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July 3 1, 1943
MOTION PICTURE HERALD
$8,000,000 for Blue
SALE of the Blue Network, Inc., by Radio Corporation of America was reported near the signature stage this week as Wall Street heard that bidding for the radio chain had risen to a high of $8,000,000. The offer came, according to financial circles, from Edward J. Noble, millionaire manufacturer of Lifesaver candy, and James H. McGraw, Jr., president of the McGraw-Hill publishing company. Mr. Noble now owns WMCA in New York.
Mr. Noble would say only, "I wish it were true," of the reported acceptance by David Sarnoff, RCA president, of the offer. But while direct confirmation was lacking none of the parties would deny the deal.
Wednesday there were reports that James Lawrence Fly, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, had been asked informally to approve the sale. RCA, ordered to sell the Blue Network by the FCC a year ago, set it up as a separate corporation and has since operated it independently of the National Broadcasting Company.
There were internal indications that the Blue was looking towards new management this week in the construction of a newsroom and larger offices for the news division. Currently the Blue is leasing its news coverage from NBC.
According to Wall Street sources the price jumped sharply in the last week after Dillon, Read and Company topped the $7,000,000 offer from Mr. Noble and Mr. McGraw by $500,000. The latter than raised their bid to $8,000,000. Originally RCA was reported to have sought $9,000,000. Bids have been reported at various times from Paramount Pictures, James A. Farley and Coca-Cola, William Cox, Philadelphia baseball promoter, and others.
Links to Garden
AS a result of a decision of the golfing members of the Motion Picture Theatre Owners of Connecticut, the annual MPTO film golf tournament has been voted out for the duration and the golfers slice beets, carrots and onions instead of golf balls, swinging hoes and cultivators in their Victory Gardens in place of golf clubs on the links.
Manna for Boston
ACCORDING to some statistics out of Boston, theatre operators in the Hub are in for increases in grosses during August and September.
The Hotel Statler has announced it has lined up the Massachusetts Federation of Labor convention for August, promising to bring to the city some 16,000 delegates and members. Other conventions booked by the
Statler for August include the United Spanish American War Veterans, which the hotel figures will result in 25,000 visitors, and the American Legion of Masschusetts with approximately 3,200 delegates and attendants. Early in September the Polish National Alliance convention should bring to Boston no less than 40,000 visitors, the Building Trades convention more than 6,000, and the Metal Trades Conference close to 10,000.
The Statler's statement adds that the figures are conservative in view of the fact that unlike previous years, due to war transportation problems few delegates will journey to conventions "just for the ride."
Long Hair Sinatra
HIGHER brow music lovers who patronize New York City's outdoor symphonic concerts at Lewishon Stadium will be treated to a program of tunes by two musicians who won their fame in the motion picture theatres. On August 3rd Frank Sinatra, recently from a record smashing appearance at Broadway's Paramount, will croon while Max R. Steiner, Hollywood musical director, will conduct the symphony orchestra. He has composed and conducted 186 motion picture scores in his career at Warners, RKO and other major studios. The crooner will sing "Old Man River," "Night and Day" and other popular favorites from stage and screen. The management looks for a sellout.
'Mission 9 in Moscow
THE Associated Press in a despatch from Moscow dated July 27th said "Mission to Moscow," the Warner Brothers screen version of Ambassador Joseph E. Davies' story of his assignment to the Russian capital, had opened in Moscow that day with minor cuts. The report said : "In general, the Russian audience liked the picture, but was amused by some of Hollywood's ideas on Russian life."
Girls, Girls, Girls
THE distaff side of life has taken over the Newport Casino theatre, and the members of the famous resort town visiting the house will have to rely upon screen characters for their cinematic males. Sara Stamm, known in Hollywood and New York as a producer, came to Newport, visited the gold and white ball room of the famed old Casino, had it remodelled into a theatre, discovered a manpower shortage and promptly filled all the posts with women. The Newport Casino is now staffed with girl ushers, girl ticket sellers and takers, girl janitors, girl cashiers, girl assistant managers and a girl press agent.
