Film Curb (May 20, 1939)

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FILM CURB Volume 30, Number 20 Founded in 1923 by Thomas Hamlin May 20, 1939 l EDITORIAL COMMENTS First 1932 Editorial By Tom Hamlin Double Features—Trustification—Independents A prophecy made in 1932 has come to pass by three major companies—We say keep the money in the motion picture industry—not Bingo—Bank Nite — Screeno — etc. r I ''HIS seems to be the propitious time for making statements and it would not be adverse to analyze the hopeful as well as the foreboding signs for the coming year 1932. This then, is the time to make suggestions anent the double feature policy. The first and most emphatic recommendation I have for the industry can be said in one word—T HIN K. Why not turn the following over in your mind ? Whenever the so-called powers advocate elimination of double features ask them why this should be done and what their reason is for advocating this elimination. 1. “Does it afifect the sale of their short subjects?” 2. “Does it hurt business at the DeLuxe theatres where tremendous three-hour shows are given, including a stage presentation worth from $2.00 to $4.40 plus the feature?” 3. “Is there so much difference if an exhibitor gives a two hour show with two features or merely supplements one feature with short subjects that may be uninteresting from the viewpoint of the public ?” The best proof that people want double features in- stead of one feature and additional short subjects, is the nation-wide sweep of double features. 4. "Does double featuring interfere with circuit inter- changeability of play dates and keep customers away from circuit houses that have all the ‘trust’ product tied up by their reciprocity deals?” Self defense is the reason the independent exhibitor can only exist by double featuring independent product or run “trust” pictures after all value has been lost in them through prohibitive protections. Double featuring has and will continue to be the great- est weapon against circuit or “trust” domination of this industry. There always have been exhibitor leaders who condemn this practice but what are their motives ? Many times it is because these leaders are free from immediate danger of “trust” domination, but ninety-nine times out of a hundred it is because very few people in this industry take the trouble to THINK for themselves so that if someone suggests that double features are bad, they blindly follow. I will go on record and say to the exhibitors who run their theatres for the public welfare that this will be a good year. High class independent product will be available; in fact, more than ever before. The public is through looking for trade marks. Quality is a neces- sity but impossible of consistent fulfillment regardless of the money spent to obtain it. Quality is measured in only two ways. Box office drawing power and entertainment. The independent producer of pictures can give the exhibitor what the public wants and two features allow the exhibitor the opportunity of attracting or at least pleasing more people than one feature. Therefore, Mr. Exhibitor, prepare yourself for an unlimited market to select attractions and the public will patronize you at the box office—depression or no de- pression—tax or no tax. Reprint from Film Curb issue of January 2, 1932.