The Exhibitor (1959)

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UNSOLICITED • The letters from readers which appear on this page are not solicited. MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITOR does not suggest questions to readers in order to provide a flow of letters. From FRANKLIN, IND. My hat is off to Richard D. Turteltaub of Newark, New Jersey, for his very fine article in the MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITOR of October 14. The six "fundamentals” he recites shows a mind that thinks positively. Under his Fundamental Three — "Don't Advertise Merchandise the Store Doesn’t have in Stock” there could well be added: — the pictures in the gimmick 70 mm. that are widely advertised but not made available to theatres in 35 mm when that advertising is at the height of its boxoffice potential. Nor are these pictures made available when new and fresh to houses willing to install 70 mm. We recently sent survey letters to several companies asking when we would have access to 70 mm. prints of their releases, providing we installed 70 mm. equipment? The response, in the case of Loew’s as to BEN HUR, and United Artists as to SOLMON AND SHEBA, was that they had no plans other than to serve some twenty large first-run city theatres in 70 mm. When one considers that some 19 pictures are now set for 70 mm. release in I960, and that the total number of pictures released in I960 may not exceed 200, there are grounds for great alarm. 10% of the total pictures, the cream, will be withheld from the majority of theatres through the 70 mm. gimmick. The question that comes to mind is: — isn’t refusal by Loew’s, United Artists and other distributors, to serve 70 mm. and/ or 35 mm. prints, discriminatory under the meanings of the decree? TRUEMAN T. REMBUSCH Syndicate Theatres, Inc. EDITOR’S NOTE: The lawyers will need to answer that one. Mr. Turteltauh’s "fundamentals” ivere so readable, and have earned such fine reader response, because they dealt with the simple ir¬ ritants that the average layman, whether exhibition or distribution, could under¬ stand. While a vital 1960 issue, Mr. Rembusch’s thought is much more complex and needs clarification by the legal brains. From RANDOLPH, VT. This is just another small town theatre struggling along from day to day. Two years ago I was the projectionist who turned man¬ ager-projectionist when closing seemed in¬ evitable because of the heavy labor item. We’re still struggling, but things are looking bright¬ er. Let’s hope we will still be here, and there will be need for another renewal of MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITOR, when our subscrip¬ tion runs out. RICHARD L. FOWLER, General Manager The Playhouse EDITOR’S NOTE: Down through the entire history of this business there were always "one man” theatres. Good luck to all of the Mr. Foivlers, who are our business backbone. From GALLITZIN, PA. Any picture that is not for children, such as "A FAREWELL TO ARMS,” should be so specified. K. F. DAWSON, Manager-Partner Victoria Theatre EDITOR’S NOTE: There is a lot of similar thinking, both inside and outside of the industry. From DALLAS, TEX. MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITOR is my favorite trade paper. And I have been in showbusiness since 1908. R. R. PENGILLY Paramount Pictures Exchange From CHICAGO, ILL. We do want to encourage you to continue to keep your foreign film reviews and listings up to date. We like this section of MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITOR and use it a great deal. EDWARD T. MYERS, President Trans-World Films, Inc. EDITOR’S NOTE: No other trade paper does as thorough a job on all films, and we have every intention of continuing. From BERRIEN SPRINGS, MICH. Can you tell us where the following German films could be booked: 1. "DIE PRINCESSIN VON ST. WOLF¬ GANG” 2. "DAS ALTE FORSTERHAUS” 3. "SOMMERLIEBE AM BODENSEE” 4. "HOLIDAY AM WORTHER SEE” These and many others are played in Chi¬ the ONE Trade Paper that is frankly content to be DIFFERENT ! ■ DIFFERENCE NO. 1: More letters from more interested showmen . . . week after week after week! cago at the David Theatre, and while we have written to them for this information we get no reply. Maybe they’re afraid we might give them competition. However, we have only a small German clientele here, and play a German picture only once every two or three weeks. Our main supply sources are the two big¬ gest that are listed in MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITOR, namely: CASINO and SAM BAKER ASSOCIATES. But they haven’t been able to tell us anything about the above. It is possible that these are booked directly from Germany? Are there other U.S. sources, or where might we look? OTTO SAITZ Berry Theatre EDITOR’S NAAIE: We have no record of such titles. And we know that the two sources mentioned are the most widely used. Can any other subscriber bring us up-to-date on German picture sources? From ABINGDON, VA. I have been following the news stories on MPA considering the plan to classify films as "adult,” etc. I am reasonably sure that such a move would cut the grosses on pictures like "PEYTON PLACE,” "GOD’S LITTLE ACRE,” etc. by at least 50 per cent. In fact, if this should be done I’m sure it will automatically shut practically every small town theatre in the country. I understand that Canada has such a classifi¬ cation requirement, and that it does cut grosses. Producers should know about this, but, if not, they should check it. T. D. FIELD, President Field Theatres Corp. EDITOR’S NOTE: Several of the new state restrictions and censorship efforts include such classifications. Even though there are no ready yardsticks to judge ivbich is an adult, and which a juvenile, mind. From OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. Thanks for making use of my poor effort (which is a term we literary fellows use), "How I Would Sell Paramount’s 'CAREER’,” as published in the Oct. 21 issue. I really had no idea that writing it would be so much fun, and if I had any spare time I would start another "great American novel.” Seriously, do feel free to call on me at any time and I will be more than happy to do my best on another. After due deliberation, I believe that I might get more mileage out of a pair of new tires than a case of Scotch, so I went out and bought the former, and bill is enclosed. Besides, now that Scotch is legal in Okla¬ homa it isn’t any fun. Cooper Foundation Theatres NORMAN T. PRAGER EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s a pleasure to cooperate with you "literary felloivs,” and Paramount is happy to make your gift-stipend a pair of Generals. Watch for the weekly " How I Would Sell . . .” SHOWMAN ALY SIS. They have become the best read of all trade paper surveys, for the very reason that the skilled show¬ men get "so much fun” out of writing them. It shows! From LINCOLN, NEB. Just to let you know about a great run — and the end isn’t anywhere near as "near” as we imply. (Enclosed was a full page two color ad that appeared in the Evening WorldHerald of Omaha on Friday, Oct. 23, celebrat¬ ing the end of the 52nd week that "SOUTH PACIFIC” has been running at Omaha’s Cooper Theatre.) GEORGE GAUGHAN Cooper Foundation Theatres EDITOR’S NOTE: The "near” to which Mr. Gaughan refers is in a line in the ad: "hurry, the end is near”! This ts a tremendous run anywhere, and no wonder that Omaha’s mayor, bankers, chambers of commerce, etc., were glad to write the congratulatory messages that the ad featured.