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Boxoffice-January.24.1953

— New Angles Planned

— New Angles Planned On NCCJ Campaign NETW YORK—Progress on plans for the observance of Brotherhood week, February 15-22, was reported Thursday il5) at a luncheon called by Sol A. Schwartz, industry chairman. One of the novelties to be introduced this year will be a one-sheet prepared by National Screen Service containing a picture of President Eisenhower in the upper left hand corner with the caption: "Let's Join With Ike." Down the right side is a scroll for the signatures of theatre patrons who make contributions to the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The one-sheets will be placed in theatre lobbies with an attendant to supervise the receipts of contributions. An effort will be made after the collection to assemble the.se one-sheets for a presentation ceremony at the White House. Another novelty is planned for the dinner to be held at the Waldorf-Astoria February 19. A presentation in the form of a sketch will be made. Harry Brandt reported. The script is now being written by Mori Sunshine and a group of well-known figures in the film, radio, television and other fields will take part. Schwartz said that past records show that when exhibitors have been in charge of the Brotherhood week efforts their results have not equaled those of distributors. He aims to get the participation of at least 10,000 theatres in the propo.sed program, he said. Max E. Youngstein said the aim should be to secure the cooperation of newspaper and magazine publishers so that all media of communication will be joined in an effort to make the campaign impressive. He described 1953 as a "critical" year in the development of sentiment for tolerance, because of the obvious design of Russia and its satellites to start a new anti-Jewish campaign similar to that of Hitler. Dr. Everett Clinchy endorsed the plans and promised that the NCCJ would make a renewed effort to make everyone understand the organization's objectives and to tell how the funds are spent. Cleveland Exhibitors Elect Ernest Schwartz 20th Time CLEVELAND—Ernest Schwartz was unanimously re-elected for the 20th time to the post of president, secretary and general manager of the Cleveland Motion Picture Exhibitors Ass'n at the annual luncheon meeting Tuesday (20). Vice-President Albert E. Ptak and Treasurer Ted Vermes were also reelected by acclamation. In the rotating board membership plan. Max Lefkowich and Ted Vermes were elected for three-year terms; Howard Reif and Henry Greenberger, two-year terms, Joe Rembrandt, Frank Poroszinski and Roy Gross were newly named to Join Meyer Fine and P. E. Essick as one-year members. Guest speakers at the luncheon were judges Samuel Silbert and Arthur Day. Columbia Quarterly Dividend NEW YORK—The board of directors of Columbia Pictures Corp. has declared a quarterly dividend of $1.06'i per share on the $4.25 cumulative preferred stock, payable February 16 to stocltholders of record February 2. In the Newsreels Movietone News, No. 7: President Truman soys farewell at the end of his term; Pope Pius appoints 24 new cardinals from 13 notions; train smashup in Washington; Queen Elizabeth attends wedding; Ike's son home from Koreo for the inauguration; Mamie's gown for the big day; sports—West trims East for cage title, the jump boots is a comin'. News of the Day, No. 241 : Train crashes into station; Truman farewell to nation; new cardinals in Rome; Venezuela inauguration; Mamie Eisenhower's inaugural gown; bug boat hurdle race; Alpine ski thriller. Poromount News, No. 44: End football's twoplatoon system; train smashup; elevation of cardinals in Rome; Truman's farewell message; Ike's family ready for the big show; basketball—East against West all-stars. Universal News, No. 431: Truman calls for support of new president; new cardinal, Archbishop Mclntyre elevated by Pope Pius; Mamie's gown; from smosh in station; election; water sports. Werner Rathe News, No. 46: Runaway train hurls mto Washington crowd; President Truman's farewell; Mrs. Eisenhower shows inaugural gown; new cardinals arrive in Rome; Queen Elizabeth attends wedding in Scotland; "The Jazz Singer" premiere in New York aids Morch of Dimes; sports—all-star basketball, silver skates, crazy speed boats. • Movietone News, No. 8: The inauguration. News of the Doy, No. 242: Pope Pius elevates new cardinals; Nazi mass murder trial stirs France; spies for Reds seized; new prison