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PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF FEBRUARY 28ru, 1930
BALABAN VISION CREATED NEW ‘THEATRE
(Continued from Page Six)
of this precept, Balaban & Katz found that such a theatre would be successful beyond the wildest of dreams. The Central park was so successful that profits from its operation enabled them to follow it with the Riviera, and then the Tivoli, within two short years.
The Tivoli Theatre, on the south side of Chicago, was fully illustrative of a faculty which Balaban & Katz have always possessed, a faculty for capturing and holding the
public fancy. To go to the Tivoli
was to live for two hours a life of the utmost luxury, to get a glimpse of the splendor hitherto known only by the wealthy, and to slip into that regal, plutocratic character. which most mortals fancy themselves so amply fitted to assume—and which so few may ever attain. Everything about the Tivoli and B. & K. theatres that followed lent itself to this. bies and foyers and lounges, in themselves spacious beyond compare, were filled with excellent paintings, rare objects d’art, unusual and beautiful bric-a-brac, lavishly treated, but withal in a spirit of restraint and good taste.
Most important of all, patrons were entertained in a manner befitting a king. Nothing was spared to make the accompaniments of motion picture presentation more attractive and more pleasing than anything which had been. known before. And all of this was available to anyone, rich or poor, for a trifling admission price.
Deluxe motion picture theatres, as they are known today, really date from -the Riviera and Tivoli.
So complete and modern was this}
theatre in every detail that it still stands as a model, and compares more than favorably with theatres which are now being built, despite the fact that it has been operated for over ten years.
Considering these things, it is no wonder that Balaban & Katz prospered, and that theatre after theatre was added to the rapidly growing chain operated by the organization. In swift succession the Chicago, Uptown, Roosevelt, McVickers, Oriental. and Paradise were built or bought. By the time the Paradise was completed, Balaban & Katz were also operating the Norshore, Senate, Harding, Tower and Maryland Theatres, and had acquired the extensive Lubliner & Trinz, Ascher, Marks Brothers, and other circuits of theatres all over Chicago.
Specializing as A. J. Balaban did in the field of stage entertainment, many innovations which have assisted Publix in maintaining its pre-eminence in this field may be traced back, directly or indirectly, to him. Among his contributions have been Sunday symphony concerts, invaluable builders of early business which would not have materialized otherwise. Special weeks,’ such as “Syncopation Week” and ‘‘Take-aChance Week,’ brought unusual opportunity for the new and extraordinary. The latter, particularly, proved itself an excellent test of the esteem in which a theatre is held by its patrons, and at the same time provided excellent exploitation angles. The “Jazz versus Opera” idea is another innovation which has furnished excellent entertainment under one guise or another. Mr. Balaban was the first to instigate the ‘‘Live Lobby” idea, at the Riviera Theatre.
In Balaban & Katz theatres, too, organists were first given an opportunity to present feature solos, and out of this has grown an important portion of most presentday deluxe theatre programs.
In trying out these ideas and
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.
J. C. STROUD
More than twenty years spent in show business, from program boy to manager, supplemented by a law degree from the University of Minnesota, Bigzives. J. C. | Stroud, manager of the Ca. pict 01,5; Paul, Minn.,a thorough understanding of showmanship which explains his succes sful use in Publix.
After being admitted the sota Stroud practised 1aw during the day and acted as assistant manager of the Park during the evening. In 1926, he discontinued the. practice of law to become manager of the Forest ‘Theatre, Later he managed other theatres in Minnesota, and also supervised five Hill suburban theatres in St. Paul. He received his present assignment at the Capitol in September, 1929.
BERT W. WINSTANLEY
Bert W. Winstanley, manager of the Saenger Theatre, New Orleans, La., has been with a; Publix since its merger with Kunsky Theatres, at which time he was employed as assistant manager at ‘}the Capitol, i] Detroit.
