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The significance of the anniversary of the entrance of a state into the Union is shown by the fact that several states have made legal holidays of such days.
However, in the majority of the states these anniversary dates seem to have been overlooked. Here is an opportunity for alert exhibitors to capitalize upon them, initiate celebrations in which their theatres are the very centre, get much high class publicity and derive very satisfactory profits.
Look up in this book the anniversary date of the admittance of your state to the Union, or in the case of the thirteen original states — New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, the date of first settlement if available. Most of these dates are given herein. Start in with your preparations some time before that date. See your local editor or editors. Except in the case of the large metropolitan papers they will be glact to co■ operate with you, and play up the anniversary. Go to the superinten
dent of schools and the school principals under him to enlist their cooperation by special exercises in the schools and mention of the celebration which you are going to put on at your theatre. Get contests started of historical essays by the school children, with passes to your theatre as prizes, and the lure of the reading of the winning essays by their writers in the theatre.
You can doubtless secure the mayor, or the head of the local historical society, or an eloquent clergyman, or the head of the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution or the Daughters of the Revolution to deliver a brief address on the opening night of your celebration.
Your state has a flag. The local librarian will tell you what the pattern is, and if you can't buy one locally get a seamstress to make you one. Hang it over the sidewalk so that everyone can see it. Have your marquee signs tie up to it. "STATE DAY. ANNIVERSARY * * *". Decorate your entire lobby and front with flags. See if you can't borrow old rifles such as were used in pioneering days, old pictures of state interest, and other relics to place on exhibition in your lobby, each one properly tagged with a descriptive card.
There still live in the newer states persons who pioneered. Seek out one or two of them and have them at your theatre as your guests. All this is good for publicity.
Try to put on pictures in keeping with the occasion. For instance, for one of the western states what could be better than "The Big Trail"? As for your music many states have songs definitely associated with them, for instance there are "Maryland, My Maryland," "On the Banks of the Wabash," (Indiana) "Carry Me Back to Ole Virginny," "My Old Kentucky Home," "Carolina Moon,' "Swanee River" (Florida), etc. Build your whole musical prog, am around your own state song if there is such a one. Have a good singer render it as a solo. Invite the audience to join in on the chorus.
The chances are that in many states the exhibitor who puts on such an anniversary celebration will be the first to have called attention to it in years. He will get much credit for it. He will find that Boards of Trade, Chambers of Commerce, Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions and all the rest will be glad to back him up. And a letter to the governor of the state, telling him that you are going to celebrate the anniversary and asking for his endorsement will probably get you a letter of endorsement which you can use in publicity, and hang framed in your lobby.