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FEBRUARY CAMPAIGN SWEEPS CHICAGO!
PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF FEBRUARY 14th, 1930
PUBLIX-B&K STARTLES TOWN WITH COMING-HITS PARADE
Determined not to let the momentum attained during the holiday rush slacken one iota, Publix-Balaban & Katz ace merchandising experts under the direction of William K. Hollander, Director of Advertising and Publicity, planned and put
over a February campaign that had the whole town talking.
Plans were laid immediately after New Year’s and the second week in January they began exploiting the big things coming
_ The campaign was started on January 10, with a trailer on the screens of all the theatres using the slogan, “FebruaryShortest of Months; Biggest in Pictures” against a calendar background. On January 17 another trailer went on the
with additional frames giving a short resume of the progress of talking pictures during the past year and announcing some of the productions coming to Chicago during February. These pictures did not apply specifically to the theatre exhibiting the trailer, but to all the theatres generally. On Jan. 24, the third trailer went on the screens announcing that the next week the parade of big hits would start, and went on to name each week’s attraction at that specific theatre, for the four weeks in February. In addition to the feature picture, other outstanding added attractions, if any, were announced. On Jan. 31 the start of the February pictures, another trailer went on heralding the beginning of the February smashes, with a frame on each attraction during the month. Posters In Lobbies During the middle of January, large poster easels carrying the February slogan and pictures of stars coming to that theatre during the month, were installed in
_the theatre lobbies.
All theatre canopies were decorated on Jan. 31 with banners, pennants, and electric sign transparencies bearing the copy, “February Big Picture Month.’’
One of the outstanding tie-ups made for the February campaign was that with the want-ad department of the Chicago Herald-Examiner. The Herald-Examiner agreed to run names picked at random from the telephone book in their want-ad columns. These names were printed in conjunction with ads announcing the attraction at the particular group of theatres selected for that week. It was planned to use the tie-up one week for the combined loop theatres, one week for the de luxe outlying theatres, and one week for the outlying sound houses.
When the bearers of the names printed in. the want-ad columns brought tk m in to the HeraldExaminer office they were given a pair of passes for one of the theatres. Fifty pairs of passes were distributed daily.
Big Promotional Campaign
In return for this, the HeraldExaminer instituted an extensive promotional campaign, using large ads practically every day throughout the week, giving the theatres plenty of space, of course. In addition, they agreed to give PublixB. & K. their front-page box, used for their own institutional advertising, three times a week. The tie-up was carried on posters on all
their delivery wagons, and was an
nounced daily over their radio stations. Details of the contest were carried in trailers on the screens of the theatres, tied up that particular week.
Throughout all the advertising given gratis by the Herald-Examiner, Publix-B. & K. figured prominently and current attractions were given good, solid plugs. The tie-up, while costing PublixB. & K. very little, was highly beneficial in its returns.
The neighborhood newspapers were tied up with contest for the February campaign, seven publi
screens, again using the slogan, |’
i i i i i i i i ¢ :
Blue nose reformers, who blame pictures for increasing juvenile delinquency, were treated with a distinct set-back by the report: that the province of Quebec, the only province in the dominion where children 16 years of age or under are not permitted to enter film theatres unless accompanied by their parents, shows an increase of 60 per cent in crimes by children during the past year. To further clinch the argument, the law against minors attending shows has been in effect exactly one year.
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cations being used in various parts of the city. A guessing contest, using pictures of stars in the ads and news columns was used. The contestants had to identify the stars, name two pictures they had played in and write a short essay on “Why They Liked Talking Pictures Better Than Silent Ones.” Each paper received 25 pairs of passes weekly during the contest for the theatre with which it was tied up, and in return they gave plenty of publicity to the February campaign and the current attractions. In addition the windows of advertisers were utilized for strips calling attention to the big February sales, and the big February pictures at each theatre. Car ‘Tie-up
The Chicago Surface Lines, while not permitted to use gratis names of specific theatres, in their car cards, due to certain advertising contracts, carried a card tying up with the campaign. They urged the use of the surface lines in attending Chicago’s motion picture theatres.
A number of the theatres were doing weekly bill-posting, and institutional copy, exploiting the February campaign, was used both in the outlying districts and in the loop.
Wherever a theatre was tied up
with a radio station, announce-|’
ments were made during their programs, calling attention to the big pictures in February.
All the boys in the advertising department dug in and worked to
| gether on the campaign, which was
both comprehensive in its scope and effective in its results. Needles to say the box-offices benefitted very appreciably.
Old-fashioned Auto Stunt Sells ‘“‘Three Live Ghosts”
Manager S. S. Solomon of the Paramount. Theatre, Youngstown, Ohio, used one of those old fashioned limousines with the top down to ballyhoo ‘‘Three Live Ghosts” during its run at his theatre.
Three men in skeleton costume drove the car through the town and distributed heralds on the attraction. Appropriate copy-banners covered the car.
