Showmen's Trade Review (Oct-Dec 1939)

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Page 10 SHOWMEN'S TRADE REVIEW November 4, 1939 Historical Significance And Plenty of Action Are Big Sales Angles BEFORE launching our selling campaign on "'Allegheny Uprising," let's take a quick look at what we have to sell. First of all, it is a costume picture, but if that term isn't quite to your liking, call it any- thing else, because it isn't the type of pic- ture usually associated with the term "cos- tume picture." It's full of action (and that's something you'll have to go strong on in selling), it has a cast boasting some well known names and a historical significance that must not be lost sight of. The action in the picture should appeal to many of you theatremen because of its appeal for your audiences. So don't spare the horses in telling them that this is a moving picture that moves. The cast is headed by John Wayne and Claire Trevor, the team which was so successful in "Stage- coach" and whose names by now connote action to the average film fan. The period of the picture is 1759, when the French and Indian War was raging. It's a period sel- dom before depicted in a picture. Fix Up Front Like Stockade In order to put over the idea of the pic- ture, you could fix up your front in a novel way, such as shown in the illustration on this page. The front should be in stockade effect with blockhouses at the ends. It's simply at matter of a row of logs set be- tween log towers. You can use banners at the top giving the title and cast, if you like. To augment this display set up a display of frontier relics in the lobby such as flint- lock rifles, bows, arrows, tomahawks, buck- skins, and powder horns. A man dressed in frontier costume would add to this display. Another gag, which would appeal di- rectly to the women and put over the locale of the picture, is to send out a call for authentic Colonial recipes. Any woman sub- mitting one would be entitled to free tickets for the showing of "Allegheny Frontier" at your theatre. Such a contest could easily be conducted through the woman's page of your local newspaper. So start them look- ing through the family Bible, ancient letters, diaries, etc. Through the manual training class of the local schools, you can offer a prize for the best constructed model of an early Amer- ican stockade, such as is depicted in "Alleg- heny Uprising." Use the stills as a guide in this. You can use those constructed as a lobby display during the run of the picture. If you don't want to run a contest like this, buy a couple of stockade models from the toy department of a local department store. Lots of Good Ballyhoo For a ballyhoo, you can have a man garbed in the attire of a British soldier of Colonial days riding horseback through the streets carrying a banner bearing the name of the picture. Another bal- lyhoo would be to have a stagecoach of the period of the picture driven by a frontiersman clad in buck- skins and carrying a rifle. This coach accompanied by a number of other men dressed in proper costume of the period could parade througli your principal business streets. Still another ballyhoo would be to ob- tain a real Indian, daub him with war paint, equip him with a toma- hawk, bow and arrow and war feathers and let him sell the show through the medium of a sign on his back. A simple but effective stunt would be to have a hay wagon (easily obtainable a few miles from town) and have a man and wife in Colonial garb riding on it. Suitable banners can be fastened to it also. Work Through Local Groups Another good stunt would be to work through the Colonial Dames, Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, So- ciety of Mayflower Descendants and other similar organizations and try to find local descendants of men who might have taken part in the original "Allegheny Uprising." They should be feted, interviewed and given special seats to the opening performance. To emphasize the action in the picture, it would be a good stunt to open it with a real cannon shot. You'll have to use your ingenuity to obtain a small cannon, mount it atop the marquee and the instant you are ready to start the "Allegheny Uprising," fire the cannon. This stunt should be her- alded for some time in advance and it can be given a good build up insuring large crowds around the theatre at the opening. Along this same line, have some small envelopes imprinted with the words, "War Bulletin"—"Do Not Open in Public." Inside you can Al4jg|j»j^_ _ have a herald or some ..v»..J^5 other copy about the UPRIXINC picture. Don't forget that the picture is based on a famous book "The First Rebel" by Neil Swanson. Get cooperation from local bookstores and the public and lending libraries to put over the tieup between the picture and this best-seller. Because of the educational angle involved, it should be easy to put over tieups with the schools. Get teachers of his- tory classes to bring them to matinee showings enmasse or else to urge their stud- ents to see the picture. The Indian angle in the picture is one which should not be neglected because its pres- ence insures ac- tion in the mind of every poten- tial patron. In- dians, real or synthetic, can parade through the streets wrapped in. their traditional blankets. When a big enough crowd col- lects they can unfold their blankets or re- verse them and the on-lookers will see that they are advertising "Allegheny Uprising." Aside from the traditional poster paper and lobby display material on this picture there is an educational one-sheet in two colors which consists of a sort of montage effect with complete descriptions of the vari- ous sets, etc. This could be effectively used not only in the lobby but also in schools, libraries and other public places. The picture suggests several excellent drawing or coloring contests. These can be easily worked through the schools because of the historical angle. Students could be asked to draw Indians, Redcoats, frontiers- men, covered wagons, stockades, and other items of Colonial lore. There is available a large mat containing outline drawings of four characters, which can be used for a col- oring contest. This sort of contest will inter- est the kids and through them the adults This stockade effect, erected in front of the theatre, atop the marquee or on a ballyhoo would be very effective m selling the picture. It is simple to construct and eould be made quickly. Screenplay by P. J. Wolfson from the factual story, "The First Rebel" by Neil Swanson. Directed by William Seiter. Produced by P. J. Wolfson.