Showmen's Trade Review (Jan-Mar 1940)

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Jannary 20, 1940 SHOWMEN'S T R A IJ I{ R E V 1 E W Page 5 A film-conscious town, this. Down at City Hall are periodic press conferences whereat Gotham's mayor talks about the buildup to what a lot of skeptics think will be an awful let-down in the proposed film-producing boom in and about the Greater City on the Atlantic. The 20th-Fox organization has a class-A set-up skilfully contrived for the world premiere of "The Blue Bird." At the entrance doors to the Hollywood Theatre the first night attendees will present tickets printed in gold and black — very rich, impressive and showmanlike in giving the sign that something special is afoot. Again at City Hall, the City Council has a debate over a proposal that Jan. 24th be declared "Sixty-Ninth Day." By odd coincidence Warners are showing "The Fighting Sixty-Ninth" that week and one Councilman thinks maybe Warners' publicity men (perish the thought) might be behind the proposal. He says he doesn't want to be a "stooge" for publicity stunts. Whereat the newspapers of the town print the whole story, Warners' name, title of picture, and so the Warner publicity department, which, of course, had no knowledge of the whole thing, gets lots of publicity. Several years ago Darryl Zanuck put Lloyds of London in films with a 20th-Fox picture that ranks with the best the screen ever had. Now Lloyds, we understand, is in the film atmosphere again. The whole outfit is occupying the Elstree studios outside London. The scattering of big business organizations to deploy the population as a precaution against air raids, also finds the London stock exchange in another studio — at Pinewood. But Elstree's the place these days. It's packed with sugar — only real sugar, not the kind so necessary for making elaborate films with expensive stars. PASCAL SIGNED AS UA PRODUCER To Make One Shaw Film Here, Another In England Gabriel Pascal, producer-director of "Pygmalion" has been signed as a producer by LTnited .A.rtists on a three-year deal, according to an announcement by Murray Silverstone, chief of world wide operations. Pascal will continue to film plays by George Bernard Shaw. Wendy Hiller, who had the leading feminine role in "Pygmalion" will be seen in "Major Barbara" with Robert Morley as Pascal's first United Artists picture. It will be produced in England, Pascal's second LTA picture will be one of three Shaw works: "The Doctor's Dilemma," "The Devil's Disciple" or "Caesar and Cleopatra." Fine Arts Will Establish Exchanges In All Centers Company Headed by Franklyn Warner Will Make 42 Pictures For New Season Franklyn Warner's Fine Arts Productions will establish a system of coast-to-coast exchanges. Most of them will be operated on the premises of the defunct Grand National exchange. Warner received back from Grand'^^"^ National the six pictures he made for that company, including "Shadows Over Shanghai," "Frontier Scout," "Cipher Bureau," "Long Shot," "Panama Patrol" and "Exile Express." Meanwhile Warner has several stories ready for early production. Sol Edwards has been appointed sales manager for the new company. By the time the first of the new pictures is ready for release, it is expected that exchanges will be established everywhere ready to handle them. For the 1940-41 season, Warner has announced a schedule of 26 features and 16 outdoor action melodramas. The new company's branch managers will in effect be in business for themselves being responsible for their own territories and the revenue for each picture from them. The list of branch managers so far is as follows: Marcel Mekelberg, Boston; Mae Vincent, booker, Cleveland; Cleve Adams, Chicago: Phil Monsky, Des Moines and Omaha; Ralph Peck'ham, Detroit; Had Hull, Indianapolis and Cincinnati; Sol Hankin, Kansas City; Eph Rosen, Minneapolis; Dick Perry, New York; Herb Given, Philadelphia; Max Shugold, Pittsburgh; Joseph Hartman, St. Louis; Josepii Kaliski Washington; Bradley Fish, San Francisco. GERING TO HEAD N. Y. PROD. UNIT Dunphy Financing Enterprise To Make Pictures in East First active result of the drive to promote Eastern motion picture production was apparent last week-end when it was announced that Christopher Dunphy had organized a company to make pictures in New York. Marion Gering, former Paramount and Columbia director, will head the company, whose first picture is to be "Bricks Without Straw." by Charles G. Norris. This will be followed by "Song On Your Bugle" by Eric Knight. Having arranged for the production of the two pictures at about $300,000 each, Dunphy's connection with the enterprise is said to be strictly from a financing standpoint. Currently pending are negotiations for a studio, in addition to a deal for national distribution. Production is slated to get under way by April 1. POSTER RENTERS TO STAY IN BIZ Claim They Have Plans To Get All Accessories Poster exchanges will continue in business and rumors that exhibitors will be able to obtain posters, stills and photographs only from Advertising Accessories, Inc., a subsidiary of National Screen Service, were labelled as "a cleverly conceived propaganda campaign designed tn break the morale of independent exhibitors and swing them away from their constant support of their friends the poster exchanges," by Simon Libros, president of the National Poster Service Association. He spoke before the executive committee of that body in New York, saying further. Important Dates (an. 2.T : 69th Regiment Dinner and ['review of "Fighting 69th", WaltJorf.^.storia. Jan. 27-28 : Columbia western .sales meet, San Francisco. Jan. 28 : Actors Fund of America benefit. Winter Garden. Feb. 24-26 : National Film Critics Convention, Memphis, 'I'enn. April 18-20; National convention Variety Clubs cf America, Dallas, 'I'exas. April 18-25: Will Rogers National Theatre Week. "it is absolutely untrue that the independent poster exchanges will be unable to supply exhibitors with all their advertising needs. For the benefit of the record, let it be known that we have already laid plans that will enable us to supply exhibitors with advertising on the releases of all exchanges. "Efforts have often been made to eliminate the competition of the poster renters, but they have always failed because exhibitors have always supported their independent poster exchanges," he added. "Exhibitors have learned from bitter experience that the elimination of competition means a monopoly that will be able to raise prices unhampered and unrestricted. As long as the independent poster exchanges remain in business, prices for advertising accessories will remain low. Eliminate the poster exchanges and there is nothing in the world that can prevent a monopoly from charging five or ten times more than is charged at the present time for poster, photographs, stills, screen process cards, and banners," said Labros. ''you CANT TAKE JT WaH^cu'' PENNY AT, -This Theater' Aomme IT./ 'TOMOf?f?o\{/ ^LSo KITCHEN"!