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Boxoffice-January.10.1953

. . Deals . . Dan ALBANY

. . Deals . . Dan ALBANY profitable, though not sensational. New Year's eve business was reported by several first run theatres, while New Year's day trade was generally good. The Palace collected a sizable gross with the one-day i31i showing of "The Stooge." Warners' Strand drew fairly well with "April in Paris," which opened Wednesday for a week's run. Customers passed through the turnstiles in substantial numbers Thursday. Managers expected this would continue through Sunday. Crowd behavior New Year's eve was orderly, Al LaFlamme, Strand manager, stated. The four local first runs, the Palace, Strand. Grand and Ritz. charged $1 from 5 p. m. through midnight Wednesday i31), while the second run Leland collected 74 cents. Last year, two dow^ntown houses exacted $1.25 Dr. Benjamin Volk. Variety and two $1 . . . Club member, ha.s been appointed to the Albany Boys club advisory board by Warner G. Morton, president . for the exhibition of "Bwana Devil" at the Strand here, the Troy in Troy and Stanley in Utica are reported in the making. Cy O'Toole, chief sound engineer for Warner Theatres from New Haven, and Lou Green, who recently surveyed the houses for the third-dimensional process, hopped to Philadelphia to observe its fir.st presentation in a Warner hou.se . . . "Here's How" drew approximately 1.100 admissions in the 1,900-seat Strand on the Mask and Wig club's annual visit to Albany. Scale was $1 to $4.20, no tax. The district University of Pennsylvania alumni group reportedly made a small profit on the one-nighter. . . John Wilhelm jr., Exchange callers Monday included Phil Baroudi, operating in North Creek. Warrensburg and Indian Lake; Clarence Dopp. Frankfort and Northville; Sam Slotnick, Syracuse exhibitor who conducts the Lyric, Waterford; Morris Slotnick, Oriskany Falls and Waterville Mrs. Antoinette McNamara, who . . . buys for the Valatie Theatre, was reported on a vacation in Cuba . . . . Johnny .son of the 20th-Fox head booker, celebrated his second birthday Tuesday Capano closed the State in Ti-oy on Christmas eve after presenting a free matinee performance for 600 youngsters, including orphans from Hillside school. Candy was distributed. Capano. assistant booker at U-I, reported he met Kirk Allyn, who starred in the Superman and Black Haw^k serials, at the Crystal Lounge, Troy, Allyn's wife, Virginia O'Brien (of MGM musicals), was playing an engagement there. Three engagements were announced at 20th- Fox. Barbara Nelson, a junior in Furman college. Greenville, S. C. and a resident of Milford. Conn., will marry salesman Clayton Pantages; Fi-ieda Hannemann of the secretarial staff is engaged to Kenneth Smith, and SPECIAL TRAILERS 639 NINTH AVENUE NEW YORK 36, N.T. SPEED! QUALITY! SHOWMANSHIP! CAN'T BE BEAT! 1327 S. WABASH CHICAGO 5, III. Charlotte Schwartz, also a secretary, is engaged to Albert Ginsburg . Houlihan. Paramount manager, took a Christmas vacation. Howard Smith, Paramount salesman, spent a week's vacation in New York, where he w-orked for the company 11 years before coming to Albany. Si Feld, former 20th-Fox and Columbia salesman here, is now a salesman with two clothing lines and a Philippine embroidery product. The veteran portfolio carrier—he served the industry for 30-odd years—attended the recent Juvenile Mart at the Ten Eyck hotel and planned to be present at similar "spring exhibition" .showings in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. Feld, who still lives in Albany, covers the entire state, except the metropolitan area and Westchester county. Feld is the second local film man to hit the road recently with a clothing line. Gene Vogel, former U-I manager and previously an MGM salesman, now represents Woolmaster (sportswear! in upper New York state. Late Bill Smalley Was Exhibitor for 35 Years ALBANY—Filmrow mourned the death in Cooper^town last week (28) of William C. Smalley, 63, an exhibitor for 35 years and president of Smalley Theatres. Bill Smalley, as he was widely known, had made a game fight for three years to overcome a serious illness. He was forced to remain away from his desk at the Cooperstown offices for most of that time, although able, at different periods, to take automobile