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 Anacort.es 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
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
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
By BOB WALKER.
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
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
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
BOXOFFICE May 12. 1956 51