Publix Opinion (Feb 14, 1930)

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ADDITI ANSWERS MAKE IT EASY TO CHECK SELF The necessity for men in the field knowing just what the scope of their technical knowledge should be is so great that Publix Opinion is. continuing the series of questions on sound inaugurated last week as a self quiz. Furthermore, it is absolutely essential that the importance of sound perfection be constantly in the mind of every theatre manager. — Last week Publix Opinion urged that every man take immediate steps to learn everything that he can about his equipment and its operation. Have you done so? Can you answer with greater ease than last week the questions which follow? QUESTIONS 1. Should a soft or a loud tone needle be used in a dise pickup? 2. How is sound in the form of photographic light rays on a piece of film (sound track) . reproduced? 3. What points of maintenance should be observed in keeping. batteries clean? 4. A condition arises where no sound emanates from a horn unit. What procedure should be followed? _ Have you written out the an swers to those questions? Do you know a definite asnwer or do you simply feel in a vague way that you know what it is all about? Do not be content with just that feeling. Be honest with yourself. Can you answer these questions perfectly? If not what are you going to do about it? ANSWERS 1. A full tone needle only should be used in a dise pickup because a soft tone needle does not pick up all of the desirable sound qualities as it moves from side to side in the record groove. . After leaving the lower sprocket of the projector head, the film, which has sound photographea on it in the form of a sound track, enters the reproducing . apparatus. »There, a narrow ' beam of light from an exciting lamp is focused on the sound track of the film through a system of lenses. The light which has passed through the film will thus vary in intensity according to the variations of the shadows recorded on the sound track. This light in turn falls on a photo-electriec cell which when excited by the light passing through a small windowlike opening is capable of producing a weak electric current. The variations in this current correspond to the intensity of the light beam and therefore the sound originally recorded. This weak current within the cell is then amplified to a level at which it is capable of being reproduced as sound through a horn unit. The following points of main tenance should be observed in keeping batteries clean:— a) Make sure that no acid drips onto the batteries after taking hydrometer readings. Keep filling caps on when charging batteries. Accumulation of acid and acid spray on battery tops will result in short circuits and noise in operation. : b) A little acid mixed with dust from the air in the room 4. PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF ONAL QUESTIONS FOR SELF QUIZ cloth somewhere away from the batteries. d) After this cleaning, wipe off the battery tops with a rag dampened in water, then wipe dry with a clean rag. e) After cleaning, coat the battery terminals and connecting bars with the special non-oxide grease supplied. If any deposit has formed on the parts, scrape it off first. f) Always keep the filling caps screwed on tight, except when testing the gravity of adding water. The vent holes in the caps will take care of gas given off in charging. a) Fuse may have blown in cut out box back stage. Replace blown fuse with new one. b) If fuse in cut out box has not blown, replace receiver with one of the spares, which should be on hand. While replacing receiver, be sure to connect each wire to the same terminal on the new receiver as it was connected on the old one. If a receiver is improperly connected the quality of sound in the house will be spoiled. ec) Never open receivers or attempt to repair them. d) Never operate a receiver without the horn as this may damage it. e) In installations having only one horn, if this horn is provided with a Switching device, the spare receiver may be put in by simply moving the throat lever. will soon form an electrical | leakage particularly on’ the battery top between terminals, which may give a lot of trouble. ©) Once each week wipe off the battery tops and connectors with a rag moistened in a solution of baking soda and ‘water, or an equal solution of household ammonia and ‘water in equal parts. Be sure that none of this liquid gets inside the batteries. For the sake of safety, dampen the receiver | i E FEBRUARY 14th, 1930 Marriage Licenses|PROPER FILL-DISTRIBUTION MEANS MAXIMUM GROSSES By CHESTER L. STODDARD aS Paid For By Chevalier Free marriage licenses ought to make enough noise in any town. When ‘‘The Love Parade’’ played at the Capitol Theatre, Sioux City, Iowa, Manager L. E. Davidson displayed a telegram from Maurice Chevalier which read as follows: “Delighted to \hear that my new Paramount picture, ‘The Love Parade’ is to play at the Capitol so soon after its world premiere. Am anxious for all young people in Sioux City to join ‘The Love Parade’ to happiness. Consequently please arrange to pay for all marriage licenses applied for Friday, January 10th, the opening day of the picture, and send the bill to me. Hope parades to marriage license bureau and to Capitol Theatre are so big they block traffic. All good wishes.”’ The telegram in full was reproduced in a local paper in addition to stories on the stunt just before the opening of the picture. The Ruby Theatre, Madison, S .D., has re-opened and will operate two days a week, Saturdays j\and Sundays. — AND IN NEW YORK, TOO! Unabashed by the terrifically high lineage rate in New York City, Ralph Stitt, Director of Publicity and Advertising of the Rivoli Theatre, sold this excellent tie-up to a radio-dealer whereby the theatre got a full page ad in two papers, the New York Daily News and the Daily Mirror, free. Note how the name of the attraction, and the name and picture of Bancroft dominate the ad. In addition to this, Stitt got the radio dealer to share half the expense of a four page tabloid sheet called the “Daily Lens,” which accurately followed, both in typography and make-up, the model of a popular New York tab. This sheet, practically all four pages of which were devoted exclusively to pictures, stories and ads on the attraction, was distributed in subways, from house to house, etc. The prominence of the radio shots in the picture served as the basis of the tie-up. DAILY NEWS, THURSDAY, JANUARY 23, 