National Film Plans
To Build in Hamden
NEW HAVEN—An announcement this week
by National Film Service of New York City
that it plans to build a $300,000 structiu-e in
the suburb of Hamden. some six miles from
the present cluster of Filmrow buildings,
confused the problem of relocating the New
Haven Filmrow district, soon to be pai-tially
wiped out for a new highway.
The news broke at a meeting of the Hamden
board of zoning appeals when that body
gave National permission to erect a fireproof,
air conditioned structure on land which
it has purchased for $85,000.
James P. Doherty. a Hamden attorney representing
National before the zoning board,
said 90 per cent of the building would be
used for office space and the remainder for
the processing of film for distribution to
theatres throughout Connecticut. Doherty
later told a BOXOPFICE representative he
did not know which distributing companies
would move to the Hamden structure, and
referred such questions to National's New
There, a spokesman declined any comment
on tenancy of the building. He said a fiu-ther
announcement would be made "at an appropriate
The New^ York firm is a nationwide organization
engaged in the storage, processing and
delivery of films. At present, its only New
England outlet is in Boston. This office does
not serve Connecticut. Virtually the local
exchanges have theli- own processing and
storage vaults, and most shipping is done
through Rosen's Film Delivery Service, a
New Haven concern.
The cross-city highway will spare the
Warner Bros, and 20th-Fox exchanges, but all
other exchanges will be forced to move. Just
a few weeks ago. there were strong indications
that the displaced branches would build
on land near the Warner and 20th-Fox locations,
thereby keeping the industry intact
at one location here.
The size of the National Film Service
building planned for Hamden leaves no doubt
that this company is proceeding in the belief
that some of the exchanges will relocate
in it5 structure. Managers of the offices
affected by the cross-city highway said they
still are awaiting definite word from their
The National site has a frontage of 260
feet on a main highway, and the depth ranges
from 150 to 260 feet. There would be offstreet
parking for both customers and employes.
ATC Contest Victor Wins
Flight to Disneyland
BOSTON—Ten-year-old Jackie Peterson,
son of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Peterson of
Mattapan. was the whinner of a trip for two
to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., in a picture-coloring
contest conducted by the American
Twenty-six greater Boston ATC theatres,
of which the Oriental theatre is one, conducted
this contest and it is estimated that
approximately 3.900 children sent in entries.
Jackie and his mother were .scheduled to be
flown to Disneyland where they w^re to
sp>end five days as guests of Disneyland Hotel.
Retired Showman Henry L Needles
Devotes His Time to Inventions
By ALLEN M WIDEM
HARTFORD— Retirement has not idled
^ energetic Henry L. Needles, for many years
^ with Warner Bros. Management Corp.
^ Needles, living in
retirement with his
wife in a modest
ranch house at sub-
field, Conn., ha-s
come forward with
an invention — an
hanger—and he is
busily engaged in its
his other activities.
:| Needles, at one
i Henry L. Needles time Hartford dis-
1 trict manager and northeastern labor rei
lations director for Warner Bros. Theatres,
i has been retired for three years. Time away
i from exhibition has enabled him to invent
i a coat hanger that is now in its early
|| marketing stages.
"You have to have an appreciation of
i good clothes to be in the market for
I hangers like these." Needles said. "People
i who throw their clothes over a chair at
i night wouldn't care if they had hangers
;:| or not."
The hanger works on this principle: A
1 spring catch on the hanger's underside
i permits expansion of several inches on
;| both sides. "Seventeen inches closed, 23
I inches expanded," he explained. "No more
II coats hanging over the ends of the hanger.
i The rod on the bottom expands, too.
I That's why I call it the hanger that didn't
II forget the pants!"
He has even devised channels in the
1 hanger tops to accommodate moth balls
i or flakes. "Five, six years ago I got the
I idea," he said. "I came into my office in
i Hartford one rainy day and hung up my
I coat. The way it flopped on the hanger
i I knew it would be all out of shape. So
II my secretary, Estelle O'Toole. says. 'Why
i don't you invent a hanger that would take
|| care of any size coat?' "
I Needles was one of the youngest theai
tre managers in Connecticut; he became
i manager of the old Opera House at Wini
sted at the age of 20. and he proceeded upward
and onward in the field. By 1929,
1 he was district manager in Hartford for
M Warner Bros., supervising the Strand,
1 Regal, Princess. Colonial, State, Lyric,
i Lenox and Rialto, Hartford, and the
i Central, West Hartford.
i Inventions always have occupied top
i priority in his leisure time,
"Back in the old days," he said, "Harti
ford didn't have top-name vaudeville, but
i I saw to it that it had top equipment. The
Trans-Lux Signs Regal
NEW YORK—Regal Pictures of Boston will
distribute current Trans-Lux releases In the
New England territory. The releases are
"Dance Little Lady" and "Lovers and Lollipops."
Strand had the second eli-viiting
pit in the country. The Roxy. New York,
was flr.st. I designed a pit that would
raise and had an elevator company build It.
"Twenty-four musicians, led by Bert
rl.se Williams, u.sed to up Into the spotlights.
Then talkies came in and the
orchestras were done."
After leaving the Warner Bros, organization
some five years ago, Needles Joined
the Hartford Theatre circuit for a brief
time, then retired to concentrate fully
on backyard gardening and Inventions.
"I have plans for the best coffeemaker
you ever .saw." he enthused. "The coffee
brewed in it would never vary. And I have
plans for a toy parachute gun for children.
But whether they'll ever be developed—who
Now nearing 70, Henry L. Needles has
optimism and faith in the motion picture
business that would be difficult to find
in many younger men.
"Retirement?" he asked. "There's nothing
worse, after an active life, after testimonial
dinners, after being chairman of
fund drives. There's no worse punishment
than retirement. So I invent things."
But an interviewer gets the impre-ssion
that if tempted with an employment offer
in the exhibition end of the industry. H. L.
Needles would be quick to accept.
"This industry," he said, "is "only as
strong as the men in it. and as long as
they don't lo.se their belief in its entertainment
abilities, the industry can't lose."
A broad smile crossed his amiable face
as he recalled the time he Invented the
first and only vaudeville elevator—in the
"I had six girls, three of them foreign
diving champions, three other girls I
picked up for the act. They weren't the
highest type ladies in America, you understand,
but they never gave me much trouble.
There was a tank on stage, and some
marble columns, and behind the marble
columns I worked out this elevator arrangement.
"The elevator not only elevated. I fixed
it so it revolved. The girls stood on it in
various poses as they came, then dived
off into the tank. It was very artistic.
The only place I had trouble was a certain
city which will go unmentioned. Tlie
censor made me go out and buy—what
would you call them—gauze loin-cloths. I
guess. He thought the girls' diving costumes
were too skin tight. They were,
He invites oldtimers in the industry to
drop by the house—13 Cedar St., Wethersfield—to
"I'm sure we can recall some good times
in a still fabulous industry." he said.
New Aide at Groton
HARTFORD—Eddie O'Neill, district manager
for Brandt Drive-In Theatres, has appointed
Albert Hawkins as assistant manager
of the Bridge Drive-In at Groton under
Manager G. Malcolm Clark.