Oak Harbor Reopening

Hinges on $600 Fund

OAK HARBOR. WASH.—The Oiik Theatre

here may be opened again in the near future

provided a $600 fund can be raised among

individuals and organizations to finance the

venture. News of the plan to reopen the

theatre came to Bud Leuck, president of the

North Whidbey Chamber of Commerce, in

the form of a letter from R. A. Gardner, from

liis Seattle office.

Teenagers of Oak Harbor have had to go

to Mount Vernon and theatres

.vince closure of the Oak Theatre here in

the early fall of 1954. Many groups and individuals

have attempted to get the theatre

opened again, believing that young people,

as well as adults, need a nearby entertainment


In the letter, Gardner explained that opening

of the theatre was proposed as the result

of a purchase of a partner's interest in the

firm. Gardner wrote: "I am in a position,

at this time, to open the theatre ... It is my

opinion that it will take some time to build a

business in Oak Harbor that will meet operating

expenses. It will cost $1,800 to open the

theatre ... I earnestly solicit the support

of your local businessmen to the extent of

S600: which would be one-third of the opening

cost. This could be paid one-half at the

opening date and one-half 30 days later."

Lueck expressed the view that not only

merchants, but various organizations and individuals

as well, should contribute to the

fund, because it is to the general benefit of

the entire community to have a theatre in

Oak Harbor. He added that he expected a

good many parents would contribute modest

sums to the fund as a measure to keep their

teenagers closer home on "movie nights,"

and to avoid the nighttime traffic menace of

teenage travel to neighboring towns to attend


Marvin Lowe Is Promoted

By Telepictures, Inc.

HOLLYWOOD—Marvin Lowe has been

upped from central division manager to vicepresident

and domestic sales director for

Telepictures. Inc.. TV marketing organization,

of which Edwan J. Baumgarten is president.

Lowe checked in from his Chicago

headquarters to confer with Baumgarten on

expansion of the Telepicture library, which

now consists of 175 feature-length films.

Baumgarten also is president of Associated

Film Releasing Corp.

A feature-length theatrical subject featuring

Cecil, the Seasick Sea Serpent, Beany

and other puppet characters created by Bob

Clampett is in the planning stages for lensing

in widescreen and color under the barmer

of the newly formed Clampett-Toon Commercials.

Gerald Mayer has been set to direct.

Succeeding Don DeFore, Johnny Mercer has

been elected president of the Hollywood chapter

of the Academy of Television Arts and

Sciences. Other new officers include Robert

Longenecker and Sheldon Leonard, vicepresidents:

Frank Love joy. secretary, and

Harry Ackerman, treasurer. They also form a

steering committee along with Fenton Coe,

Gerard Wilson. Madelyn Pugh and Hal Moore.

Roundabout the Rockies

XX7ith as many miles and miles of miles and

miles between marquees as there are in

the Fourth congre.ssional district of western

Colorado, it should give petroleum stocks a

nudge every time the Western Colorado Theatre

Owners and Managers have a gettogether.

For that reason, we only put out

a call for a meeting of the clans when there's

trouble afoot, or w'hen Tom Polos, beloved

dean of showmen in "God's Country." invites

us in for an old-fashioned Greek barbecue.

Unlike most organizations in the industry,

ours is one that, to date, has seen fit to

confine its efforts to working for the good

of the order. Ours is strictly a "poor showman's

organization" and when we met the

first time, at the outset of the original tax

campaign, each manager or owner put up two

dollars with which to carry on. At our meeting

last week. Luther Strong. Westland manager

in Grand Junction, and treasurer of our

group, reported that we still had ten dollars

on hand.

Part of the ten was used to send a telegram

to Congressman Aspinal urging his support of

the King bill. All those present further

pledged themselves to write the Hon. Aspinal

a personal letter and to get the neighboring

exhibitors not present at the meeting to



Luther Strong received a wire the following

morning from the Colorado congressman

assuring the gi-oup of his support when the

King bill is brought out of committee.

I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of

the way the guys and gals respond to a call

to duty and make the long trip to a quickly

called meeting. Really small town showmen,

with a lot of mean mountain roads between

them and our meeting place, alw^ays make it.

However, something that seems more

is astonishing the way the circuit managers

of the area always manage to meet with us,

and they enter into the discussions on ridding

theatres of the tax burden just as wholeheartedly

as w-e small operators. Probably

none of them realized more than a month or

two of tax relief during the last two yeai-s,

but they swing right in there and help get the

job done.

Leo's new western. "Tribute to a Bad Man,"

was filmed in the rugged area lying between

Dutch Strough's independent operations at

Telluride and Norwood and Ed Nelson's Fox

stronghold at Montrose. So Jimmy Cagney's

stock in western Colorado is riding at an

alltime high, as most of the showmen in

the area are reporting from better-thanaverage

to excellent returns on the early


Don Polos has joined his father Tom in a

return to show business by taking over their

recently acquired Hotchkiss Theatre at

Hotchkiss. Father and son made the trip to

the conclave at Grand Junction.

A new overall 10 per cent increase with a


lot of gimmicks that made it more nearly a

30 per cent increase in film haul rates has

had western Colorado exhibitors in an uproar

since March 1. Because of this, Dick

Wadley and Sid Johnson of Southwest Film

Service in Denver Joined the showmen at

their luncheon and offered to start regular

.•service in the area if enough exhibitors were

interested and a permit could be obtained.

Interest enough was shown, .'o the Denver

men soon will contact all theatres in person

and will make application to the state Public

Utilities Commission for a permit.

MGM's announcement that it is laying

plans for the "junking" of prints TV leaves

me cold.


Have just had two MOM reissues

do much bettor gro.sswLse than the big

"stretchies" have been doing. Started out by

cutting off the ones who sold to my impossible

competition, and still have the first

one "out," but soon found no one really missed

me very much and had to have something to

back up the lenses with.

The folks that make Holloway suckers out

in Chicago have a nice little promotion that

won't hurt anyone's business and might stir

up some new interest. They'll send any theatre

that wants to use it a nice color trailer

on a "free sucker" matinee and enough

suckers to take care of a whomping big house.

Sent me a thousand, so you take it from

there. I might squeeze in two or three

matinees in my 200-seater.

Mr. and Mrs. Ted Shanks and two children,

operators of the under-starrer at high-up

Estes Park, stopped in Fruita the other morning

for a short chat. They had spent the

winter in Palm Springs, where Ted sold

Mercurys and Lincolns so he could support

his expensive hobby. He reports the sale of

automobiles in this class in that rich area

as not much more rushing than that of

tickets. And it's logical.

Who bought all the Cadillacs and Lincolns

back in the days of Lassie? Roy Flogers—and

300 pictures a year! The Estes Park showman

was hurrying to the summer resort to

prepare for reopening. About the time we

started talking shows, young little Master

Shanks decided to have the mumps, and as

they pulled out for their summer's stint he

was doing a real good job of it.

Always have liked to use Delsey in the

restrooms as part of the little "extra" something

we offer in services. Dang, how they

wasted it ! Just like all of them were used to

such luxuries! The other day I stuffed a

small piece wadded up in the roll with the

roller as a drag and danged if it didn't last

two days.

Since then I've cut down my expense in

this department by over half. It seems like

a guy smart enough to figure out how to

save over half the cost of Delsey, after 11

years, ought to be able to figure more gimmicks

to gimmick folks into sitting more often

in my comfortable chairs.

But, here lately, I'm beginning to wonder

if a 40-year-old brain works like a 30-year-old

one did. Anyway, if you like to give them the

best, you can sure save on Delsey with this

little trick.

BOXOFFICE May 12. 1956 51

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