Exhibitors Herald (Dec 1917 - Jun 1918)

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CTOJTOWNW'FILM NEWS' A War Lecture Bureau has been organized in Canada for the purpose of promoting and sustaining public opinion in the prosecution of the war and a letter has been sent out to exhibitors asking for their cooperation in this new movement. The exhibitor is assured that the five-minute speech will be confined to war topics and problems related thereto, and that under no circumstances will discussion of political topics be permitted. No doubt this campaign will be worked out similar to one carried out in the United States. Exhibitors of Winnipeg arranged to open their theatres on Sunday at their own expense, sending all receipts to the relief fund for Halifax. Considerable money had been spent in advertising the fact and permission had been granted by Mayor Davidson. In spite of this and also that the clergymen had favored the scheme, Hon. Edward Brown, provincial treasurer, issued an order prohibiting the theatres from opening. The exhibitors hoped that Hon. Edward Brown would issue another order allowing the Sunday opening. A meeting of the Exhibitors Association took place week of Dec. 3 to discuss developments in connection with the tax on amusements. On account of the billboard publicity, Sir C. Hibbert Tupper, representing the interests of the Exhibitors Association, refused to continue his efforts on their behalf. "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea," a spectacular screen version of Jules Verne's great masterpiece, goes into Massey Hall, Toronto, for a week, commencing Jan. 26. Massey Hall is one of the largest auditoriums in the Dominion of Canada. This picture will be put across with, one of the biggest advertising and publicity campaigns that has ever been given to any theatre in Canada, according to announcements. J. C. Belmont of the Universal office in Vancouver was in Calgary a few days ago and screened the Alice Howell Productions to all the picture theatre men in that territory. N. M. Trafton has just obtained control of the new Liberty Theatre at Trail, B. C. In-order to make use of the splendid colored slides which the Regent Theatre, Toronto, has made for each feature, Mr. Mitchell, the manager of this theatre, which is one of the large downtown houses in Toronto, had forty of them arranged between glass in an easel stand with lights behind. The stand was placed in a prominent position in the foyer and it served to emphasize the high quality of pictures shown at the Regent. Christie Film Co. Christens New Stage and Celebrates Second Birthday Jan. 1 President Al. E. Christie Discusses Company's Development — Clean Comedies Demanded — Small Costs With New Year's day the second anniversary of the Christie Film Company, an interesting story of achievement is unfolded by Al. E. Christie, director of Christie Comedies and the pioneer studio builder in Hollywood, California. On New Year's day, 1915, Al Christie entered the producing field under his own name. He selected the same location at Sunset boulevard and Gower street, where four years before he had established the old Nestor Film Company that later merged into the Universal. Christie comedies soon attracted the attention of exhibitors through their individuality of staging, lighting and in particular, their costuming and the story of the picture. Today the Christie Film Company ranks among the best known film producing organizations in the United States. Its executive personnel consists of Al. E. Christie, president and producing director; C. H. Christie, general manager and Fred L. Porter, vice-president and secretary. In discussing the two years of development at his studio, Al E. Christie said: "On New Year's Day we will shoot the first scenes in a new covered stage just completed and equipped with a modern $25,000 lighting system. Entered Business 1911 "I came out from New York in 1911 and established the Nestor Film Company on this corner in what was the then abandoned Blondeau Roadhouse. We had three companies with a total of 32 people. I was general manager, comedy director, and scenario editor and incidentally, swept the stage along with other minor duties. "Two years ago my brothers and 1 became convinced that slapstick, custard pie throwing and suggestive sex scenes were doomed in the same way that in evolution in the spoken comedy we had seen the funny man with the chin whiskers pass from the high class theatre to the kerosene circuit. We decided to produce comedies of a higher order revolving around plausible stories that either have happened or can happen. "I do not believe a comedy to be funny must depend upon the antics of a grotesque character Or plots resembling an inerno. "Furthermore, I believe in small casts in comedies. To me it would appear funny to see one man fall down a flight of steps, but it would not be ten times funnier to see ten men do the fall. Plausible Comedies Wanted "The comedy of the future must be plausible. It must give the viewer an opportunity to think along with the action, to surmise, to anticipate, to rejoice or to suffer with the story and where possible — to be fooled. "The production of a Christie Comedy does not end with the final viewing of the picture in the studio projection room. One of Al. Christie's pet hobbies is to select a seat at the back of a theatre in which a Christie comedy is being shown and from this vantage point watch the effect of scenes on the people who have paid good money to be entertained. "I know that a picture has gone over," said Mr. Christie, "when I see two old people nudge one another when they see some action that brings them back to former days or when I see two young people press hands in understanding of a true to life predicament." Margarita Fischer Grows in Popularity in Wholesome Plays The steady growth in public favor of the Margarita Fischer productions has created a vogue for this charming little screen actress, and the favorable re ports from exhibitors who have booked the previous Fischer pictures, such as "The Girl Who Couldn't Grow Up," "Miss Jackie of the Army," etc., augur well for the forthcoming Fischer comedy, "Mollv, Go Get 'Em„" which is on the Mutual schedule of January 7. This production was made by the American, under the direction of Lloyd Ingraham, and provides Miss Fischer with a role in which she is seen at her best, it is said, cutting up high-jinks in her own inimitable way in a comedy which is wholesome and free from any objectionable suggestion. The consensus of opinion of the exhibitor is expressed in the terse report from J. J. Chrissis of the Queen and Isis Theatre, Chicago, on "The Girl Who Couldn't Grow Up," which says: "Splendid. Was well liked and brought good business." H. C. Miller of the Boston and Alcazar theatres, Chicago, reports on "Miss Jackie of the Army" as follows: "A very clever comedy drama." Tom Moore Buys Five New Theatres in Washington D. C. Washington, D. C. — As the first of the years' activities, Tom Moore, one of the largest exhibitors here, and head of the Moore Theatre Corporation, has negotiated a deal whereby his concern absorbs the Metropolitan Theatre Corporation. The consolidation adds five large motion picture houses to the seventeen his company already controls. These are in the downtown district of the capital and considered well-paying theatres. Mr. Moore owns $1,200,000 of the capital stock of the new concern. Messrs. Tucker K. Sands, Fred S. Swindell and Albert Mushleison control the balance. It is planned to operate the newly acquired houses on a circuit, thereby reducing operating expenses, improve the quality of the performances and reduce the admission charge to the minimum. 38