The Exhibitor (1961)

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Scene "El Cid Boxoffice Take For Peruvian Relief NEW YORK — His Excellency Fernando Berckemeyer, Peruvian Ambassador to the United States, announced that Samuel Bronston, producer of AA’s “El Cid,” has offered to turn over the entire proceeds of one eve¬ ning’s performance of “El Cid” in every one of the 11 American cities where the film is currently playing as aid in connection with the recent avalanche disaster in Peru. The Ambassador officially accepted the Bronston offer on behalf of his government, expressing deep appreciation and declaring that it was one more sign of the traditional friendship that exists between the sister re¬ publics, Peru and the United States. Bronston said that in addition to the con¬ siderable amount of money which will accrue from the box office receipts in the 11 key cities, the benefit performances will help dramatize for the world the dire necessity of sending aid and supplies to the stricken area. The terrible catastrophe occurred on Jan. 10 when the slopes of the extinct volcano, Huascaran, suddenly gave way, burying the villages of Ranrahirca, Saccha, Huraschuco, Uchocoto, and the surrounding area under 40 feet of mud and ice, snuffing out the lives of about 3,000 persons. Rescue work was be¬ gun immediately by the Peruvian govern¬ ment, but the vast majority of the victims can never be exhumed. Many thousands are homeless, and government aid must be abet¬ ted by outside assistance. The Bronston donation will be derived from the performances of “El Cid” on Tues¬ day evening, Feb. 13 at the Warner, New York; Carthay Circle, Los Angeles; Alexan¬ dria, San Francisco; Goldman, Philadelphia; Cinestage, Chicago; Astor, Boston; Tivoli, Toronto; Seville, Montreal; Roosevelt, Miami Beach; Valley, Cincinnati; and Music Hall, Detroit. The NEW YORK By Mel Konecoff OUTSIDE TOOTS SHOR'S, it was raining and pretty miserable the other day, but inside the cry of “Play Ball” could be heard over the clink of glasses and the munching of food as Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, the spectacular home-run combination of the world champion New York Yankees, signed a deal to appear in a forthcoming Columbia film, “Safe At Home,” with Leo Jaffe, first vice-president of Columbia Pic¬ tures, for the benefit of assembled newsmen and photographers. As a number of other baseball “names” kibitzed and watched, Tom Naud, executive producer of the film, and co producer Mitchell J. Hamilburg answered questions which revealed that the two stars would each receive $25,000 dollar guarantees against 25 per cent of the film’s net; that the budget would be slightly less than a million dollars; that a sub-plot would have a romantic interest; that possibly other Yankees would also be featured in the film as well as some of the better known baseball writers; and that present plans call for opening the film in theatres around April 1 when the baseball season gets under way. Filming gets under way on Feb. 13 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., site of the Yankees spring training camp, and the story deals with a Little Leaguer who attempts to secure the sup¬ port of his idols, Mantle and Maris, for his team. This results in a series of adventuresat the Yankee training camp. SOMETHING NEW: Russell V. Downing, president of the Radio City Music Hall; Roy O. Disney, president of Walt Disney Productions; and Irving H. Ludwig, president of Buena Vista Distributing Corporation reported at a press conference last week that the Music Hall will present as its 1962 Easter attraction the new Disney film comedy, “Moon Pilot,” ’as well as a stage spectacle, “Disneyland, U.S.A.,” based on that California land¬ mark, which will be produced with the personal collaboration of Disney and his staff. The stage show will present for the first time on any stage some of the vivid aspects of the famous amusement center with special stage and scenic effects especially designed for the occasion. Downing had high hopes for the combination, which developed from a trip he made to the coast last September when he visited Disneyland. The usual lavish stage show will be embellished, and a larger than usual exploitation and advertising campaign will be in order, with possibly a great deal of television being utilized before opening day. He expected the public to respond to the combination as never before, and it will look like Christmas in April, when the opening will presumably take place. While the overall length of the show will be standard, the portion of time alloted to the live stage showr will be consider¬ ably longer than usual, he declared. Also a number of extra profit items such as souvenir programs, etc., will be available in the lobby of the theatre. Downing refused to estimate how long the program could run at the theatre, but he thought that the length of the run as well as the experiment itself should be quite im¬ pressive. MGM In Record Deal NEW YORK — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has entered into an agreement with Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft for the distribu¬ tion of its classical labels — Deutsche Gram¬ mophon and Archive Production — in the United States, Canada, Newfoundland, and the Philippines. Announcement was made by MGM Records president Arnold Maxin, who has just returned from Europe, where he and Robert H. O’Brien, executive vice-presi¬ dent of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, completed arrangements with Deutsche Grammophon officials. Leo H. Kepler, formerly director, Angel division of Capitol Records, has been en¬ gaged to handle the distribution and promo¬ tion of the two DGG labels under the super¬ vision of Maxin. "Misty" Tops Family Pix NEW YORK — “Misty” has been chosen as family picture of the year by Parent’s Maga¬ zine. The 20th-Fox production is based on Marguerite Henry’s classic children’s tale “Misty of Chincoteaque.” Announcement of the award was uniquely made over a recent voice of American broad¬ cast by the editors of the monthly publica¬ tion. Robert Radnitz, producer of the award winning “A Dog of Flanders” the year be¬ fore, was also the producer of “Misty,” which James B. Clark directed. THE METROPOLITAN SCENE: A 20 minute short in color shot in studios and on loca¬ tion at Freedomland, the giant entertainment center, is now available free of charge for showing in theatres in either 16 mm or 35 mm. We are told that among the stars featured therein are the Three Stooges and Louis Armstrong. It was produced by Andre Baruch . King Features has made available a 13 week Sunday color comic series on “Moon Pilot” which is appearing in 55 major metropolitan newspapers reaching over 40 million readers. . . . A1 Sherman, publicist and writer, is working on a definitive history of the “art” theatres in the U.S. He is interested in acquiring material relating to this subject such as early film programs, anecdotes by veterans in the field, etc. He can be reached at 890 West End Ave., New York. . . . Aside to Bob Ferguson: Thanks and you are a man of action and initiative. . . . Aside to Ernie Grossman: I’m with you, Dick Lederer, Joe Hyams, and George Nelson, but meanwhile send food packages. PRODUCTION NOTE: Jean Negulesco, producer of the forthcoming United Artists re¬ lease, “Jessica,” was in town recently for home office conferences, and he reported that he likes making pictures abroad where the freshness and enthusiasm he found helped to over¬ come the lack of the wonderful knowhow that can be found among Hollywood technicians, whom he considered the best in the world. The film was shot in Sicily, and he felt that it would have been silly to have shot a film about Sicily anywhere but in Sicily. A rela¬ tive example given concerned the clothes of the cast, designed and made in Hollywood. They had to be abandoned because they just didn’t fit and they had to go out and buy clothes in local shops. Another Negulesco belief is that if a picture has to be dubbed, then the original actors should do the dubbing, which is what he arranged to do here even though it meant that the cast had to speak the necessary English phonetically. One venerable actor refused to do so, and Negulesco had to dub his voice. He hoped that the film would be available for release around April 1, after several recordings of several of the tunes have had a chance to become known. The public should have the final say as to what should or should not be left in a film, and this should be established via sneak previews with audience reaction and not the preview cards being the determining factor. He likes making independent productions and he will talk to UA about three other prop¬ erties that he has for future film. He still owes two films to Fox under a previous contract. “Jessica,” incidentally, stars Angie Dickinson, Maurice Chevalier, and Noel-Noel, and is in Panavision and Technicolor. February 7, 1962 MOTION PICTURE EXHIBITOR 15