Variety (Dec 1941)

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Wedneedayv December 3, 1941 Locas & Jenkins, Par and Other Fix Majors to Deny Atlanta Trust Suit -fr Sued under the anti-trust laws, along with other distributors and Its own Lucas & Jenkins- circuit in Georgia, Paramount will mahe a gen- eral denial to all the allegations con- tained in the complaint filed by Mion & Murray, Inc. in Atlanta during the past week. Par will handle defense on the action in conjunction with special counsel to be retained in At- lanta by tiucas & Jenkins. Other distribs who are parties to the action' are also expected to put in a blanket denial within the next two weeks, in- cluding Metro, RKO, Warner Bros., 20th-century - Fox, Universal and United Artists. In addition to the seven dis- tributors, Lucas & Jenkins, Inc. and .several theatre operating subsidiaries, Arthur Lucas and William K. Jen- kins are named personally as de- fendants. They are partners , witli Par in Atlanta and other Georgia ■ spots with . 54 theatres. Charles Mion and W. T.- Murray, who brought the suit, alleging con- spiracy in restraint of trade and ask- ing triple damages of Jl,592,785, op- erate the downtown Rialto in Atlanta and three suburban houses. The Rialto, which they have had lor sev- eral years, is not involved In the ac- tioa H. & M.'s 3 Theatres . In 1940, according to the complaint, three theatres were built for Mion & Murray, the Little Five Points in Atlanta, the East Point at East Point, Ga., and the Decatyr, Decatur, Ga. Leases for 15 years were taken, amounting to $14,400 annually, while equipment paid for by the exhibs, plus certai-j) building costs they bore ran to $62,746. --ly In comp'uting the damages suffered, Mion S( Murray claim the net loss on operations of the three theatres from Sept. 10, 1940'to Nov. 15, 1941, was $35,032, exclusive of depreciation. For the term of the leases the total of $199,150 is thrown in as damages, while stlU another item is $243,000, representing profit the three theatres should h^ve made as well as make for the remaining 14 years under the Uases. This is arrived at on a basis of $100 a week profit to each theatre. The petition states, in part: 'As soon as .tlie plalntiS made known its intention to lease and op- erate the t^ee neighborhood the- atres as aforesaid, the exhibitor de- fendants, Arthur Lucas and William Jenkins, conspired to promulgate and carry out plans to maintahi a mo- nopoly and restrain competition in Interstate commerce by seeking to .deter plaintiff from engaging in the ' operation of the aforesaid three the- atres or to force plaintiff out of busi- ness by preventing plaintiff from obtaining' such feature motion. pic- tures as would enable plaintiif to continue its operation of said the- atres.' It is set forth that Lucas Ac Jenkins increased the seating capacity of its DeKalb 50% in the face of new indie opposition; bought a lot adjoining the site of the Little Five Points and built the Euclid; and also built the Russell at East Point, Ga. These three L&J houses are in direct con- flict with the M&M trio. The complaint states that pictures are old by the time, the M&M thC' at^s receive them, but the extent of the clearance set up against this circuit in favor of L&J is not in^ dicated. It merely says that a 'defl- nite period' intervenes. One Long Reel Hollywood, Dec. 2. Marathon record for one-pic- ture souses is credited to Ray Mlddleton, in "Lady For a Night' at Republic. Under the Will Hays dictum, an actor Is per- mitted only three scenes of al- coholic libation per film. Mlddleton takes his three le- gitimate strikes against old John Barleycorn and continues to stagger through 161 more scenes. COL'S FIRST QUARTER NET IS $261,705 Columbia -Pictures net profit amounted to $261,705 for the first quarter of the company's fiscal year ending last Sept 27. This compares with profit of $153,876 earned in cor- responding period ending Sept .28, 1940. Profit figure in both instances is after provisions for Federal in- come and other taxes. No provision was made for monies presently restricted in England, be- cause Columbia has no way of de- termining how much of these funds may be permanently blocked, the statement pointed out. Corporation showed working capital of $11,619,- 219, with current assets listed ' at $14,207,784 and liabilities at $2,588,565. Harry Cohn, in his report to stock- holders, said that results thus far In- dicate^the second quarter of com- pany's fiscal year indicate a. con- tinued earnings improvement. COLUMBIA PICTURES EARNINGS, 1930-41 Net profit, except as noted: (t) deiScit 1930 $1,295,958 1931 560,869 1932 574,292 1933 740,241 1934 1,008,834 1935 1,815,267 1936.. 