Showmen's Trade Review (Apr-Jun 1945)

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June 3U. I^f5 SHOWMEN'S TRADE REVIEW 21 Cooper in Person at Dallas (or Premiere Augmented by the personal appearance of Gary Cooper, star and producer of International's "Along Came Jones," the world premiere of the picture almost turned the city of Dallas, Texas, upside down, with hundreds of persons in line at the Majestic Theatre from 9 in the morning until 8 in the evening when it became necessary, for safety's sake, to close the boxoffice disappointing hundreds more who were anxious to see the star and his first producing venture. Cooper came to Texas shortly after being released from a California hospital, to embark on his week-long premiere celebration in Texas and Oklahoma. The day preceding the Dallas premiere he was entertained at an old-fashioned barbecue at the Wilkerson Ranch, Fort Worth, at which he was welcomed by leading citizens including Bob O'Donnell of Interstate: Ed Rowley and C. B. Jones of Robb & Rowley ; R. I. Payne, Ray Higdon and Len Stocker of Griffith Theatres ; S. L. Oakley of JefYerson Amusement Company and other theatre circuit representatives. As part of his tour Cooper entertained servicemen at the Ashburne General Hospital at McKinney. Cooper's tour took him through Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth and he participated in Bond Rallies in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The star has returned to Hollywood to prepare for an imminent overseas trip. "Along Came Jones," co-stars Loretta Young and is released by RKO Radio. Republic Players on Air For 10th Anniversary Several new nationwide radio broadcasts have been set to herald Republic Pictures' current 10th Anniversary celebration, with the company's screen personalities featured on currently popular programs. The "Blind Date" show, heard Mondays via American Broadcasting Network, will star Dale Evans on the July 2nd broadcast, with another Republic personality to be heard the following week. Jane Withers was heard Monday (25th). Saundra Berkova, juvenile violinist featured in "Tugboat Annie," will be heard on the "People Are Funny" program, via NBC stations July 13th to be followed by Victor McLaglen, featured in "Love, Honor and Goodbye," the following week. Three other Republic personalities were featured on this show during preceding weeks. Jane Withers is set for the July 6th broadcast of the G. E. House Party, via CBS network and Constance Moore, star of "Mexicana," will make her appearance on the same daily show, July 11th. Al Pearce appeared on the June 8th program. Several other Republic stars and featured players have been presented on various radio programs since the "Which Is Which" broadcast May 23rd, which started the 10th Anniversary celebration programs. Salty O'Rourke' Contest Used By Eshelman in Bloomington A "Salty O'Rourke Sweeps" four-day contest from Paramount's press book on "Salty O'Rourke" was planted as a one-time shot in the local newspaper by Roy R. Eshelman, city manager of Y & W Theatres, Bloomington, Ind., in connection with the picture's engagement at the Princess Theatre. The contest, in which guest tickets were given to the first 10 winners, attracted much attention, particularly among local university students. Copy ran two columns wide, the depth of the page. AT BOSTON PREMIERE. Jesse L. Lasky, RKO Radio producer; Anthony Quinn, Ellen Drew, John Wayne and "Ducky" Louie, the latter four who appear in RKO's "Back to Bataan," as they arrived in Boston for the film's premiere. 150 Theatres Aided By 'Bataan' Premiere An ace exploitation campaign put on for the world premiere of RKO Radio's "Back to Bataan" at the RKO Memorial Theatre, Boston, was the spearhead for 150 participating theatres in the New England area, and resulted in box-office lines starting at 7 o'clock in the morning at the Memorial Theatre. The campaign got under way with a mammoth benefit for the GI Wives and Mothers' Fund, held in the Boston Garden, with a capacity crowd of 20,000 on hand. Eddie Cantor and his radio troupe headed a three-hour stage show which included Benny Goodman and band ; Romo Vincent, Johnnie Johnston and other stars. Also on hand from Hollywood were John Wayne, star of "Back to Bataan," and Anthony Quinn, Fely Franquelli, "Ducky" Louie, 13-year-old Chinese actor, all featured in the picture. Also representing Hollywood were Ellen Drew, RKO Radio contract player, and Jesse Lasky, RKO producer. A highlight of