not; Eisenhower reunion; ski jump classic; battle of the Rams; surf riding de luxe. Poromount News, No. 45: Prison violence; giant dam rises at tourist paradise; Pope confers hots on new cardinals; Malaya—dramatic flight from Red terrorists; Norge ski club in Illinois; skiing in Australia Universal News, No. 432: France mourns 624 massacred by Nazis; elevation of 17 new cardinals; building explodes in Washington; French Korean veterans honored; preview of tomorrow's automobiles; ski meet in Illinois; water skiing in Australia. Worner Pothe News, No. 47: Eisenhower inaugural. • American Newsreel, No. 550: Seabees defeat Old Man Winter; Luis Munoz Mann inaugurated as the first governor of Puerto Rico since the islands became a commonwealth with the U.S.; St. Phillips church of New York wins title second year as the largest Episcopal congregation in the United States; Canada brings industrial education to rural areas. Telenews Digest, No. 3B: Truman farewell; world's largest mammoth steel ingot poured; basketball Seton Hall tops Fordham. Telenews Digest, No. 4A: Winston Churchill vocations in Jamaica; U.S. delivers ships to Japan; Pope elevates new cardinals; missing link fish shown; cars of future shown in New York; sports world— Wilt wins K of C mile. Detroit to See Cinerama At Music Hall in April NEW YORK— "Thi.s Is Cinerama" will be presented in Detroit early in April at the l,800-.seat Mu.sic Hall, which will be one of the 25 theatres which will show the production during the year. M. G. Gaskin. president of the theatre, has signed a contract with Joseph Kaufman, Cinerama exhibition director, and will begin work at once on converting the theatre. Zeb Epstein, former managing director of New York theatres for Warner Bros., will manage the engagement of Cinerama in Detroit. John Joseph, until recently publicity manager for MGM, joined Cinerama Productions Corp. as a field exploitation and publicity director. His first job will be handling of playdates in the midwest, the first of which will be Detroit. Joseph has had wide experience in theatres in the central states, including positions with Balaban & Katz and RKO Midwest Theatres. At one time he was advertising and publicity director for Universal. He came into town Wednesday for conferences with Lynn Farnol, public relations consultant, before going to Detroit. Also Lester B. Isaac has been named assistant general manager of theatre operations in charge of technical services of Cinerama Production Corp. Isaac has been director of visual and sound projection for Loew's, which he joined in 1926. Five Division Heads Named for IFE NEW YORK—IFE Releasing Corp. has put its national distribution setup into operation with the appointment of five division managers by Bernard Jacon, vice-president in charge of sales. The division managers and their territories are: EASTERN DIVISION SETUP Eastern—Seymour Schussel, for 14 years with Columbia and former district manager for Eagle Lion and Film Classics as well as Joseph Burstyn, Inc. He also will act as assistant to Jacon in the New York office. Phil Levine will handle exploitation in the Greater New York, northern New Jersey and southern New' York and Connecticut sections of this division, and Ellis L. Gordon will handle Boston, New Haven and Albany. Central—Mark Goldman will head this division with headquarters at 2140 Payne Ave., Cleveland. He has been in the territory for 20 years for Universal-International, Eagle Lion, Monogram, PRC and Gaumont-British. The territory will include Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Detroit and Pittsburgh. Southern—Hubert M. Lyons, who has been in the industry 26 years, will operate this division from offices at 115 Walton St., N.W., Atlanta. Lyons has been with RKO, United Artists and FBO. The division takes in Atlanta, Jacksonville, Dallas, Oklahoma City. New Orleans and Memphis. Midwest—Harry H. Walders is the division head with offices at 1255 Wabash Ave., Chicago. He was with RKO and United Artists for 16 years and is former buyer and booker for Balaban & Katz and the Orpheum and Great States circuits. This division covers Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, Des Moines, St. Louis and Kansas City as well as Chicago. Western—Alex Cooperman is division manager with offices at 1907 South Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. He is a former booker, office manager and salesman for MGM, Universal- International and Eagle Lion and branch