1,568,816 1937 1,317,771 1938 183,393 1939 2,047 1940 • 512,185 1041 552,744 (By Quarters far Flieal Tear Ended June 28, 1941) First Second Third Fourt Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter $153,878 $153,128 t$32,242 $277,980 (Cnrrent Fiscal Tear by Qnarters) First Second Third Fourt Quarter Quarter Quarter Quarter $261,705 FROSCH HEADS TWIN CITY VARIETY aUB Minneapoll*, Deo. 2. Maltland Frosch, local cqulpmant dealer, was elected Chief Barker of the Twin City Variety club, succeed- ing Ben Blotcky, Paramount branch manager, who held the office for two terms. Other officers chosen were M. Frank McCormick, first assistant; Arthur Anderson, Warner Bros.' branch manager, second assistant; Charles Rubenstein, independent ex- hibitor, treasurer, and Lowell Kaplan of the Eddie Ruben circuit, secretary. Other directors are Blotcky, Max Torodor, William Elson, W. A. Steftes, Eddie Ruben, Bennle Berger, LeRoy J. Miller and Paul Mans. Previously the club had selected Elson as national canvassman and one of four delegates to the national convention, others being Abe Kap- lan, Frosch and Joe Podoloff. Wes Uuss IndDcted Cincinnati, Dec. 2; Wcs Huss, 'exhib, heads. Variety Club Tent 3 for 1942. He and other officers were installed at a dinner Monday U) night in the tent's quar- ters in the Netherland Plaza. Other officers: Andy Niedenthal and William Devaney, assistant chief barkers; Saul Greenberg, reelected property master; Pete Nilapd, dough guy. Directors are William Onle, re- tiring chief barker; Col. Arthur Frudenfeld, Joe Oulahan, Harry J. 'Pop' Wessel and Allan S. Moritz, past chief barkers; Harris Dudelson, James J. Grady, Al Kolitz, Nat Kaplan and Albert Weinstein. Schad YS. WB-FOX-W.&V. Set for Trial on Jan. 29 Philadelphia, Dec. 2. The U. S. District Court last week •et Jan. 29 for- the--date for final hearing in the $750,000 dam- age suit filed by the Schad Thea- tres, Reading, Pa., against 20th-Fox, Wilmer & Vincent and the Warner Interests. The case will be heard by Judge J. Cullen Ganey. The plaintiffs, Harry J. Schad and Eallle R. Schad, who operate the Astor, Reading, accuse the defend- ants of allegedly engaging in a con- . spiracy - to Injure the Astor after the Schads refused to renew a lease on the house to Warners at a lower rental figure. It 1^ the largest amount of dam- 'ages ever asked in an anti-trust suit In PhtUy courts up to now. Minn. Indies Will Take Beefs to Unity Confab Iflnneapolis, Dec. 2 Alleging Minnesota independent exhibitors cannot live* under terms being demanded by major decree dis- tributors now selling in conformity with the state's anti-decree law, Northwest Allied, measure's sponsor, will carry its-case to Industry's Na- tional Unity Conference in Chicago, Dec. 9. At an Indignation meeting here Monday (1), the organization's board of directors authorized president E. L. Peaslee to.appoint a 12-man com- mittee to go to Chi and lay the situ- ation before the Industry.' 'If appeal goes unheeded end no relief is forthcoming,' it was an nounced. Twin City independent nelghbortiood exhibitors either will close their theatres or adopt 11c. double feattire policy, sans major decree product. 'Careful consideration also will be given to 'wholesale filing of lawsuits and request to federal government to step Into situation,' it was an- nounced. Organization charged that deals now being offered are "punitive' —not In line with, decree blocks-of> five terms: Idea, It was declared, 'and Is intended to punish Minnesota independent exhibitors for having sponsored. anti-consent decree law which requires distributors to sell their entire season's product subject to 20% minimum cancellation prlv- Uege.' ,i Griffith Prez In Dallas Dallas, Dec. 2. Texas Variety Club's new staff of officials will be headed in 1942 by R. E. Griffith, the members voted Sunday (Nov. 31). One of the early supporters of the club and long an officer, Griffith heads a circuit of theatres bearing his name through- out the Southwest. He succeeds Paul Short as chief barker of th^ club. Other members of the executive group will be Claude Ezell, first assistant chief barker; W. G. Underwood, second assistant chief l>arker; Ted de Boer, treasurer, and John