I Accuse (United Artists) (1919)

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DRESSING THE CHANDELIERS If there are chandeliers in your lobby you could produce an artistic¬ ally striking effect by taking a number of the handsome 11x14 window display cards issued with this picture, attaching them together at their ends, thus making a tri-cornered affair. Arrange these tri-cornered combinations so that the lights will shine through them. At each of the three corners can be hung a small American flag; or two of the Stars and Stripes on two corners with the tri-colored flag of France at the third. This will be found to be especially attractive. MAKING YOUR TICKET WINDOW Special attention should be paid to the ticket window and the ticket seller. Get some compo board and arrange it around the ticket window so that it will take on the appearance of a window in a French peasant’s cottage. It will add greatly to the general attractiveness of this if the design is so arranged that it will carry clear down to the floor, and ex¬ tend well above the window. Around the window edges the American and French flags should be intertwined, but fastened loosely so the edges will not appear too stiff. Tfiis will be found specially attractive if the ticket booth is in the center of your lobby. In that case, too, the compo board design should extend back over both sides of the booth; and if practical clear around the booth. COSTUMING YOUR THEATRE ATTENDANTS With the French atmosphere that there naturally is about this pro¬ duction it might be well to have your ticket seller dressed in the costume of a French peasant. This would prove specially strong in attracting attention in case the ticket seller is a young woman. Dress her in the costume worn today by the French peasant. Almost any dressmaker or head of the suit department in any of your big stores will be able to help you out in this, and particularly if persuaded by a pair of seats. It is more essential to have this costuming well done in case of a young woman than if the employe is a young man. This same idea of costuming should be carried out all through the list of theatre attendants. Your lobby men should wear French peasant suits and caps, the caps bearing the words, “I Accuse” in outstanding letters. Your ushers should wear similar costumes and caps. DRESSING THE FRONT OF THE THEATRE If the length of the run of this production will justify a little more labor and expense than usual the exhibitor can make a big hit with his patrons by dressing the front of his theatre, up to the covering extend¬ ing out over the sidewalk, or in the absence of such covering, up to the first floor ceiling level, to represent the front of a French peasant cottage. Compo board or a similar light and easily handled material may be used for this, and from your public library you can get books that will give you a sufficient working idea of what the French peasant cottage looks like. If the exhibitor feels that he is not up to this kind of work, he can have an architect or designer draft a rough sketching plan from which he can do the work, or which can be followed by almost any fairly skilled carpenter. This should not be undertaken, however, unless it is known that it can be well done. Otherwise it will make the front pf the house look comical, rather than effective. If well done and artistically finished, exploitation of this picture in this particular way, will have an effect that will be felt strongly long after “I Accuse” shall have given way to some other attraction. Motion picture audiences as a rule are rather impressionable, and they will re¬ member such an attractive piece of house decoration long after the pro¬ duction has been taken off. And this impression will draw them to see your next film feature. INSIDE YOUR THEATRE Generous, but tasteful, use of the American and French flags should be made inside your theatre as well as outside. The upper cor¬ ners of the screen should be draped with the two flags looped together so that they will hang half-way down each side. This same grouping effect should be carried out all through the in¬ side of the house. And flags should be fastened below the various lights so that they will hang straight down with the Stars and Stripes on one side and the French colors on the other. This arrangement will be found very effective when the lights are on, and will lose little or none of its attractiveness when the lights are dimmed during the showing of the pictures. “I ACCUSE” CAPS FOR SMALL BOYS IN YOUR TOWN The small boy whose daily play or task takes him about the streets in all parts of your city is an advertising adjunct that should not be overlooked. For this production you can get a gross or so of small and inexpensive caps, and have stamped on the front of them in bold let¬ ters the words “I Accuse.” And give them free to the small boys. The newsboys who dart here and there about the streets, and always where the passing crowd is thickest, because that is where they sell their papers the fastest, should by all means be enlisted in this cap brigade. Delivery boys employed by your merchants are next in im¬ portance, for they go to the