Publix Opinion (Jan 3, 1930)

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8 COURTESY IDEA ~ WOULD BUILD x BOX-OFFICE * On your opening date of some coming attraction, how about permitting the mayor, the chief of Police, the chief of the fire department, the postmaster, and the sheriff, and also the editors of each paper, to send a pair of tickets to the opening, to the editors, sheriffs, postmasters, etc., in communities within a fifty-mile radius. You send out the letters of invitation and get their permission to sign them. Then send a story to the newspapers in each of those towns, saying that “the sheriff, editor, postmaster, etal of this burg are going to Bigburg Monday night as guests of the editors, sheriff, etal of Bigburg, to see Gary Cooper in ‘Seven Days Leave’? when it has its world premiere. “Following the show these loeal citizens will gather in an aftertheatre dinner-dance to be held in _ the main dining room of the Hotel (?) Bigburg.”’ Get the hotel to throw the party. They’ll be glad to do it for the publicity and profit a big crowd will get for them. Song Available The song, ‘“‘Anything To Please The Queen” from “The Love Parade” is now available in sheet music form. This song was not previously listed as being in this production. Football Contest Props Box Office Manager J. C. King of the Paramount Theatre, Marion, Ind., was another smart showman to follow PUBLIX OPINION’S tip on harnessing the football opposition to his box office. Manager King arranged a contest with the local paper whereby passes were awarded to those who picked eight out of ten winning football teams every Saturday. The stunt got him reams of space in the paper | daily, including boxes on the front page, and served as an effective means of boosting his show. _ Another neat stunt pulled by Manager King was to have the following copy super-imposed in heavy red bold faced letters on the front page of the paper: Local Screen Star, Miriam Seegar, in “THE LOVE DOCTOR” eco-starring with Richard Dix. Special Pre--Showing To-night, 10:45 p. m. Regular Admission Prices. This is a good stunt for all managers to pull when stars of the pictures they play happen to be local personalities. — PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF JANUARY 3rp, 1930 ANOTHER GOOD CIRCULATION TIE-UP! With the tear sheet below came a letter containing the following paragraph. “The idea came from OUR PAPER. ...Thanks to you for this helpful idea during the month of all months!” The stunt was pulled by E. E. Whitaker, city manager in charge of the Montgomery Theatre, Spartanburg, S. C. Beauty of it all is that the newspaper grabbed the idea and found the results so gratifying that it is looking forward to repeating the tie-up in six months. Of course the paper bought the theatre tickets at regular rates. | Fall pes ore wae Morwing ¥ ft? Pa pers “GOLD NUGGETS” FREE | Essay on “Shrew” Is_ From Manager F. C. Croson of the Fremont Theatre, in Fremont, Nebraska, comes an _ interesting give-away which was handed to people in the streets of Fremont in advance of “Gold Diggers of Broadway.’’ At a cost of $9.00 per thousand Manager Croson procured ordinary pieces of white rock of the sort used by roadbuilders, dipped in bronze paint to make realistic nuggets, and wired to a tag bearing the following copy: “‘This is not pure gold—but if you want all the inside dope as to how a gold-digger operates see ‘The Gold Diggers of Broadway,’ etc.” The reverse side of the tag bore an attractive ad cut and more copy on the picture. = Required In Schools A form letter, sent to English instructors of the junior and high schools of Pawtucket, R. I. by Joseph Borenstein, manager of the Publix Imperial, greatly aided box office receipts for ‘‘The Taming of the Shrew.” The text of the letter dealt with the educational value of Shakespeare’s comedy, and the ease with which it could be learned, in the form of this all-talking picture. Tickets were enclosed, to be used by the teacher and a few bright pupils. The idea was so effective, that the English instructors required essays on the play, thus giving rise to increased patronage on the part of the students. lite Hey Folks! burg Journal wet to let Charl tain you FREE! Y "any money from agree! day a all. ‘Then m lay peric the coupon to the Circula° This Is““Buddy’’ Rogers Talking to You. I'm Inviting You to See My Latest Paramount All Talking Picture FREE As Guests of The Herald and Journal! Thé Name of It Is “Half Way to Heaven” and My New Girl Friend Is Jean Arthur It Plays Thurs. Fri. and Sat. at The Montgomery Now Here’s How to See It Absolutely FREE! ‘There are still a few people in Spartanburg who do not subscribe to-elter The Herald . or The Journal and there are others who are now taking one paper whe would like to have the other. Come on now, Let’s go to see “Buddy” and his new girl friend, FREE. ‘And by the way, you don’t have to live right in Spartanburg to get in on this! If you live in a nearby town and want to see “Buddy” FREE; Okey with ur. All Set? Alright--See You AT THE MONTGOMERY HAVE THIS FILLED OUT AND BRING IT TO THE SPARTANBURG JOURNAL FOR 2 TICKETS Essay Contest Sells Will Rogers Picture An essay contest on “They Had to See Paris” was effected by manager C. T. Chapin of the PublixRiviera Theatre, Knoxville, Tenn. Two newspapers in town cooperated. Prizes of $15 in gold were given to those who submit ted the best essays on scenes in| Paris, or a typical Will Rogers telegram written as if from Knoxville to a paper in Paris. newspapers made sure that plenty of space was given to the contest, the picture name, and the theatre. The HAVE THIS FILLED OUT AND BRING IT-TO THE SPARTANBURG HERALD FOR 3 TICKETS 1 hereby