Q. Adams, secre- tary. Directors will be Ed Rowley, S. L. Dakely, Ben Ferguson, Herman Beiersdorf, Jo Jack and Justin Mc- Inaney. Delegates to the 1942 con- vention in Los Angeles will be J. O. Cherry and Butt King, alternates being B. C. Gil>son and Jake Lutzer. HoIlTwood, D«fl. 1 Klchard Serr'f plajrw option picked np hj SOth-Tox. Joan Merrill drew an option lift at RKO. . Frank Butler Inked new icrlpting eontract with Paramount Roberta ftnlth'i player option bolsted by RKO. Polly James, David LMg, Warner Law and D* VaUoh ficott, junior writers, renewed by Metro, New lATSE Prez Is Encouraging Local Autonwny In line with his policy of safe- guarding local autonomy through- out the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Richard F. Walsh, president, is encouraging ths Coast studio locals to carry on their own negotiations as far as they can and as a result is not project- ing himseU Importantly into the pic- ture although waiting to be called when lA executive aid Is needed. The Coast locals, excepting the laboratory workers who previously made their own deal, had sessions in New York in October at which lA representatives sat in, but were unable to reach agreements with subsequent negotiations shifted to Hollywood. It is expected ultimately that Walsh will be asked to attend meet- ings on negotiations between the studios and the Coast locals, with chances being the new lA prez would go out there rather than have the huddles in the east Pat Casey is presently on the Coast on top of the renewed negotiations with the locals as chairman of the studio labor committee. Walsh was in Atlanta last Thurs- day (27) attending a celebration of the 25th' anniversary of Local 225, Atlanta operators. WB REPORTER PAYING ISOG FORK Warner Bros, is reported near aii agreement for purchase of screen rights to "Watch on the Rhine,' Lil- lian -Hellman's anti-Nazi drama which is now in Its 3Sth week on Broadway. Price Is said to be In excess of $150,000. Negotiations are on between Jaka Wilk, eastern rep of WB studios. Miss Hellman and Herman Shum- lln, producer of the play, - Only other filmmaker beside WB said to be actively interested in rights la Samuel Goldwyn. Because of th« play's success, all companies hava been watch hig it attentively, but have laid off bidding beeause of its strong anti-Nazi point of view and other production difficulties. WB also owns rights to another Shumlin play, "The Corn Is Green.' Metro has purchased 'Grand Cen- tral Murder,' a mystery novel pub- 'llshed several years ago. It was written by Sue MacVeigh. Prlca was $4,000. Same studio also ac- quired W. L. White's 'Journey for Margaret,' in which the war cor- respondent tells of some of his ad- ventures and of his bringing a young refugee girl to this country. Metro Is interested only In the lat- ter phase and paid $4,500 for rights. Phllly's $4>M* Gift Pt^iiadelphla, Dec. 2. Highlight of the forthcoming Vari- ety Club banquet Dec. 14 will be the presentation of a $4,000 check by retiring Chief .Barker Earle Swei- gert to Dr. Alexander. J. Stoddard, superintendant of schools. The money is to be used for medical at- tention for school pupils crippled by infantile paralysis. Mrs. Pallos (Esther Kiss) Also Agenting Authors Agency to handle literary material for films and represent authors has been established in N^ York by Esther Pallos, wife of Steven Pallos, partner and eastern rep of Alex- ander Korda. Mrs. Pallos Is a for- mer European legit and fll^n actress, then known as Esther Kiss. - Mrs. Pallos has been assigned by Arnold Pressburger, United Artists produces', to locate suitable material for his unit and Is also searching for stuff for other film-makers. On the othef hand, she Is serving as per- sonal rep for young playwrights whom she is aiding to develop Into screen and stage writers. This is her first venture Into 10%ing. She's a British subject GENERAL PAR THEATRE POWWOW IN CHICAGO $475 L A. Stickop Hollywood, Dec, 2. . A lone bandit forced the cashier at gunpoint; to h&nd over $475 at the Four Star theatre.on busy WU- shire Blvd., Sunday (31) evening. He fled In an auto. DeMiUe's Mex Moonties Hollywood, Dec. 2. ■Rurales,' a story based on tiie ex- ploits of Mexico's mounted police, is slated as Cecil B. DeMllle's next pro- duction at Paramount Theodore St John, Jeanle Mac- pherson and Albert Maltz are col- latrarating on the screen play. .Joan,Gets a Lift Hollywood, Dec. 2. Joan Bennett will make two pic- tures next year