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Boxoffice-January.03.1953

Esther Green of FEPCO at

Esther Green of FEPCO at Omaha Is Queen in More Ways Than One From North Central Edition OMAHA—Two years ago, while on a trip east, Mrs. Walter M. (Esthen Green was chosen Queen for a Day on a national radio program. The selection was easily understandable to Omahans. Esther Green had been a queen in their hearts for many years. In the midwestern film industry, Mrs. Henry McGrath, general manager, and Mrs. Walter IM. Green, check a press proof at the Film Exhibitors Printing Co. in Omaha. Green for a long time had been known as the pert, attractive and energetic wife of one of the industry's most successful and highly respected figures. Walter Green founded FEPCO—Film Exhibitors Printing Co.-in 1924, a few year.s after their marriage. The firm grew rapidly and, at the time of his death in November of 1950, FEPCO was serving approximately 4,000 small town independent exhibitors with their daily, weekly and monthly advertising material. A few weeks ago A. A. "Jack" Renfro, chief barker of Variety Tent 16, got a call from FEPCO. Could he come over for a minute? Jack came over from hi.s Theatre Booking Service across the street. On the FEPCO office wall along with paintings of Green and a number of other prominent F^lmrow members was an excellent portrait of Renfro. All were done in oil by Mrs. Green, with the idea that some time they might hang in the Variety Club's quarters. Her work also includes paintings of her relatives. When Green died, Mrs. Green shouldered the task of carrying on the company, with the able assistance of General Manager Henry McGrath, who has been with the firm for years, and a number of other employes of long service. Mrs. Green is at the office every day. But the responsibilities of running the bustling business haven't decreased Esther Green's capacity for other interests. She still does a lot of painting in her studio at Gree"- cresl, her beautiful home with rolling acres on West Dodge street. She has thrown herself into the art of figure skating and has become one of the accomplished members of the Figure Skating club at the Ak-Sar-Ben ice rink. She still spends a lot of time at the fine organ in her home and doesn't neglect a helping hand for charities. Green was a charter member of Tent 16, served as chief barker and gave much time and money to its projects. Mr. and Mrs. Green used to entertain guests with music as both were good musicians and when they were children played duets on the mandolin and piano. Mrs. Green likes to do her own arranging for the organ. Greencrest has a little motion picture theatre off the basement recreation room. It has a full-size screen, stage and footlights, upholstered seats and the best projection equipment. When the Greens planned Greencrest they included about everything that could contribute to pleasant living. Green did much of the designing for plumbing and heating details, such as the cooling system from a deep well. Mrs. Green's artistic touch is evident in the good oil paintings and pastels and the tasteful broad expanse and decoration of the rooms. The Greens' most widely known activity outside the theatre was horses. Mrs. Green received national writeups as one of Omaha's most enthusiastic horsewomen. She was a familiar figure at horse shows on her three-gaited chestnut mare, Queen of Greencrest, and carried off many ribbons. Mr. Green's favorite was a Tennessee walking horse, Dixie Allen. Mrs. Green held to the theory that a horse that is good enough to show is good enough to ride in the park and the couple were a familiar sight on the bridle paths. Green, somewhat of an inventor, had a field day working out labor saving devices for the stables. Mrs. Green contributed articles to horsemen's journals. The amazing factor in Mrs. Green's life is that she was a sickly child and doctors feared she might not live past the age of 12. In fact, she and her husband became acquainted when Walter used to ride her home from school on his bike because a spinal ailment had made it difficult for her to walk. He used to tell her, "Don't worry, when we grow up we'll be married and I'll teach you to do all the things you want to do." Now, Just two years after Green's death, Esther Green is keeping the vital spark going in FEPCO and yet hasn't let her other skills and accomplishments wither on the vine. Indeed, many younger than she are hard pressed to keep up with her—and few who and accom- are younger can match her skill plishments in so many fields. Allied Artists to Build HOLLYWOOI>—Bids are being sought by Allied Artists for the construction of a $25,000. sound-proof planing mill which will be built early next year on the AA lot on the site now occupied by the studio's lumber yard. The building will be erected under the supervision of Eugene Arnstein, studio manager. CBC Board Will Study Private TV Appeals OTTAWA—A climax in the television situation in Canada with respect to licenses for TV broadcasting by private enterprises is expected to be reached at a meeting of the board of governors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., which is scheduled to be held January 22-24 in the parliament buildings here. According to a formal notice regarding the meeting, the board of the government's broadcasting company will consider the representations from private stations. The lifting of steel restrictions has boosted activity. Applications