subscribe to THE SPARTANBURG for a period of 90 days, and agree to pay the carrier boy the regular subscription price of 20c per week on his regular collection day. jot at present a subscriber to D nor is this subscription to take the place of one now in force, under another name, Tam x PROMOTIONS L. H. Grandjean, formerly manager of the Old ‘Mill, Dallas, assumed the City Managership of Shreveport, Ia. Raymond B. Jones, former manager of the Metropolitan, Houston, has been transferred to the Saenger Theatre, New Orleans as publicity director. Edward Harrison, formerly assistant manager at the Paramount, Springfield, has assumed Management of the Broadway, in the same city. E. A. Crane has been appointed Manager of the Florida Theatre, Daytona. BANDLEADER WELCOMED HOME! Manager S. Dannenberg, of the Toledo Paramount Th that set the whole town agog. appropriate placards, seven new Packard cars bannered to r Spor, popular theatre bandleader, with eatre arranged a WELCOME HOME party for Paul An American Legion band, the service staff ead, “The Prince of Cars Welcomes The Re turn of The Prince of Pep,” were some of the outstanding features of the welcome. After meeting Spor at the train, the parade formed and marched through the streets with the popular bandleader in one of the cars carrying the entire Velv _ that people were heard remarking that President Hoove much greater ovation. Partially as a result of this, the et Revue Company. So much of a hullabaloo resulted r, on his way to the Edison Jubilee, didn’t receive a house record was broken on “The Virginian.” al = = = DANGER SIGNAL A harmful practice has developed from a stunt, which in its original form was sound enough. _ This practice has to do with those theatres that are willing to trade matinee tickets for newspaper display-space. The display space thus obtained is usually used exclusively by the theatre to advertise a specific coming attraction or event. ‘The newspaper uses the tickets, which in turn they advertise in a separate series of ads, as premiums to readers. The tickets are given to readers who get a new subscriber to the newspaper. Thus at no cost in money, an attraction gets a powerful ad campaign. 5 The destructive element enters into it if, in the copy used by the newspaper to advertise distribution of the tickets, the dominant message is about “Free Tickets” and if the theatre has not received its proper return in space. However, if the newspaper advertises that “it has purchased a quantity of tickets for the best show in town, and will give a pair to each reader who turns in a new subscription,” the idea is correct, and a good, mutual-benefit promotional stunt has thus been accomplished. This, of course, provided that the tickets are given for performances that would not otherwise have been sold out. The idea in its correct form has been current with filmtheatres for at least fifteen years, and prior to that was successfully used by circuses. Where showmen knew all phases of the idea, and used it carefully, it sold many tickets thru the extra advertising that was obtained at no extra cost. The destructive practice develops from careless, or thoughtless showmen launching the idea without assuring themselves that it is completely operative to the benefit of the theatre as well as to the newspaper. Some Publix theatres have merely given the newspaper $100-worth of tickets and not only have neglected to get an equal amount of display space for the exclusive use of the theatre, but they have permitted the newspaper to give away the tickets and advertise them as “free” tickets, instead of saying that the newspaper bought these tickets because it wanted readers to see the best show in town. It is always. destructive and dangerous to advertise “free” tickets. One theatre manager gave a newspaper $200 worth of tickets, and the newspaper carried a full page ad, the dominant text of which called attention to “free tickets,” and offered them to readers who turned in a new subscription to the paper. Thus the theatre not only failed to get any benefit from the transaction, but also suffered the destructive effect that wide-publicity of the “free tickets” produces. The newspaper got 100% benefit, and the theatre got nothing but damage. The theatre manager explained he had built “good will” with the newspaper. Of course he was wrong, because if he had continued that practice, he would have ruined his theatre and left nothing for the newspaper to demonstrate “good will” towards. Also, if he was building good will, he should have permitted the newspaper to demonstrate some of it too. ; As a matter of Publix policy, this particular idea should never be used without specific permission from proper authority, and only after all of its elements have been discussed and mutually agreed upon. No individual has the right to dispose of company merchandise in any other manner than by prescribed methods of sale thru the box office window. Exceptions, if any, to this rule must be approved; by Division Directors, who in turn check up to assure equitable return to the company. When the idea is used, certainly the theatre should get a free full page ad devoted exclusively to the attraction, as well as supervision of the newspapers’ circulation-promotion-copy, in order to be assured that ttiere will be no dominance of the “free ticket” idea, and, that the newspaper says in its own ad that it “has purchased several hundred “guest” tickets for the sensational attraction “The Vagabond King,’ which will be used for the benefit of readers who turn in new subscriptions.” If the newspaper is not willing’ to do it this way, it is best for the theatre not to participate in the idea. al ANNA xX sca