The Great Dictator (United Artists) (1940)

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Get Youngsters and Oldsters Doing it! It’s fun to be sold on a Chaplin picture—especially when you’re sold through the pleasant route of a Chaplin impersonation fad. So revive in your town the Charlie Chaplin imitating craze that has swept the nation periodically ever since Charlie became a world-famous comedian. You’ll find a number of suggestions for doing it on these pages—and you’ll be surprised at the variety of ways in which it can be done. There’s no pleasanter way, and no surer boxoffice-boosting way, to sell your new Chaplin show than by bringing out the Chaplin mimic in all the youngsters and oldsters in town! * “CHAPLIN DOUBLES” POP CONTEST Here's an added angle to the Chaplin impersonation contest. Plug this one heavily, in as many ways as possible, because it's one of the strongest show-selling stunts on this Chaplin laugh-fest. This "doubles" contest must be run with newspaper cooperation. The cooperating newspaper should run a daily story with a coupon attached, inviting kids and grownups to vote for the local kid (say under 16) who makes the best Chaplin "double" or im¬ personator. The kid receiving the greatest number of votes (one to a coupon) is the winner and receives a prize. Select six (or more) finalists and have the final judging on the stage of your theatre in an impersonation contest to be judged by audience acclaim. Many newspapers today run a department which looks like a miniature newspaper and is exclusively for juvenile readers. If your local newspaper has such a department, it's the perfect place for planting this stunt. EVERY MAN A “GREAT DICTATOR”! 3o SPo&e SBeAind c €Aafi/in Cut out A Chaplin picture is the perfect attraction on which to use this lobby gag! Let patrons see themselves as Charlie Chaplin and have themselves photographed as Chaplin by installing a life-size cutout of Charlie in your lobby, with the head missing. Still No. Pub-57 gives you a swell subject for blowup of Chaplin as "The Great Dictator"—or if you prefer to use Charlie in the tramp costume, try Still No. 238. Spotlight the cutout in a corner of your outside lobby, hang a mirror opposite it, and invite the fans to step behind it, let their heads protrude above the Chaplin figure, and take a look at them¬ selves in Charlie's role. To heighten the stunt, provide a derby and a paper mustache for each poser. A local photographer will be glad to take snapshots for those who want them; and a layout of such pictures of prominent locals posing as Charlie Chaplin would make a swell publicity break in the local newspaper. “GREAT DICTATOR” COSTUME PARTY You'll set the town on its ear by organizing a costume affair at which guests must arrive appareled as Charlie Chaplin in "The Great Dictator" or as some other well-known dictator of fact or fiction. Work it with one of the high-standing welfare organizations in your town, which go for such parties in their fund-raising campaigns. An arrangement might be made for combination tickets to the costume ball and your opening—part of the pro¬ ceeds, of course, to go to the charity. It's the kind of affair to which local celebrities will flock, assuring you a real publicity splash in the papers and all over town. Be sure that "Great Dictator" stills, banners, etc. are very much in evidence in the advertising of the affair, as well as in the hall where it is held. Special events, such as a Charlie Chaplin flatfoot dance contest (see the series of stills on Page 2) can be held for extra fun and show-selling on your Chaplin rib-busting show. IMPERSONATE THE NEW CHARLIE, TOO Every kid, and most grownups, will impersonate Chaplin in his traditional tramp character at the drop of a hat or the donning of a derby. But you'll want them to "get" and remember Char¬ lie's new character, as the Great Dictator, too! And the best way to do it is to promote impersonations of Chaplin as Hynkel in "The Great Dictator." A brief description of the kind of role Charlie plays in this picture, or a reproduction of a still, will convey the character quickly enough—and Charlie as Hynkel has just as hilarious impersonation possibilities as the other Charlie. So get the kids and their elders to do Hynkel-Chaplin imper¬ sonations, too! A visored cap and a mustache are all the costume they'll need. "The Great Dictator" saluting, or strutting about giving orders, or making a speech, or thinking great thoughts— these are sufficient subject matter to bring out the natural mimic in everybody. Stage the impersonations as contests on your stage or in the lobby, at parties, school assemblies, boys' clubs, etc. Page Three