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Boxoffice-January.24.1953

Taxable Admissions in

Taxable Admissions in Australia Drive-ins Sue Pickets Are Up But Patronage Is By WILLIAM BEECHAM PERTH, W. A—Although the latest available official figures show that the number of taxable admissions to Australia cinemas rose by nearly five million in the financial year July 1, 1950. to June 30. 1951. chaiiTnan Norman B. Rydge of Greater Union Theatres says that the over-all total of admissions, both taxable and nontaxable has dropped by some three million. "The increase in taxable admissions," says Rydge. "is the result of a huge shift of attendance from nontaxable to taxable brackets, following price adjustments." Rydge adds that the industry's objective for 1953 should be greater salesmanship. "The slogan should be 'Every Man a Salesm.an,' for unless we arrest this drift in attendance we cannot hope to cover our increased costs of operation." « * • If "Every Man a Salesman" could only apply to many a small independent exhibitor, what a difference it would malce to the industry in general. But one sometimes wonders just what "salesman.ship" means to some people who run .small cinema.s. Recently this writer visited an outer suburban hall where pictures are screened once a week and was appalled to find the place be.smeared with cobwebs, broken windows, unclean floor, and presenting anything but an inviting appearance. Possibly the exhibitor could do little about this, but such a place would certainly not invite patronage, and while local folk visualize motion picture entertainment as being held in .surroundings such as this they will have no great opinion of it. • * * The expenditure of Charles Chauvel Productions. Ltd. on its first film. "Jedda," up to June 30. 1952, amounted to £24,673. Current assets, including £35.000 fixed deposit, totaled £36.963. with intangible assets at £8.478. (Paid capital was £68.500 in 5s. shares). Chairman C. F. Horley says that "Jedda" will be ready for the .screen early in 1954. "Negotiations for American finance were broken off." he adds, "because of the conditions sought by the American interests." • • * Dr. Hans Hass. world-famed for his underwater explorations, is now in Australia arranging for the filming of marine life on the Barrier reef. He recently finished his work on "Under the Red Sea," which will be released by RKO. Upon his arrival at Mascot airfield recently, Dr. Hass was welcomed by Ralph R. Doyle, managing director in Australia for RKO Pictures. • • Official figures just released from Canberra show that in the financial year of 1950-51. 810 film projectors were manufactured in Australia, to a total value of £79.926. Educational authorities in New Zealand have introduced as a discussion subject In upper forms of secondary schools "The importance of films on the taste, cultural standards, habits and life generally of the people," and two booklets written by film censor Gordon Mirams have been issued for school work. These are said to be "an admiiable introduction to the more critical Down and intellectual approach of filmgoing." The Wellington Evening Post states that the people of New Zealand are the third greatest filmgoers in the world, with 20 visits annually per head of population. The Wellington city council recently extended authority to the Tivoli Theatre for a further 12 months of Sunday screenings. The mayor stated that the cinema had performed a useful service over the years in presenting Sunday programs and donating a part of the boxoffice takings to charitable institutions. • • • John King.sford Smith of King.scroft Films has produced what is thought to be Australia's first third-dimension film with commercial possibilities. It features showgirls from the Follies Bergere and a special attachment is available which can be fitted to any projector. Al Daff, of UI, and wife spent New Year's in his hometown of Melbourne. • • • Viv Hobler, general manager in the South Pacific territory for Hallmark Productions, has the sympathy of BOXOFFICE and its readers in the recent death of his mother after a long illness. It is understood that an Australian production. "Tjiihoon Treasure." made here in 1938. has been sold to Madison Pictures for distribution in the United States. Ii w-as produced by Noel Monkman and originally released by United Artists. It is stated that it has been trimmed to about 4.000 feet and retitled "Pakema Reef." Two great films, "Quo Vadis" and "The Greatest Show on Earth" were featured at Melbourne at Christmas, and some records were expected to be broken. Of this competition the Film Weekly tells an amusing story. Under a huge poster bearing the words, "The Greatest Show on Earth," a small .slip was pasted which bore two words only, "Quo Vadis." • • * Releases in Australia during 1952 follows: 20th-Fox. I 50 previous year 63 1: Columbia. 