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— High Pressure Showmanship
(Continued from Page One) fer more than they would otherwise. Nothing is done to build them up.
“To overcome this situation, I am going to see to it that a weekly resumé of the activity of each de luxe theatre, is circulated among all other de luxe theatres — whether they are houses that play stage-talent, or not. With the information at hand that shows what other theatres are accomplishing, I expect an immediate improvement, and Division Directors will watch carefully to. see| that improvement occurs.
Plan in Advance
“Of course I know that manpower cannot continue forever at a breathless pace. However, it is possible to plan far enough in advance so as to be able to organize each week’s activity, with a def‘inite person assigned to specific responsibilities.
“T expect to hear immediately that the managers in charge of the Metropolitan theatre in Boston, the Toledo Paramount, the Buffalo, Denver, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Omaha, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Dallas Palace, San Antonio and New Orleans theatres are going in for better and more attractive lobby-selling, such as improvement in poster displays, and in livd lobby-talent. I want to hear of ticket-salesmanship for average feature pictures that actually resulted in building up grosses. want to see the improvement in program-plotting that thoughtful attention to proper use of ‘‘shorts’’ or special added attractions, can produce. :
“There is a wealth of information, advice, and help available to the manager of every Publix theatre. If proper advantage is not ‘taken of this opportunity, it is the fault of the theatre manager. His program should be completely plotted a month in advance, and then carefully checked up to see whether it contains all of the drawing-power that it should. Then its selling-angles should be carefully studied, and every effort made to see that the entire community is excited by the feeling that they cannot afford to miss that show. When I point this out, I mean that it is to be a regular weekly procedure—not a phenomenal splurge one week, and a period of slumber for the next two.
“T have taken it as a special duty to personally check into the activities of each of these de luxe houses, every week, and I intend to continue it, because I know that when these operations get on an organized basis of steadily applied pressure, the public will quickly take it for granted that the best show in town is there. Patronage will come as a matter of weekly, and intensely interested habit, regardless of what the feature picture happens to be. This steadily applied pressure accounts for the success of the de luxe theatres in Greater New York, Chicago, and Detroit, and it will account for it elsewhere if we apply it properly.
“T want every de luxe theatre
-. to send a weekly letter to PUBLIX
OPINION, telling of plans and activities, so that the information may be quickly available to every other theatre. I want these letters to start at once, and to continue regularly, regardless of whether they are printed or not.”
Newspaper Goes for | Snowballing Party
Houston, Texas, had its first snow in five years a few days ago, so the theatre staff took the entire stage show out into the street for a snowballing party and broke into every newspaper in town with unusual publicity pictures.
PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF JANUARY 10rx, 1930
BENEFITING IN A BIG WAY!
Great big benefit shows for the poor of Chicago—and lots of the benefit in publicity for the theatre. This
is the Publix-Balaban and Katz tie-up with the Chicago Herald and Examiner—and below are reproductions , of four free ads appearing in the newspaper four different days. If this can be a yearly feature in Chicago, no reason why it cannot be duplicated. Plan it now for 1930!
\: tighter Hpenenrts 7. the needy! ) fsa Noles Ly
ISTMAS BASKET FUND
‘Vagabond King’ Campaign 1s Launched
(Continued from Page One) selling advance effort the Paramount organization is putting forth in behalf of ‘““The Vagabond King’, Publix is going ahead with its own plans in addition to every help that Paramount supplies.
“The Vagabond King” is scheduled to open on February 10th in Palm Beach, Florida, and at the New York Criterion. Two weeks later the key cities in’ Publix will get the picture. : ’ Before that date, however, every Publix theatre will have been displaying for several weeks at least one lobby poster on ‘The Vagabond King’’, as well as a special locally made one-frame screen trailer.
At the suggeston of Mr. Katz, the famous Publix radio salute, whereby all of the local radio sta
‘tions in each city are induced to make tie-ups, will be carried thru. !
This will give the benefit of nearly two hundred local radio stations to the sales-pressure behind ‘‘The Vagabond King’’. Back numbers of PUBLIX OPINION (Vol. II, Numbers 12, 13, and 38) outline the method.
In order to more than make good on the desire of Mr. Katz to show Publix’ appreciation of Paramount, a slogan that is going the rounds in every Publix city today is, ‘““We’re going to make ‘The Vagabond King’ the best advertised attraction that ever came into this territory’’.
Besides the radio tie-up, careful advance study of still-photos will assure a great many tie-ups on merchant display advertising in newspapers as well as merchants’ windows.
Many Music Aids
The Publix Music Department, under the direction of Boris Morros, has already launched its fourfold campaign. The first of these is to provide for advance use, a “Vagabond King’’ screen overture; others include a ‘‘Vagabond King” organ solo novelty, a “Vagabond King’’ stage band number, and ‘‘Vagabond King” sheet-music and record sales help. Appropriate advance announce
cotertainment of every kind! Come to this mammoth Mids
: ALT HEAT
The names of students at the manager’s school who had been assigned to their posts before the end of the course, and whose designations therefore were not published last week, appear in the following.
Harold Greenberg—Home Office Booking Department. Cc. Galloway—Paramount Theatre, Brooklyn. Albert E. Palmer—Paramount Theatre, Brooklyn. Dixon Williams—Florida Theatre, St. Petersburg, Fla. Peter J. Levine—Olympia Theatre, New Bedford, Mass.
DUDUDVOELAAVEDDDRLADA DEES ETE
ments for each will be made locally.