rides now and then and last winter to vacation in Florida. A doughty fighter for the rights of independent exhibitors and a canny small-town operator. Smalley was born in Danbury. Conn. As a youth he moved to Mount Upton. N. Y.. where he worked in a milk plant. It was in that rural community that Smalley first screened pictures—industry veterans say in an opera house. At any rate, an opera house in Cooperstown was his second situation. In 1921, Smalley set up headquarters in that village, famous as the birthplace and residence of the novelist. James Fennimore Cooper. He eventually built up a string of profitable theatres in the Mohawk Valley and Catskill Mountain region, totaling 12 at present. Branch managers, .salesmen and bookers considered Smalley a tough bargainer but a fair, generous and likeable man. One of his customs was to entertain them at the annual major league all-star game at Doubleday Field at Cooperstown, where baseball was first played. Smalley wa-s deeply interested in the field and the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. A group from Filmrow attended the funeral Wednesday afternoon. His wife Hazel, for 20 years treasurer of Smalley Theatres, is a survivor. U to Pay $1.06 Dividend NEW YORK—Directors of Universal Pictures Co., Inc., have voted a quarterly dividend of $1.06 per share on the 4'.. cumulative preferred stock of the company. It is payable March 2 to stockholders of record February 16. Poho sufferers look fo you. Drop Morch of Dimes slugs into your odvertising for the March of Dimes drive—Januory 2-31. Revised NY Theatre Code Seems Likely NEW YORK—After nearly three years of discussion it now .seems certain that the city council will get a chance to vote on 21 proposed amendments to the building code to permit placing theatres in office buildings either above or below street level. Objections of the fire and building departments have been ironed out in conferences with the League of New York Theatres. The changes are aimed to make it economically possible to erect new theatres for legitimate shows. The changes would also apply to film theatres. The proposed amendments were first introduced in the city council by Councilman Quinn of Queens in April 1950. Objections were rai.sed by the buildmg and fire departments. Since that time numerous conferences have been held. Under the proposals it would be po.ssible to erect office buildings over the stages as well as the auditoriums. By also permitting construction above or below street level the owners could rent valuable street level space for stores. No new legitimate theatre has been erected in New York City since 1925. and the number of legitimate theatres has fluctuated from 20 in 1898 to 68 in 1930. Many of them have been unprofitable for years and some have been leased to radio and television companies for studios. Seven shows have been unable to find space in recent weeks. Grant New Postponement Plea for RKO Receiver NEW YORK—Tlie suit of three RKO Pictures stockholders asking for a temporary receiver will be heard January 26 without further postponement. Judge Henry Clay Greenberg said in supreme coiu-t Monday i5). He had just granted a fourth postponement upon application by Louis Kipnis, attorney for Eli B. Castleman. Marion B. Castleman and Louis Feuerman, who hold a total of 2.525 shares Previous postponements had been requested by RKO attorneys. Kipnis told the court he had lacked the opportunity to study affidavits presented by William Zimmerman. RKO attorney of record, and C. J. Tevlin, production head. The Zimmerman affidavit said that RKO now had a full board of directors, while that of Tevlin deplored the effect a receivership would have on 640 studio employes on the payroll and on certain producers. The latter also said RKO was starting to shoot two pictures this month. No objection to another postponement was made by Albert Connolly, representing Zimmerman; Judge Samuel Rosenman, representing Samuel Goldwyn Productions, and Isidor Kresel, representing David J. Greene, another stockholder. Local 306 Hosts Kids NEW YORK—Harry Garfman. business representative of the motion picture machine projectionists Local 306. staged the customary Christmas party for underprivileged children at the Hospital of St. Giles the Cripple. Brooklyn. Members of the Movie Social club of Brooklyn, organization of operators devoted to charitable purposes, aided in the distribution of gifts. 46 BOXOmCE :: January 10, 1953

