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Boxoffice-January.10.1953

- Spray of Water

- Spray of Water Enhances Display For 'Mermaid' at Syracuse, N. Y. Having an electrician and an engineer around the theatre who are handy at devising mechanical ginunicks is an asset to a theatre man. Combine that with a manager's natural aptitude for figuring out special effects for displays and patronage is sure to respond via an increase in iinterest on the part of the public. Sam GUman. manager of Lowe's Theatre in Syracuse, came up with a dandy display for "Million Dollar Mermaid" and even the excellent photo herewith does not do justice to the ingenuity, the beauty and the attractive coloring of the setpiece. The theatreman had his art shop use the traditional color scheme for a New Year attraction. At the base of the display a tank was built in and controlled pressure sent sprays of water half-way to the top of the setpiece. Splashing back into the tank, the water made its own sound effect while a revolving color wheel added to the attractiveness of the lobby corner. Oilman's campaign to sell the picture away from the theatre included the mailing of postcards with an illustration of Esther Williams and the memo, "You have a date with 'Million Dollar Mermaid' at Loew's, etc." A radio disk jockey ;ponsored a limerick contest in conjunction with the picture and interview platters were aired by WFBL and WSYR. On the sidewalk in front of the theatre, photos of the star were displayed in frozen blocks of ice. Plastic stickons were used on mirrors and store windows. Cards were Management and Lions Are Xmas Parly Hosts Arthur Hallock. manager of the Paramount Theatre at Baltimore, and the Overlea Lions club played Santa Claus to 1,200 neighborhood children at the sixth annual Christmas party December 20. Each year the theatre Is made available for this event through the good grace of Milton Schwaber. president of Schwaber Theatres in Baltimore. The screen show consisted of a Roy Rogers feature and several color cartoons. The Lions provided free candy and a gift lor every child up to 13 years of age plus $200 worth of toys and gifts which were awarded to lucky ticket holders in the audience. The organization also put up a 20-foot decorated tree outside the theatre and supplied the theatre with display signs announcing the show. Sells Student Tickets Lewis Thompson, manager of the Holland Theatre, Bellefontaine, Ohio, sold a block of 300 children tickets to students of the Lyle dancing school for a special morning show on Sunday before Christmas. The tieup helped to boost attendance on an lmp>ortant date. 36 placed on shop wmdow.s witii copy, "Sorry, it's New Year's day and we've gone to Lowe's to see, etc." Co-op newspaper ads helped to exploit the picture, stencils on sidewalks reached the perambulating public and special diecut heralds with a peep-hole gimmick were distributed house to house. For street ballyhoo, an usher was dispatched to ride the public transportation system carrying a life-size cutout of Esther Williams appropriately lettered with picture and theatre copy. All advertising was headed with the note that "Million Dollar Mermaid" was the theatre's New Year attraction. CITATIONS (Continued from preceding page) manager of the Owen Theatre, Branson, Mo., for lobby display showmanship. The most outstanding newspaper co-op ad of the month earned a Citation for Fred Teller jr., manager of the Strand Theatre, Hastings. Neb., and an animated window display submitted by George Snyder, manager of the Paramount, Syracuse, N. Y., won the tenth Citation for exceptional promotion during the month. The December Honor Roll was the 68th consecutive monthly list of theatre managers, assistants and publicity men to be cited for outstanding showmanship by BOXOFFICE. To qualify for the Honor Roll, theatremen submit evidence of their promotions, advertising and public relations achievements to the Showmandiser section, BOXOFFICE, 9 Rockefeller Plaza, New York 20. N. Y. Selections of the outstanding promotions each month are made by members of the staff of BOXOFFICE. For "Tales of Hoffmann" at the Van Wert (Ohio) Theatre, Manager Clarence Cropper contacted all women's clubs and schools in the community, and also succeeded in obtaining several writeups in