A business i} college graduate, who also studied for his Bach
J. C. Stroud
Detroit, Winstanley . had B. W. Winstanley all the requisites for his craft when he entered the building line as a general contractor inj association with his father in 1914. He remained in this trade for three years, when the war broke out and he entered the army. He returned to Detroit after the war as a commissioned officer, Trust Co., with which company he was associated until 1922, when he left to join the Kunsky Theatres at the Capitol. After remaining there for six years, Winstanley came to the New York Paramount as assistant manager, from where he was pro moted to his present position.
and joined the Detroit |
Wally Akin, manager of the Arcadia, Dallas, Abate brings. to his position a wealth of sound motion p ict. u\rT e k now ledge, gained through his many years of film selling experience, and ntensive business training acquired at the LaGrange Business Col‘lege in Chicago, Illinois.
is first three years in the theatre game were spent with the E. BH. Fulton Moving Moving Picture Supply Co., selling film. In 1922 Akin travelled east to New York and got.a job with the American Film Co..as salesman. He remained with the firm until it dissolved in 1924, at which time he obtained a job, in the same capacity, with the Selznick Film Exchange, St. Louis. When that organization disbanded, Akin joined the Pathe Film Exchange. After managing various theatres in Missouri, he joined Publix in August, 1929, and was assigned to his present post.
ROBERT Y. HAMPTON
Robert Y. Hampton, manager of the Cope Theatre, AlexBre Oe be decal, La., has been t h oroughly schooled in the rudiments of the theahaving started his theatrical career while attending grammar school.
Hampton brings to his position,a sound training in business methods and sales efforts, acquired during his
ment by a PA nme Bluti, rk., bank
R. Y. while assisting his father, who was district manager of the Stimpson Computing Scale Co. at the time. Prior to his appointment at the Saenger, Hampton was assistant manager of the Best Theatre, Pine Bluff, Ark.
JOHN B. GOODWIN
Manager John B. Goodwin, of Aster Theatre, Minneapolis, is a graduate of the Theatre Managers’ School and the Univer
ing been an instructor at the College of St. Thomas, St. Louis.
While attending the fifth session of the Managers’ school, Goodwin was assigned to the New York Paramount and Rialto theatres, also to various operations in the South, so that he might supplement his ‘theoretical theatre knowledge with a practical slant on show business. Goodwin has had a thorough training in business methods, having been engaged by the Thomas Edison organization to study the sales potentialities of that firm. He later installed accounting systems for the Laundry Owner’s National
Association, on the West Coast.
J. D. SMOUSE
J. D. Smouse, who has been employed by Publix as manager of the Redford Theatre, Ai Detroit, Mich. a little more than a year, and who previously managed theatres in the east, is sj}an experien*|ced showman. His earlier theatriAjcal engagements have aided him in performing his managerial duties in an efficient manner.
Prior to his joining the Publix Kunsky _ forces, Smouse was employed by the Rowland & Cob ae rak : Theatres of Pittsburgh, Pa., from 1922 to 1926. During that time he served as manager of the Arcade and Blackstone theatres in Pittsburgh and as managing director of the Rowland and Colonial
theatres in Wilkinsburg.
J. B. Goodwin
J. D. Smouse
guiding them to success, Mr. A. J. became so wrapped up in his beloved theatres in Chicago that for a long time he resisted all efforts to persuade him to transfer his efforts and activities to the home office in New York, so that Publix showmen might learn from him at first hand rather than by following the precepts he had established in Chicago. Finally, however, he was prevailed upon by Mr. Katz to come to New York and act as his associate, and in September of
‘1929 he transferred his headquar
ters to the Hast.
In his new and larger sphere of activity he is directly in charge of all stage entertainment, and has under his supervision the Music Department and Stage Production Department. In addition to this, he is in charge of the short subjects department of the Paramount Long Island studios.
In New York
. Envisioning a larger field of usefulness for the Publix music and production staffs, he arranged shortly after his arrival in New York to have these departments moved in their entirety to the Long Island studios. Here the musical advisors, composers and arrangers under Boris Morros,
|General Music Director, and the
producers on the staff of I. M. Halperin, production department head, will collaborate on Paramount short subjects, as well as Publix stage units, under the
‘guidance of Mr. A. J.
