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VAGABOND KING’ LAUNCHED AS WORLD HIT
(Continued from Page One) wide rush to every theatre that has the good fortune to play the picture.
Times Square presented a cross section of Hollywood on Wednesday evening. A galaxy of motion picture celebrities which included Dennis King, Ludwig Berger, Charles ‘‘Buddy’ Rogers, Charles Ruggles, Helen Kane, Claudette Colbert, James Hail and others, flanked by leaders of Manhattan’s social set, attended the world premiere.
The swanky getaway of ‘The Vagabond King’? on Broadway came as the culmination of an advance advertising, publicity and exploitation campaign which had as the fundamental principle the basic thought that ‘‘The Vagabond King” was the most comprehensive and elaborate entertainment ever offered in any branch of the show. business.
_ Scribes Entertained
To establish this idea, thirtythree of the country’s leading newspaper reviewers were invited from Chicago, Buffalo, Detroit, Rochester, Kansas City and Philadelphia. This move was primarily for the benefit of those, cities which are to have $1.00 top showings of ‘The Vagabond King” within a fortnight after its New York debut. The visiting scribes convened at the Hotel Roosevelt and were participants in a whirl of entertainment.
The night preceding the Criterion opening they were guests of ‘Sweet Adeline,’ in which Helen Morgan is featured. On Wednesday afternoon they visited the Paramount Long Island Studios. They could not have dropped in at the mammoth Astoria plant at a better time, as two productions are currently being made there—‘‘Dangerous Nan McGrew” ‘and ‘““Young Man of Manhattan.”’ Following the premiere of “The Vagabond King’’ they attended a real whoopee at the Villa Vallee.
News reel shots of the opening were made in which the eritics from other cities also figured. After their arrival they assembed at a luncheon attended by Dennis King and other stars. Photos of King and the visiting critics were made and wired to the various cities represented. Photos of the Criterion opening were also sent by. telegraph.
The scheme of advertising “<The Vagabond King”’ in New York was based on the fact that ‘‘The Love Parade,” which has been New York’s biggest picture hit, “was forced to abdicate its throne -as king to make room for the amightiest of all entertainment ‘monarchs. The second ad showed -why the Criterion was justified in making such a drastic move as removing a picture that was playing to capacity and pointed out the reasons why ‘The Vagabond King’ was the biggest production ever offered in the annals of entertainment history. The third ad, flashing the opening announcement, went into further details of the cost, opulence, sweep, power and romance of the production.
The front display carried out the idea of all technicolor, romance, action, music and magnificence. A mammoth cutout of King flashing his sword arose across the brilliantly illuminated big Broadway front sign. This front sign was made more realistic by cutout
TIE INTO ’EM
Feb. 22 — George Washington’s Birthday.
March 2 — Texas Flag Day.
March 4 — Shrove Tuesday (Observed as Mardi Gras in Alabama, Florida and Louisiana). — ive ‘ March 17 — St. Patrick’s ¢ Day. 9
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PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2lst, 1930
BROADWAY'S BIGGEST BANNER
This banner across the front of the Rialto Theatre building meas
ures 50 by 100 feet
and is the largest ever seen on Broadway. It was
manufactured by the Publix art department and twelve men worked for two hours to hang it in position.
banners and shields and the idea of brilliant color in the picture was put over by a brilliantly hued rainbow background. Encircling the marquee was a composite strip 84 feet long and 4 feet high that proved another eye-compelling smash. Action enlargements in shadowbox effect were used on the corner frames. The biggest action scene in front of a Broadway theater caught the eyes of thousands on the Broadway side. Heads, full lengths and 11 x 14 colored stills made up the rest of the front display. Lobby Decoration
Banners and shields added a touch of class to the lobby and the valance was a thing of beauty that just shrieked attention. The catch-line copy sold the cast—the romance — the spine-tingling “Song of the Vagabonds” as sung by 1,000 voices—the magic melodies of Rudolf Friml—the sweep and drama—the beauty entirely in techniclor—the scope of production that could never have been achieved on. the stage—the most romantic lovers in history— the romance of a vagabond who was swept from a garret to a throne—the golden voices of King and MacDonald — the greatest of song romances making the greatest picture.
