Views
3 years ago

Boxoffice-January.24.1953

Pedestrians Try Luck At

Pedestrians Try Luck At Ringing Passes To 'Bloodhounds' Charles Graziano. manager of the Olympic Theatre. Watertown. N. Y., developed a novel street ballyhoo in front of the boxoffice to exploit "Bloodhounds of Broadway." The gimmick was a game called "ring her leg," to amuse passing pedestrians. From litho posters. Graziano made up a display piece, with the legs of one of the actresses in an upright position. "Players" were given three chances to ring the leg with a lady's fFiAninrwrHNER! I OUTDOOR REFRESHMENT J SERVICE from Coost to Coast ov«r V4 Contury SPORTSERVICE CORP. sroaisiivici UDci.'* •uifalo, n. t. Refreshrtient Service for DRIVE - IN THEATRES The Difference is Amazing! garter and rewarded with a free theatre ticket if successful. The Jefferson news agency posted banners on trucks with copy tieing in Damon Runyon Pocketbooks. The theatre and picture were advertised in bold lettering. A disk jockey plugged the tunes from the picture with mention of the theatre dates. In his campaign for "The Lusty Men," Graziano promoted a white saddle horse which was ridden about town, .suitably bannered. At the Saturday matinee show, Graziano arranged with a local photographer to take pictures of juvenile patrons mounted on the horse. To stimulate extra interest in this stunt, the photographer ran a newspaper ad with an invitation that tied in the title of the picture with the playdates. Former Sousa Males Offer 'Stars' Photos Lewis Thomp.son, manager of the Holland Theatre, Bellefontaine, Ohio, discovered that two former members of the Sousa band are residents of the community and used this information to get extra publicity for "Stars and Stripes Forever." Thompson invited the former bandsmen to be his guests on opening night. The papers came through with art and story breaks. One of the guests supplied a photo of the Sousa band which Thomp)son arranged to have exhibited in a restaurant window with copy plugging the film and theatre playdates. Additional photos of the original Sousa band were used as the center of a special lobby display. Thompson promoted an album of Sousa marches for use during intermission and as exit music. Window displays in music stores further publicized the attraction. Seeds in Envelopes J. p. Harrison, manager of the Campus Theatre, Denton, Tex., passed out several thousand gla.ssine envelopes filled with bird seed, to which were attached small cards imprinted, "Here's 'Something for the Birds.' etc., etc." REPLACEMENTS SENIOR SPEAKERS WITH 5" CONE; JUNIORS WITH 31/,". KOIIEO OF STRAIGHT COROS- VOlUMt CONTROLS - IINE TRANSFORMERS - INSIDE SPEAKER UNITS DRIVE-IN THEATRE MFG. CO.'°K\r'.'.Vc'!,V'l;;" INTRODUCING THE... Car Giveaway by Circuit TS BIG ITS DIFFERENT ,;E savage ' technicolor STARRING CHARLTW HESTO^ The Manos circuit of Greensburg, Pa., which operates theatres in eight eastern Pennsylvania cities and two in West Virginia conducted a Cadillac car giveaway as a pre-Christmas promotion in cooperation with merchants. The shopping season stimulator reached its climax on the evening of December 24, when all the circuit houses were connected by telephone for the selection of the winner on the stage of the State Theatre in Uniontown, Pa. Coupons on the car were presented by the participating merchants, with 50-cent purchases, and at the theatres to ticket purchasers. To be eligible to win, coupon holders had to be present at a Manos theatre the night of December 24 or register at one of the theatres on one of the proxy days, which started December 19 and ended at 5 p. m. on the 24th. Joseph Bugala, Manos general manager, supervised the promotion. Proscenium Background Sets Off 'Knock' Stars A. W. Bignall. assistant manager of the Regent Cinema in Brighton. England, constructed a striking setpiece for "Don't Bother to Knock." Cutouts of the two stars were placed on a background representing the proscenium of a theatre. The cutouts pointed to a screen containing reviews of the picture and stills completing the display. Bignall planted 75 inches of free publicity in the local papers, including a "beautiful blonde" competition which was staged at a local ballroom. To promote interest in the contest. 2.000 dodgers were distributed by shopkeepers who donated prizes for winners. Display cards advertising the picture were used by a car hire .service, and Bignall promoted several attractive window displays. ' • EllMINATION OF BIACK MASKING ADDS MAGNITUDE TO THE PICTURE. • SPECIAllY DESIGNED WINGS GIVE A NEW DIMEN SIONAl EFFECT. • SURROUNDING IIGHT AREA IMPROVES THE IllUSION OF DEPTH. • NO PERFORATIONS FOR PERFEO VISION FROM EVERY SEAT. • CUSTOM MADE AND INSTAllED IN EVERY SITUATION. B. F. SHEARER COMPANY High School Band Gives Stage Presentation A^ a recent holiday attraction. Ed Evans, manager of the Milford (Del.) Theatre, presented the local high school band and three choirs in a special musical offering. Parents of the students who participated packed the theatre, according to Evans. The local paper gave the event several excellent writeups. and the show was widely plugged in the local schools. 34 — 22 — BOXOFFICE Showmandiser Jan. 24, 1953