. . Joseph . . The . . The . . Harmonicas . . "The . . Baltimore Verdict On First Runs Upheld BALTIMORE — A lower court decision against the Crest Theatre of Baltimore, which had sued eight motion picture companies in a case involving first run rights, was affirmed Monday (5i by the U.S. Fourth circuit court of appeals in Charlotte. N. C. The case had been appealed by the owners of the Crest after a federal court jury in Baltimore last May decided that the distributors were not violating the antitrust laws in granting first run rights to only seven downtown theatres. The case had been appealed in the name of Theatre Enterprises. Inc., operator of the Crest Theatre. The plaintiff contended that Paramount. Loew's, RKO. 20th-Fox. Universal. United Artists, Warners and Columbia conspired to grant first run rights to only seven downtown theatres. The Baltimore group claimed $205,000 damages, tripled under the federal laws. Another $52,000 tripled was claimed for damage resulting from alleged discrimination in prices and clearance times for second run pictures after being denied first run rights. McCarthy Is Entertained By Foreign Managers NEW YORK—Major company foreign managers entertained John G. McCarthy, resigned vice-president in charge of international affairs of the Motion Picture Ass'n of America, at a luncheon Monday i5) at the Harvard club and gave him an inscribed silver tray. He left with Mrs. McCarthy at the weekend for a vacation at Nassau in the Bahamas. He said he would announce his future plans on his return February 1. Officials of the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers have confirmed that they have had talks with McCarthy, who resigned his MPAA post when Eric Johnston, president, reorganized the foreign setup and took over personal supervision. They have said they would like to have McCarthy with them in a post similar to that he held with the MPAA. A SIMPP executive committee meeting will be held shortly in Hollywood, with Ellis Arnall, president, presiding. MPAA Sees Early Johnston Return From Honolulu NEW YORK—Eric Johnston, president of the Motion Picture Ass'n of America, was expected to return here over the weekend following an address during the week before the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce. He had changed his plans to return east following the Christmas holidays, and instead went directly to Honolulu by plane after addressing the Chamber of Commerce at Spokane, Wash., on how motion pictures can fight communism through ridicule. Plan Airer Near Homer HOMER, N. Y.—Plans to build a 500-car drive-in on Route 11 about a mile north of here have been announced by W. A. Shaw. He recently purchased a 118-acre farm on which he plans to build his ozoner. About 15 acres will be used. Shaw has owned and operated an airer at Malone for the last five years. NEWARK Tames Kolbeck, manager of Loew's Jersey tied in the Brunswick Laundry on "Plymouth Adventure," which played at the Jersey and State here. The laundry distributed 25,000 numbered circulars in bundles of laundry. Persons receiving the bundles with number corresponding to numbers posted in the lobby, gained free admissions. A 17-foot model of the Mayflower, used for photographic effects in the film, was stationed for inspection in Military park in this city and in Journal Square, Jersey City. Louis Prelskel, manager of the Park. Caldwell, tied in with Laufer Bros, shoe store on a sponsored matinee for kids at Christmas . "Justice Brown," scripted by George Slavin and George George, is in production by 20th- Fox . Colwell. a former employe of Warner Theatres, who w-orked as assistant at the Capitol and the Castle in Irvington. has taken over the management of the LjTic . Rex. East Rutherford, is closed . . . Frank Holler has returned to his former post as manager of the Roosevelt, Union City Nicholas Capirsello, who has gone back to the Stanley, Jersey City, used lobby displays and stickers on buses on "April in Paris," in addition to tieing in with colored sections of local newspapers. . Dorothy Gorski, cashier at the Paramount, has resigned to devote herself