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Boxoffice-January.03.1953

Australian Poll Shows 47

Australian Poll Shows 47 Per Cent Of Filmgoers Favor Sunday Shows By WILLIAM BEECHAM Australia Bureau, BOXOFFICE PERTH, W. A—Spyros P. Skouras, president of 20th Century-Fox, prior to his recent departure from AustraUa, thanked the film industry here and the people in general for the overwhelming welcome and the unstinted hospitality which he and Mrs. Skouras had experienced. "Everywhere we have gone," he said, "from the highest in the land, and, indeed, encompassing everyone we have met, this welcome has been real and generous, and .so we have felt completely at home." The people of America and the people of Australia have ni'uch in common. The great history of the war in the South Pacific is something that will never be forgotten, for in every landing, in the air, and in every sea battle in the cause of freedom, Australians and Americans fought side by side. They bled and died and they won out together, and in so doing forged ties of mutual love and respect that are indissoluble. "There's a short, expressive word from the language of my birth, 'Egardios,' which means 'from the heart.' And so, for all your collective graciousness, I express my thanks for Mrs. Skouras and myself, with feeling and sincerity, from deep within our hearts." • * * According to the latest Gallup poll in Australia, 47 per cent of people questioned in all the commonwealth states favored Sunday night film screenings, 48 per cent opposed them and 5 per cent held no opinion. More than half the men questioned favored such shows, but a slightly larger proportion of women were against them. * « * Full-screen television will be introduced by Hoyts Theatres soon after the general introduction of TV into Australia, says Managing Director Mr. E. Turnbull. "The company will have the rights to use the Eidophor system which has proved to have many advantages," he said, "and if commercial television is introduced into Australia, Hoyts plans to be represented. However, it is my belief that the government should conduct an exhaustive investigation into the effect of TV on people's social habits before reaching a decision on TV control." Dividends on the company's £253,088 consolidated profit will be allotted as follows: on publicly-held preferreds, £55,000: on A-preferred, £28,000; on B-preferred, £27,000; on C-preferred, £93,500—A carrying 7 per cent, B 6 per cent, and C 10. • * * J. C. Williamson, Ltd., earned a net profit of £34,604 in the financial year ended June 30, 1952, compared with the £39,000 of the preceding months. Ordinary dividend is reduced from 9 per cent to 6 per cent, requiring with the 6 per cent preference charge a total of £32,700. A further £4,022 was earned from the sale of the company's shareholding in the Theatre Royal Co. Pty., Ltd., and this was transferred to the theatre royal shares reserve. * * « Manager Ken Hall of Cinesound Newsreels says that the official newsreel of the Monte Bello atomic test "is rather terrifying." The newsreel is 500 feet in length and was released for screening in Australia recently. "Australia will see the official British film because Australian newsreel cameramen were not allowed to photograph the Monte Bello test," he adds, "although we all tried our damnedest to get in." * * * Producer Charles Chauvel has returned to Sydney from the Northern Territory with his production unit after six months on location, and it would seem that as yet only the "first stage" of his feature "Jedda" has been completed. So far, it is understood, some 30,000 feet of color stock has been exposed, and editing will now begin. Return to Sydney was nece.ssitated by the coming of the "wet" season. * • • From Brisbane comes news that when a free screening in an allegedly unlicensed hall was given recently to an audience of over 600 persons, the local legitimate exhibitor had exactly 202 per.sons in his theatre. Here is still further proof that something must be done ere long regarding these unauthorized free shows which are hitting exhibitors mighty hard. * • « There was a big influx of aborigines into Coolgardie, W. A., recently, not for a tribal ceremony or a corroboree, but for the local screening of the Australian-produced "Bitter Springs," for many of the natives of the goldfields areas had relatives acting as extras in this film. They recognized many acquaintances on the screen, understood the dialect, and heartily approved a native kangaroo hunt, describing it as a faithful reproduction. * • * Tom O'Brien has been elected president of the Victorian Independent Exhibitors Ass'n. The committee comprises Bert Ward, Bill Blackwood, Bruce Selleck, Jack Kitchen, Bill Yeomans, Fred Yeomans, Frank O'Collins, Don Henderson and Sid Guest. * * * It is understood that Chaplin's "Limelight" will open in New Zealand on January 9, and will be screened in every Amalgamated Theatres house before the end of the month. Usual allocation of prints to New Zealand is two, but it is understood that 12 will be made available on this occasion. * * • In a recent column we commented favorably on an excellent article in the Australasian Exhibitor, which discussed the state of the picture industry under the heading: "Once Upon a Time." We would like to see a copy of that feature stuck prominently on every Australian exhibitor's desk. Not