This short sketch of Mr. A. J. Balaban has not attempted to eulogize him. The recounting of his achievements speaks volumes on the subject of A. J. Balaban as a showman. As for A. J. Balaban the man, his eulogy rests unspoken in the hearts of 25,000 Publix showmen, and countless others
| outside the organization, who look
upon “Mr. A. J.’’ as their ideal and inspiration in the new, uncharted era of show business.
HOUSE HOSTESS NEW IN THEATRE
A House’ Hostess, something new in show business, will become part of the personnel of theatres in the Eastern Iowa District according to word from Nate Frudenfeld, manager of the district.
These hostesses will act as directoresses working through the society editors, writing notes of welcome, working up theatre parties of all descriptions, ete. The first hostess has been assigned to the Fort Theatre, Rock Island.
MENTAL MARVEL IN ‘LIVE LOBBY’
The first neces at ‘‘live lobby” entertainment at the Saenger Theatre, New Orleans, has resulted in sensational success, according to word from Division Manager George C. Walsh. Harvey Oswald is manager of the theatre.
Sinnett, the mentalist, working in a manner similar to that of Gene Dennis in Brooklyn, has created a good deal of talk and distinctly favorable box-office reaction.
He has been answering 2,000 questions daily on the mezzanine floor.
“His radio broadcasting is getting tremendous response,” states Mr. Walsh, ‘‘and a tie-up with the New Orleans Item has brought more than 400 questions to that office. Two entire pages will be turned over to the theatre as soon as Sinnett compiles his answer.
Irving Solomon, formerly assistant manager at the Toledo Paramount, has been appointed manager of the Piccadilly, Rochester, succeeding H. A. Wolever, has been assigned as manager of the Tudor, New Orleans.
INSTITUTIONAL NATURAL FOR ALL PAPERS
A prevailing condition is forcefully brought to the fore by a nationally known investment bureau, which points out, in suggesting the purchase of stocks and bonds, the bright position and outlook of the motion picture industry. This should be the basis of a feature story, institutionalizing the theatre in your community. —
The story follows: “The outstand
Here is a] ing event in 1929 Hakata He nh in the motionWhich should | Picture industry be ‘gobbled| was the further RE ions development of It's a cinch! | the sound picLet’s see it] ture, which has planted! come into such
widespread public favor that it has now nearly displaced the old silent version. [t was recently estimated by Standard Statistics that out of a total of some 20,000 motion-picture theatres in this country, not more than 7,000 are equipped for sound pictures. It is, therefore, probable that the wiring of a considerable part of the balance, which is cer— tainly to be expected, will invite larger audiences and thereby increase gross and net profits of the industry in the future. The success of the sound picture has been well demonstrated and is likely to continue. A still further increase in earning power of the motion picture industry should occur, if other resources, such as ‘Technicolor’ and ‘‘Magnafilm,’’ which are still in their infancy, are developed to the fullest extent.
“The motion-picture industry was one of the few major businesses to enter the year 1930 in a strong and favorable position. Furthermore, the industry is not likely to suffer from the effects of the recession in general business, which may or may not continue in many other lines. The motionpicture-going habit is so deeply rooted in the American public that even in times of business depression theatre attendance is little affected.
“In recent years the leading companies have pursued aggressive expansion policies and have greatly enlarged their property holdings by acquiring independent theatre chains, as well as by building new theatres. Thus, they are in an admirable position to benefit from the favorable factors as outlined above.”’ |
SE a Mia ag OA ele ke PAUSES EU Ta Si aaa UTR ARTA NRTGaLiRadtc lu Gait ee
The Strand Theatre, Brockton, Mass., has gone to a seven-day
policy, opening Monday and clos
We have no further interest in the Rialto Theatre, Bloomington, Ill.
What More Do! You Want?
With the Publix organization functioning more perfectly than ever before; with a solid year of record-breaking public patronage behind you— patronage induced bythe great__ est line of attractions ever con§ _sistentlypresented in anygroup of theatres, plus showmanship; with a splendid list of bookings in the offing for the three months just ahead; you approach the Second Quarter with the added inducement of rich contest awards at every turn in the road! Man—will you do your darndest to get in on that prize money?