell the picture to radio audiences. Mc- Causland bought 22 spots on station WTSP. and promoted 24 gratis announcements plus a contest on this station. Various other contest promotions were used on station WWL, WNOE and WDSU-TV, totaling some 40 gratis publicity breaks. Newspaper columnists carried items on the offer of a free theatre pass to persons applying for marriage licenses a week before the picture opened. The Hurwitz-Mintz firm paid for imprinting 5,000 special heralds and devoted several window displays to plugging "The Four Poster." "The Happy Time" was ballyhooed with 400 tack cards, window posters in 35 beauty salons, and radio publicity promoted over five New Orleaiis stations. Animal Cutouts Placed On Front for 'The Show' Lester Persall jr.. manager of the Bibb Theatre, Savannah, Ga., promoted cutouti of animal figures from the Sealtest Ice Cream Co. and used them to flash up the lobby and theatre front to exploit "The Greatest Show on Earth." One hundred balloons were inflated and hung around the theatre front. Special teaser trailers were used a week before the talking trailer was exhibited. Sets 'Bloodhounds' Deal Fred Teller jr.. manager of the Strand, Hastings, Nebr. promoted a full-page newspaper co-op ad as part of his campaign for "Bloodhounds of Broadway." The ad broke in the Hastings Daily Tribune, in two colors, and was sponsored by Radio Electronics, an accessories store. Picture art and sales copy occupied more than half the page. Television Tieup Puts 'Mermaid' Before Atlanta s Home Audience Joan McKellen, making a personal appearance in Atlanta in conjunction with the opening of "Million Dollar Mermaid" at Loew's Theatre, appeared on a one-hour television show and dominated the program through a tieup arranged with station WAGA-TV. She made several appearances dui-ing the program and got in numerous plugs for the picture. The tieup was set by Boyd Fry, theatre manager. Fry arranged with McKellen to appear in bathing attire on Rich's fa.shion show over station WSB-TV during the current exhibition of the picture. The film starlet,. In addition, was interviewed by Bill Lowery of station WGST and by Stan Raymond over WATL. 25-Gift Giveaway Pulls Attendance at Drive-In A mammoth Christmas party, the likes of which theatre patrons of Warner Robins, Ga., have never seen, was promoted by Dane Bruce, manager of the M&T Drive-In Theatre. Bruce tied in with the Circle jewelry and gift shop and promoted 25 items including a diamond ring, several nationally advertised watches, cigaret lighters and other expensive articles of jeweh-y for a giveaway just prior to Christmas. In exchange, the theatre advertised the giveaway through all regular media and special heralds. Every child who attended the party received free candy, chewing gum and comic books. Bruce had a Santa Claus on hand to make the actual presentation of all gifts. Cards From Paris Special mailing cards promoted from the Hotel Vanderbilt in New York were sent to a select list of members of women's clubs by Mel Gaitskill, manager of the Paris iKy.) Theatre, in behalf of "The Crimson Pirate." The cards were addressed and stamped "Paris," then returned to New York for mailing. Fry set up a buffet dinner and .swimming party at the Athletic club, with newspaper, radio and TV representatives on hand. This rated additional publicity. Newspaper breaks were excellent and Miss McKellen was written up by each of the fashion editors of the daily papers. For the opening at the State and Orpheum theatres in Boston, starlet Julie Dor.say made personal appearances and rated exceptionally good publicity on local radio stations and in the daily papers. Miss Dor.say modeled bathing suits at Neal's of California store, in return for which they ran newspaper co-op ads plugging the Orpheum and State playdates. Merchant Discounts Snare Extra Business Bill Schrum, manager of the Carolina Theatre, Hickory, N. C, tied up with local merchants on a pre-Christmas business stimulant which helped to increase the boxoffice take, and. according to the merchants, improve their business as well. Sclu-um obtained permission from five cooperating store owners to distribute tickets for a $1 discount on purchases of a specified amount at each store. The tickets were distributed all through the month of December. To sell the idea and to get people to come to the theatre, Schrum distributed special heralds and advertised through his regular media that $25,000 in merchants gift certificates was being offered to patron.., of the CaroUna. The cost of advertising was shared equally by the merchants and the theatre. DIT-MCO FORTY SERIES LIGHTS 40" ENTRANCf $. IXIT IIGHTS. DOUBLE OR SINGLE FACE Speed up Ingoing & Outgoing Traffic. DRIVEIN THEATRE MFG. CO.*"k\* « cI.V'mo" BOXOFFICE Showrmandiser : : January 3, 1953 — 5 — 29