The other Publix theaters in New York—tThe Paramounts, Rivoli and’ Rialto—helped disseminate news of the opening of “The Vagabond King’’ with trailers— heralds and displays. In addition to outside and inside advance displays at the Criterion an eightyfour foot banner flashed the opening a week in advance. New York newspapers were liberal in special stories, spot news stories and pictorial layouts in advance and were supplied with meat for specials by contact with Dennis King and Ludwig Berger. The latter, director of the production, arrived in New York prior to opening and was well covered by ship news reporters. :
In the matter of exploitation Bedell’s, one of New York’s leading stores, used two elaborate window displays — one on gowns worn by Jeanette MacDonald and her ladies-in-waiting and another on Lillian Roth pajamas. agencies used fifty process eards, music publishers had 5,000 window streamers and 300 process cards, Brunswick and Victor used window sireamers and process ecards. There were hosiery tie-ups on Roth and MacDonald, a Loft candy tie-up of eighty-four window displays, 4 florist tie-up on “Only A Rose,”’ anda Philco tieup. eet
For the book tie-up Dennis i King wrote a personal message which was used on 22 x 28 black ;and white enlargements and these displays were embellished with sets of 14 x 17 colored enlargeand streamers.
Charles Ruggles Dated for Next Radio Hour
Charles Ruggles, stage and sereen star, Broadway wit and noted master of ceremonies, is to be the feature of the ParamountPublix radio hour next Saturday night (March 1) at 10 o’clock E.S.T. when the regular weekly program is put on th air over the national network of the Columbia Broadeasting System.
The famous funny-man of the sereen is to be heard in a series of offerings especially prepared for this appearance before radio audiences.
The stage show, a regular feature of the hour presented under the direction of Paul Ash, will offer a musical melange of comedy
iand jazz, entitled “Oh, Teacher!”
Among the favorites who will appear on the hour are David Mendoza, Jesse Crawford, Paul Ash, Paul Small, Harriet Lee, the Paramount Four and the Paramount Orchestra.
| © +-O-$0:-@-:0+-@--0--O 10+ O 28°-O-90+O18" OO OOS 89S °8* Warning!
Because of fear that someone might reproduce in its entirety the lyric of some of “The Vagabond King” music, as| published in the last issue of PUBLIX OPINION, notice is given that such reproduction is not permissible under the copyright law. Although PUBLIX OPINION specifically said to use ‘‘lines’’, not the entire lyric, this warning is given to avoid any possibility of error. We repeat, use some of the swell catch lines for ad-copy. Of course, you’d have no reason to reproduce the whole lyric.
One lyric we overlooked was the ‘Death Chant’, which has this swell catchline in it: “High or Lowly! Each Must Answer To The Call!”’
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LENTEN PERIOD REQUIRES NEW SALES ANGLES
(Continued from Page One) ligious denominations are forbidden to attend the theatre or participate in any other form of amusement.Consequently, in planning sales appeals, in making tie-ups or in any other detail of this anti-slump effort, the greatest of care must be exercised that there never be any element which might offend, even in the slightest way, the religious sensibilities of anyone.
“There are, however, in every town, a great many people whose religious beliefs do not prevent them from attending the theatre during this period. It is upon these that we must level our guns. In a former issue of Publix Opinion, attention was called to the fact that, in a number of towns, we are only scraping the surface of their box-office possibilities.
During the intensive six weeks of the anti-Lenten slump effort, this unaffected group of prospective theatre goers must be sounded to the very depths. Persons and groups, who are not normally reached by our ordinary selling methods, must be sold on coming to the theatre during this period.
“T see no reason why an organization which includes the choice brain-power in show business,
TWO SMART ADS
the left is a blown-up portion of
of institutional advertising that manages to but lists the theatres and the shows
famous stage stars on the screen in which they appear.
are two unusual ads prepared by director of publicity for the Publix-Kunsky Theatres in Detroit. a review while at the right is a bit
Art Schmidt, At
sell not only the idea of
Publix-Kunsky Theatres Are Now Bringing Detroit
The Greatest Stars of the Stage
The Stage Has Moved to the Screen! And EVERY Seat Is a Front Row Seat! Hear These Celebrated Stars in Their Mightiest Achievement!