1 7 From Russia
RUSSIA will be in U. S. film distribution in a large way during the next year with at least 17 features tentatively set for release in this country. Nicola Napoli, head of Artkino, the official Soviet film outlet here, announced the program Tuesday.
"The City that Stopped Hitler — Heroic Stalingrad," distributed by Paramount, will be a leader of the season. English voices will be dubbed in by Artkino on "She Defends Her Country" and at least one musical, "The Girl and the Shepherd," is promised. Pictures already in the United States include "Black Sea Fighters," "We Will Come Back," "Actress," "Cabby of the Skies," "Road to the Stars," "The Iron Angel" and "The Lad from Our Town." Other imports from Russia will include "The Song of a Giant," "White Rose," "The Elusive Yan," "Submarine T-9," and two documentaries, "Arsenal of Russia" and "Ladoga."
Purchased outright recently from U. S. distributors were "Bambi" from Walt-Disney-RKO; "Edison, the Man," MGM film starring Spencer Tracy; and "Mission to Moscow" from Warners. Leonid Antonov, representative of Intorgkino, foreign branch of the Soviet Cinema Committee, closed the deals through Mr. Napoli.
MORE people ate candy last year than ever before, the Department of Commerce reported this week from Washington. In 1942, $490,000,000 _ worth was sold. The end of this year will probably see a 35 per cent increase in theatre sales, it is predicted. Last year in theatres $14,000,000 worth was sold. The Department observed that last year, 2,519,000,000 pounds were manufactured. Of the amount, 223,662,000 was purchased by the Government for the Army and lend-lease shipments.
CAR owners in the 11 northeastern Atlantic states again may be permitted to use their cars to attend theatres, or on other pleasure missions, within a few weeks, it was reported from Washington at midweek. Prentiss Brown, new OPA chief, was reported to be urging an end to the prohibition. The ration equalization plan said to be in preparation by Harold Ickes, Petroleum Coordinator, also was expected to make more gasoline available in the east, although midwestern car owners may receive a slight reduction. Washington sources emphasized that there was scant chance that the basic "A" card allotments would be increased. The drive-in theatre market remains definitely bearish.
MOTION PICTURE HERALD, published every Saturday by Quigley Publishing Company, Rockefeller Center, New York City, 20. Telephone Circle 7-3100. Cable address "Quigpubco, New York." Martin Quigley, President; Colvin Brown, Vice-President; Red Kann, Vice-President; Terry Ramsaye, Editor; James D. Ivers, News Editor; Chicago Bureau, 624 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, 5, Oscar Lundy, correspondent; Hollywood Bureau, Postal Union Life Building, Hollywood, 28, William R. Weaver, editor; Toronto Bureau, 242 Millwood Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, W. M. Gladish, correspondent; Montreal Bureau, 265 Vitre St., West, Montreal, Canada, Pat Donovan, correspondent; London Bureau, 4 Golden Square, London W I, Hope Williams Burnup, manager; Aubrey Flanagan, editor; cable Quigpubco London; Melbourne Bureau, The Regent Theatre, 191 Collins St., Melbourne, Australia, Cliff Holt, correspondent; Sydney Bureau, 17 Archbold Rd., Roseville, Sydney, N.S.W., Australia, Lin Endean, correspondent; Mexico City Bureau, Dr. Carmona y Voile 6, Mexico City, Luis Becerra Celis, correspondent; Buenos Aires Bureau, J. E. Uriburi 126, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Natalio Bruski, correspondent; Rio de Janeiro Bureau, R. Sao Jose, 61, C. Postal 834, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Alfredo C. Mochado, correspondent; Montevideo Bureau, P. O. Box 664, Montevideo, Uruguay, Paul Bodo, correspondent; cable Argus Montevideo. Member Audit Bureau of Circulations. All contents copyright 1943 by Quigley Publishing Company. Address all correspondence to the New York Office. Other Quigley Publications: Better Theatres, Motion Picture Daily, International Motion Picture Almanac, and Fame.