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PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF JANUARY 31st, 1930
Texas Columnist\LAYING OUT ECONOMICAL
PLACED IN CHARGE OF ALL SHEET MUSIC AND RECORDS
Boris Morros, General Music Director of Publix, has an‘nounced the appointment of J. Scott Middleton as head of the
Sheet Music and Record Sales ment. For ten years with the S. with building up, exploiting and managing music departments of Kresge stores in Chicago and many other cities, Mr. Middleton brings to Publix an unusually detailed knowledge of the many angles and aspects of retail music selling. Following his Kresge connection, Mr. Middleton managed several independent music and record shops in various cities, and then came to New York and associated himself with Piantadosi Bros., music publishers. As representative of the Piantadosis, who have long been prominent in pu bl ishing circles, he travelled over all of New York State and Eastern PennsylL J. C. Middleton vania, aggressively furthering the Piantadosi interests. Thus Mr. Middleton possesses a background which provides him ‘with experience in every angle of the music game, selling, buying, and exploiting. Eliminate Details One of the first things Mr. Morros and Mr. Middleton: have in mind, in reorganizing the mu
sic sales department as an inte-|.
gral division of the music department, to which it has just been attached, is the elimination of as much detail as possible. Simpli_ fication of the relationship between theatre manager and the music sales division will, they believe, assure heartier cooperation on the part of the manager, which will in turn be reflected in increased sales.
Bookkeeping work in the individual theatre will be reduced to a simplified weekly report. Theatres will order music, records and books on a duplicate form which Mr. Middleton has devised, retaining one copy and sending one to his office. Shipments of sheet amusic, records and books will thenceforth be made direct from ‘tthe New York warehouse only, speeding up deliveries materially <and relieving the district ware“houses of the detail with which they have been burdened in this econnection.
Among the services to be inau:gurated by the music sales division is a list of the ten best sellers in. sheet music, sent to each theatre weekly. This will represent a consensus of returns from all available sources.
Mr. Middleton will review new pictures as they are released, and immediately send bulletins on the music to the field, giving his opinjon of the possibilities of the songs included before they have an opportunity to make or miss the best-seller list. Theatres which play pictures close to release dates will thus have an indication of the relative sales-value of the various songs in each feature, and can order accordingly, instead of stocking up with an
equal number of copies of each number, only to have some remain unsold. Catalog Planned
A catalog of Publix records is planned, attractively printed so that it may
e in the theatres. . For , Mr. Morros is”
be wrapped with pur-|
Division of the music depart
S. Kresge Company, charged
ing for the unit managers to cor-|
respond with theatre managers two weeks in advance, all along the route, advising them of the songs featured in the stage presentations and of their relative importance.
As music booths are installed in theatres, Mr. Middleton will inaugurate the policy of placing aggressive salesmen in charge of them. Emphasis will be laid on salesmanship, and a_ thorough course in the proper methods of approach and approved precepts of selling will be given to the man in charge as each booth is installed.
“It is just as easy,” said Mr. Middleton, ‘‘to sell a patron three pieces of sheet music for one dollar as it is to ‘sell one copy for thirty-five cents. The customer should be allowed to select or specify a choice for the first copy. Skillful suggestion and display will quickly add a second to the parcel, and the query, ‘Wouldn’t you like to take three songs? They are thirty five cents each, but three for a dollar’ will usually add a third.’’
New Booth Designed
In conjunction witth Frank Cambria, Mr. Middleton is working on a modification of the model music booth which has been installed in the Brooklyn Paramount, which will retain the attractive features of the original, but can be manufactured at less cost, and which will give equal prominence to displays of records, books and sheet music.
Advice on songs in pictures, together with .music exploitation tips, will be furnished to the advertising department by Mr. Middleton’s office, for use in picture and stage show manuals. Assisting Mr. Middleton, Josef Zimanitch of the Musical Novelties Division of the Music Depart
Won by Publix. Unit Girls
Here is where a critic was made “to eat what he said.” Jack Beall, Jr., Texas’ newest critic, writing a crisp, wise cracking column in the Dallas Times Herald said the Dave Gould Girls appearing at the Palace “Radio Romance” unit were clever but too fat, in fact down right beefy.
Pronto, the girls wrote a sweet little letter and congratulated him on his review, admitting their fat and moreover proud of it. invited him to come to lunch with them and see how they got that way. He got gallant and reversed the invitation and the picture in the local paper shows him with all 12 of the gals and they had a grand time and razzed Jack plenty because he is no geranium when it comes to being fat.
The gag netted the girls a column and a half and a picture the
‘following day and caused a near
riot in the Junior League lunch room where all the sophisticates in Dallas dine and are attended by the debutantes and young society matrons who serve as waitresses.
Publix Acquires Strand Theatre in Providence, R. I.
Publix continues its vigorous expansion policy with the acquisition of the Strand Theatre in Providence, R. I.,; a 2100 seat house equipped for sound and operating on a_ straight sound policy.
In addition two theatres each of approximately 1500 seats are being erected for Publix in Hamilton, Ohio, and in Middleton, Ohio.
RUBEN ON TOUR
Division Director E. R. Ruben is making a tour of his theatres in the Northwest. Temporary headquarters for the few weeks of his
sojourn are in Minneapolis, Minn. SOJOU SS —————————————————————
‘ment has been temporarily as
signed by Mr. Morros to the Musical Sales Division. He is now in Florida, supervising the installation of music booths in Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa and St. Petersburg, and will also visit Montgomery as he returns.
THEATRE SERVICE SET-UP”
by CHESTER L. STODDARD
Director, Department of Front House Operation
Two factors are involved in determining the number of em— ployees needed in a service organization: business pressure and —
the physical layout of the The business pressure
that are needed on the floor during & This is determined by a study of the cashiers’ hourly ticket sales over a period of several weeks.
obtained by averaging the ticket sales for each hour of each day of the week over a period of six or eight consecutive weeks. This gives a definite picture of the average business
each hour of each day.