that it would do much good to some of them, who are as far removed from show business as anyone could possibly be, but it might, here and there, make some impression. Right now the federal government is starting to make arrangements for the introduction of television; right now more and more counter attractions (night trotting, night cycling, weekend sporting fixtures, 16mm shows, vaudeville and what-noti are being put on the map: right now business in many theatres is far from regular and steady. Yet in many quarters little or nothing is done in regard to a picture show but (a) booking the program; (b) spending as little as possible on advertising it, and (c) opening the theatre doors and starting up the projector at the scheduled time. And when business isn't good the old, old cry arises: "The films we get are bad." Sometimes, one must admit, the films are not what they might be, but there's another side to that matter, too, for sometimes the booking of two features, both of the same type and style, on the same program, is asking folk who don't particularly rave over that particular style of feature to stay right at home. * • • Recently the Grand Theatre Co., Perth, held its annual picnic for the orphans of the city's metropolitan area, and a royal time was had. Youngsters were entertained to a film show at the Theatre Royal and then escorted by mounted police to the Perth ferries and taken by river to the South Perth zoo. There they were given sandwiches, cakes, fruit and milk, and then entertained with sports events, free miniature train and merry-go-round rides and later ginger beer and ice cream. At the day's conclusion boxes of toys were handed to officials of each orphanage to be distributed to the kiddies at Christmas. Your BOXOFFICE representatives were glad to attend this function and they must give their meed of praLse to the many employes of the company who gave their time that the youngsters might have a memorable day. Organization of the day was in the capable hands of John Pye, who did a really outstanding job. * * * When a youth recently appeared in a Sydney police court, allegations were made that motion pictures had contributed to his delinquency, but Judge Brereton would have none of this. "I think pictures have remarkably httle effect on this type," he said "It is like water on a duck's back." * * • Plans were recently made to hold a "Quo Vadis" banquet in the Italian SS Neptunia at Port Melbourne, but as the licensing police have refused to allow liquor to be available for the occasion, the banquet is now to be held on shore—at Ciro's cabaret. Exhibitor Roy Hunt Dies RIVERSIDE, CALIF.—Services were held at the First Methodist church here for Roy Hunt, for more than 25 years an exhibitor in this area, who died of a heart attack. At the time of his death Hunt was operating the Rubidoux Drive-In. Until recently he was a Fox West Coast partner in several other theatres, which were taken over by the circuit when a government decree outlawed such partnership operations. To Open Albuquerque Airer ALBUQUERQUE. N. M.—Thomas Griffin. president of Allstate Theatres, has announced that Duke City Drive-In under construction northwest of the Menaul-Carlisle boulevard NE intersection will be opened in February. The new theatre will be similar to the other Allstate theatre here, the Terrace. The chain has theatres in New Mexico, Texas and New England. New Manager at Morenci Royal CLIFTON. ARIZ.—Otto J. Silvester is the new manager of the Morenci Royal Theatre, replacing Leo Wilson, who is now handling the reins of the New Mesa and Mesa Nile theatres. 42 BOXOFFICE January 3, 1953 Mesa.

. . Hal . a. . . . LOS ANGELES Traffic along Filmrow was at a minimum during the Christmas-New Year's holidays. Among the few visitors glimpsed were Murray Hawkins, former owner of the Regent, renewing acquaintances; John Mullin. who recently reopened his Brea in Brea. and came in for a spot of boolcing and buying: Jack Fine, United Artists salesman in San Francisco, who looked over the local branch while vacationing here; and Duane Esper, of Mack Enterprises in San Francisco, who visited with Dan Sonney of the Sonney Amusement Co. Hospitalized at the Queen of Angels after a fall at his home on Christmas day was Robert Kronenberg of Manhattan Films International. He fractured his back and, it is . . . Irv Levin and feared, will have to be in a cast for six months, maybe longer Charles Kranze. owners of the Lippert Pictures franchise here, are heading for Chicago to attend a national Lippert conclave. Vacationers: Eddie Ashkins, RKO salesman, and his wife and son Michael, basking at the Desert Inn, Las Vegas; while Honolulubound were Sam Gardner, Metro assistant district manager, and Bernie Wolfson, attorney for the Dietrich-Feldstein circuit . Charles Bragg, Filmrow insurance man, passed out the stogies to celebrate becoming a grandpop. His daughter had a baby boy on Christmas morning. Fox West Coast has completed a facelifting job on its Ritz Theatre, Wil.shire boulevard showcase, including lobby renovation, new seating, carpeting and acoustics . . The Louis Long chain in Arizona is mapping plans for a cleanup of its El Rio Theatre in St. Johns, encompassing a thorough housecleaning and remodeling. The showcase is managed by Doug Bowdoin. . Filmrow's sympathies were extended to Ed Barison of Cinema Distributors following