Publix Opinion (Jan 31, 1930)

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PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF JANUARY 3lsr, 1930 ALERT IDAHO MANAGER SHOWS SPIRIT! ‘NEVER-SAY-DIE? SHOWMANSHIP. EXEMPLIFIED One of the most outstanding examples of the sort of resourceful, alert, ‘“‘never-say-die” showmanship that has. ever come to the attention of Your Editor is contained in information received from Twin Falls, Idaho, last week. os Despite the fact that this in _ formation is contained in a four page single spaced typewritten letter, your Editor asks you to read every word im it, and see to it that your entire staff reads it in its entirety. Publix Opinion has not changed a single word of the letter, which is reproduced in the adjoining three columns, in order to be sure that the dauntless spirit and resourcefulness it displays, will permeate the entire Publix organization. : Doubtless when this letter is read by Mr. Katz and Mr. Chatkin, the showmanship of Joe Koehler, manager of the Idaho Theatre, will come in for deserved congratulations, to add to those he has already received from District Manager Harry David. Kibitzer Contest Sells Picture for Shea's A “Kibitzer’? Definition Contest tie-up with the Buffalo Times enabled the Shea’s Buffalo: Theatre to make the town so Kibitzer minded that when the picture played during anniversary week the box-office showed one of the largest grosses in its history. C. B. Taylor, Publicity Director of the theatre, was responsible. The contest ran for a full week, opening on Monday four days in advance of the showing and continuing until the following Monday. Five dollars was offered as first prize each day and five pairs of passes for the runners up. The Times played up the contest several days on page one and gave it unusual prominence throughout its duration, illustrat ing the winning Kibitzer definitions with cartoons inserted in the story. Thousands of replies were received, with the result that before the picture opened’ everybody in town was talking Kibitzer. CLUB CONVENES TO THEATRE C. T. Perrin, besides being manager of the Publix Rex, Greeley, Colo. is also a member of the loeal Kiwanis Club. He put this fact to good advantage in arranging a Thanksgiving theatre party for the other members and their wives. Inasmuch as a meeting was to be held that day, little persuasion on Perrin’s part was necessary to assure the theatre attendance of the members and their wives, at full admission price. The affair proved so enjoyable, that future theatre parties, after meetings, have been planned. Bring this social idea up at your next fraternal meeting! Paul S. White formerly man-. ager of the Strand, Muncie, has assumed the management of the Paramount, Anderson, Ind., replacing J. O’Rourke resigned. ‘also ask their friends to phone their friends. UOnGdCaanaeacaanaeaeaaaea es easggeaagagaaaaaeaaeAnaaeaaabaabaabaaEaNEaDEDNNAEAaeDaUaUNAb Ea oan oeDeanAaaaAaeaEa yea beasNOENOTND ee ne ee eT SUE Led YOU’RE RIGHT, THIS IS ONE FOR THE BOOK! = ZT MKUMUKMOHUMIKHHHKHUHUKMNMMHHONHHNaKMEMMMMHHNMNNMMNMMMMNNE SOUAUNLADUDUOUDURSDUOODUESDUEDND: TOC BENJ. H. SERKOWICH, Editor Publix Opinion ; Paramount Bldg., Times Square New York City, N. Y. Twin Falls, Idaho Dear Mr. Serkowich:— There’s a saying: “You Can’t Make A Race Horse Out Of A Jackass” but I think that here is one for the book: Saturday, Jan. 11th, at 10:02 P. M., one of our projection machines went haywire, by the cam wheel cam pin breaking off caught in star wheel inside of the intermittent froze the intermediate and | the main drive gears stripping them both and bending the shafts. At 10:05 P. M. we had Salt Lake City on the wire instructing them to ship us one of the emergency Simplex heads on the train that left there at 11:50 P. M., which would arrive in Twin Falls the next day at 11:55 A. M. We ran the balance of the show on one machine (we run until 12 midnight on Saturday) and in between reels we would stick our head out of the port The Spool.’’ ve ‘ : Everybody took things in good humor, and we finished the last show at 12:20 thing went along fine until when; we were on the last reel of show when at 2:35—-bang and the other machine broke down jamming the whole works gears, shafts, pins, wheels, and what have you. Again we got on the wire calling Salt Lake and everybody there, we finally at 3:15 A. M. raised Wm. Borack booker for this district told him our trouble at the same time requesting that he get ahold of somebody and tell them to get another Simplex head, load it in a car and head for Twin Falls. Borack said he would see what he could do and ‘phone me back. 4:15 A. M. Borack phoned that he could not raise anybody and as Mr. Harry David our Division Manager was enroute from Boise, Idaho to Salt Lake City that as soon as David arrived he would take the matter up with Mr. David. This would be too late for him to be of any service to us, as it is 400 miles to Twin Falls. On Sunday we do anywhere from $350.00 to $1295 in this house seating 526. I eould not afford to lose my Sunday business. I hung up on Mr. Borack, Here I was; 400 miles away from anywhere 2 broken machines. My