already received by the Department of Transport will be referred to the governors for possible recommendations. Reque ts from radio stations for technical' and other changes will also be heard. Television applications from Famous Players Canadian Corp. and others have been on file in the Department of Transport for at least three years. Fabian Brooklyn Theatre Now Presenting Circus From Eastern Edition NEW YORK—The 2,900-seat Fabian Brooklyn Strand, closed for several months because of product problems, reopened Friday (26) with a circus and the show will continue there through January 1. Fabian Theatres said booking the circus was a te. t of the drawing power of a special live show and that there was the possibility that other non-film entertainment might be booked later, though the circuit still considered the Strand a picture house and preferred to present pictures there. The circus schedule called for three shows a day. with children admitted for 60 cents and adults for $1.20, and with a f-mall section of reserved seats at $1.50. Tlie circus is one that has been appearing in armories and in Shrine mosques throughout the country. It is called the New Polack Bros. Circus, with headquarters in Chicago. There are trained elephants, seals, dogs, ponies and bears, and wild animals and high-wire acts. UA Theatre Circuit Net For '52 Up to $491,093 From Eastern Edition NEW YORK—United Artists Theatre circuit and subsidiary companies report a net income of $491,093 for the year ended Aug. 31, 1952, an increase over $402,290 for the previous 12-month period. The earnings for the 12-month period In 1950 were $614,383. The net for the 1952 period was $748,360, from which was deducted interest, depreciation, amortization and provision for federal income taxes. UA theatre chain operates 20 theatres in California, Michigan. Oregon and New York. It also has an interest in Metropolitan Playhouses, which operates 128 theatres in and around New York City: United California Theatres, with 99 theatres: Rowley United Theatres, with 127 theatres, and Penn- Federal Enterprises, with seven theatres. William Holden, Dawn Addams and David Niven are starred in F. Hugh Herbert's production, "The Moon Is Blue." 88 BOXOFFICE January 3, 1953

. . M ARITIMES f^eorge Basha, owner-manager of the Page Theatre at Stephenville. Nfld., triumphed over fire-destruction of his Uptown Theatre there, when he recently opened the new Page. Basha, a member of a family long active in the film industry, had just started building the Page when fire destroyed the Uptown and its contents. He rushed the Page to completion, with a seating capacity of 250, in order to provide films for his patrons, who are primarily aii' force personnel and workers and their families from Harmon field, U.S. air corps station. Basha now is enlarging the balcony of the Page. The Page staff numbens four persons, including Basha. The theatreman now has purchased a site across the street from the theatre and plans to erect an office building. . The attention of boys and girls at Sydney, N.S., is centered on weekly all-cai-toon shows at the Vogue. The show starts at 10 a.m. each Saturday and admission is ten cents . . . Herman Kerwin, manager of the St. John Regent, took a week off before Christmas to lay some new tile floors in his home Patrons of the Armview on the outskirts of Halifax are reported to have received favorably the "Curtain at 8:30" program schedule. Albert Fred Basha, owner-manager of the Palace, Corner Brook, Nfld., has moved into a new home in that city . . . Mitchell Franklin, acting president of the Franklin & Herschorn chain, went to Halifax for the funeral of Ivan Haley, Dartmouth exhibitor who managed the Dundas and Mayfair Mitchell and his wife, . partners in . . the management of the Humber Theatre, Corner Brook, for Mike Basha, helped protect the home of Mitchell Franklin sr. from heavy fire damage recently. The couple worked through the night and were successful in saving the building. For about a year, Art Breau, doorman at the Mayfair, St. John, has been spending each Sunday at his home at Tracadie, where his wife and nine children live. Winter driving in the maritimes is far from conducive to safety or pleasure, because of the cold, storms and icy roads, but Breau very rarely misses his weekly invasion of the elements and dangerous footing. He covers about 500 miles each weekend and all within about 36 hours in heading to the Quebec provincial line and back. A dual assignment prevailed for Santa Claus at Shubenacadie, N.S. Santa and Mrs. Claus first appeared on the stage of the Roxy, then made a second appearance at an institution for orphaned and deserted boys and girls of a settlement for Indians. The roles of Mi', and Mrs, Santa were playing by Ned and Mrs. Murray. Murray is assistant manager of the Gaiety, Halifax, where the pair also offered the Santa act. Mrs. S. M. Brownell, manager of the Goudey Theatre, Barrington Passage, N.S., has been busy outside the theatre looking after her young daughter, who is in school and church concerts. Goudey Theatre was established by the late Gordon Goudey of Boston, a dean of gum manufacturers and whose birthplace was Barrington Passage. He spent much of each year there and built and outfitted a de luxe little film theatre, which he named after himself. This came into possession of the late Percy Fielding. A brother is Art Fielding, Bridgewater, N.S., and formerly general manager for the Spencer chain. Not far