homes of your patrons. Then come the school boys, who travel back and forth between the school and their homes at least once every day, by street car and sidewalk. Let two or three hundred of these youngsters wear these “I Accuse” caps for two or three or four days, and you’ll have started an inexpen¬ sive “teaser” advertising campaign that will go a long way toward pack¬ ing your house when you put this feature on the screen. It isn’t at all necessary that these boys know what the cap means, nor why they are expected to wear them. Just get a good distribution on “I Accuse” caps, and you’ve done a day’s work. And here’s another point not to be overlooked in the matter of these caps. Get in touch with a friendly reporter for one of your afternoon newspapers, and he’ll be able to work up a mighty readable news story on this flock of “I Accuse” caps, and when you get ready to begin your advertising campaign and announce the name of your coming film at¬ traction there is still another publicity story on the solution of the cap mystery. "I ACCUSE” BANNER ON HORSEBACK Get a big, broad-shouldered, straight-backed, good-looking young man and put him on a good-looking and stylish-stepping horse. Equip him with as big a banner, in flag form, as he can carry. This banner should be of white cloth, and across it should be painted in scarlet letters the two words, I ACCUSE, and without quotation marks. Have him ride leisurely through the principal business and residential streets of your city for two or three days, and you will get everybody in town talking, and wondering what it’s all about. And what more do you want. This banner-man also can be tied up with your little army of cap-wearing boys in your publicity story. You ought not to have any difficulty in getting this publicity story over. If you aren’t on friendly terms wjrih any reporters on your city news¬ papers, you should be, and here is an opportunity to establish a friend¬ ly footing. Only don’t try to put anything over on the reporters. Tell them the truth about it. They’ll do the rest. TIE-UP WITH YOUR STREET CARS AND JITNEYS Use some of the 11x14 window display cards that are issued with this production by the United Artists Corporation, and make a deal with the management of your street car lines so that these cards can be placed on the front of street cars. You can have some small round “I Accuse” sheets printed that the drivers of the jitney ’busses, and taxicabs can stick onto the wind¬ shields. These things will all help COMPOSITE ADVERTISING WITH YOUR MERCHANTS Get together with the merchants of your city. They are your strongest allies. You are one of them yourself; only you sell amuse¬ ment, where they sell merchandise. You should pull with them; then they’ll pull with you. How about a composite advertising page for “I Accuse”? Get in touch with the advertising manager of the newspaper you think best suited for your purpose, and get him interested in this composite page idea. Start your work by agreeing to take from 800 to 1000 lines of space yourself right in the middle of the page. Then the advertising man can get out and sell to your fellow merchants the rest of the page, and group their ads about yours. It will work to his advantage, to yours and also to the advantage of other business men who go in on the page. The title of this production—“I Accuse”—is one that lends itself especially well to advertising purposes. The clothing merchant can say: “My customers can’t accuse me of selling anything but first class goods.” “We accuse you of extravagance in buying elsewhere when you can buy cheaper here.” The druggist can say: “I Accuse you of needing. tonic, etc.” And so on right down through the list of your city’s merchants. There is an advertising appeal that can be made by nearly every busi¬ ness man in this composite page; and a live advertising man ought to be able to put over this page with ease, and even more than one page. MAKE LIBERAL USE OF WINDOW CARDS A further step in working with the merchants should be taken through a liberal use of the 11x14 window cards that are issued for this film. Get these placed in every window of every business house in town. They are handsomely gotten up, and made with the particular idea of being an added attraction to any window display of merchan¬ dise. Placed in the middle of a show window with some of the 8x10 still photographs grouped about them, these cards stand out and are bound to make the man in the street halt and look; and when he looks he sees the merchandise display just as he sees the card and the photo¬ graphs. SUGGESTIONS FOR ADVERTISING CATCH-LINES Woman’s Sacrifice Becomes Supreme In “I Accuse.” King of Belgium Calls “I Accuse” A Tremendous Picture. Poet and Soldier Battle for Love In “I Accuse.” Loved by Two Is Loyal to Both In “I Accuse.” Too Lucky in Love Human Love Wins He Breaks Three Lives Over Jealousy in In “I Accuse.” “I Accuse.” A Little Child Turns Jealous Hate Into Big-hearted Love In “I Accuse.” Her Father’s Choice For Husband Leads To Triple Tragedy In “I Accuse.” Offers His Life To Save Husband Of Woman He Loves In “I Accuse.” Threatening Death Cements Friendship In “I Accuse.”