45 (57); MGM. 44 i36i: Warner Bros.. 36 (25); RKO, 35 (35); British Empire Films, 34 (47) Universal 33 (40); Paramount, 25 (20); United Ai-tists, 24 (30); Republic, 16 (14) and LF, 12 (10). May Pass Censorship In Portland to Police PORTLAND—Members of the city censor Iward have presented Mayor Fred L. Peterson a resolution that the board be abolished and that its duties be assumed by the bureau of police. The board pointed out that of the 1,853 films censored in the last two years, only 12 were found to be objectionable. In the board's opinion, the cost in time and money is too great for the results obtained. If the city council approves the resolution, Filmrow men estimate the saving for distributors will be substantial. Your cooperation to the March of Dimes drive is important. Let your potrons cooperate. Afler Nails Thrown LOS ANGELES—Month-long picketing of a majority of drive-in theatres in this area by the projectionists lATSE Local 150 took on a legal aspect when a $200,000 damage action was filed against the local in superior court by the operators of 12 of the struck ozoners. The complaint alleges that the drive-ins have been subjected to mass picketing by striking projectionists since December 23, and that roadways of the ozoners are being littered by gla.ss. nails, tacks and other debris. An injunction restraining the boothmen from such asserted tactics is asked. Named as defendants are John Maynard, Local 150 president; George J. Schaffer, business manager, and Charles A. Vencill. secretary-treasurer. Theatres affected include the San Pedro, United-Principal, El Monte, Urban, West Los Angeles drive-ins, East Valley driveins. Van Owen Theatre Corp., Van Nuys. South Los Angeles and the LaVere Corp. Most of them are operating subsidiaries of the Pacific Drive-In chain. The union called the strike when negotiations bogged down on its demands that two men be employed in a booth whenever the ozoners book first run pictures. The situations are being operated by nonunion projectionists. Writer Seeks $350,000 In Suit Over Film Title SAN FRANCISCO—Basil Woon. novelist and screen writer, filed suit in superior court here for $350,000 damages against nine motion picture production and theatre firms, charging unauthorized use of the title of a book he wrote. Woon contends he originated the title. "San Franci.sco Story." for a novel published serially in the San Francisco News in 1949, and the defendants "unlawfully" appropriated the title to capitalize on its previous advertising and exploitation in behalf of a picture which has been exhibited in northern California. Defendants are Warner Pictures: Fox West Coast Theatres; United California Theatres; San Francisco Theatres; Na.ss Bros.. Inc.: Fidelity Vogue Pictures, Inc.; Golden State Theatre Corp.; Theatco, Inc., and National Theatres. Colonial in Sacramento Back to Charles Holtz SACRAMENTO — Charles Holtz, owner of the Sequoia Theatre here, has taken over the operation oi the Colonial Theatre. 3522 Stockton. Blvd.. following purchase from United California Theatres for an estimated $250,000. J. Leslie Jacobs handled the transaction. Holtz. one of the developers of the Stockton boulevard district, built the theatre in 1940 and was owner and manager until 1948 when he sold out to T&D Junior Enterprises, predecessor of the United California. Holtz said the theatre will be completely renovated, including new seats, draperies and rugs. Performances will be continued during the remodeling. John K. Butler's "The Man Who Knew Indian warfare story, has been Cochise. " an acquired for U-I production. 46 BOXOmCE :: January 24, 1953

I West: — — — — — — — — — — — 'Beyond' in Forefront At Frisco Warfield SAN FRANCISCO—"Above and Beyond" opened at the Loew's Warfield with a bold 175 per cent to cop top honors for the week. In second place was the fourth week of "Bwana Devil" at the St. Francis. At the United Artists, the second week of "Kansas City Confidential" dropped to a low 50 per cent from its first week terrific grosses of 190 per cent. (Averoge Is 100) Fox Ruby Gentry (20th-Fox); Fome ond the Devil (Rcalart) '00 Golden Gate April in Paris (WB), 2nd wk 100 Loew's Warfield Above and Beyond (MGM)....175 Orpheum The Lawless Breed (U-l); Overnight Girl (Hoffberg) 100 Paramount Tropic Zone (Para) 1 00 St. Francis Bwono Devil (Oboler), 4thi v»k 125 United Artists Kinsos City Confidential (UA), 2nd wk 50 High-Grossing Holdovers Take Most LA Business LOS ANGELES— If it weren't for continuing high-grossing holdovers, the first run sec- here would be in bad shape, as new bills tor are falling far short of their long-run competitors in drawing power. Hitting an impressive 200 per cent each in the fourth stanzas of their engagements were "The Star" and "Hans Christian Andersen," followed by the 190 per cent fourth week of "Come Back, Little Sheba," and the 175 per cent—also for the fourth week—recorded by "Moulin Rouge." Beverly Canon — The Member ot the Wedding (Col), advanced prices, 4th wk 120 Chinese, Los Angeles, Loyola, Uptown The I Don't Care Girl (20th-Fox) I 00 Downtown, Hollywood Paramounts Kansas City Confidential (UA), plus. Downtown only, Star of Texas (AA) 110 Egyptian, State Above and Beyond (MGM), 2nd wk 85 Fine Arts Come Back, Little Sheba (Para), odvanced prices, 4th wk 1 90 . .