from Barrington Passage and Bridgewater on the south .shore, Capt. Sam Herman, manager of the Capitol at Lunexburg, N.S. the last 23 years, celebrated his 88th birthday. He played another game of auction in his office. His boss is F. Gordon Spencer, head of the Sf>encer chain. The captain gets his title from being a retired skipper. Producers to Meet In Ottawa on Jan. 17 OTTAWA—The Ass'n of Motion Picture Producers and Laboratories of Canada will have its annual convention at the Chateau Laurier hotel here January 17, 18. The president of the association, which has 24 member companies throughout the Dominion, is F. R. Crawley, head of Crawley Films, Ltd., Ottawa. The secretary is J. Alasdair Fi-aser of Montreal. S. Dean Peterson of Peterson Productions, Toronto, is vicepresident. The directors are W. J. Singleton and Rene Germain of Montreal, Francis J. S. Holmes of Winnipeg and Frank O'Byrne of Toronto. Cinerama Deal Reported For Palace in Chicago From Central Edition CHICAGO—Joe Kaufman, assistant to Louis B. Mayer, head of Cinerama, has been in town, reportedly to complete a contract between his company and Eitel's Palace Theatre for installation of $100,000 Cinerama equipment. It is predicted that Cinerama will be ready to bow here in March. Kaufman is in charge of theatre operations for Cinerama. Following the run of "Stars and Stripes Forever," which opens Christmas day, the Palace will go dark for about six weeks for the installation of Cinerama equipment. Meantime, two other Loop first run theatres are reported still dickering with Kaufman for the Cinerama premiere. Stage Success to the Screen "The Moon Is Blue," F. Hugh Herbert's stage success, will be an independent production, with Otto P^eminger as director and coproducer with Herbert. He Cuts Kiddy Prices And Gets More Noise! From North Central Edition Coon Rapids, Iowa—Nate Then of the Lyric Theatre here recently lowered prices for children at his theatre. It was his plan to give more children an opportunity to see a show. However, Thon now is wondering if the plan has backfired and he's seriously considered raising the prices of the tickets back to where they were. Here's why, Thon says: The children just don't appreciate what he's done for them. "They make more noise, damage the seats, and, when they are not watched, run up and down the aisles disturbing the adult patrons." MONTREAL /Christmas and New Year's holidays are always gay on Filmrow with local industry folks renewing acquaintances with colleagues from other centers. The parties and gettogethers are among the most enjoyable events of the year, and are always looked forward to and well attended. Whenever they can break away from hometown engagements, exhibitors from other pai-ts of the province are always glad to head for Montreal, and never omit year-end visits to Filmrow. Santa Claus paid one of his last local pre- Christmas visits to the Palace and Odeon Theatre in Verdun, where Andre Farley, manager, helped distribute a large collection . . of attractive gifts to 150 children of the Buissonets orphanage . Joan Bennett and husband Walter Wagner and theii- two children are holidaying in Quebec City and neighboring resorts, enjoying the winter sports . . . Three youthful members of the Canadian Red Cross are conveying films of the Grey cup football final to Japan where they will be exhibited to soldiers convalescing in a Tokyo hospital. The films afterwards will be shown in the Maple Leaf club, Tokyo, and in Korea. Henri Guimond is constructing a cinema on St. Lawrence boulevard between Cremazie and Beauharnois streets at a cost of $80,000 . . . The Dominion Theatre of the Confederation Amusments chain, closed a few days for installation of new flooring and new seats, was reopened December 20, with "Son of Frankenstein" and "Tower of London" . . , A musical film of Christmas eve in Sweden and another on skiing were shown at the Museum of Fine Arts . . . "Coeur de Maman," a new French film will be produced in Montreal. Christmas presents for children of the less fortunate class were collected in baskets placed in the entrance halls of Odeon theatres, and appeals made to the public to donate toys and other gifts were liberally responded to. The theatres which participated were the Champion, Mercier, Cremazie, Villeray, Beaubein, Electra, Verdun Palace, Perron and Midway, and in Montreal; the Rex at St. Jerome and the Capitol at St. John's . . . Dr. L. J. Lemieux, former sheriff of Montreal who organized the province of Quebec board of film censors and was its president for a number of years, died recently at the age of 83. Theatrical circles not only in Montreal and throughout Canada, but in many parts of the world, felt bereaved when they learned of the death of A. C. "Abbie" Wright, for many years the most widely known theatre manager in Canada. The last few years he was general passenger agent for Canada Steamship Lines. Wright, who was only 63, was manager of the Princess Theatre until it was taken over by Consolidated Theatres and converted into a motion picture house. He then moved to Canada Steamship Lines as purser supervising entertainment on the ships. He climbed in a short time to the post of general passenger agent. Always a sportsman, he was in early years road secretary of the Montreal Baseball club, and took an active part in other forms of athletics. Many Filmrow friends were among the 700 at the funeral service in Christ Church cathedral. BOXOFFICE :: January 3, 1953 89