Boxoffice (Apr-Jun 1939)

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P R ACTICA L IDEAS BY PRACTICAL SHOWMEN Celling Seat5 " Danger , Men at Work " — This was the punch line of this vivid lobby display which ivas used by Manager Stan Meyer of the United Artists Theatre at Pasadena. A board fence with the title painted on it and red lanterns used on construction work were placed on the fence. A black back-drop had a portrait of Hitler with lines connected from the face to a large map of the United States with spies peeking out furtively. Two large swastikas on either side completed the display. On the lower part of the map, the punch line ivas inscribed. Beauty Contest Tie By Indiana Trade Indianapolis — Indiana theatres are tying up with the “Miss Indiana” beauty contest held in connection with the Dunes Water Sports Carnival in August at Michigan City, a resort town. Elimination contests will be held in about 35 towns from theatre stages, with theatres receiving considerable publicity in newspapers and through merchant tieups. Participating exhibitors, to a man, are enthusiastic about the whole thing, feeling sure the promotion will help drooping summer grosses. A new feature in connection with the contest this year, is that “Miss Indiana” will be given a chance to compete in a national contest for a try at Hollywood. Maurice Rubin, president of the ATOI, is lining up theatres and newspapers for the contest. Among those signed thus far: Paramount Theatre, Anderson; Paramount, Fort Wayne; Lyric, Winchester; Castle, New Castle; Indiana, Bedford; Princess, Bloomington; Palace, Gary; Sherman, Sullivan; Indiana, Washington; Ritz, Shelby ville; Hines, Portland; Centennial, Warsaw; Forsythe, E. Chicago; Elco, Elkhart; Jefferson, Goshen; Roxy, LaPorte; Capitol, Whiting; Fountain Square, Indianapolis; Indiana, Salem; Grand, New Albany; Majestic, Seymour; Rivoli, Muncie. Toward Saving Seats Oklahoma City — K. Lee Williams Theatres, Inc., has an unusual way of cutting down damages to seats and equipment by youngsters at special kid matinees. It is nothing more than publicity in newspapers of the towns in which the Williams circuit has its houses. Stories announcing free shows for the youngsters are spotted with headlines and lead paragraphs devoted to details of the free Saturday morning shows. The “angle” comes in following paragraphs, of which samples follow: “Fine new seats have been installed in the Arrow Theatre and Mr. Williams wants the boys and girls to help him take care of them — to help keep the theatre clean and wholesome for all who attend — to refrain from cutting or marking on the seats and walls of the houses or otherwise damaging the theatre. For those who do cooperate with him, he is going to have many more treats in the future — but for those who do not — well, they’re going to miss out on some things that they’ll be sorry for. “The theatre is the place for spontaneous laughter and enjoyment, but not for unnecessary noise, loud talking, or other rude actions that might spoil the pleasure of some other patron. “Mr. Williams believes that the boys and girls of Broken Bow and community are Patriotism Plugs for "Nazi Spy" Drive Pasadena, Cal. — Stan Meyer of the United Artists Theatre took full advantage of the promotional angles in “Confessions of a Nazi Spy” to put over a sock campaign that registered favorably at the boxoffice. Lapel flags were distributed in the schools by the local Parent-Teacher Ass’n heads. The copy on the card invited people to “proudly wear and display the Red, White and Blue.” It stressed the need "to demonstrate the faith in our good government” and urged people to acquaint themselves with the facts and learn the truth by seeing the picture. Members of the American Legion received postal cards with strong copy in a similar vein with the catchline “It is our American duty to show it ... It is your American privilege to see it.” Large white silk badges with a black and red color combination in which the swastika stood out strongly was worn by theatre staff well in advance of the opening. American Legion merchants cooperated by passing out the lapel flags. Meyer spotted the trailer in the news and also ran a M-G-M short, “While America Sleeps,” with a tag attached at the end pertaining to “Confessions of a Nazi Spy.” A tabloid sheet graphically portraying highlights of the picture was distributed in which the other two Fox West Coast theatres cooperated. A vivid lobby display excited considerable comment. Board of Education Plugs " Goodbye , Mr, Chips” Hollywood — To be read in English and “social living” classes throughout the city system from the sixth grade upward, a booklet analyzing and commenting upon Metro’s "Goodbye Mr. Chips” has been prepared by the Los Angeles board of education. The bulletin discusses both the James Hilton novel and the screen version thereof. going to show that they appreciate his efforts to give him fine entertainment by cooperating with him in every way — and when they do, he is going to reward them for it. “Parents can be a big help to the theatre— and at the same time to their children— by encouraging them to conduct themselves in the right way when they attend the show. Mr. Williams said he would be grateful for the cooperation of all parents in instructing their children along these lines, so that they may continue to give the youngsters more treats and keep the show house clean and attractive.” 98 BOXOFFICE :: June 10, 1939