By taking into consideration the average length of the show and the relation of the hourly sales to the capacity of the house, we get the average peak and slow periods of fill, which make it possible to determine the number of men needed for coverage afternoon and evening of each day. Generally, particularly outside of our large, metropolitan centers, matinee business is such that it requires very light coverage. Evening business on week days increases and requires additional coverage from men who work evenings only. Saturday and Sunday business in most locations, being the heaviest days of the week, require men in addition to the regular staff for just the Saturday and Sunday coverage.
This point is touched upon simply because it has a direct bearing in assisting the manager to lay out the cost of his usher staff on an absolutely sound and economical basis. The above thoughts must not be construed as an elaborate basis for procedure in small type operations. The reverse is true. The business and physical layout problems in the small operation makes this procedure unnecessary.
In the case of operations not using cashiers’ hourly reports, the number of employees is determined by a study of the approx
imate heavy and slow business!
periods from observation. _
The number of ushers needed in relation to the physical layout of the house is determined by a study of the positions necessary
FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS FILES
This is the center double page spread of a Christmas magazine, trons by Earl H. Payne, manager of t Christmas. Each page was devoted to coming at. Every day during the month, lucky numbers were
flashed on the screen
merchants’ ads helped to defray expenses of publication. —
Che Kentucky Theatre
THE DARLING OF THE BOULEV ARDS — The One and Only
“Dec. 7, 8, 9, 10. In With NATURAL COLORS Gorgeous Girls—Tantalizing Music!
She Talks, Sings ~ Dances—and Loves!
: ‘ : =a
A Gorgeous, Dazzling Riot of Colors and Songs!
Twenty million people attend Publix Theatres weekly.
These show-wise theatregoers know where consistently good
entertainment is to be founch They expect the best and get it.
December \Is Big Picture Month SHOP AND MAIL BY DECEMBER 15th
As You Won't Dare Miss Any Of The Great Attractions We Have Arranged For The Holidays
It’s a WOW I Fun-Musical Revel
Hear the song hits! See tha new dances! Love with Nancy Carroll. Hear the “‘Boop-Boopa-Doop” girl, Helen Kane, coo to Jack Oakei. It's a whoopee special. Girls! Music! Fun!
20,000,000 People Can't Be Wrong
of superior entertainment.
containing sixteen pages, issued to pahe Publix Kentucky in Lexington,
to increase attendance during
tractions and every souvenir magazine contained a number.
and posted in the lobby. A few
Che. Kentucky Theatre
_ REXINGTGN, Ky.
“THE PERSONALITY KID” He Is In The Movies Now! Eddie Buzzell in Geo. M. Cohans great Laughing, Singing, Race Horse Story G
NOTE: See Page 16 : e"Free Tickets to the Kentucky
* The Kentueky and State Theatres are the atest link in
the great chain of showplaces displaying the Publix emblem
house. g determines the number of employees — various periods of the day. —
to be covered, such as ticket-tak
Most accurate results are ©
er, lobbyman (if any) outside and inside aislemen on the main floor ©
(determined by the number of © :
aisles), tunnel men in the balcony
(determined by the layout of cross — aisles and vertical aisles), direc—
tors in the foyers (determined by © the accessibility of seats from — foyers); and chief ushers (deter—
mined by the size of the staff).
Repeating the above in a more
logical order, the procedure to be 4 followed in determining the num
ber of persons necessary to cover
a house is—first, cover every post —
that is necessary to be covered —
during capacity business. This will 7 give the number of men necessary — for coverage on your peak busi—
ness, bearing in mind that in many cases an usher may be
able to cover two or more posts, ~ business conditions. E
Then break this total number q into groups or shifts to be brought — on the floor so that the necessary ~
posts are covered at the opening, ~
and this coverage is increased and — decreased as business increases © and decreases during the day. In © the interest of economy and ef| ficiency, bare patrol coverage only | is necessary after the close of the — box-office. a
In laying out shift schedules, care must be exercised to use the — minimum number of men at all” periods of the day to achieve the maximum results in efficiency of — operation. In a word, there ar Q three points to be borne very def initely in mind in laying out the ™ set up for a service organization; ©
they are: efficiency, economy and
quality. This means economy in cost and number of manpower; — efficiency in results; and quality of contact. a
After the number of persons © necessary for house coverage is fixed, next comes the determina—
tion of the procedure to be fol
lowed in moving people into and — out of the house. ‘This necessi-— tates a proper procedure in the distribution of fill. The reason 4 for an evenly distributed fill is sothat the spill is distributed over as great an area as possible. This speeds the movement of patrons — exiting, and enables the refill, or movement of patrons into seats © just vacated, to be effected with
the minimum loss of time. a In operations where we have © large lobbies, such as our deluxe — operations, our main distribution — point is in the lobby. In opera-— tions where the patron comes” right from the ticket doors into — the main floor foyer, the main — distribution point is at the ticket doors. When I speak of main distribution point, I assume the > operation has a balcony and amain floor. 2 With the initial fill well distribu. ted, between balcony and main © floor we are able, on our refill” when people are waiting, to offer — seats both in our balcony and main — floor. But if we fill our main ~ floor up tight and then fill our balcony, it is necessary that ing main floor spill and be re-filled again before going to our balcony on the refill. As a consequence, people who are not particular as to whether they take main floor or balcony seats fill the main floor while those people who will have nothing else but main floor seats must wait. In addition to this, our sales at the box-office are cut down materially when we are unable to offer seats in all parts of the house during peak periods, by virtue of our having limited ou
| sales scope..