^our star—The Stor (20th-Fox), advanced prices, 4th wk 200 Fox Beverly—The Joix Singer (WB), advanced prices, 3rd wk 110 Fox Ritz My Cousin Rachel (20th-Fox), advanced prices, 4th wk 95 Fox Wilshire Moulin Rouge (UA), advanced prices 4th wk 175 Hillstreet, Pontages Invosion, U.S.A. (Col); Savage Mutiny (Col) 100 Orpheum, Manchester, Picwood, Gage Drive-In, El Monte Drive-In, Van Nuys Drive-ln The Turning Point (Paro); Tropic Zone (Para) . . . 1 20 United Artists, Vogue The Bod and the Beautiful (MGM), 4th wk 100 Warners Beverly Hans Christian Andersen (RKO), advanced prices, 4th wk .200 Warners Downtown, Hollywood, Wiltern Stop, You're Killing Me (WB) 125 'Invasion, U.S.A.' Grosses 130 As Seattle's Best SEATTLE — "Invasion, U.S.A." and "The Pathfinder," double-billed at the Coliseum, took local first run honors with 130 per cent in their opening week. Continuance of a large number of holdovers brought other house averages down near the norm mark. Blue Mouse Against All Flogs (U-l), 2nd wk... 60 Coliseum Invasion, U.S.A. (Col); The Pathfinder (Col) 130 Fitth Avenue Flot Top (AA); Tangier Incident (AA) 110 Liberty The Prisoner of Zendo (MGM); Sky Full of Moon (MGM), 3rd wk 90 Music Box The Miracle of Fotima (WB), 2nd run 85 Music Hall Million Dollar Mermaid (MGM), 2nd wk 90 Orpheum April in Paris (WB); Mr. Walkie Tolkie (LP), 2nd wk 95 Paramount Kansas City Confidential (UA) 90 'Mermaid' Tops Portland First Runs With 130 PORTLAND—"Million Dollar Mermaid" hit 130 per cent at the Broadway to pace first run theatres here last week. "Invasion, U.S.A." scored a 120 at the Paramount. Broadway Million Dollar Mermaid (MGM) 130 Guild Eroico (SR), 2nd wk 110 Liberty Above ond Beyond (MGM) 100 Mayfoir My Cousin Rochel (20th-Fox), 2nd d. t. wk 80 Oriental and Orpheum The Floppy Time (Col).. 90 Paramount Invasion, U.S.A. (Col) 1 20 United Artists Road to Bali (Para), 4th wk....l20 Safety Council of LA To Cite Rogers Setup HOLLYWOOD—When the Los Angeles chapter of the National Safety Council holds its annual dinner meeting Monday (26). Roy Rogers and Dale Evans will receive an award of merit for their contributions to safety through the cowboy star's annual safety awards program. Now in its fifth year, the program is effective in elementary schools throughout the country, with more than 8,000 pupils enrolled last year. California's Lieut. Gov. Goodwin H. Knight will be the principal speaker at the affair, part of which will be broadcast from the Ambassador hotel's Cocoanut Grove by NBC. • • • Entertainer Larry Finley and nine other volunteers, under auspices of the Hollywood Coordinating Committee and USO-Camp Shows, took off Thursday (15) for Korea for a three-week tour of near-front-line positions and hospitals. Accompanying Finley were George Auld, Champ Butler, June Christy, Venise Grove, Herb Jeffries, Edward Nigro, Dottie O'Brien and Al and Frank Pepi. The March of Dimes drive, in progress through January, needs your help. Let your patrons contribute. East: Charles M. Reagan, Metro sales chief; Howard Dietz, in charge of advertising, publicity and exploitation, and Si Seadler, advertising manager, returned to New York after a week of meetings with Dore Schary. production chief, and other studio executives on release and promotion plans for the next six months. The eastern brass screened 12 new features. • • • East: James E. Perkins, Paramount's managing director for Great Britain and northern Ireland, left for New York en route back to London after a studio visit. • * * West: Milton R. Rackmil, president of Universal-International, checked in from Gotham for conferences with studio officials. He was accompanied by Robert Palmer, studio talent chief, who spent two weeks at the New York office. • • • Hal Roach jr., theatrical and TV film producer, returned from New York, where he participated in contract negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild involving the making of video film, commercials. Manager 'Accountable' In Fatal Airer Accident TUCSON—A coroner's jury has ruled that Hugh Downs, part owner and manager of the Prince Drive-In, was accountable for improper bracing of a structure being erected for the theatre screen which collapsed last week and killed two workmen. The jury said Earl Emery Forkum jr., and John C. Grimes died of injuries received when the 70-foot high timbers collapsed. B.F. SHEARER COMPAN State Theatre Is Robbed of $316 MONTEREY, CALIF.--The State Theatre here was recently robbed of $316. The back door to the boxoffice was pried open and the money taken from a safe which apparently was not locked. Luke Seros, assistant manager, told police that sometimes the dial on the safe can be spun and the door not locked. Seeks 'Gunsmoke' Premiere GREAT FALLS, MONT—Clarence Golder, manager of the Civic Center Theatre, said he is attempting to get the premiere of "Gunsmoke," adapted from a book by Norman A. Fox of Great Falls. Plans include inviting stars of the show, Audie Murphy, Susan Cabot and Paul Kelly to attend. The picture will be released by Universal. A sneak preview of the film was shown at the Civic Center recently. *' lOS ANGELES 19B4 PORTUND 1964 Soiilh Veimonl R( 3 1145 19EI N W Keatner • tl Ii43 StN FRANCISCO SEATTLE 243 Cold(i) Gile t«e - UN I IBI6 2311 Second t«e. (I 824) . mm VMH FOR YOUR MONEY. speciA mDTIIO PICTIIE SEtUIEE Co 125 HYDE ST. SAN FRANCI CO (2), CALIF. Gerald L. Karski BOXOFnCE January 24, 1953 47