Exhibitors Herald (1925)

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June 20, 1925 EXHIBITORS HERALD 37 National Body Scans Closely All Advertising on Reissues Play Older Pictures If You Desire, Says Vigilance Committee, But Hold Respect of Public by Advising It That Films Were Produced Some Years Ago (Special to Exhibitors Herald) NEW YORK, June 9. — That the conduct of the motion picture business is being carefully studied by forces outside the industry is evidenced by the latest trade service bulletin issued by the National Vigilance Committee of the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World. Gives Facts to Keep in Mind in Advertising Reissues Under the headline of “Old Pictures for New, Aesop’s Jackdaw Fable Re-enacted in Some Film Advertising Campaigns,” the bulletin, which is dated June 5, says : “Back in motion picture history, not so many years later than the nickelodeon era, the scenario departments of producing companies, both in the United States and in foreign countries, supplemented their current material by preparing screen versions of classic literature. Hardly a famous author, from Homer to Kipling, failed to have some part of his writings filmed and screened. For the time at which they were produced many of these were good pictures. A very few are good pictures today. But when these are advertised today the following facts should be kept in mind by the distributor and the exhibitors : Cook Sees 20 Per Cent Music License Rebate for Kansas-Missouri (Special to Exhibitors Herald) KANSAS CITY, MO., June 9. — Every effort will be made by M. P. T. O. KansasMissouri to obtain a 10 per cent rebate on the music license, according to a bulletin to be issued soon by the organization’s headquarters to meet an avalanche of questions rolling into the office the last three months. Following are excerpts from the bulletin, signed by C. E. Cook, business manager, which will be distributed to Kansas members : “So many inquiries have been coming into this office in regard to securing music license that we again are calling some facts to your attention. It is not the intention of this association to dictate to an exhibitor what he should do in reference to obtaining a license to play copyright music. To refrain from securing a license to play copyright music is all well enough so long as you refrain from playing copyrighted music. “We have been informed time and again that it is almost impossible to operate a theatre without using some copyrighted music. The playing of one copyrighted piece constitutes an infringement which may cost an exhibitor a great many times more than his license, the attorney fees and court costs of a single case amounting to more than $250. It may be possible to secure a 20 per cent rebate for all members of this association. However, we cannot assure nonmembers of the association that they will receive a rebate this year at this late date. We can say only that we will do our utmost to obtain it. “This is the last letter you_ will receive from us with regard to securing a license to use copyrighted music and we check the matter up to you and trust you will give it serious consideration and act according to your best judgement.” Barrie Okays Choice of Betty Bronson to Star in **Kiss for Cinderella** (Special to Exhibitors Herald) LONDON, June 9. — The plan of Paramount to star Betty Bronson in J. M. Barrie’s “A Kiss for Cinderella” has received the sanction of the British novelist and playwright, it was announced here yesterday at the Lasky, Ltd., offices. Herbert Brennon who will produce it for a Christmas release is here to confer with Barrie. “I can imagine none more fitted to play CinderBetty Bronson ella,” Said Sir James. According to the agreement by which Barrie’s works are being filmed by Paramount it is necessary that the author be consulted and his opinion taken on all points relating to the productions. Bischoff Returns West (Special to Exhibitors Herald) LOS ANGELES, June 9.— Samuel Bischoff, president and general manager California Studios and of Bischoff, Inc., is back from an Eastern trip. “A tremendous change takes place with each year in the quality of cinema photography makeup, costuming, and the thousand details comprising modern production. Continuities have also moved with the times. The public knows this. Accordingly, a number of producers who have in their film vaults excellent pictures made but a few years ago have chosen to have the entire stories re-scenarized, re-enacted and re-photographed in order to maintain the high standard of their programs and those of their exhibitor patrons. Public Has Been Respected “Others, whose pictures have comprised actions too collossal for such re-production, have advertised the re-issue of such subjects as and for pictures which had been successfully exhibited at a previous date and were now being revived because of their great popularity. ‘Quo Vadis,’ ‘Cabiria,’ ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ ‘The Miracle Man,’ and ‘The Four Horsemen,’ are a few of the pictures which have been frankly offered and advertised by distributors and exhibitors as re-issues. The right of the public to know what it is buying has been respected and the good will of distributor and exhibitors promoted by advertising honesty. “Once more the trend of producers is toward classic or well known authors and famous stories. Think of a big story and there is every likelihood that some producer has filmed it within the year or is engaged in filming it. Today such productions are lavishly made. A number of them have been filmed abroad in order to obtain actual and not plaster and papier mache settings. In order that the exhibitor may do the business with these pictures which will enable him to realize a fair profit, his bookings of these releases are aided and backed up by enormous campaigns of national advertising so that an advance demand is created for his showing. “Nearly every time a big current production of such a story is announced some film of a similar subject matter or title is exhumed from the vaults or from the kerosene circuit or the non-theatrical field and offered to exhibitors apparently for the purpose of cashing in upon the reputation of the new picture. Vitagraph’s ‘Black Beauty’ production was closely followed by the resurrection of an old Edison release. Fairbanks’ ‘Three Musketeers’ publicity en couraged a group of film adventurers to advertise in a highly misleading and confusing manner an old film made by the late Tom Ince from the Dumas novel. Both of these exploitations were held unlawful by the federal trade commission, acting in the public interest. Cites Several Examples “More recently a state right release of the old ‘temperance’ stage play ‘Ten Nights in a Bar Room’ was paralleled by the remarketing of a film-vault relic of the same name. The nation-wide advertising of the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation for ‘The Ten Commandments’ was stimulated for a reassembled old non-theatrical picture entitled ‘After Six Days.’ Coincident with the nation-wide advertising of the Fox Film Company’s ‘Dante’s Inferno,’ a new and elaborate production, we find the advertising of a film of the same name made in Italy. This foreign picture was first released in the United States, prior to the entry of many present day exhibitors into the theatre business. “There is no legal reason why an exhibitor may not book and screen these filmvault relics if he wishes to do so. But if he exhibits them without disclosing affirmatively that they are re-issued pictures, he is throwiing away the good will of his patrons. Ask the exhibitors who advertised ‘The original Black Beauty,’ ‘Douglas Fairbanks (and) The Three Musketeers,’ and the man who used Fox Film Company mats to advertise the Milano ‘Dante’s Inferno’ what such tactics cost him in the long run. One way to keep a theatre out of the list of those houses which are forever changing hands is to advertise every booking truthfully and completely. Even the small merchants in our towns and villages are learning what older advertisers have found from sometimes bitter experience— that advertising the whole truth pays a dollars and cents dividend. Sound principles of advertising are not alone applicable to goods, wares and merchandise. They apply to the sale of amusement just as much as they do to dry goods, hardware or furniture. “The theatre owner who demonstrates to his patrons that they can always depend upon what they read in his film advertising, will attract and hold the regular, repeat patronage which is the backbone of picture house prosperit)n”