GEORGE ARLISS “DISRAELI” NOW AT THE STATE JOHN BARRYMORE “GENERAL CRACK” ) AT THE ADAMS BASIL RATHBONE BISHOP MURDER CASE”
NOW AT THE MICHIGAN
“Glorifying The American Girl” NOW AT THE ADAMS. CHARLES KING 1s ; “Chasing Ra'nbows” 80ON AT THE MICHIGAN . ROTH CHATTERTON “The Laughing Lady”
al SOON AT THE MICHIGAN
HEAR THEA FIRST AT PUBLIX-KUNSKY THEATRES |
‘Segal and John Boles.
MARCH OFFERS. BOX OFFICE WINNERS
(Continued from Page One) up, and in many cases will warrant extended runs.
“They Learned About Women” ‘—With Van and Schenck and — Bessie Love; the “Warming Up” of 1930. Great exploitation angles in connection with opening of baseball season.
“Son of the Gods’’—Exceeding all expectations. Beautiful Technicolor sequences. Best Barthelmess picture ever made; immeasurably superior to ‘‘Weary River” and “Young Nowheres’’.
“Happy Days’—First minstrel revue, with Will Rogers and a. great cast—more names than you can get in lights. Not to be confused with an ordinary musical revue—a real minstrel show with real minstrels.
“Song of the West’’—Vivienne “The Covered Wagon” in all-technicolor, with two of the biggest musical comedy names in the business.
“In addition to the above pic7
tures in March,’ said Mr. Saal, “we have right on top of us the following surprise pictures, which will fully repay every bit of effort expended. Among these are ‘She Couldn’t Say No’, with Winnie Lightner; ‘Roadhouse’ Nights’, which shows promise of being another ‘Cocoanuts’; ‘Slightly Scarlet’, getting off to a great start; “Puttin’ on the Ritz’, with Harry Richman and Irving Berlin music, and ‘Hell’s Harbor’, with Lupe Velez. Bear down on ‘Roadhouse Nights’ and ‘Hell’s Harbor’, for | : consider them the acme of enter-_ tainment. 4
“Other pictures which will jus— tify intensive effort are ‘Such Men Are Dangerous’, ‘The Skyhawk’, — ‘Men Without Women’, ‘Seven Keys to Baldpate’, ‘The Phantom 4 of the Opera’, and ‘The Green God— dess’.
‘oMveryone in Publix can absolutely rely on the information
| that whenever and wherever they 7
see these pictures, in A or B houses, they can get behind them — heart and soul and get plenty of @ results.”’ :
————————————————————————————— should consistently suffer a box4
office set-back at this season every year. It is not compatible with good business. Surely, some means can be devised among our 1200 4q theatres to overcome this obstacle, — I want everyone in Publix to give © a lot of thought and experimenta— tion to this matter. j
“Our shov’s during these six © weeks must be sold in such a man~ ner that our level of profits re-— mains unchanged or is increased, — despite the fact that a portion of © our regular patrons stay away — from the theatres. It is a hard job, I know, but it can be done; — and if it can be done, Publix must 7 doit.” ’
CONTACT SESSION. RECEIVES PRAISE —
“A geventy per cent increase in — personal efficiency due to com~ plete understanding of organiza— tional problems is -the benefit I received from my two weeks of q contact during the District Man| agers’ Session in the Home Office,” declared Henry Stickelmaier, of | Publix-Great States, when asked — by Mr. Katz for his reaction to the session just concluded. A
Mr. Stickelmaier’s observation © was unanimously endorsed by all” of the other visiting District Managers.
The session was arranged by Mra Chatkin, under the direction of Jack Barry, head of Publix’ Personnel Department, and had the © complete and enthusiastic cooperaz tion of every home office executive.
HOUSE PAPER i
The service staff of the East— man Theatre, Rochester, New > York, issues a mimeographed paper of twelve pages called the Sun— burst. It is by and for members — of the theatre. "