chief operator was still here with me, and [ issued instructions for him to start right in tearing the two machines down, that % was going out scouting, for just then I remembered that a theatre which was located just opposite to us, which had closed down about two years ago, used when operating; two old Simplex machines. One of the managers had turned farmer and was located somewhere in the county. The other one was located in a village 8 miles from Twin Falls. So to him we went first, got him out of bed and got directions as to how to find his old partner. It was dark as h—1 and all I had was country directions (if you get what I mean). At 6:16 A. M. I located the two old machine heads up in the hay loft of an old barn. It was 5 below zero while we were driving around the country making the search. We arrived back at the theatre, at 6:30 A.M. found the operator still there working. A. M. and everythe rehearsal of the feature for the next JUST ONE DURN THING AFTER ANOTHER The machine heads were too cold to work with, so we told the operator to go home and get a couple of hours sleep and that I would do the same. At 9:00 A. M. I was back down at the theatre phoned the operator and told him to come right down, which he did and we both got to work, tearing the 2 machine heads to pieces and then assembling them into one machine, using the best out of the two parts. You can realize the condition of the two heads that had stood for 2 years in an open hay loft. At 11:55 the first head that we had ordered to to be sent from meet the train to bring it right up to the theatre, but lo and behold that it was in very bad condition with broken parts. our doors for the afternoon show. I right then understood what made the Wildcat wild! We succeeded in getting the one head assembled and mounted at 2:13 P. M. and gave the orders of ‘On With The Show’ and for 4 reels used just the one machine, and finished mounting the second head just in time to make a perfect change over on the fifth reel and am proud to report that Harvey E. Madsen my chief operator had made two perfect jobs of repairs with nothing but junk to work with, and we are also proud to state that we grossed $462.30 on the day when at 6:20 A. M. it looked very much like we would not be able to operate. Now here is the funny part of this, just a week to the day before this happened on a Saturday night at 5:50 a low bearing in our motor generator went out, causing the armature to strike the field coil and we were told that it would be impossible for us to operate Saturday night as we had only D.C. hooked up. The electricians informed us that they could not run open wires. We have been told many times, that; You Can’t Arrest The Mayor! but still they just done it in Mullins, Idaho, and for good measure arrested the Chief Of Police, The Sheriff and the whole works and not satisfied with that they sent them all to jail and the Pen. So I said to myself; It can be done, at 6:15 Madsen my operator and I started to hook up the A.C. On Saturday night our regular show starts at 6:50, but we gave them a 15 minute wait, and at 7:05 I gave the order “On with the show.” In the mean time I had my wife phone to a Norwegian machinist, showed him what I wanted done. We tore down the motor generator, and was informed that it would take 5 hours at least to cut out the old bearings, make a new one, and turn down the armature, then there would be the mounting and hooking up to follow and therefore we would not gain anything, so he would go down to his shop in the morning and do the work. I gave him five trip passes, and told him that if he had the motor generator running by 9:30 that night that I would give him 5 more trip passes and would you believe, it the d—n Norwegian collected them. We only took in $273.40 during the evening show but with the $462.30 makes a total of $735.70 that we got after we were told twice within a period of 9 days that it would be impossible to operate. “ S. L. C. arrived, we had a taxi to when we opened it up, we found Just one hour and 20 minutes before we opened COPPING GREATEST EVENT OF THE YEAR Everything in this district originates from the Twin Falls Canal Company a $25,000,000 Corporation. The stockholders are the farmers. The Annual Stockholders’ Meeting and Election is the greatest event of the year and is held in one of the theatres. The Orpheum, our opposition is the larger house seating 788 against our 526, and as a rule they get the meeting, and had it scheduled for this year, but—four days before the scheduled meeting the manager welshed, and hollered for more money, the manager of the Canal Co. phoned me inquiring if the Company could have our theatre for the meeting. I inquired as to the trouble with the Orpheum and he gave me the information as above. I did not want to show him that I was too anxious for the meeting go I stalled him off telling him that I had to take up the renting of the theatre with my home office at Salt Lake, which I would do at once, but, for him to not do anything until he heard from me. At that I did not tell him a lie for I did try to get ahold of Mr. David, but he was enroute from Idaho Falls to Boise, so