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Lobby Drama tor Patrons
If you’d like a bit of drama staged in your lobby—and a plug for the film at the same time, read on. Partition a small portion of the lobby with serim. Behind this curtain is the figure of a doctor bending over a man. Lights should be so arranged that lobby-lookers just see silhouette figures. Dialogue between the two characters (they could be ushers) goes something like this:
PATIENT: But you will operate, see? You'll do it—or else. DOCTOR: But you’re a gangster. It isn’t legal to treat you.
PATIENT: Now get this. If you don’t operate on me without squawking you'll be
pushing up daisies.
At this point, all lights go out behind scrim and P.A. system breaks in with catchlines from the ads, film’s title and playdates. This little drama should be repeated every half hour or so—giving you a new audience each time. Stunt looks elaborate and costly, but just figure it out, and you’ll see how really inexpensive it’ll be.
PATRON TOUCHES VAULT FRONT—IT FLASHES PLUG
If your artist and electrician are clever, maybe they can make up a fake vault front like this. Trick is to have center transparent, lighting from behind when somebody touches it. Lighting throws your plug on vault, as illustrated and the folks’ll wonder how it’s done.
FAKE MURDER BACKSTAGE PAVES WAY FOR TRAILER
For an advance theatre stunt, we recommend: Just before trailer goes on, audience hears a few shots and woman’s scream from backstage. Then you turn on house lights, rush out on stage, shouting ‘“‘Is Dr. Socrates in the house? Dr.
Socrates Blackout — and trailer goes on.
DR. SOCRATES ‘KILLED’ ON STAGE BY GANGSTER
Here’s another stunt for a trailer prologue. Before showing trailer, come out on stage and introduee ‘‘Dr. Socrates’’ to the audience. The ‘‘doctor’’ starts talking about his experience with gangsters. Then he says ‘‘And now I’m going to reveal the identity of the men who robbed the State Bank last week.’’ At this point a plant in the balcony fires a blank shot, the house lights go off, and the trailer flashes on.
MURDER STUNT WORKS OVER THE RADIO, TOO
Idea of having ‘Dr. Socrates’ about to reveal identity of crooks and then being shot can work over air, too. He starts speaking, a shot is heard, and announcer breaks in with spiel on your show. Not taking stunt too seriously will take the curse off it. Hokey—but it’s a good flash!
BREAK INTO BROADCASTS WITH SHORT TEASER PLUG
If you’ve got an ‘in’ with radio officials, they might let you break into news broadeasts and
sustaining programs with ‘‘ Dr. Socrates has been
kidnaped by gangsters. For further details, see
the dramatic film ‘‘ Dr. Socrates’’ at the ..............
Theatre.’’ If you can’t promote the time, you
can probably buy it—inexpensively.
OFFICIALS SEE FILM, PLAN ANTI-CRIME WAR
Invite mayor and police chief to preview of film. Then try to persuade ’em that town needs cleaning up. Anti-crime campaigns hit every town at least once a year, and if you can sponsor it with picture, so much the better. Below is a publicity story you might use when police head and hizzoner decide (after seeing ‘Dr. Soerates’) that they'll clean up the town:
City Solons Commence Racket War After Seeing ‘Dr. Socrates’
There is going to be a sudden exodus of racketeers and known criminals from (name of city) within the
next few days, according to Mayor. ...:.:......065. stusiersslemeees fe who yesterday held a long conference with Chief of LEDC TESS sre ag ge a ee ME on the subject of ridding the community of its human vermin.
And, also according to Mayor ...........00..00.. , those
who remain and those who flee may both give a measure of thanks to Paul Muni the actor, and Warner Bros., the producers, for some very helpful lessons in crook chasing.
ME VOTES ee See BNO Chieti eat were guests of Manager -.:.02.2.ci alk OS dies 9 t (heals aie ee Theatre at a special showing of the Warner Bros. picture ‘‘Dr. Socrates,’’ in which Paul Muni who portrays
‘the role of a physician who becomes mixed up with a
gang of desperadoes, will open on .............cccccccce
W. R. Burnett, famous author of ‘‘Little Caesar’’ and ‘‘Dark Hazard,’’ wrote ‘‘Dr. Socrates’’ out of his profound knowledge of life both in the upper and underworlds.
of lhave:.askéd sChiet tec to check any racketeering activities in this community,’’ His Honor declared after leaving the .........0;....0000000. Theatre. ‘‘The
chief lesson of ‘Dr. Socrates’ is that it’s best to get rid of crooks before they get decent people into trouble.
WV ieeaniee ea (city) won’t wait for them to get active here. We’ll get rid of them as soon as they come in; Chiék =: nee agrees with me that this city
is to be no haven for undersirables. If they hit this town they’ll go out or go to jail.’’
STILLS SHOW HOW DOCS CHANGED CROOKS’ FACES
If you have access to paper’s morgue, you'll be able to get an interesting set of pictures showing what doctors have been forced to do at the point of a gun. Several notorious gangsters have had fingerprints and faces so altered that they couldn’t be recognized. Stills before and after operations would work into interesting lobby display, no?
Tell Drs. About
‘DOCTOR’ CARRIES PLUG
Dress up your usher like this in a doctor’s white uniform and let him wauder through town with his little black satchel. Another angle, if drug store wants to promote something, is to have him hand out samples packed in paper imprint
ed with your playdate.
USHER DOES CHEMISTRY STUNTS AS LOBBY GAG
For a lobby stunt, why not try a display of doctors’ equipment, with caption ‘‘See what doctors have done to stamp out crime.’’ Usher ean do a few chemical tricks for the folks, telling ’em that they’re used to detect criminals. For one, take a newly washed handkerchief and sprinkle it with a few drops of starch. After it dries, let usher explain that by dipping it in a very weak iodine solution, blood that was once on the handkerchief will be brought out. Iodine turns the splotches of starch bright blue... Another gag is to buy phenolphthalein solution and put a few drops in a pitcher of water. Usher pours in any colorless alkali, and the liquid turns bright red. If you’re interested, you’ll be able to get another couple of dozen gags from your druggist.
‘G-MEN’ FILM STILLS FOR LOBBY CONTEST
No need telling you how popular ‘G-Men’ films have been in the past year. An attractive lobby contest could be arranged by making a display of stills from the whole flock of the ‘GMen’ pictures — offering ducats to those identifying films the stills are from.
SIGNS ‘ROUND TOWN
Signs like this could be tacked all over town. Giving various’ health
hints, they’d plug
your show at the same time. Think folks would notice *em? Local printer can make ’em up for you.
Nothing epoch-making or startling in this list; they’re all good, sound ideas, most of them already tried by heads-up showmen. We pass ’em on to you—so that in the big-show bustle you don’t slip up on anything you’d ordinarily do.
1 Invite Commissioner of Health and other prominent physicians.
2. Call up doctors and nurses or send cards telling ’em all about the show.
3. Post copy on medical society bulletin board. And maybe some doctor friend over there’ll talk up your show for you.
4. Promote first-aid booth for lobby, with attendant giving information on what
to do in emergencies.
5. Display doctor’s bag in lobby with caption: ‘‘He fought gangsters with ma
chine-guns, armed only with a doctor’s bag.