the death of his mother in Rye. N. Y. Barison planed ea.st to attend the funeral . . . Howard Stubbins, Allied Artists west coast franchise co-owner, and his wife left for Phoenix to spend the Christmas holidays Caballero. Gus Diamond. John . . C. Tingle A. and William R. Forman of the Pacific Drive-In chain have purchased a 640-acre alfalfa ranch in Antelope valley. The property is being improved through the drilling of a new well and construction of another reservoir. Guy Cameron, former owner of the Melvan, Aero. Brentwood and other theatres here, has purchased the Lyric in Brownwood, Tex., a former Paramount operation . Weider. one-time RKO branch employe, switched over to MGM, where he is operating out of the Portland exchange ... On the sick list: Viola Thompson, secretary to Everett Sharp, head booker at Fox West Coast. Joe Sarfaty, Warner salesman, is making . . , the rounds again after a vacation ... In from New York for local conferences is Harold Grubstick. sales manager for Realart . Mrs. Tillie Levinson, mother of Harvey Levinson, owner of the Cozy and Jade theatres, died Drop Jules Gerlick, the Universal salesman, a note at St. Vincent's hospital. He checked in there to undergo surgery . . . Joe Stout, former 20th-Fox salesman, is now operating a malt shop in Santa Monica . . . The local United Artists branch snagged first prize, $1,000, in the William Heineman sales drive. . . Burglars . . . Wayne Al Boodman of the Columbia sales staff vacationed briefly in Las Vegas . broke into the Vinicoff Theatre on Vermont and, finding no money, left behind some badly damaged desks and office equipment . Herb Jack of the Kroehler Seating Co. was involved in a serious automobile accident— head-on collision—near San Luis Obispo and is in the French hospital there Ball. Columbia manager, returned from a regional meeting in San Francisco. Back on the job at the exchange, after three weeks of illness, was Art Kallen, head booker. Tenl 38 to Insiall Officers in January SALT LAKE CITY—Variety Tent 38 of Salt Lake City will install new officers early in January, with S. L. Gillette Tooele owner and operator, going in as chief barker. Other new officers are Giff Davison, first a.ssistant; Shirl Thayne, second assistant; Ralph Trathen. doughguy, and Howard Peanson. property master. Directors include K. O. Lloyd. Jack Swonson. Sidney L. Cohen. Bob Brady. Dan Kostopulos and Eugene Jelesnik. Coincidentally with installation of the new officers of Variety, the Women's Motion Picture club will change its name to Ladies of Variety. New officers of this organization are Mrs. Bob Brady, president: Mrs. Dan Kostopulos, vice-president; Mrs. Tom Philibin, secretary, and Mrs. Harry Swanson, treasurer. Chairman of the various committees for the women are Mrs. George Engar. entertainment: Mrs. Grace Hawk, finance; Mrs. K. O. Lloyd, membership; Mrs. Charles L. Walker, charities: Mrs. Jordon Friedman, publicity: Mrs. C. R. Wade, house, and Mi-s. Harry Monsey, decorations. Liberty Theatre Is Sold LYNDEN, WASH.—The Liberty Theatre has been purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Prank Klein, Klein operated the Uptown Theatre in Oakridge, Ore., prior to coming here. The Uptown is now being handled by George Klein and Harvey Barnes. PORTLAND Ounday night (28) a man with a gun, described as about 25 years old with a narrow face and an unusually long nose, stuck hLs hand into the cash booth of the Guild Theatre and told Jo Nell McGuire to "Give me all of it, all of the money!" Miss McGuire turned over $150 and then was ordered to kneel on the floor. Other patrons in the line and in the lobby did not know a holdup was in progre.ss. It was at intermi.ssion time, Manager Martin Foster said. He was in his office, adjacent to the boxoffice and the theatre doorman was less than 30 feet from the scene of the robbery. Mi.ss McGuire turned over the money without argument. . . . Frank Dick Lange, RKO manager, and wife were hosts at a Christmas party attended by Filmrowers Monday (22) . . . Russ Brown, Evergreen district manager, reports that Betty Hutton will bring her International Variety show here February 20 to play at the 3,100- .seat Paramount for four days Breall, Century Theatre operator, reports that he has been working on a deal to bring the Tri-Opticon three-dimensional films to his theatre. The 20th Century Newsreel Theatre is the only house in Portland exclusively devoted to short subjects and newsreels. Begin Work on Prince Airer TUCSON, ARIZ.—Construction has begun on the Prince Drive-In. on a ten-acre tract of land on the east side of North Campbell avenue and north of Pi-ince road. Operators of the new ozoner. a corporation composed of local businessmen, expect to open soon after the first of the year. -fASr. rFrA3T£R.7f/?ASr£Sr SBRVICE i ORDERgetteV SPECIAL TRAILERS FROM ITIDD PICTVRE SEIV GE Ci. 125 HYDE ST. SAN FRANCISCO (2), CALIF. Gerald L. Karski.. .. President THEATRE FOR SALE In California, will be available February 1, 1953. Good lease. Receipts exceptional. Books open. Other interests. $35,000 down to experienced exhibitor only. State experience. Boxoffice, 4947. B. F. SHEARER COMPANIES Seattle, Wash., Portland, Ore., San Francisco, Calif., Los Angeles, Calif. PRODUCE A BETTER LIGHT IN ANY SIZE THEATRE OR DRIVE-IN . . . MORE ECONOMICALLYI CARBONS, INC. • BOONTON, N. J. BOXOFFICE :: January 3, 1953 43