at 6:30 last Friday night I called the Canal Co. Mer. and told him I was pleased to say that Mr. David, our Div. Manager Of Publix theatres thru his Secretary said to let them have the theatre for the Annual Meeting, and On Sat. A. M. when I talked to the manager again I informed him that Mr. David had said that if I had not met the emergency in the manner that I had done, that he would have been compelled to give me h—1 on his next visit here. We had the 24th Annual meeting in the theatre yesterday (Jan. 14th.) from 10 A. M. until 3:45 P. M. I had everybody on the job, ushers, doormen and Yours merrily, Joe-K; Then I sprung a surprise on them, as follows: The snow had been falling and it was 1 below zero. The farmers come from miles around and bring their families with them (when the weather is good). Knowing that due to the weather they would have the women and children behind, I made arrangements with Station K G I Q to Broadcast the proceedings of the meeting from our stage. (No! Nota dime!) with myself as the announcer. I had the announcement of the Broadcast in the morning paper, and at 6 A. M. we started to broadcast it over the station as well as over station KFXD located in Jerome Idaho at the same time asking those listening to phone their friends to tune in on either of the two stations and they would get the report of the Canal meeting. Then at 8 A. M. I phoned to a friend in each of ten small surrounding towns asking them to phone to ten of their friends to spread the news, and to This was done and we had an endless chain of phone calls on the wires. Mr. Gollings, District Manager of the Telephone Co. informed the writer today, that yesterday (1/15) was the heaviest business that his company has had since he has had charge of the district which he took over 2 years ago. Station KGIQ had the biggest audience of listeners they teaser section was inserted twice in the aes paper and once in the weeky. four pages—three devoted to mérchants’ ads and the front page, to the rules of the contest and a comprehensive narration of the pictures to play at the Austin for the following weeks. ! and repeat: ‘‘Just A Moment Folks While The Operator Changes. SMALL TOWN An effective bit of salesmanship was performed by S. L. Oakley, manager of the Publix Austin, Nacogdoches, Texas, in arranging a “Know Your Stars” contest. All of the local exclusive mer chants were solicited to pay for three special sections, which were preceded by stories on the front | page of the town paper, playing | up the contest in the form of a. campaign. This special, The section was made up of The eighteen merchants ‘whose ads appear in the section donated three prizes each, to be awarded on the stage of the Austin to the contestants guessing the stars correctly and who submit the best 250 word essay on a given gsubject. novation in Nacogdoches, it goes without saying that it is “going over big.’’ an inspiration to other small town managers. ———————— —!: = ever had since they first went on the air. Inasmuch as this is an in This contest should be 35,000 people in this district all interested in one thing, in hearing the reports of the meeting and the returns of the election, people being told and thinking of the IDAHO THEATRE, people who heard the report of the Engineer and General Man ager Of The Canal Co. preface — his report with remarks to the effect, that he wanted everybody to know ‘that the Idaho One Of The Publix Theatres had saved the day for the Canal Co. and that he was requesting a standing vote of thanks to the Publix Theatres Corp. and their local Manager, Joe-K; and that same be spread on the minutes of the meeting. 35,000 35,000 At the close of the meeting the Chairman of the Board of Directors, in his closing remarks, stated that he had attended every meeting for the 24 years, and that they (the Stockholders) had received more service at this present meeting than in all the other 23 meetings put together. ok All of this went out on the air and today more so than ever, The Idaho theatre is the most popular spot on the Twin Falls Irrigation Tract. $35 to say nice things about us. ers to the Radio Audience and you can bet the old Grey Mare that I never lost a chance to inform the listeners-in that the broadcast was. coming from; The Idaho One Of The Publix Theatre The Official Home Of Paramount Pictures. And the Canal Co. paid us We introduced all the speak In March I will have been in the business 28 years and in all that time I don’t think that I ever pulled off a better ‘GOOD WILL BUILDER.’ Now if you can make anything . out of what I have written, you are welcome to it but I would like to know if you ever heard before of a manager picking a Simplex head out of the air? As stated before this, is my first. letter to you and therefore I trust that you will excuse the length of it, which if you do, I promise not to bother you for another six months, that is unless ‘you ask me to. ‘Thanking you in advance for your kind indulgence, with kindest regards, and thinks for the nice things that you have been writing about me in your columns, in Publix Opinion, I am, Joe Koehler NOVEL CONTEST Ba IS SENSATION IN. |