1930 19 \\\\\ 33a (\( Gy 5 a 4 FOR VALUE, QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE ; For Radio’s Newest Development Buy the New Screen Grid Model 65 Philco with the Built-In Genuine Electro-Dynamic Speaker GEORGE BANCROFT, Starring in “The Mighty,” Being Shown Now at the Rivoli, Listening to the New See the special VIM-Philco showing now at the Rivoli Theatre, B’way & 49th St. in conjunction with the Picture now showing, “The Mighty.” W fi wl i clasivehs "Pto-date Jadio ex. ‘Urniture VIM has th of Tadio fe, largest A | Prices, at lowest ‘|for seats” S:— for Your Convenience nae yp, “Brooklyn Branches al fe. uf. ae 1534 Pitkin Ave. ae 96 Flatbush Ave. t \, Newark Branch 800 Broad Se. Sul Office sales. Director, Department of Front House Operation The importance of proper fill distribution and its direct reflection ~ at the box office in additional revenue is illustrated by an actual — occurrence at an operation in the Southern Territory. Several weeks ago the writer visited this operation on a Saturday in company with the Divisional Director. waiting line. People came uD. waiting, and walked away. The man stationed at the box office did not attempt to make personal sales to people on the sidewalk and, those approaching the. box office. At the break of the feature, at 9:15, just before the beginning of the last show, there was a very small spill out of the main floor and during the thirty minutes preceding the 9:15 break there was practically no spill out of the balcony, with the consequence that the front show of the last performance was over before those waiting were able to get seats. This of course meant an in OY Petar’ ability. fo. 8611 “seats without waiting’ at the box office to late theatre goers. This lack of movement in both parts of the house indicated clearly that the distribution of the fill both on the main floor and _ between the balcony and the main floor was not being given the attention necessary to keep waiting patrons moving and enable us to speed up and solidify these box The Theatre has 900 seats on the main floor and 400 in the balcony. Its location is good; it plays the. big pictures on two week runs, and because of its limited capacity must be assured of efficient turnover in order to get maximum profits. Increasing Gross We discussed the entire situation with the manager and with his assistance in the readjustment of the distribution of people on the main floor and pushing the sale of baleony seats from the ticket doors when there were still 300 seats in the orchestra, we were able the next day (Sunday) to do approximately $1,000 more business, although the cashiers’ hourly sales showed that the people had started coming to the box office at about the same time on Sunday as they had on Saturday. x A particularly interesting thing about this situation was that all day Sunday there was no waiting. line of any appreciable size, whereas on Saturday evening there had been a long line extending from the ticket doors to the curb. In addition to the change in fill procedure, we went over the problem of contact between the man at the box office and the patron and discussed the necessity for this man to take every opportunity to sell people the idea of buying tickets. We had been making the announcement the night previous, ‘‘Waiting in the lobby now and “There are seats in the balcony-only,’’ which was the information that the patron | should have, but not in this rejective manner. Sales Talk Works These were the changed announcements, made in a positive selling manner, to each individual patron who came up to the box office, ‘‘There will only be a few minutes’ wait in the lobby now | for seats” or ‘‘No waiting for seats in the balcony.’’ Every time a patron or group of patrons would stand on the sidewalk and hesitate as though they were considering whether or not they wanted to wait, the doorman would immediately step over to them with the announcement, ‘‘This way please for tickets. Only a few minutes’ wait for the next show’ / There was a long wait for seats and a long — to the box office, noticed others or either one of the above announcements. | _ This man’s alertness in spotting hesitators and getting to them quickly with a sales. talk saved his salary twice over for the week just this one night; this in addition to announcements of the above nature made pleasantly to passersby. These two experiences bring out the advantages of an organized plan of procedure for fill distribution, which insures evenly distributed movement in all parts of the house on spills and refills, as well as the advantage and necessity . for a well-trained salesman at the box-office during periods of pressure business to insure the operation getting the maximum in gross. With patron attendance and admission prices practically the Same on the two different days and an increase of $1,000 in business on the second day (of which $300 was estimated as directly the result of the change in procedure of operation), the importance in dollars and cents to each operation is clearly demonstrated. Conditions Vary In a great many of the theatres throughout the country it is neither wise nor necessary economy to have an elaborate staff organization to cover the box office and inside of the house, due to theatre location and _ business. However, the condition outlined ~ above is a concrete example of the importance to the box office of proper staff and sales organization for the handling of people particularly under pressure business, and can be reduced to cover the particular conditions of an individual operation. It would be impractical and impossible to lay out plans of procedure that would fit every type of operation in the country because of the difference in location, local conditions, amount of business, types of show, ete. ‘However, the Department of Front House Operation is in a position to, and will gladly answer any questions and offer specific suggestion as assistance forthe development of this department in your theatre if you will address the writer at the Home Office outlining your problems or take them up directly with his representatives in the field. THEATRES y PUBLIX, Feb. 1, 1930 Fair WARNING! In exactly 8 weéks the big race will begin. At its conclusion less than one hundred men in the Publix circuit will be richer by a total of over $30,000. Just by intelligent and industrious application of everyday common-sense principles to everyday work. It’s a thought! —V.M.M. MERCHANTS OF ENTERTAINMENT