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Boxoffice-January.17.1953

; 1952 Industry

; 1952 Industry Highlights in Cincinnati Territory CINCINNATI—The year 1952 in Cincinnati brought many changes in the film industry as individuals and businesses closed ranks to fight back against television, censorship and other attacks. Here is a month-by-month account of the major happenings of 1952 JANUARY The RKO Alt)ee management announced the theatre would be equipped for big-screen TV programs. Harold Hellman. former city salesman for ELC, died in Detroit at the age of 32. Hellman was transferred to Detroit as salesman for UA at the time of the UA-ELC merger. The installation dinner of the local Variety Club saw Vance Schwartz installed as chief barker. Joe Rosen, 20th-Fox manager, wa-s shifted to Washington as manager, while Bob McNabb, sales manager in Cincinnati, came here as branch manager. Frank Allara, Matewan. was named Man of the Year by the Mingo county, W. Va., Chamber of Commerce for his activities in civic affairs. A territorial premiere was held at the Grand here for Republic's "The Wild Blue Yonder." FEBRUARY Rampaging floodwaters from the Ohio river brought new woes to area exhibitors. After several days of normal river stages, heavy downpours of rain sent the swirling river back into flood stage. Lee L. Goldberg, head of Realart of Cincinnati and Indianapolis, died of a heart attack at the age of 65. MARCH Improper nailing when the ceiling was installed 30 years ago was blamed for the collapse of the plaster-covered metal ceiling lath at the Rosevelt Theatre, which injured about 60 persons, none seriously. Jack Goldman, owner, estimated damage at about $2,500. Maurice White, president of Midstate Theatres, died at the age of 65. Meyer Adleman. president, and Bud We.s.sel. .secretary-treasurer of States Film Service, acquired the Cleveland area franchise of National Film Service. Paul McKay, exhibitor at Montgomery. W. Va., died. A reserved-.seat showing of "With a Song in My Heart" was held at the Taft Theatre here by 20th-Fox and the Conservatory of Music. Jane FVoman appeared and proceeds were donated to the Jane Froman foundation for scholarships at the Cincinnati Conservatory. The showing was a sellout. APRIL Nathan S. Wise, publicity director for RKO Theatres since 1944. resigned. He and James Keefe, former public relations representative for 20th-Fox, formed an advertising and public relations agency. Judge John Wessel, Carrollton, Ky., died at the age of 42. He is survived by his wife Frances and a two-year-old daughter. The Wessels operated the Royal Theatre. MAY Officers and directors of Variety Club voted to sponsor a new charity — the Hamilton county Council for Retarded Children. Aldo Ray. star of "The Marrying Kind," spent a few days here. A luncheon was held here at which exhibitors heard Nat Levy, RKO division manager, and Terry Turner, director of exploitation, outline the territorial premiere of "King Kong," which opened in 200 theatres in June. Mrs. Jane Monsey. 28, daughter of Edwin Selig J. Seligman, who served as cochairman of the United Cerebral Palsy drive in the Cincinnati area. M. Booth. MGM manager, died in Indianapolis. Besides her parents, she was survived by her husband Richard. JUNE Selig J. Seligman and Phil Chakeres were co-chairmen for the United Cerebral Palsy drive. Co-distributor chairmen were Bob Mc- Nabb, 20th-Fox manager, and Harry Buxbaum. Paramount. Tony Knollman. business agent for the front office union, attended a district meeting of lATSE in Detroit. The Davis Drive-In was opened in Stanford. Ky., by Harry Davis, giving Lincoln county its first outdoor theatre. Two former theatre sites were .sold—the old Glenway Theatre building in Prince Hill, which contains several stores, was sold for $50,000. The former Heuck's Opera House property was bought by the Regal Realty Co. from the Jones estate for about $100,000. Mrs. Rose E. Dodge, mother of Elstun A. Dodge. Cincinnati exhibitor, died at the age of 79. JULY The downtown Capitol and Keith's theatre clo.sed. Nick Shafer. president of the operating companies, said last summer's record and present business trends made it "sounder" to close the house. The Albee showed the Robinson-Maxim fight telecast to a capacity audience, with many patrons standing. The Variety Club dinner dance at the Lookout House netted some $2,100 for the Hamilton county Council for Retarded Children. AUGUST Allan S. Moritz wajs general chairman of the Variety Club