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S H O \V M E N ' S TRADE REVIEW
July 29, 1944
Cooperation of Merchants In Underwriting the Cost of Programs is Held Advisable
We have been studying up on what makes us so uncomfortable during hot weather. It seems that vapor rises from the Atlantic Ocean and descends on the territory hereabouts, and when that vapor is especially heavy, the air is saturated with it. Thus, if the temperature is, say, 85 degrees, and the atmosphere is saturated with over 50 per cent of that steam, life is sticky and uncomfortable. Now don't ask us what makes the humidity go down, because we're not exactly sure ; but when it does, life becomes a little more bearable. Thus a temperature of 95 degrees, with a humidity of 35 per cent, is much more endurable than a temperature of 82 degrees with a humidity of, say, 60 per cent. At least that's the way it is in our section of the country. Right now, the weather is delightful, although we can feel the humidity gradually creeping up on us. At the same time, we can feel this edition of the Program Exchange also gradually creeping up on us, so we shall delve into it before it creeps any farther.
With the drive for the sale of "E" bonds still in progress as we write these lines, programmatic activities are still at a minimum. Even our old standbys are so up-to-their-necks in promoting bond sales that they haven't had a chance to keep us abreast of their program selling. The result, therefore, is that we have few — very few, indeed — programs to discuss.
An item we have prepared for the Selling the Picture section (if it doesn't appear in this issue, then it will appear in a forthcoming issue) tells of a tieup a Schine theatre manager made with his local Sears Roebuck store whereby the store pays for the cost of heralds or programs distributed weekly. The plan as we remember it (a copy of the story is not presently
available) involved a weekly payment of ten dollars by the store for an ad in a herald, program, or any other selling medium the manager may choose to use.
Most showmen, it is true, pay for their programs through merchant ads ; but there are still many who, for some reason or other, fail to contact merchants for cooperation. Perhaps they were unsuccessful the first time and have failed to try again ; or maybe they feel it wouldn't be any use to try in the first place. It is this latter group to whom our remarks here are directed.
As a general rule, merchants are glad to arrange tieups with theatremen because they know the value of such tieups. Their general eagerness to cooperate, to share costs or in many cases to bear entire costs of displays and cooperative ads, should be ample proof of this. Few, if any, merchants tie up with a manager just to do him a favor; they're realistic business men, just as you are, and if they feel they're helping the manager, they're also fully aware of the fact that they're helping themselves. It remains for the livewire showman to convince the obstinate merchant, if such he be, that he (the merchant) is just as much a beneficiary of a ticup as the theatre.
Check Up On Situation
So, if you've just been struggling along paying for your own programs, heralds, throwaways, etc., why not take stock of the situation and see if you can't set up some sort of arrangement whereby one or more merchants help pay the cost of these heralds and programs? This could be done through ads in these selling mediums. Before us, for example, is a program put out by a national program printing concern. On the back page are listed coming attractions. This is all well and good, but we're inclined to believe that the space was used for this purpose because that was the simplest way out. Through a tieup, this back page could have featured a merchant's ad which would have paid for the
cost of the programs, or at least part of the cost.
Cultivating and winning the goodwill of your local dealers will prove a valuable asset to you and your theatre. Bear that in mind.
When you read these lines, the Fifth War Loan will be over. Having done an exemplary job in that great effort, we hope you'll turn your attention once more to programs and resume sending copies to us. And let us have your comments on program construction, their value in exploiting your theatre and your attractions, etc. If you need any advice, if you have something to say, if you contemplate a new program or have already started issuing one, let us hear from you. Meanwhile, we'll see you next week.
MGM Birthday Tied-in With 'Dover' Campaign
Using MGM's 20th anniversary celebration as the cornerstone on which to build his campaign for "White Cliffs of Dover," Manager Jack Foxe of Loew's Theatre, Richmond, Va., played the tie-in angle to the hilt.
Banners, radio, street cabinet signs, song contests, book tieups, department store window displays, music store plugs, railway express trucks, bill boards, newspapers, merchant cooperation buildups— all were snared by Foxe as mediums to advise the public that "White Cliffs of Dover," in coalition with MGM's 2Gth anniversary festivities, was appearing at Loew's.
Highlighting the campaign was a theatre lobby display of an enormous cake, built of beaverboard, containing 20 candles and surrounded by stills from the pictures. Background for the cake had one still from each outstanding MGM film shown during the past 20 years, starting with 1924's "The Big Parade" and continuing on to "White Cliffs of Dover," MGM's 1944 anniversary picture.
Included in the regular show as dessert to the solid advance promotion fare was "The Romance of Celluloid," a highly enjoyable MGM anniversary subject depicting 20 years of motion picture history.
Milwaukee War Workers Attend Private Showings of War Films
On the theory that workers engaged in vital war jobs would get a better realization of the importance of their work after viewing uncen■ sored war films, officials of A. O. Smith Corporation, Milwaukee, together with officers of the Sixth Service Command in the Milwaukee area, arranged for private showings of War Department Combat shorts.
The plan, calling for A. O. Smith workers to attend screenings of the films at the Zenith Theatre, Milwaukee, was described as a huge success. Thirteen thousand war workers witnessed the screenings over a period of two weeks, with the stepping up of bond sales and a large increase in blood donations to the Red Cross a direct result. As a morale builder, said one company official, there has been nothing to equal it.
Extensive Book Tieup Is Set By Warners on 'Mr Skeffington'
"Mr. Skeffington," which Warner Bros, will place in general release August 12, will receive the benefit of extensive Book-of-the-Month Club promotion under arrangements completed by the Warner educational bureau.
Among channels in which the picture, adapted from the best-seller by Elizabeth, will receive exploitation are the Book-of-the-Month Club News, monthly magazine with over a million reader circulation ; the club's radio script, Books and Authors, used by about 500 broadcasting stations; Reading and Writing, book information service sent to newspapers arid magazines throughout the ' -country, and' the^ Book ■ Newsi' Letter, women's club service.
Th.s striking anniversary setpiece in the lobby of the Gillioz Theatre, Springfield, Mo., highlighted scenes from 20 outstanding MGM pictures and featured "The White Cliffs of Dover." The display was arranged by George Hunter and Dick Wright, Fox Midwest, and Clarence Jones, artist.