Variety (May 1942)

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14 EXPLOITATION Wednesday, May 27, 1942 Eastern Public Relations G Still Compiling Exploratory Data With An Eye to Film Market Analysis Despite the fact that it may be a couple of weeks before the over-all plan of the eastern Public Relations Committee of major film companies is approved, current indications are that some sort of industry survey to seek out weak points in public rela- tions, advertising, the boxofFice and other vital industry matters wiU be approved. If done, it will be the first time the. picture business has followed the example of other large industries such as the American As- sociation of Railroads, American Petroleum Institute and Lumber- men's Manufacturers Assn., in using accurately gauge industry problems. Public Relations planning commit- tee reported last week but revisions and additions were asked before the report is acceptable to the eastern PRC. Understood that Howard Oietz, who is compiling data for the Public Relations Committee on the survey setup, is seeking additional information from leading jiational market analysis groups before mak- ing recommendations. Not admit- ted officially but It's understood that one significant phase of the contem- plated survey would be to summar- ize picture industry relations with the public and search out weak spots In the prevailing alignment. A fairly concise planning report is expected, when finally submitted, be- cause John Joseph,-chairman of the planning group of the Coast PRC, conferred .with the eastern group last week. Mort Blumenstock, as chairman . of the eastern planning group, is directing the over-all re- port for the PRC in New York. During the past week, the eastern PRC planning group apparently could not agree on what questions should be asked in any all-Industry survey. Apparently there was no unanimity as to type of survey, whether it .should be strictly a fac- tual counting of noses, simple ques- tion and answer checkup, or wheth- er it should be a scientific research conducted by a professional survey group. Such scientific surveys have been used. recently by "the Radio Corp. of America, Standard Oil of New Jersey and the National Brew- ers Assn. Latter naturally sought knowledge on public opinion xegard- Ing possible return of prohibition and what could be done to .combat' the wartime drive for a revival of the dry era. B«Uro«da an Example Market researchersf point to the Ame^can As$n. of Railroads as a t- -'cal example of a large industry i-.-vlng active contact with the pub- lic as the film business) which leaned on advice of experts within the business as a basis for public relations. Survey is understood, to have shown the big problems in that industry, as. viewed within the busi- ness, were not vital ones from the standpoint of public Gelations, result being that the whole public rela- tions alignment was shifted. Recent market analysis made of ■ New York circuit uncovered startling facts and disproved many popular conceptions of word-of mouth advertising, that some na' tionally plugged pictures were strangers to neighborhood audiences and what local campaigns did for lesser known'films. Another survey Bske4_by an author, who wanted to gauge the value of' film rights to his novel, brought replies that checked within 2% of the actual «a|fia,oJ_Uie book... "While the exacVform a film indus- try survey would take is in doubt, opinion thus far Is fairly unanimous '■■ that material gleaned' from it should be adaptable to actual prac- tice. In other, words, no survey is wanted which digs up a lot of al- ready apparent answers that could !?& of no use to the industry after obtained. One of pertinent problems likely ' wiU be to learn why former regular thea'tre pa'trons no longer attend; what can be done to induce them to return regularly; and to get In- formation Which would curb any fu- ture exodus of pafarons from cin- emas. Wartime perplexities of the film business, what the public thinks about these and how the In- dustry can proceed in the future under war jooodi^opi.also .raay ,be. included Royalty at TIew Monfe' Premiere in Ottawa Ottawa, May 26. Governor-Qeneral of Canada, the Earl of Athlone, and Princess Alice of England headed the long list of official notables attending the world prcem of Th^y Flew Alone', dra- matic story of Amy Johnson Molli- son, intrepid British femme pilot, May 21, at the Regent theatre. W. L. McKenzle King, prime minister of Canada; Anna Neagle, star of film, and Herbert Wilcox, the producer, also were here for the premiere. Terry Turner, RKO exploitation chief, caime up here for preem with Miss Neagle and Wilcox. Ciias. ScUaifer Latest In Hal Home's Reorg Of 20tli Pnb-Ad Dept With several appointments and resignations taking place during the past few days, capped by the naming of Charles Schlaifer to the advertis- ing division, 20th-Fox publlclty-ad department reorganization, is virtu- ally completed. Among the changes by new pub-ad chief Hal Home is a decision to house publicity and exploitation forces at the former of- fices of'the Hal Home Organization on Broadway. Idea is that it's easier for r^orters to cover than the 10th Ave. main office. Advertising and production divi- sions will remain in the annex to 20th's homeoffice, at 56th and 