Jesse L. Clark, Olympia Theatre Building, Miami, Florida, is district manager of the territory including Miami, Lake Worth, West Palm Beach, and Palm Beach.
STATEN ISLAND THEATRE
This is an artist’s drawing of the 2300 seat Publix Paramount Theatre, Stapleton, Staten Island, now under construction. With the completion of this building in September, 1930, Publix will have six theatres in and around the vicinity of Greater New York. The other five are: the Criterion, Rialto, Rivoli and New York and Brooklyn Para
Radio Firm Pays For Heralds and Prizes
A radio tie-up secured by the publicity departments of the Uptown and Washington St. Olympia theatres, Boston, Mass., in conjunction with the theatre managers of those houses, netted considerable publicity for ‘‘The Love Parade’’.
The Dewey Radio Company, who, because of the success of the tie-up are more than anxious to continue these exploitation helps for future attractions, paid for the imprinting of 50,000 heralds. The radio firm also donated $500 in prizes, which were awarded to patrons of both theatres.
Charles G. Branham is now district manager with jurisdiction over Jacksonville, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Daytona, and Lakeland. His office address is the Florida Theatre Building, Jacksonville, Florida.
MEET THE BOYS!
To promote acquaintance, respect and mutual understanding of the splendid individuals who comprise Publix, these one-minute biographies are offered. They're not printed as vanity ticklers for the showmen
here portrayed. We want the photo and biography of everyone in Publix.
Although Robert LeFevre has
been in show business only four years, he has shown such an aptitude for his work and an ability to assimilate “ithe principles of showmanship, that he is now managing the Lyric, a down
din April, 1926, j}and promoted to manager, two years Yea t.er in March, 1929, he was transferred to the Grand, a second run theatre in
the same city. A few months later he was assigned to another second-run theatre — the Strand. When the Strand terminated its picture operations on August 8. 1929, LeFevre was transferred to his present position.
Rex Minkley, manager of the
Royal Oak Thtatre, Royal Oak, / Mich., brings to his position a mature 2xperience which he accumulated gradually during his ten year association with Kunsky. Starting in the motion picture business in its earliest stages, he completely mastered every phase of the theatre business. He later managed a number of theatres for Kunsky, availing himself of every possible opportunity to add to his store
of theatre knowledge. A particular aptitude for audience reaction enables him to arrange his programs so that they might have the maximum effect, which is one of the most important phases of theatre operation. Minkley attributes this quality
to his exhaustive experience with.
the Kunsky theatres.
THOMAS EDWARD REED
Thomas Edward Reed, present manager of the Crown Theatre
Alabama, is another of the many men in Publix, who have risen £-r-o 3m. = the ranks.
After completing school, Reed and his family moved from Dallas to New Orleans, where he obtained a
fi} clerical job ‘A}w it h_ the Western Union Telemisraph Comfeipany. While 2mployed there Reed became interested in the theatre game and got a part time usher’s job at the Saenger Theatre. He soon became so engrossed with his theatre position that he resigned from his clerical job and devoted all his time to the Saenger. Several months later he was promoted to chief of service. This promotion.was capped six months later by an assignment as assistant manager of the Liberty theatre. After being transferred to two other Saenger theatres in order to acquire a varied experience, Reed was given his first managerial assignment, at the Gaiety, Biloxi, Miss. from where he was transferred to his present position.
T. KE. Reed
William Mahoney’s twenty years of theatrical activities were devoted to thea
tres in Flori
of the Strand
in New. Or
Southern Amusement Co. and after that, in order to learn various phases of theatre me cretions: orked for numerous theatre cirGed tus. Ee served with the Southern En t erprises, S. A. Lynch Enterprises, the E. J. Sparks Circuit, the Leach Enterprises and the Saenger Theatres, Inc. His work with these companies included the duties of an usher, doorman, projectionist and manager. : ;
W. A. MENDENHALL
A veteran showman who has
spent the past thirty-six years managing theatres in
In 1907, afa few
‘| Mendenhall, became assistant manager
it was razed
a year later,
Ww.A. Mendenhall ager of the : theatre and
building. In 1921, the Boise Theatre Company was formed. This circuit placed Mendenhall in complete charge of its five theatres and when it dissolved six years later, Mendenhall took the lease on the Pinney Theatre in his own name. Two years later, he affiljated himself with the L. Marcus Enterprises and when Publix purchased that organization, Mendenhall was retained as man
Fred Larkin, manager of the
State, Sioux Falls, S. D., has purjs : sued the theatre game since 1912. A college man, he spent the first few years after leaving school, as a wholesale products buyer, a mining assistant and a railroad employe. Larkin’s first taste of show business was acquired managing his own theatre in Anoka, Minn. He operated his own houses in LittleFalls, and Blok River, Minn., and also held important positions with local motion picture boards 4 and associations. In 1923, the — Finkelstein & Ruben circuit employed him to manage the Minneapolis Theatre, Duluth and the Sherman, St. Clou pefore he
was assigned to his present post.