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Boxoffice-January.24.1953

Keep your eye on '53...

Keep your eye on '53... already started with these great Top Grossers! THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO rechnc STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER recwco/o lAY COUSIN RACHEL RUBY GENTRY NIAGARA Technicolor TAXI DESTINATION GOBI rechncoor THE STAR THE PRESIDENT'S LADY TONIGHT WE SING Techn/co/or( CALL ME MADAM Technfcofor MAN ON A TIGHTROPE TITANIC THE DESERT RATS SOON . . . WORLD PREMIEIi RADIO CITY MUSIC HAlK' THE FARMER TAKES A WIFE rechnco/or GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES rechn. and watch for THE ROBE Technicolor and more to come! « There's No Business Q] Century-Fox Business!

: .^/^ o^t/ie7?lotwn rcct^4^ /ndiUPz// THE NATIONAL FILM WEEKLY Published in Nine Sectional Editions BEN Editor-in-Chiei SHLYEN and Publisher JAMES M. JERAULD Editor NATHAN COHEN. .Executive Editor JESSE SHLYEN. .. .Manoging Editor IVAN SPEAR Western Editor I. L. THATCHER. .Equipment Editor JOHN G. TINSLEY. Advertising Mgr. Published Every Saturdoy by ASSOCIATED PUBLICATIONS Publication Offices: 825 Van Bnint Blvd., Kari,sas Oty 24, Mo. Nathan Cohen. Executive Editor; Je.sse Shlyen, Managing Editor; Morrl-s Schlozman, Business Manager. I. L. Thatcher. Editor The Modem Ttieatre Section. Telephone Clleslnut 7777. Editorial Offices: 9 Rockefeller Plaza. New York 20, N, Y. John G. Tlnsley, Advertising Manager: James M. Jerauld, Editor: Oii'ster I'rlcdman, Edllor Shovvraandlser Section; Lou 11. Gerard. Editor rromollon Seclloii: A. J. Stockcr, Equipment Advertising, Telephone COlumbus 6-6370. Central Offices: Editorial—920 No. Michigan Ave., Chicago 11, 111.. Frances B. Clow. Telephone superior 7-3972. Advertising—35 East Wacker Drive, Chicago 1, 111. B»lng Hutchison and E. E. Yeck, Telephone ANdover 3-3042. Western Offices: Editorial and Film Advertising—G404 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 28, Calif. Ivan Spear, manager. Telephone GUdslone 1186. Equipment and Non-KIlm Advertising—672 S. LaFayetta I'ark Place, l.os Angeles, Calif. Bob Wettsleln. manager. Telephone UUnklrk 8-2286. Washington Office: Al Goldsmith, 1365 Natlimal I'ress BIdg. Phone Metropolitan 8-0001. Sara Young, 415 Third St., N.W. The MOIiBHN THBATRB Section la Included In the first Issue of each month. Tlie PliOMOTION Section Is Included In the third Issue of each month. Albany: 21-23 Waller Ave., J. S. Conners. Birmingham: The News, Eddie Badger. Boston: Frances W. Harding, Lib. 2-9306. Cliarlolte: 300 W. 3rd St.. Richard E. Eason. Cincinnati: 4029 Reading, Lillian Lazarus. Cleveland: Elsie lx)eb, Fairmont 1-0046. Dallas: 2008A Jackson, Frank Bradley. Denver: 1645 Lafayette, Jack Rose. TA 8517. Dcs Moines: Register-Tribune. Russ Schoch. Detroit: Fox Theatre Bldg., H. F. Reves. Indianapolis: Route 8, Box 770. Howard M. Rudeaux, OA 3339. Memphis: 707 Spring St., Null Adams. MIniieaiiolls: 2123 Fremont, So., Les Rees. New Haven: New Haven Register, Walter Diidar. New Orleans: Frances Jordan. NO. States. Okla. Clly: 821 NE 23rd. Polly Trindle. Omaha: 911 61st St., Irving Baker. Philadelphia: 6363 Berks, Norman Shljon. Pittsburgh: 11. F. Kllngensmlth, 616 Jeannette. Wllklnsburg, Omrchlll 1-2809. Portland. Ore. : Arnold Marks, Oregon Journal. 5149 St. Louis: Rosa, David Barrett. Salt I^ake City: Deseret News. II. Pearson. San Anlonlo: 326 San Pedro. B-39280, 1,. J. B. Ketner. Snn Francisco: Gall Llpman. 26 Taylor St.. Ordway 3-4812. Advertising: Jerry Nonell, Howard Bldg., 209 Post St.. YUkon 6-2522. Seattle: 1303 Campus Pkwy.. Dave Ballard. In Canada Calgary: The Herald. Myron Late. Montreal: 464 St. Francis Xavler St.. Room 10. Roy Carmlchael. St. John: 116 Prince Edward. W. McNulty. Toronto: R.It 1. York Mills. M. Galbralth. Vancouver: Lyric Theatre Bldg. Jack Droy. kWlimlpeg: 282 Rupertsland. Ben Sommers. j Member Audit Bureau of Circulations Entered as Second Class matter at Post llfflce, Kansas Clly. Mo. Sectional Edition, B.'l.no per year-; National Edition. J7.60. JANUARY Vol. 62 2 4, 19 5 3 No. 13 A GROWING TREND J T HAS coinp about slowly, hut the trend seems definitely on the way to make a fact of that oft-expressed slogan, "fewer and better pictures." Yes, television can be blamed -or credited—depending on which side of the fence one sits. But the truth is that pictures have been getting better for the past two years, at least, while their (luantilv has been diminishing. This trend was first noticed in the westerns field. Television has been