Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World (Oct-Dec 1928)

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November 3, 1928 EXHIBITORS HERALD and MOVING PICTURE WORLD 23 Welcome Interchange If Other Device Fills Bill, Says Vitaphone What Producers Say on Judging Sound Devices George E. Quigley, Vitaphone vice-president and general manager: "We naturally welcome the interchangeability of our pictures on other makes of reproducers which meet the necessary requirement of good reproduction." Felix F. Feist, general sales manager of MGM: "I'm inclined to think our company will sell pictures to exhibitors using a machine other than the Western Electric device." * * * Jerome Beatty, director of advertising and publicity of First National: "We probably will make no statement until RCA, Electrical Research Products and other manufacturers of devices get together and decide upon a policy." * * * Al Lichtman, general manager of distribution of United Artists: "We have a contract with Electrical Research Products and we will abide by that contract." Joe Brandt, president of Columbia Pictures: "If one of our exchanges has a request for one of our sound pictures, it wiU be referred to the home office, which will in turn refer the request to Electrical Research Products." Paramount Earns $5,973,600 in First Nine Months of '28 (Special to the Herald-World) NEW YORK, Oct. 30.— Profit of Faramount-Famous-Lasky Corporation, after all charges and taxes, including its undistributed share of earnings of Balaban & Katz, 65 per cent, owned subsidiary, is estimated by the company as $5,973,600 for nine months, and $2,100,000 for the quarter, both ending September 29. These earnings for the nine months are equal to $8.69 share on the stock issued and outstanding prior to the recent split-up of three for one, and are equal to $2.90 a share after such split-up; and for the three months' period, are equal to $3.05 a share on the old basis, and $1.02 a share on the new basis of stock outstanding. The nine months' earnings in 1927 were $5,650,400 and the third quarter's earnings $2,118,100. For 1926 the respective figures were $3,640,300 and $1,052,800. Imports UFA Star (Special to the Herald-World) NEW YORK, Oct. 30.— Paramount has imported a German star, Dita Parlo of UFA, to play opposite the French music hall idol, Maurice Chevalier, in his first American talking picture. The first picture will be "The Innocence of Paris." Feist Indicates MGM Would Sell Pictures for Inter-use F N and U A Not on Record — Would Refer Requests to Electrical Research, Says Brandt (Special to the Herald-World) NEW YORK, Oct. 30. — Who shall pass judgment upon the merits of the various sound reproducing devices now being put on the market? Such was the natural question which arose and demanded answering following J. E. Otterson's statement in which interchangeability was for the present, at least, conceded. Will the producer or Electrical Research Products decide whether or not the different makes of machines "operate properly, reliably and efficiently to reproduce sound with adequate volume and quality equal to that obtained by the use of its own (Western Electric) equipment?" following instruction to its ex To learn the answer to this riddle a representative of Exhibitors Herald-World made a canvass of the various producers. Their replies follow. "The position of Warner Brothers and the Vitaphone Corporation," declared George E. Quigley, vice-president and general manager for Vitaphone, "is exactly the same as that of the exhibitor. The exhibitor wants sound pictures and we want to sell them to him. Interchangeability of Vitaphone productions on other makes of machines will greatly increase our outlet for our pictures. We naturally will welcome the interchangeability of our pictures on other makes of reproducers which meet the necessary requirement of good reproduction. Requires Adequate Reproduction, Service "Up to the present time we have not had opportunity to observe another make of machine in operation in a theatre, but when we do find a machine which gives adequate reproduction and service, we will give it our approval and will sell our pictures to exhibitors using that machine, provided proper arrangements are made with the music publishers. As new machines are installed and put into operation in theatres upon a commercial basis, we will take them under observation and if they come up to our requirements, we will give them our approval." The statement from E. C. Mills, chairman of the board of directors of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, as reported elsewhere in this issue, that the exhibitor using a reproducing device will not be required to pay any additional tax other than the regular lO cents seat tax license, clears this situation as far as the music publishers are concerned. Feist Says MGM Would Sell Felix F. Feist, general manager of distribution for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, appears not to be interested in who is to be the judge. To the question, "Will your company sell pictures to exhibitors using a machine other than the Western Electric device," Feist said: "I am inclined to believe we would, provided the music publishers' regulation were complied with." "Would you want to know the nature of the device?" he was asked. "I don't see why we would," was Feist's reply. "I'm no mechanical expert." However, on September 28, the company sent the changes: "Replying to numerous inquiries from our various exchanges throughout the country concerning the reproduction of sound records on equipment other than that manufactured by Electrical Research Products, Inc., the following briefly, is the situation: "We are licensed to record sound on disc and film by means of the Electrical Research Products' method. With this license, we obtained for exhibitors using the equipment of Electrical Research Products a special license from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers to reproduce our sound records containing their copyrighted music. We as distributors pay the cost of this special license. The exhibitor is taken care of without special action on his part where he reproduces upon Electrical Research Products equipment. "However, where an exhibitor has in his theatre an equipment other than manufactured by Electrical Research Products, two essential requirements are necessary: I That the equipment upon which • our records are reproduced must operate properly, reliably and efficiently to reproduce sound from records made by us with adequate volume and of quality equal to that obtained by the use of the equipment supplied by Electrical Research Products. 2 That the exhibitor must be spe^* cially licensed, either through the manufacturer of the equipment used in the exhibitor's theatre or directly by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, to reproduce upon the exhibitor's equipment our sound records containing the copyrighted material of the society's members. "Please bear in mind that this special license from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers is necessary in addition to the socalled '10 cent seat tax license' generally granted by the society to theatre owners." As stated above and reported elsewhere in this issue, this extra license has been ruled out by Mills of the Society. First National has not gone on record. "We do not care to make any statement as to our policy in the matter," declared (Continued on page 41)