Boxoffice-May.12.156

boxofficepro

: May

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

York headquarters.

There, a spokesman declined any comment

on tenancy of the building. He said a fiu-ther

announcement would be made "at an appropriate

time."

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

all

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

home offices.

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

Theatre Corp.

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.

INDUSTRY PROFILE

mmmmmmm

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-

Wethers-

urban

field, Conn., ha-s

come forward with

an invention — an

expanding coat

hanger—and he is

busily engaged in its

marketing, among

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,

II

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

orchestra

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

can tell?"

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

long ago.

"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,

too!"

He invites oldtimers in the industry to

drop by the house—13 Cedar St., Wethersfield—to

say hello.

"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.

BOXOFFICE

:

12. 1956

NE

85

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