Motion Picture News (Sept-Oct 1916)

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2520 MOTION PICTURE NEWS Vol. 14. No. 16 Startling Innovation Inaugurated by Kentucky Exhibitor Whereby Patrons Pay Only If Satisfied with formance Perfi THE latest and one of the most successful innovations in' theatre management that has been inaugurated by any of the Paramount theatre managers throughout the country, was reported to the Paramount Pictures Corporation last week, by their Cincinnati office, in which they pointed out that Messrs. Judy and Gay, of the Tabb theatre, at Mt. Sterling, Ky., had inaugurated a " pay-as-you-leave " system of conducting their business, and that they had increased their business wonderfully. The managers of this theatre contended that the theatrical business was one of the few that collected their revenue before the people knew whether they liked it or not, and that they had decided to only collect admissions after patrons had witnessed their show. In their communication the managers said : " We made the proposition that we would not sell any tickets as people entered the show, but would sell them as they went out. We further stated that if they liked the show they would please stop at the box office and pay the regular price of admission. If they did not like the show they would not pay us one cent. Of course we stood at the door to see how many would think the picture not worth ten cents. To our surprise there was only one couple that left that did not stop and pay for their tickets. On Tuesday night, however, he stopped at the box office and asked if he did^not walk out last night without paying. Of course we stated that we did not know. He said, " Well I did and I had no intention of so doing, for it was one of the best pictures that I have ever seen." We were very much pleased at the .advertising, for that was all you could hear the people talk about. It was so different from anything they had ever had sprung on them, it took them completely by surprise." FENWAY, BOSTON, PARAMOUNT HOUSE, LETS DOVES AND CANARIES FLY ABOUT STAGE Frank Stanton, manager of the Fenway tlieatre, Boston, a Paramount theatre, has (juite a novelty in a stage setting and effects. The setting is handsome, with heavy red velvet hangings, with the orchestra on the stage. Many light effects are worked by starting the overture in darkness and gradually working up into different colors, but the real punch is the release of several doves who fly about the stage. About ten large cages of canary birds are released and they sing all through the overture, also when the singer is on. ORIGINAL STUNT BRINGS RIG RESULTS A confirmation that exhibitors are awakening to the fact that novel advertising stunts are great business getters in tliese days of competition, is evidenced in a recent announcement from the Los .\ngeles SjTnphony theatre, the first-run Metro house, managed by Mrs. T. H. Du Boise. The announcement appeared in the form of a slide projected in the theatre, and on hand-bills distributed by the ushers, and read as follows : " The management of this theatres takes great pleasure in announcing that Harold Lockwood and May Allison, the popular Inside Lobby Display to Create Atmosphere for " The Dawn Maker " During Its Run at the Liberty Theatre, Seattle, Wash. screen stars, will present personally autographed copies of ' Mister 44,' E. J. Rath's novel to the best constructed essays on the picture written during the time ' Mister 44 ' is shown at the Symphony theatre. Come and see this excellent Harold LockwoodMay Allison picture, soon to be shown at the Symphony theatre, and participate in the contest." Three weeks before the showing of " Mister 44 " the Symphony theatre newspaper ads included a new mysterious catch line daily, ending with the title of the picture, which stimulated curiosity and interest among local picturegoers. The inquiries concerning these mysterious " Mister 44 " lines were startling, according to Mrs. Du Bois. JUVENILE PROGRAM FOR DES MOINES A juvenile program for the children of Des Moines, in which the women of the city will not censor the pictures, but will leave the choice of the programs to the picture men is the latest development of the " movies " in the Iowa capital. The City Union of Mothers' clubs at a recent meeting decided to embark upon a juvenile picture campaign with the ultimate aim of instituting an entire program of juvenile pictures to be shown at a stated time, and stated picture house once a week. A committee of moving picture men will soon be appointed, and it will co-operate with the women to make their campaign possible. As soon as enough mothers promise to allow their children to patronize such a program, it js believed that the local film men will more than do their share. Comedies, romances, education and travel pictures will probably make up the greater part of the programs. So long as no problem plays are included in the shows, the women will not have a word to say about the program. It will be left entirely to the discretion and judgment of the moving picture theatre owners. CHILDREN'S MATINEES PUT ON IN CALIFORNIA THEATRE A special series of children's matinees has been put on at the Strand theatre, Berkeley, Cal., this being patterned after the series that proved to be such a success last winter. A program especially adapted for children is presented each Saturday afternoon at a uniform admission price of ten cents, the show bearing the indorsement of the school authorities and several mothers' clubs. The initial performance featured " Little Sunset," with the addition of a juvenile comedy and a Bray cartoon. BOYS DRESSED AS CHAPLIN RUN THROUGH STREETS W. A. Kerr, of Kerr Brotliers. proprietors of the Empress theatre, Central Cit>", Neb., was showing Charley Chaplin in " Police," when he dressed tAvelve boys as Chaplins and sent another boy, dressed as a policeman, to chase them through the city, dropping hand bills as they went. On the stage that night appeared every youngster in town, who thought he could dress to look like Chaplin — and there were many. The applause of the audience decided which boy got the prize for the most truthful make-up.