the occasion was the appearance of General Carlos T. Romulo, Philippine Commissioner to the United States, who was the last man to leave Bataan, as aide to General MacArthur. General Romulo flew on from the United Nations Conference in San Francisco especially for the occasion. Governor Maurice Tobin and Mayor Kerrigan of Boston were among a host of civic personages on hand and Eddie Cantor was the recipient of civic honors from both officials. Newspapers devoted columns of space to the afifair, with extensive picture coverage and editorial comment. Sufficient money was raised from the Boston Garden Benefit performance to fully equip the Servicemen's Gl Center. RKO home office executives who were on hand for the festivities included Ned Depinet, president of RKO Radio ; Robert Mochrie, S. Barret McCormick, Arthur Willi, M. Poller, Nat Levy, Walter E. Branson, Malcolm Kingsberg, Sol Schwartz and Harry Mandel. 'Have You Heard. . ?' "We do not want to start a scandal, but have you heard about 'The Affairs of Susan'?" A 6x8 inch card with that copy and theatre playdate was used by Tri-States Theatres, Des Moines, in six towns in advance of opening. The card was distributed through cafes, placed on tables, in booths, etc. Goth Stages Dance Contest l' Richmond Edgar Goth, advertising and publicity director for Fabian's newly acquired Wilmer and Vincent theatres operated out of Richmond, Va., staged a Bobby Socks Revue at the National in Richmond in which the highlight was a Jitterbug Contest which ran an entire week with semi-finalists selected each night of the contest to compete on the final night of the week. War Bond and other prizes were awarded to winners. Assuring his contest of maximum publicity Goth enlisted the services of Harvey Hudson, juke 'box master of ceremonies on a local radio station to act as master of ceremonies in the theatre. Hudson kept up a constant stream of radio plugs for the contest two weeks in advance and continued during the week's run. Tieups were made with a radio store which paid for a newspaper ad and donated record albums as prizes in addition to those offered by the theatre. Large quantities of heralds were distributed among high school youngsters, stimulating the contest angle between the schools. Special newspaper ads, theatre trailer, lobby setpieces, and prominence accorded the contest on the theatre front added to the stunt's promotional value. Goth used the contest to build up a comparatively weak picture and was rewarded with better-than-normal business. Bob Eagan, National Theatre manager worked with Goth to put over the highly successful stunt. Worthiest Teacher Contest For Davis Film in Cincinnati A contest based on "The Teacher Who Has Done the Most for Me and My Children" has aroused exceptional interest and will be the highlight of the campaign for Warners' "The Corn Is Green" opening July 4 at the RKO Palace, Cincinnati. Arthur Frudenfeld is manager of the house. Because of its strong public interest angle, announcement of the contest immediately brought full cooperation from press and radio. The local CBS station WCKY, has tied in with the project, and the prize awards will include a silver plaque signed by Bette Davis to the most worthy teacher, as well as a War Bond to the outstanding student. The contest will come to a rousing climax on the opening night, when honor students, teachers, civic officials and other prominent local citizens will assemble at the RKO Palace for the presentation of the awards. Treasure Hunt Good Source For 'Horseshoe' Ballyhoo The latest good word in the Treasure Hunt stunt, devised by 20th Century-Fox's press book department to exploit "Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe," has been reported from Albany where a tie-in with that city's Knickerbocker News was essayed to put over the picture's engagement at the Strand Theatre. The five-day "Diamond Horseshoe Treasure Hunt" was arranged by Charles A. Smakwitz, Warner zone publicity director, and Ralph Stitt, 20th-Fox field exploiteer. Of¥-the-movie-page news stories, giving additional clews each day, caused rising excitement in the city — the trail, of course, leading to the Strand Theatre on opening night, when grand prizes were awarded at the theatre. To Cut Cake at Birthday Party Judy Garland will be the guest of honor and will cut the cake at the birthday party to be held at Loew's Mayfair Theatre on Friday evening, July 6th, when the theatre will celebrate its tenth anniversary under Loew management.