Boxoffice-May.12.156

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Cleveland Film Club

Observes 40th Year

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Cinema

Club, said to be the oldest women's club in

the country, organized in 1916 "to study the

art of the motion picture and its educational

and moral effect and to promote a better

understanding of its problems," celebrated

its 40th anniversary at a membership luncheon

recently in the Higbee Grill. Mrs.

Sally Swisher, president, welcomed the members

and presided at the meeting which followed

the luncheon.

The two speakers represented the past and

present history of the motion picture industry.

Bertelle Lyttle, one of the club's founders,

looked back to the club's beginnings and gave

a list of its accomplishments. Victor Johnson,

projectionist at the Allen Theatre and husband

of one of the Cinema Club members,

explained Cinemascope 55.

"So far as I can learn from the records."

Miss Lyttle said. "We coined the now wellknown

phrase, 'better films." By 'better films'

we emphasized the support of worthwhile

films, using manners and morals as our yardstick.

We still maintain that standard of

selection; namely, objecting to pictures that

overemphasize bad manners and bad morals.

We never believed in precensorship. Rather

we believed in educating the public to make

better selections of film fare.

"Another one of our firsts was to recognize

motion pictures as a new American art. In

that we had excellent cooperation from the

Cleveland Art Museum, the Cleveland public

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We specialize

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library and the club editors of the Plain

Dealer. In fact, through our persistent efforts

the Cleveland Art Museum became one

of the first such institutions to accept motion

pictures as art and to help in its development

by gallery displays and showing selected pictures

in its auditorium.

"Also we were among the first groups in

the country to campaign for an organized

film delivery service. We saw theatre managers

carrying cans of films from the exchanges

to the theatres and back again and

it was our feeling this was not the way to do

the job. Now film delivery service is standard

procedure.

"We inaugurated the special, selected children's

programs and organized junior councils

in high schools to teach young people

appreciation of the many arts used in the

production of a motion picture. They learn

to listen to the music critically, to watch the

projection, to concentrate on the acting and

the direction. In other words, we aim to

better the taste of young folks so that the demand

for better pictures will grow.

"Today." Miss Lyttle continued, "We not

only follow the same principles but we also

maintain an evaluation service in the Cleveland

Public Library. All any parent has to

do to learn whether a particular picture is

suitable for children is to call the library.

Every film is classified as adult, family or

for children." This has been Miss Lyttle's

personal project the last several years.

Detroit Backroom Activity

To National Film Service

DETROIT — National Film Service has

taken over operation of inspection and other

backroom activity for Allied Film Exchange.

Manager Edward P. McCauley announced.

This eliminates the last independent backroom

operation in the Motor City, with all

being serviced by National. This firm employs

ten women and three men.

MGM Florida Assignment

Goes to Norm Levinson

NEW HAVEN—Norman Levinson. a New

Haven native who acquired his theatrical

training in this city, has been promoted to

MGM press representative for all of Florida

and part of Georgia. He had been serving

in a similar capacity in the Minneapolis-St.

Paul territory. Levinson will make his home

in Jacksonville. The promotion was announced

by Emery Austin. MGM director

exploitation.

The MGM press representative started his

show business career at Loew's Bijou Theatre,

now demolished, as an assistant to Manager

Sidney Kleper. He was lat«r student assistant

manager at Loew's Poll here and then rejoined

Kleper, now at Loew's College, as

assistant manager. Harry Shaw, division

manager for Loew's Poll, shifted Levinson to

the Poll at Hartford several years ago as

assistant manager. He was given the MGM

position in Minnesota early in 1955.

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Former Theatreman Dies

GLADEWATER. TEX.—Lester Bert Payne,

retired Gregg county businessman and onetime

owner of a Garland motion picture

house, died here recently. Payne operated

theatres in Garland and Glen Rose about

1919. After leaving Garland, he came to Gladewater

and opened this city's first theatre,

which was called Payne's Palace.

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