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Boxoffice-January.24.1953

RESEARCH BUREAU for

RESEARCH BUREAU for MODERN THEATRE PLANNERS ENROLLMENT FORM FOR FREE INFORMATION The MODERN THEATRE PLANNING INSTITUTE 825 Van Brunt Blvd. Kansas City 24, Mo. Gentlemen: 1-17-53 Please enroll us in your RESEARCH BUREAU to receive information regularly, as released, on the folloviring subjects for Theatre Planning: Acoustics D Air Conditioning n Lighting Fixtures Plumbing Fixtures D Architectural Service p p^jg^tors "Black" Lighting n Building Material n Carpels n Projection Lamps n Seating n Signs and Marquees Coin Machines D Complete Remodeling ^ ^0""^ Equipment D Decorating Television D Drink Dispensers D Theatre Fronts n Drive-In Equipment D Vending Equipment Other Subjects Theatre Seating Capacity Address City State Signed... Postagc-poid reply cords for your further convenience in obtaining informotion ore provided in The MODERN THEATRE Section, published with the first issue o( each month. Milwaukee Towne Hosts Better Films Council MILWAUKEIE—Mrs. Marion Hva.sta. new manager at the Towne Theatre here and one of two women theatre managers in the Milwaukee area, entertained members of the Milwaukee county Better Films Council recently. The council held its regular monthl> meeting in the theatre and heard short addresses from co-owner Andy Spheeris and Mrs. Hvasta. Spheeris discussed the aims of the theatre and the industry as a whole, explaining the general routine, and complimented the group on their efforts. Mi-s. Hvasta covered briefly some of her extensive background within the industry, over 11 years, with office jobs at the Riverside, Strand, Wisconsin and Palace theatres. She has been treasurer at the Towne Theatre for the last six years. A short question and answer period followed, after which the entire group was taken on a tour of the theatre and remained for the performance. The council announced the following film ratings: Young people — "Pony Soldier," "Something for the Birds," "The Thief," "Mr. Walkie Talkie," "Blazing Forest" and "Stop, You're — Killing Me." Adults— "Ruby Gentry." Mature "Double Confession" and "Steel Trap." Christophers Give Medals To Makers of Two Films NEW YORK — Pi-oduction personnel of "Stars and Stripes Forever" and "Hans Christiati Andersen" received special merit medals Wednesday (14 1 from the Christophers, religious organization, in recognition of contributions to the common good in the fields of communication. Spyros P. Skouras, president of 20th Century-Fox, accepted them from Rev. James Keller for the late Lamar Trotti, producer; Henry Koster, director, and Ernest Vajda, script writer, of "Stars." Robert Mochrie, vice-president of Samuel Goldwyn Productions, accepted them for Goldwyn, producer; Charles Vidor, director; Moss Hart, script writer, and Myles Connolly, author of the original story, for their work on "Hans." Tlie Catholic group also made awards to newspapers, television, radio, books and magazines. Soviet Film Propaganda Is Increasing in Asia NEW YORK—Soviet propaganda is being stepped up in Asia through the medium of film.-, Irving Maas of the Motion Picture Export Ass'n said on his return from a survey of that area. Most of his time was spent in Tokyo trying to increase the flow of remittances, but he also visited seven other countries from the Philippines to India. Maas said the Russians are making every effort to have Asians show "The Fall of Berlin," an anti-U.S. film and the only one they succeeded in getting a Japanese license for in 1952. Soviet propaganda films are being strongly promoted, especially in India and Indonesia. Employed at Peak MINNEAPOLIS—The high rate of and Mrs. Gromme expects to draw patrons from that city, from Ozaukee and Washington counties. employment continues here. In December, Minneapolis employment hit a high of 274,000. Patronage Downturn Laid on Noisy Youths MINNEAPOLIS—Trade circles feel that juvenile misbehavior in local theatres has driven many adults away from the showhouses and is an important reason for the down\vai-d trend of patronage. North Central Allied has started a study of the matter in an effort to determine just how much of a factor this is in the present boxoffice decline. The action follows the ganging up on the manager of the neighborhood Northtown theatre and the tossing of an empty beer bottle through the screen of another suburban showhouse. A number of houses employ a special policeman at considerable cost to try to maintain order among the youngsters, but only