'Mom' Brief Requests Censorship Change ALBANY—The court of appeals, ten days after hearing arguments in the appeal by Commercial Pictures Corp. from a ruling of the state board of regents that "La Ronde" could not be licensed because it was "immoral," granted the petition by Sidney Friedberg, counsel for Hygienic Pi-oductions, Inc., for permission to file a brief as friend of the court. Mrs. Florence Perlow Shientag, attorney for Commercial Pictures, had objected when Friedberg, appearing for "Mom and Dad." sought to do so. Friedberg, New York City attorney, in a 30-page brief, listed the 28 pictures rejected by the Regents since 1927 and the grounds therefor. ARGUES LAW IS VOID The brief stated, "We are not concerned with the merits or demerits of 'La Ronde.' Our position is simply that motion pictures are now recognized as an organ of the free press and that Part II of Article 3 of the education law contravenes the First and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and Article I, Section 8 of the constitution of the State of New York. Friedberg then developed his four points, with arguments and court citations. He included quotations from the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Joseph Burstyn, Inc., vs. Wilson, unanimously reversing a decision of the New York court of appeals which upheld the Regents in revoking the license to exhibit "The Miracle." The brief declared that "Mom and Dad" can not be shown in New York unless the statutory system for censorship and licensing of motion pictures in this state is declared unconstitutional." Friedberg explained "Mom and Dad" had been refused a seal by the motion picture division April 22, 1949 on the ground the film was "indecent." The regents dismissed an appeal July 15, 1949. FUTILE TO ASK RE\TIEW Hygienic Productions did not petition for judicial review of this determination "because, under judicial decisions existing at that time, there seemed insufficient likelihood the time to do so now of success . . . has lapsed." Continued the brief: "In our opinion, the epoch-making decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Burstyn vs. Wilson throws a new light on the entire law and practice of motion picture censorship." Friedberg stated that he had discussed with Dr. Hugh M. Flick, director of the motion picture division, and Dr. Charles A. Brind jr., counsel to the state department of education, the possibility of submitting "Mom and Dad" for re-examination by the division and the regents. He was "advised by both these gentlemen that resubmission would not be permitted unless the picture were to be revised so substantially that it would qualify as a different film than the one rejected in 1949," was "told that the department of education did not regard the Burstyn ca.se as requiring any change in censorship, and reexamination of the picture would be futile. "This denial of a new hearing ignores the language of this court, indicating that a decision such as that of the Supreme Court in the Burstyn case would require a re-examination of the present censorship system." 6/7/ Would Prohibit Video License To 'Monopolistic Film Company WASHINGTON—A bill which would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from granting a television license to a film company which had been convicted of antitrust law violations in suits brought by the government has been introduced by Senator Charles W. Tobey (R., N. H.), chairman of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee which considers communications legislation. The bill appears to be aimed at the pending merger of United Paramount Theatres and the American Broadcasting Co., but, according to qualified attorneys, it would not affect UPT as it is now written, inasmuch as the new exhibitor company, formed as a result of the Paramount consent decree, has never been accused, much less convicted, of violating the antitrust laws. Tobey declined to comment on his measure, other than to .say he would hold hearings at a still unscheduled date. This, despite the fact that in a recent telegram to FCC Chairman Paul Walker (one of several complaints he has made to the Commission