golf day. Roy White, Midstates Theatres, reopened the Forest Theatre. Max Millbauer, Dayton, installed in-car heaters and planned to keep his Belmont Auto Theatre open all year. John H. Kelley, 63, manager for National Theatre Supply, died. He had been with the company for 23 years. James A. Conn, acting manager during Kelley's illness, was named manager, with Ed Novack as his assistant. The downtown Capitol was reopened under RKO management through an agreement completed between RKO Theatres and Midstates Theatres. F. W. Hu.ss of Associated Theatres was one of the Ohio exhibitors running an uncensored newsreel at his Park Theatre, Northside, in order to bring on a lawsuit as a test case of the legality of Ohio cen- .sorship of newsreels. Martin G. Smith of Toledo, another of the exhibitors running the newsreel, was the defendant in the suit. SEPTEMBER Paul "Bud" Wessel fell and suffered a broken hip. He is secretary-treasurer of States Film Service. Jack Frisch joined UA as salesman and was married to Margaret Sellmer of Indianapolis. Jim Abrose, WB manager, was promoted to district manager and was given a testimonial dinner spon.sored by Variety Club. Phil Fox, Columbia manager, headed the arrangements committee. A shooting in the Times during a Saturday matinee showing of "Wait 'Til the Sun Shines, Nellie," brought the audience to its feet, but no panic ensued. Jack Finberg, UA manager, suffei'ed a heart attack at the office and was taken to Jewish hospital. Robert Dunbar succeeded Jim Abrose as Warner Bros, manager. OCTOBER More than 3,000 fans witnessed the Walcott- Marciano bout on the Albee TV screen. Walter Abel, film, radio and TV star, was in town. Mike Spanagel, former vice-president and assistant general manager of Midstates Theatres, joined WCKY as sales account executive. Jules Lapidus, WB eastern and Canadian sales manager, presided over a meeting of the central district sales heads here. Charles A. Midelburg, theatreman of Charleston, W. Va., for the last 35 years, died at the age of 72. He is survived by his wife, son Jack and two daughters. Cincinnati combine announced reopening of Keith's Theatre, downtown house, with a first run policy on November 30, according to Robert Morrell, general manager. NOVEMBER Emil George, Wapakoneta, Ohio, celebrated Phil Chakeres. left, Springfield circuit executive, who served as co-chairman of the United Cerebral Palsy drive, and right Vance Schwartz, Variety Club chief barker in 1952. 78 BOXOFTICE January 17, 1953

. . —— — his 30th anniversary in theatre business. Old • Newsboys day. November 17, sponsored by the Variety Club Foundation for Retarded Children, was a tremendous success and netted close to $25,000 for the pet charity. Chairmen for the event were Vance Schwartz. Herman Hunt and Phil Fox. The RKO Albee showed the Metropolitan Opera production of "Carmen" on its big-screen TV. DECEMBER A number of prominent area exhibitors died: L. Roy Smith, Huntington, W. Va.; Ducky Myers, Majestic Theatre, Chillicothe, and Mrs. Arey N. Miles, Eminence, Ky. The RKO Lyric, 48-year-oId showplace, closed and the building will be torn down to make way for a parking lot. The local loge of Colosseum of Motion Picture Salesmen elected Pete Niland, president, and Sam Weiss, vice-president. Jack M. Onie, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Onie of Cincinnati, became engaged to Shirley May Guttman. Harry J. "Pop" Wessel, founder of the Film Service Co., died at the age of 80. He was a former chief barker the Variety Club and for many years was of chairman of the heart committee. Detroit Contestant Wins 'Because of You' Awards DETROIT—The staff of United Detroit Theatres was elated when Connie Mavis won the national "Because of You" contest, with rewards including a nine-week contract for a role in "The Big Payoff" over the National Broadcasting network, together with a week in New York City as guest of Universal she also won a complete new wardrobe. The local winner was entered through the Michigan Theatre, whose manager, Gil Green, was active in handling arrangements, with Mrs. Alice Gorham, exploitation chief of the circuit. Miss Mavis proved to be a two-time winner. Earlier she was one of three girls picked in a national contest by Photoplay magazine to go to the Pasadena Playhouse for auditions. Leslie Lobdell Is Dead DETROIT—Leslie Lobdell, founder of Lobdell Movie Sign Service, died January 5. He specialized in the installation of banners and serviced many area theatres for