manager for Lux Films until its recent acquisition by IFE. He will supervise operations in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Denver and Salt Lake City. Ed Penn will handle sales exploitation for San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. TO GET ADDITIONAL PERSONNEL Additional sales-exploitation representatives are to be named for the Southern, Central, Midwest and Western offices. The new organization is now at work on "Anna," American-language film starring Silvana Mangano, which opened at the Center Theatre, Buffalo. January 7. and is scheduled for the Monroe, Chicago, January 28; St. Francis. San Francisco, January 27. Selling also is under way on "The White Line," costarring Gina LoUobrigida and Enzo Stajola. Others scheduled to go into release soon are: "Bellissima." Anna Magnani film; "The Pope of Peace." American-language film biography of Pope Pius X; "The Young Caruso," American-language film featuring the voice of Mario Del Monaco, Metropolitan Opera tenor; "Times Gone By," film octette costarring Gina LoUobrigida and Vittoria De Sica, and "Girls of the Piazza," co-starring Lucia Bose, Lillian Bonfatti and Cosetta Greco. 22 BOXOFFICE :: January 24, 1953

— David Prince Heads New RKO Division NEW YORK—David Pi'ince, southeastern district manager for RKO Pictures, has been appointed field divisional sales manager for the entire south in a reorganization of the distribution setup by ^ Charles Boasberg. general sales manager. The north-south division wliich Boasberg formerly headed has >' / ^ V been abolished. Boas- will continue to iberg supervise personally the metropolitan district, with the southern portion of the divi- David Prince gjon going to Prince and the northern part. Canada, to Walter Branson, assistant general sales manager, who also heads the western division. Prince joined the company in 1940. He will continue to have his headquarters in Atlanta. His new territory takes in Atlanta. Charlotte, New Orleans, Dallas. Memphis. Oklahoma City and a Jacksonville branch which will be opened soon. Nat Levy continues as eastern division sales manager. Phil Williams Accepts Position With Ziv NEW YORK—Phil A. WiUiams, who announced his resignation last week as assistant to the director of television for 20th Century-Fox, has accepted a position with Ziv Television Productions as account executive in Texas. He will continue with 20th- Fox until the end of the month and assume Senator Poses Bill to End Segregation in Theatres WASHINGTON—Segregation and exclusion of Negroes from local theatres would be a his new post with Ziv February 16 Williams was with March of Time as sales manager until last May before joining Fox. In the 15 years he was with Time, Inc., he held various advertising and sales positions. He has been active on committees for the Advertising club of New York, National Industrial Annual Conference and vice-president of the Ass'n of Motion Picture Advertisers. thing of the past under terms of a bill introduced Friday (.16) by Sen. Wayne Morse, Oregon Independent. Morse proposes a commission to end discrimination in all public places. The commission would first attempt to reach its goal through "educational and conciliation activities." If that didn't work, the commission could flatly order the practices to cease. The practices are common in almost all local theatres. Broun Is U-I India Head NEW YORK—William Broun, who has been assistant manager for Universal-International in Bombay since March 1952, has been named managing director for India THcft and Sf^'^^tt^ 0\i\\oo\i—Good or Badl THE seven days from January 11 to January 17 could have been National View- It-With-Alarm Week or National Optimism Week, depending on what magazines and newspapeis happened to be at hand. On the optimism side the Wall Street Journal reported National Theatres' grosses for the Christmas holiday season were 12 per cent ahead of the same period last year and United Paramount Theatres up 11 per cent. This was tempered by the reminder that National's gi-osses for all of 1952 were about four per cent under 1951 and UPT grosses down two per cent. Holdings of both circuits were cut by divorcement. Harris Theatres reported grosses down 20 per cent fiom 1951, and Wilbur Snaper, president of New Jersey Allied, said New- Jersey grosses were the hardest hit in the country, but he gave no figure comparisons. At about the same time that the Gulf States Allied unit members in convention at New Orleans