to housekeeping . . . Ellen DeGroot, parttime cashier, has taken over the vacated post . Snows of Kilimanjaro" broke hou.se records at the State, Jersey City soda dispensing machine was broken and robbed of its cash at the Essex on New Year's eve. Sidney Stem, co-owner of the Columbia Amusement Corp., spent a week in Florida over the holidays . were given away to children at a kiddy matinee at the Beacon. East Orange ... On leavmg the Park Theatre a young man was attacked by a group of teenagers wearing jackets inscribed "Barbarians" and carrying blackjacks and other weapons. He was taken to Beth Israel hospital and later identified his assailants. $30,000 Fire in Milton, Del. MILTON. DEL.—A discarded cigaret was believed to have been the cause of a $30,000 fire in the Milton Theatre here. The fire, originating in the rear of the balcony, apparently flared up after the 11 p. m. closing. E. M. Scott jr.. owner and manager, said although the fire was confined to a small area his building suffered considerable smoke and water damage. Scott said repairs had started and the reopening is expected late this month or in early February. The damage was partly covered by insurance. SIMPP Executives to Meet HOLLYWOOD — An executive committee meeting was planned for the latter pai't of the week by the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers following the Monday (51 arrival of Ellis Arnall, organization president, from his home in Atlanta. Arnall planned a week of parleys with Gunther Lessing, board chairman, and Marvin Faris. executive secretary. Theatres in Battle On Tax-Anything HARRISBURG— Pennsylvania's 140th regular general assembly session convened January 6 and then recessed until January 26. Gov. John S. Fine has estimated that about $200,000,000 in additional taxes will be needed to run the state government in the 1953-55 biennium. Theatre owners and other amusement enterprises will stage a campaign to have the "enabling act" knocked out of existence in the commonwealth's book of laws. This law permits political subdivisions to tax "practically anything" not taxed by the state. The number of political subdivisions which used the act more than doubled in 1952. Available figures from the state municipal affairs bureau show 1,996 local governments levying 2.544 taxes as of last September 1. The yield is estimated at mere than $32,000,000 for 1951. Types of levies authorized include amusement, business, deed, income, per capita, trailer, billboards, television towers, etc. Eligible to use the money-making benefits of the act are 5,070 government units of the Keystone state, second and third class cities, boroughs, first and second class townships and school districts. After five years, the local amusement tax has killed off theatres and theatre attendance in many situations. Probably 400 Pennsylvania municipalities are collecting the socalled "local" amusement tax of 10 per cent of the established price at theatres, amusements-recreations and sports events. Funeral Services Are Held For Mrs. Albert S. Howson NEW YORK—Funeral services for Mrs. Loretta Healy Howson. 69. wife of Albert S. Howson, director of censorship for Warner Bras., were held Friday (9) at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs church. Forest Hills. Mrs. Howson died Tuesday (6) at the Horace Harding hospital, Elmhurst, Queens. Mi-s. Howson wqs a former actress and up to 1925 when she retired had appeared in a number of Shakespearean repertory companies. She is survived by her husband, a sister, Healy. Hubert Mrs. Mary C. Murtha, and a brother, Mrs. Osa Johnson NEW YORK—Mrs. Osa Johnson, widow of Martin Johnson and co-author and co-producer with him of a series of films that were well known over a period of years, was found dead Wednesday (7) in the Hotel Woodward. She was believed to have died of a heart attack. Mrs. Johnson was a native of Chanute, Kas. Her husband was killed in an airplane accident in 1939 and she was injured in the crash. Charles Rosenzweig NETW YORK—Funeral services for Charles Rosenzweig, former vice-president of RKO Radio, were held Fi'iday i2) at the Park West Memorial chapel. Rosenzweig died Tuesday (30) at the age of 62. He is survived by the widow and a daughter, two sons and thi'ee sisters. BOXOFFICE :: January 10, 1953 47