with varying success. Complaints from adults are numerous and some walk out of the theatres and announce they'll never return. Before the Northtown shuttered, its manager was forcibly locked in his office by a gang of tough young male patrons. The telephone cord was jerked lose and the manager was not discovered until the next morning. The manager of one neighborhood house here recently resigned because the misbehavior of juvenile patrons was making him a nervous wreck. The noise and commotion, which they created, angered adult customers. During serious parts of a picture the juveniles will .shout wisecracks or emit guffaws, drowning out the film's dialog. Even when a special policeman patrols the aisles the noise cannot be eliminated, acocrding to the experience at most theatres. Rugby Houses Ordered To Produce Records BISMARCK, N. D—Under a ruling of Federal Judge C. J. Vogel, G. A. Troyer and O. K. Engen, partners in the ownership of the Lyric, Rugby, N. D., and" State, Bottineau, N. D., must produce the theatres' books and day-by-day records from Jan. 1. 1941, through Feb. 28, 1952, for perusal of major distributors who are plaintiffs in a suit against the pair. Plaintiffs brought the action to recover film rental money under percentage agreements. They allege fraudulent returns on pictures involved. Build in Ozaukee County GRAFTON, WIS.—Grading has been completed for the new outdoor theatre to be opened this spring on Highways 57 and 141 in Ozaukee county by Mrs. Gordon Gromme of Milwaukee. There will be spaces for 700 cars, with first run films shown. The site is about 20 miles north of Milwaukee, Tribute to Exploiteer MINNEAPOLIS — Howard Pearl. United Artists exploiteer, copped space in Will Jones' Morning Tribune column when he came into town to beat the drum for "Breaking tlie Sound Barrier" and "Moulin Rouge," sporting the sort of Toulouse-Lautrec beard that adorns the face of the leading character in the latter picture. Jones singled Pearl out as one of the few remaining pre.ss agents who persist in being colorful. 78 BOXOFTICE January 24, 1953

Drop to Two Changes Boosts Business DETROIT—A switch in policy from three to two changes a week has resulted in a substantial increase in business for the Cassidy circuit at its two principal houses, the Strand at Alma and the Midland at Midland, according to Floyd W. Chrysler of Chrysler Associated Theatres, booker for the circuit. The new policy has been in effect for over a year now, and the management is well satisfied following a comparison of figures. A major pickup has been noted with big pictures on Saturdays, which, together with Tuesdays, are now the opening days. The former policy was to open on Fridays, Sundays, and Tue.sdays, but the old Friday-Sunday change had been a weak link in the operation, despite the usual spurt of patronage expected on Saturday. In contrast, "Million Dollar Mermaid" opened last week on Saturday (10) to a level of business for one day that equalled about half a former average week's business under the old policy. The inducement of a strong attraction is evidently bringing people out to the shows for the weekends, instead of sitting home to watch television, with the Saturday opening providing a strong stimulant to business. TV and Tri-Dimension Topics at NTS Session CLEVELAND—Tlie central district of National Theatre Supply Co. held a two-day regional meeting at the Hollenden hotel here recently, headed by J. W. Servies. vice-president in charge of sales: William J. Turnbull. sales promotion manager, and John S. Goshorn of the theatre seating department. Theatre TV and third dimensional equipment were major topics discussed. NTS personnel present at the meeting were: Buffalo—V. G. Sandford, manager: G. R. George: Cincinnati—J. A. Conn, manager: E. C. Novak, Cleveland—Frank J. Masek, manager; William C. Stahl, assistant manager; M. H. Mutchler; Detroit—C. Williamson, manager; E. F. Duf field; Indianapolis—B. N. Peterson, manager: J. F. Bommerscheim, Wilbur Smith; Pittsburgh—N. P. Williams, manager; H. W. Russell, K. McGuire, P. E. Baracca. Representing the manufacturers were: A. E. Meyer, International Projector Corp.; C. A. Hahn, J. E. McAuley Mfg. Co.; W. Smart, Hertner Mfg. Co.: Arthur J. Hatch and H. E. Brown, Strong Electric Co.; Keith Dickinson, American Seating Co.; D. W. Moor and Paul Bennett, American Mat Co.; J. B. McKitterick, C. M. Cutler and A. Rodgers, General Electric Co. Each of the company representatives spoke. District banquet was held Friday night at Jim's steak