years, later taking his son Edgar into the partnership. He is also survived by his wife Selina and two other children, Donald and Mrs. William Schultz. WIN CHECKS FROM MOM — Two happy recipients of MGM checks as a result of winning- second prize in the record display contest for "Singin" in the Rain," were Gen Geary, manager of Schine's Athena Theatre at Athens, Ohio, and Grandee's Music store, represented by Thelma A. Robinson. The winners here are presented with the prize money by J. E. Watson, MGM field press representative for the territory, at center. TOLEDO TTandals wrecked the Majestic Theatre here, . . Rock . . "Good Night Ladies," stage produc- as they ripped the screen and left the office in shambles. The house, now closed for repairs, is owned by Mrs. Helen Smith Russell, Millersburg, Ohio . U-I star, was scheduled to visit Hudson. the Rivoli here . tion, played at the 3,400 Paramount recently. Robert Taylor was in Dayton, January 9, to receive a "Golden Anniversary of Flight" membership, as well as to promote his latest picture, "Above and Beyond." He was a guest at a special Chamber of Commerce luncheon at which the membership was presented . The marquee of the Loop Theatre here prevented possible injuries to pedestrians when a truck struck a light pole and caused it to fall against tlie front of the theatre, thus preventing it from landing on the sidewalk. From 'Timberline' to 'Town' The title of the Universal picture formerly called "Flame of Timberline" has been changed to "Take Me to Town." 'Bali' Cincinnati Bow Scores 165 Per Cenl CINCINNATI—"Road to Bali" took the high road in local first run percentages, topping all other contenders with 165 per cent In its first week at the Albee. The picture moved over to the Grand for a second stajiza. All other first runs reported nice grosses, all over average. "April in Paris" did well at the Palace to the tune of 135 per cent. (Average Is 100) Albee Rood to Bali (Para) 165 Copitol Tropic Zone tPora) II Q Grand Abbott and Cosfello Meet Captain Kidd (WB), Captive Women (RKO) 105 Palace April in Poris (WB) 135 'Mermaid' Grosses 200 To Lead Cleveland CLEVELAND—"Million Dollar Mermaid" scored the top gross here last week with a mighty 200 per cent in second downtown week at the Stillman Theatre. "Road to Bali" scored 195 to rate second best, while "Kansas City Confidential" and "April in Paris" each hit 150. Mild, clear weather also played a part in the improved first run business. Allen April in Paris ( WB) 1 50 Hippodrome Ruby Gentry (20th-Fox) ! ! . 125 Ohio Kansas City Confidentiol (UA), 2nd d t „ wk 150 Palace My Cousin Rachel (20th-Fox) 125 State Road to Bali (Paro) 195 Stillman Million Dollar Mermaid (MGM), irid d- '. wk 200 "Ruby Gentry' Scores 200 In Detroit Debut DETROIT—Downtown first runs continued to hold to well-above-average levels. "Ruby Gentry" bowed in at the Fox to top the city with 200 per cent and "Bwana" held up well in a second week at the Madison with a score of 175 per cent. Adams Million Dollar Mermaid (MGM), 2nd wk.. .100 Fox—Ruby Gentry (20th-Fox); The Spider and the Fly (Bell) 200 Madison Bwana Devil (Oboler), 2nd wk 175 Michigan Road to Bali (Paro); It Grows on Trees (U-I), 2nd wk 120 Polms-State Thunder in the Eost (Para); The Ring (UA) 120 United Artists Stors and Stripes Forever (20th- Fox), 2nd wk ]00 The film censorship board of Bogota, Colombia, reviewed 660 films in 1951, of which 436 were English-language films, mostly American. Repeal City Ticket Tax EAST PALESTINE, OHIO—George A. Manos, Manos Theatres, Inc., was successful in his plea to the East Palestine city council for repeal of the city amusement tax. At a meeting here early this month the question of repealing the tax came up and the council voted unanimously for repeal. Broadway-Strand Is Sold DETROIT—Homer Cox, owner of the Our Theatre, Quincy, has taken over the Broadway-Strand at Union City, formerly operated by Douglas Mitmesser. Buying and booking of product for both houses is to be handled by General Theatre Service. Polio sufferers look to you. Drop Morch of Dimes slugs into your advertising for the Morch of Dimes drive—January 2-31. HANDY SUBSCRIPTION ORDER FORM BOXOFFICE: 825 Van Brunt Blvd., Kansas City 24, Mo. Please enter my subscription to BOXOFFICE, 52 issues per year (13 of which contain The MODERN THEATRE Section). D $3.00 FOR 1 YEAR D SS.OO FOR 2 YEARS Q $7.00 FOR 3 YEARS D Remittance Enclosed Send Invoice THEATRE STREET ADDRESS TOWN NAME STATE. POSITION BOXOFHCE January 17, 1953 79