on the 20th-Fox lot as a. result of the lifting of her option. Contract permits the actress to ap- pear meanwhile in films at outside studios. Discussion of pictures so far re- leased this season, those on the way, the Tribute to Y. Frank Freeman' drive as a means of increasing pre- Christmas business, and general theatre problems are expected on the agenda for a meeting of Paramount theatre execs and partners to be field In Chicago today (Wed). Meet- ing will be attended by all the north-, ern and western partners, as well as by M. A. LIghtman of Memphis, only southern operator to be on hand. <■ Leonard Goldenson, in charge of all Par theatre operations, will pre- side, while other h.o. execs in Chi- cago for the sessions are Sam Dem- bow, Jr., and Eddie Hyman. Leon Netter is in Texas, where he attend- ed a board meeting of East Texas Theatres. In addition to John Balaban and Walter Immerman of the Chicago B. & K. chain, partner-operators sitting in are J. J. O'Leary, John Nolan, Marty Mullin, Nate Gold- stein, Jules Rubens, Earl K. Hudson, John Friedl, Tracy Barham, Harry Nace, Abe Blank, Harry David and Ralph Branton. Following the one-day Chicago meeting, Goldenson and Dembow will join Netter New Orleans for huddles with E. V. Richards and other execs of the Saenger circuit No More Outside Tenants In Loew's State Bldg., N.Y. Loew's, Inc., has notified all tenants of Loew's State Bldg., 1540 Broad way, that no further extension of leases will be given. It is part of the policy of Loew's (Metro) to teke over the entire building for the film company, Loew's circuit (the theatre operating division) and WHN, its radio station. Estimated this week that there are only five tenants left in the building now, and that these will be out early next year. This will give Loew's 16 solid floors of space, ;ground floor only being used by the Loew's State theatre and its ofTlces. Company offices extend over all excepting about two floors presently. SPG Renews Interest In CIO Following Schism A second referendum on affiliation with the CIO appears in prospect by the Screen Pilbllclsts Guild ot New York as result of the break in contract negotiations with the pro- ducers. Proposal to tie up with tbf CIO was beaten in balloting several weeks ago, but a number of thoso who voted against It then are under- stood to have changed their minds since the schism with producers on working out a pact . Special meeting has been called for tomorrow night (Thursday) to consider the affiliation question. SPG leaders feel that producers' 'categorical refusal to bargain In good faith' stems directly from de- feat of the CIO affiliation proposal. They say that the wage scale offered in the cdntract after the film com- panies learned that the CIO wais out were 'a retrogression' from offers that had been made while CIO af- filiation was pending and looked likely of approval by' the member- ship. Picture was muddled meantime, however, by entrance of a second CIO union seeking to sign up tha SPGites. This threatens a' jurisdic- tional dispute within the CIO. New- comer to the scene is the United Retail. Wholesale >& Department Store Employees of .America. It did its wooing in a eoo-word telegram read at a special SPG meeting called to hear of the contract break last Thursday (27). URWDSE announced it was pre- pared to launch a Cinema Workers Organizing Committee 'to organize all unorganized workers in the dis- tribution end of the cinema indus- try. We absolutely will not raid or interfere with the jurisdiction of any legitimate union with honest con- tractual relations, whether it ba an AFL or a CIO union.' At the Thursday night session, membership was Informed that con- ferences with the homeoflices ara off as a result of refusal of the pic- ture companies to grant a 10% In- crease and to consider the retro- active pay claims demanded by tha SPG. The home offices are also accused of Intolerable steUhig and refusal to make any concessions ot substance. In a letter to members, the SPO states: 'We may all rest assured that la our fight against the arrogant mo- tion picture monopoly, which al- ready is in so much public disfavor, we shall have the support of the public and the enthusiastic support and cooperation of an aroused labor movement' TITLE CHANGES . Hollywood, Dec. 2. 'Road to Happiness' is release teg on 'Boy ot Mine' at Monogram. 'Murletta and the Lone Rider* at Producers Releasing Corp. became 'The Lone Rider and the Bandit'