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BOX-OFFICE GROSS DEPENDS
ON NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING
~ DECLARES B &K SHOWMAN
To say that selling seats in a motion picture theatre is like any other type of merchandising is as banal as saying that night follows day or vice versa—it is such an obvious fact.
The question then rises, what is the most effective way of merchandizing your particular product.
Is it with stories and squibs scattered in the newspapers?
Is it with window tie-ups and other accepted forms of exploita
The experienced merchandiser, such as Wm. Pine of the PublixB. & K. salesforce immediately answers, ‘“‘No!”’
He adds, however, that all of these are aids and help in the grand ensemble.
_ “The experienced showman,’ says Pine, “will tell you that copy —good, solid, substantial, selling copy will bring the dollars a’rolling into your box office. He will tell you that every picture, presents its own problem, its own means of attack and that every picture is like a new battlefront to the general. i
“Window tie-ups, general exploitation of all types, stories in newspapers tend to whet the appetite of the prospective theatre patrons. But in the final analysis it is the ‘‘copy’’ you write that brings them to the box office with their price of admission in their hands!
“The Publix-Balaban and Katz Oriental Theatre in Chicago gives
makes them come.
“Come-on copy” says Bill Pine, of the Publix-Balaban ture, but many a good picture has flopped because of poor advertising. And exploitation is not nearly as important as
and Katz, Advertising and Publicity Department, “is what letting the world know that you have a cracker-jack show.”
The best ads may not sell a poor pic
fine and conclusive proof of this.
“When the Ash-fever subsided at that theatre and the house entered a period of doldrums the ‘‘gang”’ in the windy city decided that only Herculean methods would bring that erstwhile ‘‘gold mine’ back to the place it once occupied as a money getter. Of course it must be understood that the Oriental Theatre is always faced with the problem of selling what in Chicago is known as ‘‘fifth choice pictures” i.e. in Chicago, MecVickers gets first choice, United Artists theatre second, Roosevelt Theatre, third, Chicago next and Oriental what’s left.
Out of Group Ad
“In planning the campaign of rebuilding the Oriental Theatre, the first point agreed upon was to take the theatre out of the group combination ad in vogue in Chicago for two days, the day before and the day of the opening of a new attraction.
“And then we shot with our ads, selling the picture and selling it hard. Away from the combination it attracted attention as something different — something new. IT DID BUSINESS—big business!
“A smart military leader plans ‘to attack differently and when he does, he keeps everlastingly at it —and that brings results. It has at the Oriental Theatre. Grosses have been rolling along in nice shape ever since—and mostly always with pictures that would ordinarily die. But each picture
PUBLIX OPINION, WEEK OF FEBRUARY 28rn, 1930
WINDOW CARDS HELP!
Although concentrating most of their selling efforts on newspaper ads and copy, the publicity staff of the Oriental Theatre does not dis
regard the value of retail store exploitation.
cards appear. below.
And Open The Locked Door To Good Housekeeping”
All-Talking Dramatic Smash + NOW PLAYING: .
=" ORIENTAL THEATER
has to be sold hard with copy an attractive layouts. : Flock of Tie-Ups
“But the publicity and exploitation has kept pace too. Ed O’Donnell, manager, recently made a tie-up with one of the largest radio stations to sell—not merely announce, the program three times each day—and this is gratis.
“The Oriental has a tie-up with every restaurant in the loop in which our program gets prominent display.
“Hvery music store and musical accessory store and shop in the loop features window displays every: other week on Lou Kosloff,
Says BETTY BRONSON
‘THE LOCKED DOOR”
This store is a member of
CHICAGO RETAIL HARDWARE ASSN.
Examples of window
the present master of ceremonies.
“We have effected a tie-up with a chain store outfit (hosiery), thirty-nine stores in the busiest spots in Chicago for effective weekly window displays.
“We tied up one week with the hardware retail merchants association and they liked it so much, they take a weekly tie-up from us for 350 window displays free with no cost to us. :
“These are but a few of the things being done in the way of exploitation and it all helps like the deuce, but in the long run they pay off at the box office on the selling copy.”’
Kate theater hee « picture besa held for mere than oce week—BUT CHIS@ CAGO DEMANDED ANOTHER WEEK OF THIS SENSATION—
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| KILL ‘FREE’ IN CHICAGO ADS —
-ON” COPY BRINGS CROWDS!
The ads reproduced below illustrate some of the come-on copy that has proved so successful in Chicago. Get your enlarging glass and read them!
From the minds of the ace\merchandisers in the Publix-Balaban & Katz Chicago division comes the solution to the evil habit of advertising ‘‘free tickets.”’ In Chicago, where the gag originally started, they call them “guest tickets.”
Publix theatres which on occasion make trades of free tickets in return for valuable newspaper display space will find that the use of “guest tickets’’ tells the story in a manner acceptable to everyone. It carries all of the appeal possessed by the word ‘“‘free,”’ and it has none of its odium.
The “free ticket’? evil usually appears in either the want ad tieup or in circulation promotion tieups, and it is hoped that every Publix Theatre will immediately adopt the words “‘guest tickets’”’ in every case, and will never permit public utterance of ‘‘free tickets.” Obviously, if we educate the public to believe that such a thing as ‘free tickets’’ exists, no one will want to pay for tickets.
Composite Photograph Used in ‘Star’ Contest
A composite photograph of 77 numbered star heads of the principals in the ‘“‘Show of Shows’”’ was used by Manager J. A. Jones of the Saenger Theatre, Pensacola, Fla., in an identification contest. The photo was published in the daily papers as a news feature. A five dollar cash prize was awarded to the first correct list left at the box-office and passes to the next 25.