Exhibitors Herald (Apr-Jun 1922)

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April 15, 1922 EXHIBITORS HERALD 39 Old Pictures Double Rialto Attendance in Week's Run Experiment Bears Out Contention Made in Quigley Editorial, "Longer Exhibition Life" — Other Theatre Men May Adopt Plan (Special to Exhibitors Herald) NEW YORK, April 4. — That good pictures are good attractions, regardless of the fact that they are not new, was proven conclusively by an experiment made last week by Hugo Riesenfeld at the Rialto theatre. Instead of booking a new attraction for a week's run. as is customary, he selected seven good pictures, the youngest being more than a year and a half old, and gave them one day's showing each. Experiment Brings Big Increase in Receipts The result was that the Rialto theatre did a week's business at least 50 per cent greater than its average. This bears out the contention made in an editorial in the Exhibitors Herald of March 25, under the title of "Longer Exhibition Life." Particularly apropos to the matter is the following excerpt from that editorial : "On the shelves of the distributors here are hundreds of proven box office attractions which are producing nothing for the owners but if they are again gotten into circulation they will mean satisfactory product for thousands of theatres at materially less rentals than inferior new pictures and they will become revivified as revenue producing assets for their owners.'' Industry Wins Fight in Senate On High Tariff (From HERALD'S Washington Bureau) WASHINGTON, April 4.— The industry is one step nearer victory on the film tariff question as the result of a decision reached here today by the Senate finance committee on the following tariff provisions : Raw stock, one-half cent per foot. Negatives (exposed but not developed), two cents per foot. Negatives (exposed and developed), three cents per foot. Positive prints, one cent per foot. If the Senate committee's decision becomes law the industry will have obtained with respect to the tax on motion pictures, both in negative and in positive form, practically what it has requested. The effort to impose a heavy tariff on foreign films, based on a valuation plan, apparently has been abandoned and with it goes the apprehension of American producers concerning a possible retaliatory tariff in foreign countries. The raw stock tax at one-half cent per foot is somewhat higher than was expected. Revenue Ruling to Save Thousands on Film Contract Tax (From HERALD'S Washington Bureau) W ASHINGTON", D. C, April 4.— The Bureau of Internal Revenue has ruled that contracts for films made in 1921 for exhibitions this year, 1922, and on which deposits have been made are not subject to the film tax of five percent, provided films were not exhibited or balance of contract paid until after January 1 of this year. If the payment was made last year, tax applies but if such contract was cancelled and money returned to exhibitor, tax payer may claim refund. The matter was taken before the bureau by Jack S. Connelly, Washington representative of the National Association of the Motion Picture Industry', in order to settle authority of collectors to demand payment of tax on such contracts. National Indorsers of Photoplays Establish Home in Indianapolis (Special to Exhibitors Herald) INDIANAPOLIS. IND.. April 4 — This city is to be the headquarters for the National Indorsers of Photoplays which has filed articles of incorporation with the secretary of state. Mrs. David Ross, who is president of the Indiana organization of photoplay indorsers, has been elected president of the national organization. Other officers elected for the national organization are: Vice-presidents the Rev. M. C. Pearson. Detroit; Mrs. Robbins Oilman, Minneapolis; Mrs. M. K. Merriman. Xew York: Mrs. H. E. Robbins and Mrs. S. E. Perkins. Indianapolis; Mrs. Grant C. Markle. Winchester. Directors. Mrs. Fred Lucas, Greencastle; E. U. Graff, superintendent of schools of Indianapolis; Dr. Edna Hatfield Edmondson, Bloomington. Recording secretary. Mrs. Fred Pettijohn. Indianapolis. Treasurer, Mrs. O. C. Lukenbill. Indianapolis. Organizer. Mrs. Curtis Hodges, Indianapolis. Executive secretary. Miss Caroline Goodheart, Indianapolis. The Indiana indorsers form the only state branch of the national organization now in existence, but steps are to be taken at once toward organizing other states, the newly-elected officers say. The purpose of the new organization is to support the work of the Nat;onal Board of Review and to promote good pictures. The pictures chosen by Dr. Riesenfeld for the trial are: "The Miracle Man." "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," "Madame Butterfly." "Old Wives for New." "On With the Dance," "Don't Change Your Husband," "Behold My Wife" and "Male and Female." Youngest 18 Months Old Of these, "Behold My Wife" is the youngest and it was first shown about eighteen months ago. The others range from that age to three years. Ordinarily the Rialto plays to approximately 25,000 people each week, with one feature for the seven days. Last week with the daily change of bill, using the above-named pictures, the attendance ran well over 40,000. Only the usual amount of advertising was used during the week in the newspapers. During the week preceding, however, and a!! through the week's showing, three-sheets were put out in front and at the side of the theatre announcing the week's bill. It was noticeable that crowds gathered before these sheets, and many persons were heard selecting the pictures they intended seeing. — reminiscent of grand opera goers selecting their favorite operas from the bill boards. Others May Make Test The experiment at the Rialto was watched with interest by many of the large exhibitors in and about New York, and that some of them intend profiting by the experience is indicated by the fact that the Strand, in Brooklyn, has announced a similar bill but with some changes in the pictures for the week of April 16. At the Brooklyn house Manager Edward L. Hyman will show with daily change "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." "Over the Hill," "The Inside of the Cup." "The Sheik," "Humoresque." "Broken Blossoms" and "The Three Musketeers." Kent Issues Statement "The record of these seven reissues at the Rialto theatre." said S. R. Kent of Paramount, "proves our contention that release dates have nothing to do with the merits of a picture. Thousands of people had heard of these seven pictures through the immense advertising they had re ceived immediately following their release. It is possible these people, when the pictures were originally shown in their communities, had failed to see them, or, having seen them, wished to see them again. At any event I think the success of the seven reissues established the fact that there are certain big pictures which will be always good, whether they were released last week or two years ago. These are the classics of the motion picture business, their worth is established, they are known to the public and they will always be an attraction. Can Get Films in Block "That this view is entertained by shrewd showmen is evidenced by the large number of requests we are receiving to book this block of pictures into the leading theatres all over the country. The strength of the pictures as box office attractions, added to the novelty of a dailv change, has made these reissues a particularly attractive buy. It is for the small town exhibitor, however, that this has an added strength. Small town exhibitors who neglected to shew these pictures when they were first released can get them now in a block, at prices they cannot ignore. These pictures are known to their patrons, and in communities where they have not been shown they are just as new as if they were released yesterday." Trade Journal Ads Bring Quick Results, States Pacific Head In a letter to Pacific Film Company's Eastern representative, Julius Singer, instructing the latter to prepare a trade paper advertising schedule for the coming year. President John J. Hayes said: "You can tell the trade press editors that Pacific's success 'bucking' the big syndicates would have been a failure without the advertising we have placed in the various trade journals. If independent distributors would only concentrate on trade paper advertising, instead of wasting thousands of dollars every week on postcards, form letters and other mediums of publicity, results would be more quickly noted."