the local paper stressing the music heard in the picture. — 8 — Tampa Palma Playing Foreigi[n Pictures on Reguli[ar Schedule One of the newer additions to the fold of theatres offering international product on a regular basis is the Palma Ceia in Tampa, Fla.. which launched an eight-week series of such product in October. The program is carried on Wednesday and Thursday each week, with the same features and shorts being shown on both nights. First presentation was "Faust and the Devil." followed by "Love of a Clown," "Bicycle Thief," "La Tiaviata," "Paris Waltz," "La Boheme" and "Woman Trouble." Exhibitors may note that the offerings are varied—in Italian, French and German—and run from opera to comedy to drama. Special featurettes like "Swan Lake Ballet" and "Peer Gynt Suite" are added attractions with each feature. Launching of this policy realizes a longtime wish of Curtis Miller, district manager of State Theatres. Aid is being extended by the public library, which conducts its own program of international product on a 500-limit. membership basis. Newspapers in Tampa and St. Petersburg have been cooperating by alloting generous coverage to the project. Six new foreign films have been added to the Arthur Davis roster for 1953 release. From Fi-ance comes "The Minute of Truth." starring Jean Gabin and Michele Morgan; "Seduction." featuring Sophie Desmarets; "The Bad Woman." staiTing Viviane Romance and Valentina Cortesa. and "The Gang." Vittorio DeSica's comedy of morals and manners, "Behavior of the Sexes," heads the list from Italy. The picture stars DeSica himself, Aldo Fabrizi. and Gino Cervi. "The Voice of Silence" is the first Italian production from famed Director G. W. Pabst and stars Fabrizi and Jean Marais. Both Italian films are in final editing stages. All six films will be released in U.S. with English subtitles. OCTOfilft 22-23 F1R>T .viKiVMSC l.S TAMPA OCTOBEIt 29 30 BUT FILM m JO YCARSI aw •111 cuii risytH of iKCUL 01 !IC«5 . NOVEMIII S-« nitST SHOWING IN TAMPA itTU' "wiaen Mu GTHT turnlOSTONEi Jfsi'^' •s^'^ 0*^-

National Guard Goes All Out to Promote Thunderbirds' National Guard week proclaimed by the mayor of San Francisco, and a tremendous supporting campaign from the 49th division of the National Guard launched the west coast premiere of "Thunderbirds" at the Golden Gate Theatre. Top ranking officers, pressured by Manager Mark Ailing and publicist Bill Blake, persuaded Republic Picture officials to bring John Derek, John Barrymore jr., Eileen Christy, Ward Bond and Rex Allen to the city for the opening. The stars were flown in via National Guard plane and were met at the airport by a guard of honor, which escorted them to the city in a calvacade of military vehicles. The Hollywood visitors were guests at a reception, a luncheon and were interviewed on all radio and TV stations and by the press with notable publicity breaks for the picture. The theatremen aroused wide interest by screening "Thunderbirds" for military brass. A local girl was selected as Miss National Guard of San Francisco and made city art breaks in the daily papers. The PIO officer alerted some 300 units of the Guard concerning the Golden Gate booking by mail. He had 500 posters plugging recruiting and "Thunderbirds" put up throughout the city. He got evei-y important columnist to devote special stories to the tie-in and radio commentators and disk jockeys devoted special salute programs to recruiting and the picture. School officials set up National Guard assemblies with unit personnel appearing to make personal pitches for enlistments and announcing the Golden Gate attraction. An exhibit of lethal weapons and the latest in military equipment attracted big crowds to the theatre a week prior to opening and the big event was a parade to the theatre opening night in which the stars, military units, vehicles and bands participated. Advance Screening Cues 'Stars' for Disk Jockeys Norman Levinson, assistant manager of the Poll Theatre, Hartford, Conn., arranged a .screening of "Stars and Stripes Forever" for radio disk jockeys and got all of them to plug the score of the picture on their respective programs. Music store owners and clerks also attended the screening and produced attractive window displays to promote the sale of records and the picture