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Boxoffice-January.24.1953

Historic Ringling Bros.

Historic Ringling Bros. Theatres Sold To Jacob Eskin at Baraboo, Wis. BARABOO. WIS.—Heiu-y E. Ringling, descendant of the famous circus family, has disposed of his two theatres here, the Al Rangling and the Juliar. Both theatres have been purchased by the Baraboo Theatres. Inc., a new corporation headed by Jacob Eskin. The purchase price is said to have involved more than $150,000. A unique slant to the tran action called for certain exceptions—circus mementos that had been stored in the theatres, which included an 850-pound ticket trunk that had been used in the old days of the circus to carry gold, cash and tickets; oldtime folding circus chairs, press scrapbooks and a roll-top desk that had been u. ed by one of the Ringling brothers. Built in 1915 by Albert Ringling, foremost of the famous brothers, at a cost of over $100.- 000. it was dedicated November 17 in a blaze of glory. It soon became known as "America's prettiest playhouse." because of its ornateness in trimming and furnishings. Another condition of the sale is that the new owners cannot redecorate the foyers and general auditorium because of the beauty of the paintings and the gold leaf used in the decoration. The theatre was originally constructed for legitimate stage use, but later was converted for showing motion pictures. It has large stage, numerous dressing rooms and seats about 850 persons. It is used for many community functions, including school graduations and concerts. Eskin. who also heads E.kin Theatre Management Co. with theatres in other parts of the state, including Richmond Center. Boscobel. Elroy and Black River Falls, said commitments made by the previous management would be honored by the new firm, and added that the theatres would be operated in the future according to the same high standards set by the Ringlings. The theatres will be taken over by the new firm February 1. Ringling w-a^ sole owner of the theatres, having acquired title to the Al Ringling Theatre by inheritance and acquisition of shares from other members of the Ringling family. He was Albert Ringling's nephew. Henry built the Juliar Theatre in 1938 in memory of Salome Juliar Ringling. mother of the Ringling brothers. It seats 400 and has been used solely for motion pictures. Both houses front on the courthouse square in Baraboo. Ringling is a Republican national committeeman, and will continue to re ide in Baraboo. maintaining his office, though with no connection with the two theatres. E.'^kin has also announced that the new firm will undertake to make a survey to determine if the population will support an outdoor theatre outside of the Baraboo city limits. Amusement Tax Revenue Off Again in Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS — Federal amusement tax collections in Minnesota, derived mostly from motion picture theatres, fell off substantially in 1952 for the third successive year. Collections of $5,753,000 for last year were $813,- 000 less than the $6,566,000 realized in 1951. Cabaret tax collections in Minnesota for 1952 also were off from 1951, but the drop was only from $792,000 to $789,000. The only other of the 11 tax collection items to show a decline was furs. The $1,022,037,443 collected in the state from all federal tax resources set a calendar year record. The 1951 collections were $868,585,555. In 1952 individual income tax returns totaling $557,179,000 paced the individual items. Tliey compared to $254,105,000 in 1952. Build Cedarburg Drive-In CEDARBURG. WIS.—The fn.st drive-in for Ozaukee county is under way and is scheduled for early opening. One of the owners, Gordon Gromme of Milwaukee, said that the construction of the concession building was started early in January and the projection booth section is now being built. The drive-in is located on Highways 57 and 141. It will be known as the Port Drive-In and there will be room for 700 cars. FILM' INDUSTRIES, INC. 2269 FORD PARKWAY, ST. PAUL 1. MINN. 208 SO. LA SALLE, CHICAGO 4, ILL. Eric Brown to Build Airer PLYMOUTH. WIS.— Eric Brown, local theatre owner, plans to build a drive-in on Highway 57 near here. There will be places for 400 cars, and it is hoped that the drive-in can be opened by June 1. The drive-in will be built on a 12-acre tract. The screen will be 54x36 feet, mounted on a prefabricated tower. Brown owns the Majestic and Plymouth theatres here. 74 BOXOFHCE :: January 24, 1953