were bitterly criticizing sales policies on big pictures that entailed advance admissions, a theatre operator in Detroit and another in St. Louis were crediting the big success on "Quo Vadis." "Ivanhoe," "Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "Million Dollar Mermaid" at advanced admissions as the reason for improved showings on their profits for the year. Confusing? Was it television or was it the automobile? Malcolm P. MacNair, Harvard professor and expert on marketing problems, told the National Retail Dry Goods Ass'n that department stores were on the decline; that they had not kept pace with the increasing population, and that their merchandising techniques were out of date, due—you guess!—to the spreading out of cities into suburbs. No parking space downtown! That explains the building of department store branches out in the country. also explains the amazing increase in It drive-ins, it might be added. How about television? Charles Jones in the Iowa -Nebraska Allied bulletin admits business was off 5 per cent for the year in his house at Elma, Iowa. There are only three television sets in the area. Again on the view-it-with-alarm side of the discussion! Some say that about 5,000 theatres have been closed since the end of World War II. The last industry census of theatres was made in 1948 and did not include drive-ins, of which about 4,000 have been opened since that time. There is disagreement as to how many new enclosed theatres have been erected, but the estimate of the total number of theatres in operation runs between 20.000 and 22,000. The total varies at different seasons. About 18,000 was the standard figure before the war. Of late, some important men in the industry have been saying that it would be a good thing if some of the obsolete houses -By JAMES M. JERAULD ia city neighborhoods that have been bypassed by the march of progress should be closed. Harry M. Warner, Edmund C. Grainger, former head of Shea Theatres and now with RKO Theatres, and others have bjen quoted along these lines. Thess quota. ions usually stir the wrath of the operators of so-called "fringe" houses. Thesa operators insist distributors should reduc3 rentals to take care of their needs. Now- along comes Edward L. Hyman, vice-president of United Paramount Theatres, with a new idea for improving business. He says distributors should make their best pictures available during preholiday and other "slack" periods, especially in the early summer when many big TV programs go off the air. It would rebuild the moviegoing habit, he says. The film industry should adopt the department store technique of "merchandising on a 52-week basis," he added. And it was only the day before this suggestion that Professor MacNair was teHing the department store men that their merchandising technique was suffering from anemia. All this proves only one thing— that a lot of people in both businesses wish conditions were better. More on UPT-ABC Merger LESLIE GOULD, financial editor of the New York Journal-American, has joined the growing number of critics of the Federal Communications Commission for its failure to reach .some kind of a decision on the United Paramount Theatres-American Broadcasting Co. merger application after a year of deliberation—or lack of it. He says the delay "looks like the old dodge of killing a deal by inaction." after pointing out that all licenses by the FCC are on an annual basis and the Commission could divorce the companies if it should develop the merger was riot in the public interest. New 20th-Fox Record HT THE Bill Gehring 35th anniversary dinner Edwin W. Aaron, assistant general sales manager, reported on the success of "Bill Gehring Week" in a w-ay that made about 200 diners gasp. Aaron gave the figures for the company income on the two highest income weeks in the company's history in 1947. Then he read the total for "Bill Gehring Week" about a quarter million higher than the previous records which were rolled up in the boom period. Ninety per cent of New York theatres played 20th -Pox pictures for a full week and in one exchange area the repre.sentation was 100 per cent. WB Trade Show Set Back NETW YORK—Warner Bros, has set back the date of the national trade screening of Alfred Hitchcock's "I Confess" from January 28 to February 4. The picture, which stars Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, Karl Maiden and Brian Aherne, will be nationally distributed February 28. BOXorncE January 24. 1953 23