house. D. O. Gregory, L. O. Griffin Will Construct Drive-In DETROIT—Plans for a drive-in, as yet unnamed, to be located on U. S. 31 near Beulah, Mich., were disclosed here by D. O. Gregory, owner of the Crystal Theatre at Beulah, and L. O. Griffin, owner of the Wexford at Manton and the Saukee at Lake City. The project is to be operated as a partnership, they announced during a visit to Detroit to make booking and equipment arrangements, and will be scheduled for a spring opening. Music Hall at Detroit Contracts Cinerama Six Members of Family Run Grove City House Grove City, Ohio—The six members of the Girbert family, including 5-year-oId Jimmy, are on the staff of the Community, formerly the Grove. The only theatre in this farm community had been closed for the last year. It formerly was operated by Kenneth Hill. Owner-manager is Melvin Girbert, 38- year-old general contractor. His wife Geraldine is assistant manager. Other Girberts on the staff are Philip, 14; Phyllis, 13, and Lowell, 11. Mrs. Sarah Charnas Dies; Widow of Film Pioneer CLEVELAND—Funeral services were held here Wednesday (14 1 for Mrs. Sarah Charnas, 85, widows of Morris Charnas and mother of Harry Charnas, now of Los Angeles, but who at one time operated what was claimed to be the largest independent distributing exchange in the country. Standard Film Co. of Cleveland. Other survivors are Nat, who until his recent retirement owned and operated a chain of theatres in Toledo, and Philip, who owned a theatre in Bucyrus, and a daughter Jean. Her late husband Morris opened one of America's first motion picture theatres in Altoona, Pa. Later they moved into Ohio to operate theatres in Findlay and other towns. After coming to Cleveland about 30 years ago, he retired from business. He died in 1945. Running their first theatres was a family affair. Charnas managed the theatre, the boys did all of the chores around the theatre and Mrs. Charnas played the organ accompaniments to the silent pictures. Tlieir recipe for success still holds good. Several Cleveland theatres, notably the Hough-79th and the Dennison Square, are family operated. Both are subsequent run houses which have passed the prime of life. DETROIT—Cinerama will be installed in Music Hall starting February 16, following the working off of prior commitment dates. Installation of the thi'ee projection booths, special screen and other equipment will require about eight weeks, and opening date has been tentatively set for April 6, the day after Easter. A true Hollywood style opening is planned. The contract was signed here by Paul Marco, attorney for Mervyn G. Gaskin, president of Music Hall, and Hugh Hogan, manager of the property. Gaskin took over the building known for about 20 years as the Wilson Theatre about a year ago. It is considered probably the finest-equipped of local legitimate houses. The contract is for a two-year base period, with a seven-year option, and includes exclusive rights to Cinerama presentation in the state of Michigan. A new company, Detroit Cinerama, Inc., is being formed to operate the house. The general announcement was made by Joseph G. Kaufman, director of exhibition for Cinerama in New York, and Max Gendel who came here as .spokesman for the company. A two-a-day policy will be followed, with matinee prices at $1.80 and evenings $2.80. All seats will be reserved. The second balcony will be closed off, making the capacity of the house to be about 1.400 seats, depending upon the special requirements of the installation on the main floor. The original presentation will be "This Is Cinerama," as now being shown in New York. It is expected that other films, recently announced for prixiuction, will be available for a change of program in about a year. Shows will run seven days a week. Film Desk Change on Times DETROIT—Walter Stephenson of the Detroit Times staff has been named to the film desk, succeeding Jack Theisen. who is taking a leave of absence to go with Prince & Co., producer of industrial house organs. PLAN 'SINGLNG' PROMOTION—Schine theatre executives conferred recently with Paramount representatives on the exploitation for the world premiere of "The Stars Are Singing' at the Russell and Washington theatres, Maysville, Ky., January 28. Pictured above, left to right, are Ben Tureman, Schine city manager, Maysville; Herb Steinberg, Paramount publicist; Seymour L. Morris, Schine director of publicity and advertising; Bob Cox, Kentucky zone manager for Schine, and Ralph Buring, Paramount field representative. BOXOmCE January 24, 1953 ME 79