Exhibitors Herald (Jul-Sep 1922)

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28 EXHIBITORS HERALD July 1, 1922 Goldwyn Pays $1,000,000 for Rights to Film "Ben Hur" Spectacle Will Be Produced in Italy and Palestine and At Company's Studio on Coast (Sp'ecial to Exhibitors Herald) NEW YORK, June 20.— "Ben Hur," the famous Biblical story by General Lew Wallace, is to be produced for the screen, Goldwyn Pictures Corporation having just acquired the picture rights and one-half of the dramatic rights from A. L. Erlanger. IT is said that Mr. Erlanger paid close to $1,000,000 for the picture rights to "Ben Hur" more than a year ago. Goldwyn's transaction is said to involve a much greater sum, and represents the largest amount ever paid for the rights to picturize a single story. * * * Under the terms of the agreement, the cast, the scenario and all the various details of the production will be subject to the approval of Mr. Erlanger because of his intimate knowledge of the play which has been his property since 1899. The principals of the cast will be selected in this country, but the pictures will be made partly in Italy and Palestine and partly at the Goldwyn studios in Culver City, California. Edgar Stillman Kelley, who wrote the score for the original stage production, will provide the musical setting for the picture. Few, if any, novels have achieved the popularity of "Ben Hur." It has been translated into all languages and it has been read and is still read by millions of people in all parts of the globe. The dramatization was made in 1899 and the play was first produced under the personal direction of Mr. Erlanger at the Broadway theatre in this city on November 25 of the same year. * * * Its success was phenomenal from the outset and season after season for more than twenty years it has played all over America to enormous audiences. Pro ductions of the play have been made from time to time in England and Australia. Mr. Erlanger himself directed the first presentation at the Drury Lane theatre in 1902. It is estimated that fully 20,000,000 people have paid admissions to see "Ben Hur" and the gross receipts have been close to $10,000,000. It is impossible to give any definite idea of the large amount of money derived from the sale of the novel, published by Harper & Brothers. "MerryGoRound' ' Title Of New Stroheim Film (Special to Exhibitors Herald) LOS ANGELES, June 20. — "MerryGo-Round," is the title selected for the new Universal-Jewel production being made by Erich von Stroheim who has written the story himself. Construction work has started at Universal City on the many elaborate sets which will be used. The cast includes Mary Philbin. Dale Fuller, Maude George, Caesar Gravina and others. Fire Damages Theatre (Special to Exhibitors Herald) CONWAY, ARK., June 20.— The Ideal theatre, leased by C. R. Quinn suffered damages amounting to $9,000 when fire destroyed virtually the entire house recently. Warns Against "Monte Cristo" Reissue Prosecution Faces Sellers and Exhib iior s of Old P ictur c Fox Film Company Announces Fox Film Corporation, which is soon to publish its modern version of Dumas' "Monte Cristo," has issued warning to all exhibitors in the United States and Canada against exhibition of the old "Monte Cristo" film distributed many years ago by General Film Company. New Color Work in Hampton Film (Special to Exhibitors Herald) NEW YORK, June 20.— "The Light in the Dark," Hope Hampton's latest production for First National publication in September, will contain one reel colored by the new Eastman process. Her new vehicle, written by William Dudley Pelley, is a modern drama with a thousand-foot cut-in of Arthurian romance. This part of the picture has been completed in colors by the new process. Although the new Eastman color process has been previously shown, the insert in "The Light in the Dark" is the first time that it has been used in the filming of a story. It has now been perfected, it is stated, to give equally accurate registry of distance shots and closeups and to reproduce natural tints and hues. The Fox company claims that the General Film Company's "Monte Cristo," now reissued, it believes, on the strength of the new Fox picture, has been declared by the courts of New York an infringement on the O'Neill-Fechter version. Fox serves notice that its company owns all the motion picture rights to the O'NeillFechter version of "Monte Cristo" and will prosecute any persons who exhibit, exploit, license, sell, or in any manner deal with the reissued "Monte Cristo" film. The warning statement follows in full: "Notice is hereby given to you that the undersigned has received information that several alleged distributors in the United States are soliciting contracts for the exhibition of a motion picture photoplay entitled 'Monte Cristo.' which is a reissue of a film distributed many years ago by the General Film Company, starring Hobart Bosworth. That film is based on the so-called O'Neill-Fechter version of 'Monte Cristo,' and is an infringement of the rights of the owners of the O'NeillFechter version because the General Film Company has not acquired any rights to picturize the O'Neill-Fechter version. That question was litigated in the courts of the State of New York in litigation entitled 'O'Neill vs. General Film Company.' and the courts of the State of New York held that the General Film Company was guilty of an infringement of the said O'Neill-Fechter version by reason of the exhibition of said picture without the consent of the owners of the O'Neill-Fechter version; and that decision stands unreversed in the State of New York. We will further take action in the Federal or State Courts in any State of the I'nited States or any Province in the Dominion of Canada where an infringement of our rights occurs. "This notice is published for the purpose of warning all exhibitors and all persons who attempt to exploit or in any manner make use of that film, that the Fox Film Corporation, which owns all of the motion picture rights of the O'Neill-Fechter version, will prosecute any attempt to infringe those rights against any persons who exhibit, exploit, license, sell, or in any manner deal with the aforesaid 'Monte Cristo' film. "FOX FILM CORPORATION. "West 55th street. New York City." Organized Salesmen Install New Officers Plans for Gala Outing Also Discussed at Luncheon in New York (Special to Exhibitors Herald) NEW YORK, June 20.— An installation luncheon was held at the Hotel Commodore last Saturday by the Motion Picture Salesmen, Inc., at which the following recently fleeted officials were inducted into office : President, L. Lawrence Baren, Pioneer; first vice-president, Jesse Levine, Paramount; second vice-president, Benjamin Rapoport, Pioneer ; treasurer, Louis Weinberg, Select ; financial secretary, E. C. Bullwinkle, Vitagraph ; recording secretary, Samuel Shappin, Climax; sergeant-at-arms, William Osborne, Robertson-Cole; trustees, Harry Furst of Universal, and Meyer Solomon, of Select. The executive board is composed of : Chairman Benjamin Roman, Goldwyn; Nathaniel Liebeskind, Apollo; Herman Kran, Arrow ; Matty Kahn, Apollo ; Jesse Levine, Paramount. At the luncheon plans were discussed for the first annual outing of the organization on July 21, for which occasion various exchanges have declared a holiday. Loew Will Close Big Theatre Deal June 25 (Special to Exhibitors Herald) NEW YORK, June 20.— The deal whereby Marcus Loew will become sole owner of the interests in the State theatre and building, Los Angeles, and in the New Warfield theatre, San Francisco, will be consummated June 25 with the arrival on the West Coast of E. A. Schiller, representative of Loew, Inc. Mr. Loew will relinquish his interest in certain other theatres cn the West Coast to Ackerman and Harris under the terms of the transaction. Declares Dividend (Special to Exhibitors Herald) NEW YORK. June 20— Following a meeting of the board of directors of Associated Exhibitors today, a dividend of 2 per cent on the preferred stock, for the second quarter of the calendar year 1922, was declared.