. . . Burtus . . MGM . . Jack . . Tom . . The . . . . "Above . . The . . Two-for-One Gimmick Draws Berger Fire MINNEAPOLIS — Bennie Berger. North Central Allied president, criticized the combined action of 17 neighborhood and suburban theatres in cutting their admisisons in half under the guise of a two-for-one plan while retaining their availabilities, which are supposed to govern price scales. Berger. whose own neighborhood theatre is not participating in the plan, believes there will be "repercussions" when competing houses which haven't joined the plan find their boxoffices adversely affected. Harry B. French, president of the Minnesota Amusement Co., which operates a number of neighborhood houses which are maintaining their regular scales, has no present intention of trying to combat the move by lowering his admissions, but says he's watching the development "carefully." Distributors are disturbed, but powerless to move. Under consent decree provisions they are prohibited from attempting to set the admi.ssion prices for their pictures. The 17 combined exhibitors had another joint ad in the Sunday Tribune. A "privilege book," costing $2. entitles the owner to 68 admissions at any or all of the 17 theatres listed, including four which have a 28-day availability, the earliest here after the downtown first run and for which a 60-cent admission has been "an unwritten law." Each "privilege ticket." when accompanied by one paid admission, admits two. the purchaser thus obtaining two tickets for the price of one. Participating exhibitors benefit, if at all. from increased patronage, because the plan's promoters retain the $2 paid for the "privilege book." Trade circle reports are that the gimmick has been tried out in Los Angeles and the adjacent area, with participating exhibitors benefiting only temporarily and to a minor extent. Delay on Duluth TV DULUTH — Television for this city, the state's third largest is still some months away due to the fact that there's competition for two of the available channels. Hearings have been conducted by the FCC on the applications of Lakehead Telecasters on the one hand and Lakehead & Ridson on the other for Channel 6. They were scheduled to be resumed this week, but a postponement was granted to permit negotiations for a possible consolidation. February 17 has been set by the FCC for hearing on applications from the head of the Lakes Broadcasting Co. and Red River Broadcasting for a Duluth Channel 3 station. Polio is a menoce all must fight. Give your patrons a chance to contribute. MAIL IN DATES TODAY DEZEL'N< 831 S.Wobash.CHICAGO NOW BREAKING ALL RECORDS !i -S UN/rSHOWS - ART OF LOVE ^BED-eOOM DIPLOMAT BIRTH OF LIFE 'BURHING QUESTION 'SMAINEVICEMT HOW TO TAKE A BATH ATTEND SALES MEETING—Keid H. Ray Film Industries conducted its annual sales meeting in St. Paul on January 8-10. Shown above are the company's representatives attending the convention. "Work Is the Key to '53" was the slogan for the meeting and company chief Kay said that "with the increase in the sales volume in 1952 and the enthusiasm shown in the best meeting to date, I am confident 1953 will be an even bigger year." MINNEAPOLIS The Road to Bab" was held for a second week at the Century after two weeks at the Radio City. The film will take its place as one of the outstanding boxoffice winners of the past year in Minneapolis . reopened Alhambra. neighborhood house, drew holdout crowds its opening Sunday, and Clyde Cutter, veteran film man here who has taken over the shuttered theatre, is more confident than ever he can make a go of the venture. Exhibitors on Filmrow: Leo Molitor, Superior, Wis.: Don Stern. Prairie Farm. Minn.; Jack Melena, Wesbrook, Minn., and Pete and Mike DeFea, Milbank, S. D. . Letcher. Metro exploiteer. launched campaigns for "Above and Beyond" and "The Pi-isoner of Zenda" at Sioux Falls, S. D. He reported Jim Molohan. manager of the State there, did a great job on "Above and Beyond." tieing in a streamer headlined newspaper story on apprehended spies with his advertising. Letcher now is tub-thumping for "The Clown" which opens at the Gopher here January 28. Joe Loeffler, Republic manager, was in Chicago this week attending a sales meeting . . . The Warner local screening of "The Jazz Singer" drew the largest audience of exhibitors of any of WB picture in many months, according to Manager Myron Adcock . Bennie Berger. North Central Allied president, and wife left on a month's vacation in the West Indies . Heywood, pioneer New Richmond, Wis., exhibitor, was still confined to his home by injuries sustained four months ago when he slipped and fell in his bathtub. Clem Jaunich, popular Austin, Minn., circuit owner, who recently underwent an operation at the University hospital here, stopped at the Northwest Variety Club looking fine Bishop, MGM division manager, was in . screened "Confidentially Connie." written by a Minneapolis author, Max Shulman. Viewers praised it as a pleasing domestic comedy, just the dish for the family trade. It's scheduled for April release . . Saul Malisow, 20th-Fox man- . ager, was hit by the flu. Nancy Seibel, one of the daughters of Ev Seibel, Minnesota Amusement Co. advertising and publicity head, now is handling sales promotion at radio station WTCN. She has the Minnesota Amusement Co. tieing in on two nifty radio contests to plug "Meet Me at the Fair." booked at the Radio City. One aims to find the fairest of the fair in Minneapolis and the other involves cooking prizes. Harry B. French, Minnesota Amusement Co., has set February 11, 12 as the opening dates for "Bwana Devil." tri-dimension picture, in the St. Paul Riviera and Minneapolis State at advanced admissions, probably $1. Congressman H. C. Hagen of Minnesota is among those who have introduced bills in Congress for repeal of the 20 per cent federal admission tax. However, four of the state's . 11 congressmen still are "wishy washy" or "unresponsive" to appeals from exhibitors for support of the proposal, according to S. D. Kane, North Central Allied executive counsel. The congressmen in question are Judd, Andresen, Marshall and Blatnik . . . Kane has just been reappointed town attorney for suburban Golden Valley for the 14th time Charles K. Howard, former local branch manager and sound equipment distributor, died at the age of 60. Film star Van Heflin will appear in "The Shrike" at the Lyceum the ensuing week. This week Julie Harris, who has the lead in the film. "The Member of the Wedding," was in "I Am a Camera" . Princess, which was one of the combined 17 theatres in the two-for-one deal, offering 68 admissions to any of the a.ssociated houses for $2 when accompanying a regular paid admission, has gone out of business. "The WAC From Wall Walla" and "Captain Blackjack" had their Minneapolis first runs on a twin bill at the neighborhood Avalon. Many foreign pictures are getting their first and only runs at local and suburban fine arts houses . and Beyond" was the selection of Bob Murphy, Minneapolis Sunday Tribune critic, as the "picture of the week" here. The March of Dimes drive, in progress through January, needs your help. Let your patrons contribute. BOXOFFICE : : January 24, 1953 75