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" When You See it in 'The News' It's News "
LOS ANGELES. CALIFORNIA 429 SO. FIGUEROA STREET
I HAS THE gUALlTY CIRCULATION OF THE TRADE[
NEW YORK CITY SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY NINE SEVENTH AVENUE
" The Exhibitors'
Medium of Communication "
CHICAGO. ILLINOIS 110 SO. DEARBORN STREET
SEPTEMBER 30, 1916
Some Truths About Pictures
WE are pleased to give over this page, this week, to Frank J. Rembusch, of Shelbyville, Indiana, who in an open letter to the national association of the industry', says some truths worth knowing about pictures and the picture business.
|\/[ANY of his tersely expressed views coincide closely with satements made from time to time upon this page. But we publish them, not to call attention to this fact but because they sum up the long and practical experience of an exhibitor who has also travelled much and talked freely with other exhibitors and who is a sincere believer in the organization of the industry as a whole. We italicize important passages :
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''■"THESE are the four principal objections to the motion picture to-day : " First. The use of cigarettes by the great stars, who appear in the eyes of children as heroes. Less use would make them just as great. " Second. Nudity. Much is unnecessary.
"'T'HIRD. The theme of infidelity and unfaithfulness between husband and wife in the eternal triangle. Censorship is always advocated by persons past the meridian of life and they resent their children seeing this form of story so frequently. The picture story in times past mostly started with love's young dream and ended in a happy marriage. Now it generally starts at the marriage altar and ends at the grave. People want recreation and not study. Ninety per cent, are pleased with pictures that make them happy and contented. // you zi'ill talk to people zi'ho are not going to picture shozvs you will find one reason why the box office receipts are dwindling.
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"prOURTH. ^^'hat is particularly disappointing and annoying to the public is the fact that they have no way of knowing what kind of picture they are going to see. A new form of publicity is needed. Clean pictures should be advertised as clean pictures — a vampire as a vampire. Up to now publicity tends to bring out the sensational features only. If we have a picture that will appeal to the church-going people we ought to say so and get them to come. If it is a picture that bumps the line let them know it and they will not criticise.
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*' lA/E ere all influenced too much by the experience of the legitimate stage and Broadway standards. A film that passes on Broadway without criticism will often
raise Ned in a tank town. Under the present system Mr. Exhibitor is forced to run a picture whether or not — because it is in line on the program and the exhibitor cannot help himself even though it ruins the business for him.
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"pOP corn is worth five cents a sack the world over but ^ we are still buying and selling film like horse traders. Whoever is the best trader cleans up on the other. A film whether good or bad should have a price on it which should be quoted upon release. Exhibitors could then do their own buying instead of present continual dickering and bickering. He could buy more and not overbuy and buy better to his needs and could buy ahead and have his program filled up for weeks and months ahead.
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"'T'HERE should be a credit system to eliminate the dead beat and encourage good pay exhibitors by giving cash preference.
" There should be a universal method of paying for service which, in my opinion, should be cash in advance, but not deposits. There should be a universal form of contract or as near that as we can get.
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"I N conclusion, I would like to see some pictures made that would be particularly suitable for the whole family, in fact, the function of the moving picture was to entertain the whole family. That is how we made our money and that is how we will make it again. But it can't be brought about spasmodically and nothing would ruin this business more easily than an upheaval in which everybody changed their policies at once, but if we get together once a month and talk over the *Mngs that pertain to our business and really and truly lay the cards face up ' we would soon accomplish a great deal."
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E need the long sliozv and the short show; the one reel and the five-reeler. Every manufacturer should specialise in a certain way and then the exhibitor can specialize, in his daily program. One day he can cater to one class of people and the next day to another class and in that way you will get all the people into the show.
" Therefore, I reiterate, that if the exhibitor and manufacturer around the same table take up questions efi'ecting the whole industry, censorship will soon cease ; programs that appeal to more people will develop ; more people will go to picture shows ; expense and overhead will be lessened; manufacturing and exhibiting costs will be cut down and we will all prosper again as we did in the good days gone by."
Copyright, 1916. 61/ Motion Picture 'S'eics, Inc.