regarding the merger, which is now in the final stages of consideration), he said he planned to hold hearings on the over-all subject of motion picture-television industry integration within two weeks. The two weeks has passed. Tobey's bill, if enacted, would direct the Commission to "refuse a station license . . . (or construction permit) to any person engaged in the business of producing, distributing, or exhibiting entertainment for the public other than as a broadcast station (or to any person directly or indirectly controlled by such person) if such person shall have been found to be in violation of any ot the antitrust laws of the United States in any suit or action, civil or criminal, brought by or on behalf of the United States or any agency thereof, where such violation involves monopolizing or attempting to monopolize the production, distribution, or exhibition of any form of entertainment or unlawful agreements restricting free and open competition in the production, distribution, or exhibition of any form of entertainment. The bill would, however, allow the FCC leeway to make exceptions if it determines that the applicant has not engaged in a violation of the antitrust laws within five years prior to his application; that there is no probability that the illegal practices of which he was convicted can or will be practiced by him in connection with broadcast activities; or if he does not possess the power ." . . to substantially restrict the availability of his regular form of entertainment— obviously a reference to film talent for broadcast. The forward to the bill states that the "public interest requires that there be available for broadcast by radio and television the fullest and widest variety of programs of entertainment; that any monopolistic agreements and combinations in the entertainment field would deprive the public of "full enjoyment and use of broadcast facilities"; and that some major producers, distributors and exhibitors in the entertainment field have been convicted of antitrust law violation.s—again an obvious oblique reference to the motion picture industry. The preamble goes on to say that it would be "contrary to the public interest to permit such practices in radio and television broadcasting or to permit entertainment by radio and television broadcasting to be dominated by any persons who have violated the antitrust laws in connection with any other form of entertainment Yates Announces Release TOA Board tO DisCUSS Of Grainger From Pact New York—Herbert J. Yates, president of Republic Pictures, announced Friday (23) that James R. Grainger, general sales manager of the company, had been released from his contract so he could assume the presidency of RKO Radio Pictures Co. Yates, in a statement to the tradepress, said: "I can now announce that Republic has released Jimmy Grainger from his contract with Republic so that he can accept the presidency of RKO as offered him by Howard Hughes. "I would like the industry to know that Jimmy Grainger has been in the employ of Republic over a period of 15 years. During that entire period, he has accomplished wonders, and deserves much credit for his ability in bringing Republic to its present position in the industry. I do not believe there is anyone in the industry who works harder and is more loyal and more cooperative and has more friends than Jimmy. I think, if given the opportunity, he will repeat his Republic performance with RKO Radio Pictures." Film Pre-RoleaseS NEW YORK—Pre-releasing of pictures will come up for considerable discussion at the board meeting of Theatre Owners of America which starts over the weekend. Alfred Starr, president, said at a press interview Friday (23). The entire practice will be reviewed with no emphasis on any individual picture, he said. Pre-releasing of pictures is also one of the chief complaints of National Allied. S. H. Fabian, treasurer, said that through the years there have been only a "handful" so released, but now there is an "indiscriminate rash" of such releases which exhibitors re- .sent. Herman M. Levy, general counsel, said there was widespread doubt about the legality of releasing pictures to certain theatres after pre-releasing them instead of theatre-by-theatre. He said a new Paramount contract specifies that it may pre-release and disregard clearances, and that it is the only company contract to have such a clause. Elmer C. Rhoden, TOA public relations head, said a Fox Midwest survey has shown 47 top attractions coming during 1953 as compared with 31 in 1952. The Morch of Dimes drive, in progress through Januory, needs your help. Let your patrons contribute. BOXOFFICE January 24, 1953 N 35