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MOTION PICTURE H ERALD
July 31, 1943
L C. Griffith to Head Expect stamp War Loan Campaign
Drive Will Set Record
Oklahoma Exhibitor Is Chairman; Oscar Doob Named to Treasury Post
An exhibitor, L. C. Griffith of Oklahoma City, will head industry participation in the Third War Loan campaign scheduled from September 9th to 20th.
His appointment as general chairman of the industry drive under the auspices of the War Activities Committee was disclosed Tuesday by S. H. Fabian, theatres division chairman and chief of the WAC War Bond program.
With his brothers, "H. J." of Kansas City and "R. E." in Dallas, Mr. Griffith heads what is reportedly the largest circuit of independent theatres in the world. They control more than 300 houses.
Oscar Doob Is Appointed Ad Director of Drive
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., has appointed Oscar A. Doob, advertising and publicity director of Loew's theatres, as assistant national director of the War Finance Committee in charge of advertising. The appointment of a motion picture man to this important post was the result of Mr. Doob's work as public relations chairman of the War Activities Committee and for the theatres' "March of Dimes" campaigns.
Mr. Doob has been given a leave of absence until mid-October by Nicholas M. Schenck, Loew's president, to serve in the Third War Loan drive. His headquarters will be at the Treasury in Washington. Ernest Emerling will handle circuit advertising and publicity in Mr. Doob's absence.
A successful film salesman, Mr. Griffith started his film career with Robertson-Cole and later the old Universal Company. Backed by Carl Laemmle ha switched to exhibition in the then just growing Oklahoma oil and ranching area and established his circuit in partnership with Universal's theatre circuit. In a few years the Griffiths bought out the Universal interest and continued their expansion, successfully competing with the growing affiliated circuits.
Known as the "Skipper" by his staff and fellow showmen, L. C. Griffith has been a popular leader of industry causes. He was a founder of the Oklahoma Variety Club, is a member of the board of the Motion Picture Theatre Owners of America and active in industry and civic affairs in his territory. He is a past potentate of the Oklahoma City Shrine.
Drive Needs Showmanship Cooperation, Says Fabian
"Mr. Griffith has been appointed with the confidence of the entire War Activities Com mittec," Mr. Fabian said. "The Third War Loan places him in the controlling seat of one of the greatest aids to the war efforts ever contemplated by the industry.
"The campaign scheduled for September ('ih through 20th will demand 100 per cent
L. C. GRIFFITH
showmanship cooperation from every branch of the industry. We are sure that Mr. Griffith is the man who can get that cooperation," Mr. Fabian added.
Appointment of the Oklahoma leadei marks the first time that an all-industry campaign of the Bond drive's scope has been headed by an exhibitor.
The new general chairman will visit New York this week to confer with WAC officers. On August 10th he will return to the WAC offices on Broadway to remain at the helm of the Bond drive until the end of September. His goal will be the provision through the industry of at least four billion of the 15 billion dollars which the Treasury seeks in the Third War Loan.
Merger of WAC and NEIC Is Under Consideration
Merging of the newly organized National Entertainment Industry Council with the War Activities Committee is being considered by an ex-officio committee including the chairmen of WAC's seven divisons. The committee is expected to study the NEIC program and setup for several weeks, with no immediate action indicated. George J. Schaefer is chairman of both the WAC and NEIC.
Six weeks' service on camp tours or other war efforts, equivalent to 36 performances, will be pledged by members of the various talent unions under a program of war service adapted at New York Tuesday by the coordinating committee of NEIC. The plan will be referred at once to the Guilds and unions for approval. A general meeting to announce the program is planned for a New York theatre on September 20th.
"Coney" Held Five Weeks
Twentieth Century-Fox announced this week that "Coney Island," Technicolor musical starring Betty Grable, is the first picture in the history of the Fox theatre, Philadelphia, to be held for five weeks.
Theatres sponsoring the sale of War Stamps during July, for the construction of a $130,000,000 airplane carrier, the Shangri-La, reported this week to the War Activities Committee that their sale of the Treasury issues was four times greater than normal. Beginning Monday, results of the national Stamp drive will be tabulated. The sales thus far, from scattered reports, indicate the quoa of $130,000,000 will be exceeded.
The Loew circuit announced last week that its combined Bond and Stamp sale during June totaled $1,661,257. Since September, 1942, the circuit's theatre booths have sold $30,000,000 of the Treasury issues.
In Los Angeles, the theatre drive to enlist blood donors for the Red Cross has resulted in 500 registrations per week, the WAC heard Monday. More than 80 per cent of those registering keep their pledges. Los Angeles newspapers have praised theatres.
The Army's "Report from the Aleutians," a photographic description of the campaign there, in Technicolor, and running 47 minutes, is being distributed to theatres through the WAC. One hundred sixty prints will be available. There will be a trailer and pressbook. (A review of the film is in the Product Digest section of this issue, page 1456).
Capt. Jeff Dickson Missing In Action
Capt. Jeff Dickson of Natchez, Miss., former well known sports promoter in Paris and at one time connected with the foreign distribution of motion pictures, was reported missing in action this week by the Army Air Force. Official notification was received by his wife, the former Louise Mastbaum, who resides in New York.
Capt. Dickson served as a non-commissioned officer with the AEF during the first World War and was commissioned last year in the Air Corps.
Before he became a sports promoter, he was active in motion picture circles in Europe. Immediately after World War I, Capt. Dickson worked in Paris for David P. Howells, Inc., foreign distributors for First National Pictures. He later became sports promoter and was connected with the Palais de Sport in Paris.
RKO Radio Representatives Hold Chicago Meeting
RKO Radio's home office representatives gathered in Chicago's Blackstone Hotel Monday and Tuesday of this week for their annual meeting. A. A. Schubart, manager of exchange operations, and his assistant, William J. McShea, presided at the conferences.
Others from the home office who attended the meet were : Elmer Sedin, Jack Schmitzer, John Wangberg, William Burke, Jack de Waal, Don Nolan, Otto Braeunig, Frank Duffy, Ted Carey, and Ray O'Brien, office manager of the Chicago branch.
The home office representatives returned to New York Thursday.
Given Leave for Film Work
According to an announcement by United Artists, Pfc. Victor A. Pahlen, a former native of Leningrad, and now a member of the U. S. Army Air Force, has been granted leave to assume the post of technical adviser on the picture, "Girl from Leningrad. Mr. Pahlen, born in the Russian city, was once distributor of French and Russian films on the European continent.