using so many westerns, both reissues and specially-made, that they have lost their punch in regular theatre showings. So the run-of-mill or series type of western has been affected. But the western or outdoor film is not dead—not by a long shot. The mediocre merely has given way to the "bigger and better" production that is being made in color and with stepped-up production standards in all departments visible on the screen and of patron-pulling value. The grossing record of the majority of these films gives highly satisfactory proof that fewer is better in this category. The also-ran or "B" picture was next to feel the effects of the changing times and resultant public taste. Mediocrity has been abundantly fed to the i)ublic via television. As a consequence the companies that have specialized in the making of secondary features are abandoning that policy and directing their efforts toward an improved product. Here, too, "fewer" has been resulting in "better" pictures. In the knowledge, based on experience, that top-quality product will draw patronage in as great a volume as ever in the past, the bigger studios are extending themselves to create outstanding attractions. While they are investing great sums in the making of such pictures, they have learned that the risk is greater in a quantity of "ordinary" films; that both the producers and exhibitors stand a better chance of profitable return on the bigger films than on low-budget program fillers. But how will exliibitors view this transition? Will they feel that an already-tight "sellers' market" will become more stringent and thus add to their operational-cost problems? Or will they swim with the tide and adjust their policies to meet the new conditions? Those operating dualfeature policies, especially if they make three changes a week and require .312 features per year, will feel the pinch sharply, if they stick to this kind of operation. But. with many exhibitors saying thev would like to get out from under dual-billing, if only they could, this may provide the opportunity. Doubtless, it will have to be a gradual change. But if double-billing actually is as ruinous as soine—even exhibitors— say. then the chance to drop it may prove a very big plus. It could restore the "buyers' market" and give even greater assurance to a continuing improvement in picture quality. That, indeed, would be a iiooii. Tax Repeal Progress Since the new Congress went into session, about a dozen bills to repeal the federal admissions tax have been filed. If nothing more, it certainly evidences the interest on the part of congressmen to grant the much-needed relief for which this industry has been appealing. Further, it demonstrates that the efforts on the part of exhibitors to obtain this coojteration have been effective and that the policy conceived and implemented by the COMPO tax repeal committee is the right one. But this is only the beginning. There still are unpledged congressmen and senators who must be "sold" by exhibitors in their districts. Then, too, there are the unforeseen hurdles that will be coming into view as this legislation is processed for a vote. So the effort must be kept up all along the line until victory is definitely assured. Those exhibitors who are in doubt as to what answer to give, when asked if the tax saving will be passed on to the public, may find helpful the following, culled from a letter received from one of the committee chairmen "The question of whether or not exhibitors will pass on the savings to the public or add it to the ticket price has been asked in almost every individual negotiation we have had with our congressmen. Always in this industry, the exhibitor has charged an admission price which will bring the greatest revenue and the COMPO organization and National Tax Repeal Committee have taken the position that this is his business. In distress situations we believe the exhibitor will keep the extra revenue and in other instances he probably will return all or part to his customers. When the congressmen asked this question. 1 gave what I hope is a plausible answer: 'Is it more important to a theatre patron to receive a few pennies in savings or to have the theatre remain open?' "The 20 per cent amusement tax puts an artificial ceiling on admission prices beyond which we find there is a diminishing return. When the tax is remitted, the exhibitor will be free to set his boxoffice admission price to bring the best return and keep his operation out of the red." That appears to be as it should be. \JL^ /OMvteyt^