playdates. Levinson contacted the director of the public school system and obtained permission to post bulletin boards in all schools with notices advertising the theatre attraction. Marquee Display Gets 'Rose Bowl' Attention A dramatic display piece, placed flush against the building facade and spot-lighted, drew attention to "Rose Bowl Story" for Lee Thompson, manager of the State Theatre. Menomonie, Wis. Thompson created the display from a 24-sheet cutout of a football player in passing pose. Over the marquee, two loud speakers were rigged to play the Big Ten school songs. Nightie Cutouts in Four Poster Stimulate Kansas City Business A large window display, featuring nightgown cutouts of Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer in a four poster bed, in Keith's, one of Kansas City's leading furniture stores, was part of an extensive campaign used by Manager Herb Carnes of the 500-seat Kimo Theatre in promoting "The Four Poster." The window display was used for two weeks, beginning a week before the film opened. Large display ads were in the morning and evening paper the day before the Christmas debut of the picture. Co-op art and window cards were placed In several downtown stores and a hotel lobby. Carnes also used the theatre's 6,000 patron mailing list to send postcards promoting the film. The Public Service Co.'s monthly bulletin to riders also gave considerable mention to the picture. Some 100,000 copies ot the pamphlet are distributed each month. About 1,000 single sheets plugging the picture and the cartoon, "Madeline," were Chewing Gum Flavors 'Line' Promotion Merle Hallford, manager of the Martin, Thomson, Ga., promoted several thousand sticks of chewing gum for the Beech-Nut packing company for insertion in envelopes to exploit "Hold That Line." The envelopes were imprinted with copy, "This gum will put and so will the a smile on your face . . . Bowery Boys in etc., etc." Hallford promoted free radio spots on station WTWA and used advance lobby displays to stimulate interest in the film. Plymouth Dealers Co-Op On 'Adventure' Ballyhoo Fifteen Plymouth dealers in the San Francisco area tied in with Boyd Sparrow, manager of the Warfield Theatre to ballyhoo his booking of "Plymouth Adventure." Each dealer used a showroom and window display, prominently mentioning the theatre attraction. New cars, carrying models dressed in Puritan costumes, toured the busy downtown section for four days in advance of opening and current. given to nearby .siures lor distribution, while others were mailed out and distributed in the lobby. Cross plug trailers were shown at the Glen and Dickin.son theatres, two other Dickinson circuit situations. Several special .screenings were held. Seventy different women's groups were represented at one ofternoon session, while local foreign consuls were invited to attend another screening. As part of the tieup with Robert Keith's furniture store, five pieces of living room furniture were displayed for a week in a roped off part of the Kimo's lobby. Columbia exploiteer Jules Sercowitz was in from New York to work on the picture's promotion. Carnes believes that the extensive buildup and the popularity of the two stars were reasons for the great 300 per cent opening. Lines at the boxoffice and a filled auditorium were in evidence during the first week. Bond Bread Jamboree Is Teaneck, N. J., Winner In cooperation with a national baking firm, Murray Spector, manager of the Teaneck (N. J.) Theatre promoted a Bond Bread Jamboree on Saturday before Christmas. The kid show consi.'ted of a western feature, a comedy and ten cartoons. The Bond representative had the Hopalong Cassidy ranch foreman on hand to distribute free gifts to every child who attended. In addition the company's float which participated in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving day parade -visited the community and helped to promote interest for the show. Teaneck school children were dismissed from their classes to they could inspect the float. DIT-MCO DIRECTIONAL LIGHTS RAMP LIGHTS -RAMP IND WIT tlGHTS- D( lUXE AISIE IIGHTS-AISLE llGHT$-TWO- WAY AISIE IIGHTS-RESTROOM llGHTS-40" ENTRANCE » EXIT IIGHTS-DOUBIE OR SIN- GlE FACE-20" ENTRANCE A EXIT LIGHTS DRIVE-IN THEATRE MFG. CO.^»K\:-'^:,';.'Sr BOXOFFICE Showmandiser Jan. 10. 1953 — 9 — 37