With all of these fine efforts actually in progressive work to
day, everybody in Publix is con
fident that the expectations of Mr. Katz will be more than fulfilled, when he presents to Messrs. Zukor, Lasky and Kent, a tabulation of unbeatable gross records for every one of the four hundred cities. in Publixdom.
Holman Explains Missing Scenes From Trailers
A number of Publix theatre managers have written in to PUBLIX OPINION asking why it is that after they have displayed an advance trailer showing scenes from a coming attraction, these scenes fail to appear in the print.
Russell Holman, Advertising Manager for Paramount, advises PUBLIX OPINION thati this is becausa the trailers, to be of service at all, have to be prepared far in advance of the release date of the feature. After the trailers are released, elisions are frequently made from the picture, following previews and test runs.
Biggest Pass for the Biggest Picture
From Pittsburgh comes. the story of a manager who handed out press passes for ‘‘Show of Shows’? which were printed in poster type on sheets measuring 29 x 15 inches. They were inscribed ‘‘The biggest pass for the biggest picture.” : wae
directors and radio artists. tunes broadcast as a ‘“‘salute’”’
tres in February.
12 and 38.
BOX-OFFICE SALUTE! !!
Mr. Katz wants a localized ‘‘national radio salute’’ for ‘‘The
We've done it successfully on several occasions for various reasons—none of which offered the profit-possibilities, or the satisfaction that will come from wrecking records with Paramount’s greatest record-wrecker.
Effort could be made to contact all local radio performers, and get them to broadcast nightly or whenever possible, from now until March, the hit-songs of “The Vagabond King,” dedicating each broadcast to the stars of the film or to the local theatre where the picture will soon play.
More than 25,000 Publix showmen, scattered throughout nearly 400 principal cities in the United States, ought to make considerable headway in requesting and getting the several hundred local radio performers to plug the two hit-songs. Thousands of advance radio “plugs”? daily, from now until the picture opens, should be felt at Publix box offices. everybody in Publix knows a few local radio station programThe principal effort is to get the ‘to Dennis King, and Jeanette MacDonald, stars of the film, who will be seen in Publix thea
‘Complete information on arranging local radio salutes may be found in the back issues of PUBLIX OPINION. Refer to your bound volume, or files. The “dope” is in Vol. IT, numbers
RECORDS CRASH. IN LAST WEEK OF OLD YEAR
(Continued from Page One) 4 $88,500, with ‘The Letter’’ and _ Vallee. :
Starting at 9 A. M. the day
preceding New Year’s Day and — ending at 7 A. M. New Year's — Day with George Bancroft in_ “The Mighty” with only 2000. seats grossed $12,421. Every _ record for the week was broken with a $77,200. gross as against | the previous house record of | $55,000. In all, Manager John Wright, announces, records for comparative daily business were — smashed for the entire week. _ CRITERION i Sixth week of “Love Pa-_ rade” broke daily records three — times during week, and house record for any week in house history. BROOKLYN-PARAMOUNT — ‘“Pointed Heels,” Rudy Vallee show and Gene Dennis broke — net profit and paid-admission — records with $73,000, as against $68,000 several weeks before. Broke midnight show records—_ Managing Director Bob Weit-_ man also announced that the previous New Year’s Eve re-_ ceipts were exceeded by $4,700. ; RIALTO ? Manager Steve Barutio and _ his staff had previously wrecked | all possible records with a former attraction. On the_ second week of record business _ with “The Virginian,” he found that tying his records was a big job. By raising to the $1.50 admission price, however, he got $11,500 on New Year’s Eve, and — turned in $48,000 for the second week of the attraction. E All of these shattered records were due to several influences, the — greatest of which was the advance planning and spirit of every member of each house staff. -Com-— petition, of course, was at its peak point, and good weather prevailed for everyone. “Spills” Provided % In every case, however, sched© ules were arranged so as to get —
‘spills’ at needed hours; ushers —
were constantly alert selling single-seats; every space that” could hold an extra chair, was covered by one. Hach theatre in© creased its seating capacity anywhere from fifty to 100 chairs, which multiplied into a most sat isfactory box office figure. : Extra shows were jammed into
the daily schedules, and especial ‘care was taken for added police ©
and fire protection, with both po—
lice and firemen carefully enthused ‘so as to obtain their utmost co‘operation.
Managing Director E. T. Leaper, explaining the phenomenal business at the New York Paramount, © paid a pretty compliment to Divi sion Director Feld, who had ar ranged a 60 minute feature pic
|ture, a 40 minute stage show, and
a number of ‘“‘shorts’’ that made “Spills’’ frequent, and provided for an ideal program-plot. Check Turn-Aways
“By bringing the first feature on at 6:22 p. m., on New Year’s eve, “‘spills’? followed in a manner as to get nearly all of the business that otherwisé would have been turned away,’ said Mr. Leaper “At 7:30 p. m., the admission price was raised to $1.50, and the surging: Broadway crowds paid it without a murmur. Profiting by last year’s experience, when nearly $3,000 got away from us, due to a7 p.m. feature and a 2 hour and 27 minute show, we planned our program accordingly. For two weeks in advance, we had been exploiting our SCHEDULE and not | our program—selling the idea of — four big shows after 6 p. m. and ~ giving each one a definite starting — time, and a name.” a At the Rivoli, Manager Wright — and Assistant Manager J. P. Joneck, Charles Oelrich and Chief — Usher Aaron Bergsen wound up a — hectic week of record-smashing that is likely to make history for all time at the Rivoli. This theatre © did not raise its prices above regular holiday schedule, but even so, turned in phenomenal figures. :