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Boxoffice-January.24.1953

Displays That Sell Loews

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Guests at Screening Sanction Comments In 'Pal Gus' Ads Using an approach which has proved successful many times in the past. Ben Geary, manager of the Athena Theatre, Athens. Ohio, arranged a screening of "My Pal Gus." The audience represented a cross-section of influential people in the community, such as members of the PTA, women's clubs, service or2;anizations, high school faculty, etc. Comment cards were collected from the guests and permission obtained to use their quotes in newspaper advertising and theatre displays. In the lobby. Geary exhibited a lifesize cutout of one of the players in the cast holding a sign lettered: "Hey. there . . . remember me? I'm George Winslow. better known as the kid with the foghorn voice. Here's what your friends and neighbors say about my new picture, 'My Pal Gus.' " Below this were posted the comment cards collected at the screening. To exploit "Plymouth Adventure," Geary worked out a tieup with the clas.sified department of the local newspaper for a coloring contest. This ran for two days in succession, giving the picture an advantage of large space advertising off the amusement page. The local Plymouth car dealer used a fivecolumn co-op ad which broke in the news section of the paper. A co-op herald was sold to a jeweler, 2,000 of which were distributed via mailing on RFD routes three days before opening. Contacts were set up with every .school principal in the community to obtain direct announcements in classrooms plugging the picture playdates. Special display cards on which stills were mounted were placed in 20 downtown store windows, and the public library cooperated by exhibiting tie-in books and posters for the picture. W/nc/ow Shots Hif the Bull's-Eye On 'Greatest Show' at North Bay Bob Harvey, manager of the Capitol Theatre, North Bay, Ont., went in for real circusstyle ballyhoo for "The Greatest Show on Earth." and boxoffice receipts proved that ticket buyer.s still respond to .showmanship. Local merchants sponsored a double-truck newspaper co-op ad under the banner headline, "The Circus is coming to the Capitol." The page was filled with attractive layouts, each incorporating the traditional clown heads and illustrations of the circus band. On opening day, a men's hat .shop sponsored a large three-column display ad introducing "the greatest hat on earth" and "The Greatest Show on Earth." Pull credits for the Capitol were included. On the .second day of the current exhibition, an appliance store sponsored a half-page new.spaper co-op ad topped by similar tie-in copy and illustrative material plugging the film. The Dodge agency tied in its new car with the title by placing two full six-sheets in its main show- window with regular credits. A men's shop created a stir by backing its main .show w'indow with a full 24-sheel on the picture, an unusual shot that caught the attention of shoppers. All theatre employers wore clown costumes for ten days prior to opening, and during slack periods rode about town on top of a car bannered with posters. Fourteen by 28-inch cardboard arrows on which was lettered. "This way to the circus," were posted on parking meters throughout the city. Post cards in full color were sent to various business firms with a hand-written request that they alert their employes on the Capitol playdates of "The Greatest Show on Earth." Several thousand special heralds headed, "The Circus is coming," with appropriate illustrative material and copy, were distributed door to door, at schools, and on the streets. Boy in Window Directs Interest to 'Window' For a three-day showing of "The Window" at the Regent in St. John. N. B., Manager Herman Kerwin arranged special exploitation keyed to the theme, "What did he see through the window? ... It will shock you, too." After sizing up his audiences daily and with the accent on the boys, the manager located a near double for the boy in the film and stationed him in a window which was devoted wholly to the display. The display was offered for ten days and attracted record volume of attention at the Regent, and record business for the year. The boy lives near the theatre and has been a frequent patron. Five-Week Kiddy Shows Score in Mount Vernon Curt White, manager of the Vernon Theatre, Mount Vernon, Ohio, recently concluded a five-week series of kiddy shows which proved a boon to the boxoffice. At each show, the kids participated in stage games. White gave away prizes promoted from neighborhood merchants. Toys and books were given to every child who attended. The most popular feature with the small fry was a pet show, dozens of kids showing up with dogs, cats, birds, etc., to compete for prizes donated by Western Auto Supply. Sign Board Emphasizes Early Run of Pictures To call attention to the fact that the Martin Theatre in Lafayette, Ala., was playing "Caribbean" concurrently with the downtown theatres in Atlanta, Ga., Manager J. J. Joines displayed the amusement page of the Atlanta Journal outside the theatre. Red crayon encircling the Atlanta advertisements underscored the boast. Along the .same lines, a note informed patrons that "The Big Sky," playing in an Atlanta downtown theatre, had played the Martui ten days earlier. Monkey Street Ballyhoo Stimulates 'Business' N. Cragg. manager of the Gaiety Cinema, Hastings, England, promoted an inexpensive ballyhoo which drew lively attention to "Monkey Business." A van borrowed from a local pet shop, appropriately bannered, parked at busy intersections where two monkeys were released to cavort and amuse crowds which collected. There were proper banners and posters on the truck. 'Courier' Contest Set By Wetland Tlieatre Jack Knight, manager of the Capitol. Welland, Ont., used an effective street stunt to exploit "Diplomatic Courier." He despatched an u.sher dressed in trench coat, hat way down over his eyes, etc., to walk through the downtown shopping area. Descriptions of the "courier" were broadcast over radio station CHVC, with an offer of a free pass to anyone identifying him on the street. The station tied in on a tune identification contest which helped to enliven interest in "Belles on Their Toes." A disk jockey played several of the old numbers from the picture, with mention of the theatre playdates, and listeners naming the tunes correctly received free tickets to the Capitol. Publicize the March of Dimes compoign to old polio sufferers. Your patrons will help. DIT-MCO 20 SERIES LIGHTS 20" ENTRANCE OR EXIT IIGHTS. ARROWS RIGHT OR LEFT. SPECIAL PANELS AVAILABLE DRIVMN THEATRE MFG. CO.^'ic'.ri'.Vcl.V'w'" BOXOFFICE Showmandiser Jan. 24, 1953 — 21 — 33