Motion Picture News (Mar-Apr 1923)

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1962 Motion Picture News Boston Flashes and New England Bulletins MONDAY night saw the opening of one of the finest of Boston's suburban motion picture houses, Locatelli's Ball Square theatre :n Somerville. The first night marked an epoch in the theatrical history of both Somerville and Medford, for the house occupies a part of both towns. The opening exercises were attended by many state and city officials, including Mayors Coolidge of Medford and Webster of Somerville, Secretary of State Cook and many others prominent in local political social and financial circles. The house is of strictly modern and fireproof construction and has a seating tically 1,500. The exterior Albert J. Locatelli capacity ot pracif carried out in Italian Renaissance style, and a feature is a costly organ. The organist is G. F. Penton. Mr. Locatelli, who also runs the Central in Somerville, a well established house, has his eye to the comfort of his patrons, and has included many features making for that end in his newest venture. Miss Margaret O'Connor, of South Boston, was elected Miss Boston, the beauty queen, at the annual dance of the Movie Boys of Boston, held last Monday evening, the place being the new Rose Croix ballroom in Roxbury. The judges were T. Doherty, of Famous PlayersLasky; J. Kelley, of the Selznick exchange, and Steve Gustin, of South Boston. The beauty queen was presented with a silver loving cup offered by the American Releasing Corporation. The music was furnished by Hooley's orchestra. Jack Martin was chairman of the committee in charge, while Charles F. Freeman served as treasurer and Frank Tobin as secretary. A chance wanderer into Boston's film district these days, when he nears the corner of Church and Piedmont streets, may well believe that he lias had a "wee drap" too much, that he is lost in a zoo, or that Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Bros, and Sells— Floto has hit town altogether in a bunch. Metro has Martin Johnson's "African Wild Animal Hunt," playing the Park theatre opening, the ninth, and being enthusiastic, Moxley Hill had all the many windows of the exchange building painted to represent animal cages, with the animals, every known denizen of the jungles, painted in full colors behind them. The interior was stacked with cases of trophy heads, water buffaloes, zebras, tigers, ibexes, gazelles, and what not. All of these are now adorning the lobby and foyer of the Park, and they alone would bring ihe crowds without the picture. A novel picture, " The Finishing Touch," was shown to the ice dealers convention in the American House, Boston, last week. It sounds mighty artistic, but it deals with paint and varnish up to date, and only goes to show another of the legion of uses to which the silver sheet is put today. The first electrical storm of the season hit Boston and vicinity last Thursday evening. In Quincy, one of several bolts which struck in that section, hit the electric light wires leading to the Quincy and Alhambra theatres. The heavy crash, and various blue lights that flickered in places, threw several women attending the theatres into hysterics, but they were soon quieted with no ill effects. Contracts for Clinton's new motion picture theatre, which will replace the one in the Doggett block, which was burned down recently, are expected to be given out next week, according to an announcement which comes from that town. Workmen are making rapid progress in removing the ruins of the fire. The plans call for a theatre and about nine stores, and sixteen contractors are at work on their estimates, and report their work about done. Marguerite Courtot, leading woman of "Down to the Sea in Ships," now playing at Fox's theatre in Springfield, Mass., will be one of the six or more stars who will appear at the annual ball of the Springfield Motion Picture Operators Union on April 18. Of the other are Virginia Pearson, Mary Anderson, Edward Earle, Sheldon Lewis and probably Tom Moore. Since picture stars have in the past sometimes been billed to appear, and have failed to materialize when the ball was given, officials of the union say they have gone to the trouble of having contracts drawn up for their sure appearance, and that any star who agrees to come and then fails, will be walking upside down in the next picture he or she is shown in here. " When Knighthood Was In Flower " was chosen as the opening feature for the new Coster theatre in Webster, Mass., which has just closed its premiere week to excellent business. The house has a seating capacity of 1,100, large for the town. The theatre is said to be one of the most up to date in Worcester County and is named after George R. Coster, president of the Steinberg Amusement Company. 'he staff at Vilagraph's Boston exchange — left to right: C. W. Sawin, E. F. Haley, T. A. Donahue, J. Donnelly, C. L. Varney, and W. S. Davison. Two Goldwynners of the Boston exchanges J. Norton Klein, sales manager, and "Buddy" Stuart, exploitation representative Worcester, Mass., also had its movie ball last week in Mechanics and Washburn Halls. Jack Hauser was in charge of the affair, which was featured by a beauty contest, the winner of which will visit New York with a chosen companion. There were several stars of stage and screen present, and a well-liked novelty was a fashion parade. All apparatus in the city of Leominster, Mass. .was called to fight a fire in the Hillery Block on Main street, which caused $50,000 damage, and for a time threatened the entire business section. While firemen were inside the Gem theatre doing their best to confine the flames to the second floor, three and six sheets all over the entrance advertised the showing of " The Third Alarm." Fortunately, the matinee had not begun, nor had the audience started to arrive. Exchange and Exhibitor Briefs from Des Moines Territory Twenty-seven managers of the A. H. Blank amusement enterprises in Iowa were scheduled to meet in Des Moines Tuesday, April 10, with H. M. Thomas, the new director general of the theatre chain. Mr. Thomas was formerly director general of the Famous PlayersLasky theatres in Canada. L. Carlos Meier, new at the Des Moines theatre, made his initial appearance during Easter week. Mr. Meier was an* instructor at the Midwestern Conservatory in Des Moines ten years ago, leaving there after a few years to study in Chicago. He comes to Des Moines from the Capitol theatre at Winnipeg, Can. A feature of his playing is his preference to use no score, playing from the pictuer and using his own improvisations. Mr. L. F. Wolcott, owner of the Empress theatre, at Indianola, la., visited at the Film Booking Office in Des Moines last week. Paul Fine, salesman for the Film Booking Office, who has been confined to his home with rheumatism, is back on the job again. A. W. Plues, manager of the Pathe Film exchange, visited in Dubuque, Waterloo, Independence and Manchester, la., the past week. William A. Waterhouse, owner of the Hildreth theatre at Charles City, la., visited in Des Moines Saturday. R. C. Seery, manager of the midwestern district of the Associated First National, was in Des Moines Saturday attending a sales meeting. Leo Blank, who formerly traveled in this territory for the Associated First National, has been put in charge of the distribution of Lichtman and Warner Brothers' pictures out of the Omaha office.