10th, with Home himself also headquar- tering there. It is understood that 20th has assumed the long lease Home held on the General Motors Building offices, while the vacated space at the h.o. annex will house workers in other 20th departments. ' Schlaifer has been brought in to function with Prank Moneyhun, ad- vertising manager. Moneyhun has been ill and Schlaifer will be ac- tively on the scene. Schlaifer was advertising manager of the United Artists theatre, San Francisco. George Fraser, who had been han- dling trade papers, resigned Satur- day (23) and is succeeded by Joe Shea, who had been with the 20th- Fox organization as a planter. Mrs. Jeanette Sawyer, magazine planter, also departed and has been succeed- ed by Marie Louise Van Slyke, who had been mag planter for Home's oiTlce for the past two months. , Sterling Silliphant, also a member of the Home organization, becomes chief of the planting department. Lou Berg, another Home man, heads the writing branch, assisted by Steve Freeland, who held a similar post during the former 20th regime. Irving Kahn also continues in charge of radio. Dick Condon, long Home's assistant, is publicity chief. EnUre exploitation division will be Home alumni, including M. D: (Doc) Howe and assistants Adolph Silver- stein and Kurt Burbank. A. M. Botsford, who has a three- year contract and has been made studio representative of the sale de- partment, left for the Coast Friday (22) to set up offices at 20th's plant there. Nix Film Drive In seeking plans for Impro^ Ing public relatlonf, the Public Relations Committee (eastern division) at one juncture In dls- ousslons mulled the posslbll'- itles of another all-industry campaign patterned after the Motion Picture Business' Great- est Film Year drive. Cost ol ■uch was the initial stumbling block. Advance reports tipped the committee that'such a campaign would cost $2,000,000 to $3,000,- 000, which was deemed way out of line, in view of the present mood of the film company ex- ecutives on expenditures. COLUMBIA'S TRAOER FOR OWN SALESMEN Hollywood, May 26. Special series of reels, consisting of screen tests .and clips from re- leased pictures. Is being sent to all Columbia exchanges to stir up inter- est among the salesmen in 13 younger players-on the studio pay- rolL. Reels show glimpses of Marguerite Chapmen, Alma Carroll, Shirley Pat- terson, JeS Donnell, Leslie Brooks, Roger Clark, Robert Stevens, Lloyd Bridges, Bruce Bennett, Frank Sully, ,Larry Parkf, Adele Mara and Wil- liam Wright. Natl Campaign On Tankee'Rests On Preem Results National merchandising campaign for 'Yankee Doodle Dandy,' in which Warners figure they have one of the most valuable picture properties in years, will be mapped out following the openiiSg at the Hollywood thear tre, N. Y., Friday (2fl).vS. Charles Einfeld, v.p. in charge of advertising and exploitation for WB, who ar- rived in New York last Friday (22); will huddle with Joe. Bemhard, Ben Kalmenson and Mort Bumenstock on the sales and exploitation formula. Plan to be adopted, whether 'Dandy' will be shown at roadshow prices or slightly advanced adbnission scales on single bill basis will depend largely on Teception of picture at preem and immediately afterward. If given the same handling as 'Ser- geant York,' the Cagney picture may be booked into several key situations at advtnced prices around Labor Day. 'York' was originally tried out at roadshow prices but was quickly shifted into regular keys at advanced admissions when WB execs found the picture would gross more coin quicker .ion latter formula. While here Einfeld will also line up merchandising campaign on 'Ser- geant York,' which is scheduled to go into general release around July 4.' .Warners figure to spend close to $250,000 on exploitation through na- tional mag and newspaper advertis- ing. War Bond preem of 'Yankee Doodle Dandy' .in N. Y. looks like virtually a sellout, from early re- ports. Herman Chopak, textile man working for the Treasury Depart- ment as a Minute Man, has sold $1,000,000 worth of tickets for the opening Friday, this Including 26 $25,000 tickets to friends. Two trade and press previews are being held in advance of the preem, one tonight (Wednesday) and another tomorrow. CRK SEE Wr POINT AT THE ACADEMY Ten CJentlemen from West Point,' which has its world preem at the Roxy, New York, June 4, was pre- viewed last (Tuesday) night at West Point, with New YOrk news- paper, tradepaper and national .jiTag crix rhaking the trek to the U. S. Military Academy. First graduation class of present war from the Point was included in the audience. Picture.had been reviewed by of- ficers at West Point last week. Fea- ture treats the early history of the U. S. Military Academy in fictional form. U. S Bond Press Book War Activities Committee has is- sued an exploitation campaign book for the U. S. war bond and stamp selling drive in theatres. Exhibs are told how to start the drive, organize personnel to handle sales and handle exploitation both on screen and in lobbies. PATH SHOET TO WPB Dallas, May 26. Paul Short, southern division man- ager for National Screen Service, has been notified to report to Wash- ington by today (26) to become executive assistant to Chris Dunphy, head of the theatre and entertain- ment division of the War Production Board. Salary is to be $4,600. Robt Corbin s War Job Causes U. D. To Revamp W^; Key City ftiefs Detroit, May 26, Resignation of Robert Corbin as district manager for the United De- troit Theatres to take a civilian post with the U.S. Army Air Corps has set off a series of major changes in the circuit During the past year Corbin had shared with Joseph Buslc the supervision of the chain's 20 theatres, each having half. Buslc now assumes the supervisor post with Gilbert Green, former manager of the Riviera, as assistant. » The following changes were set up with the switch of Green: Hyman Bloom, manager of the Regent, moved to the Riviera; BUI Kozaren, manager of the Madison, moved 'to the Regent; Joe Height from assist- ant manager of the United Artists to manager of the Madison. The switch in assistants and the shortage of males now has brought four women to second assistant posts in the U-D circuit; Dorothy Rudine, at the Fisher; Dorothy Martin, Ri- viera; Mary Turrellv Cinderella, and Eleanor Stanton, Broadway Capital. Corbin was the ninth member of the chain's personnel to go into ser- vice. Because of the growing short- age of secoi^ assistants the chain named Jack Martin, (Charles Shafer and Tom Bolke as relief assistants who will swing around the circuit as needed. Cbarlotie's Film Ass'n Newly formed fraternal and benev- olent Film Salesmen's Association of CHiarlotte, N. C, has Hank D. Heam, United Artists, chairman of the board of governors; Roger Mitchell, vice- chairman; George Roscoe, secretary; Olin Mock and J. E, Holston, co- treasurers. Denver's 2 New Newsreelers Denver, May 26. Two houses are going newsreel. The Senate, owned by John Ander- son and Sam Feinsten, has signed for Telenews service, and the theatre will be renamed the Telenews. The Rialt^, owned by Fox, also goes in the news classification. Bwartonl'i New Berth Troy, N. Y., May 26. John S. Swartout, dean of TrdV theatre managers and for the last eight, years manager of the American here, has become manager of War- ner Bros, theatres in Batavla^ Bernstein's Col. Ballyhooinf Abe Bernstein to Boston to handle exploitation in New England terri- tory for Columbia. Formerly with-Universal and Par- amount. Bernstein recently com- pleted a campaign on 'The Invaders' (Col) in Southern and New England states. Ben Katz With d Appointment of Ben B. Katz as Universal publicity representative for the Middle West, working out of the Universal Chicago exchange, made by John Joseph, Universal di- rector of advertising <ind publicity. He will.remain in Neiv York imtll after the company's annual sales convention, June 2-5, and then leaves for Chicago. Cameron Sells Ont to Interstate Fort Worth, May 26. P. G. Cameron, who recently sold his interest in the Gateway here to Interstate, now operating tiie Grove at Pleasant Grove on outskirts of Dallas. Cameron purchased the house from Roy Starling who built the house About four years ago. Cameron operates the Airway and Peak In Dallas while Starling will continue operation of the Urban, lo- cated several miles' north of the Grove and the Texas in Mesquite, 'Texas. Interstate reopened its Texas, Ar- lington, midway between Fort Worth and Dallas. Except for three walls, all the theatre is new. It has a pa- triotic note in the marquee—it's V- type with red, white and blue trim- mmgs. Seating capacity near -WiO. Al Peterson, manager for five years before the show was closed for re- building, will continue in that ca- pacity. . Texans Head Back R. J. O'Donnell, v.p, and general manager of the Interstate circuit, Harold Robb. and Ed Rowley, heeds of the circuit bearing their names, left yesterday (Tues.) for Dallas, where all make headquarters. Trio of Texas operators have been In New York the giSater part of a week confering with homeoffice Par- amount executives on theatre mat- ters, also checking in on distribution matters. Grlfllth's Bevamp Kansas City, May 26. Harold Harris, general manager of the H. J. Griffith Theatre circuit, announced the following changes in managers. Mark Cadle goes to Hia- watha, Kans., a? manager of the Chief theatre; he had been in charge of the Kiva, Slater, Mo., which recently burned and Is taking over the Kansas assignment until the Klva can be re- built. Blueprints already under way for new theatre in Slater. Francis Wright moves from Hia- watha, Kans., to Junction City, Kans.. to manage the Colonial. Army's Ft. Riley, cavalry post, adjoins Junction City. John Sanders leaves Junction City to become manager of the Peo- ples theatre. Pleasant Hill, Mo., re- placing BlU Hauber. Barnes Perdue, city manager for Griffith in Parsons, Kans., adds Hauber to his staff as as- sistant Parsons Is site of new gov- ernment armament plants. Honor N. Inductee Charlotte, N. C, May 26. Everett Jacobs, assistant manager of the Capitol, Salisbury, who left May 20 for Fort Bragg as a draftee, was honored with a dinner at the Yadkin hotel. Francis Luther transferred as as- sistant manager of State to Capitol, replacing Jacobs. Ask Projectionist Ease Regina, Sask., May 26. A change in governmental regula- tions which require two projection-^ Ists at one thne ,ln theatre projection rooms was asked by a delegation of Saskatchewan, theatre managers and owners who met Premier W. J. Patterson in Regina, The delegation sought to have the number reduced to one because of' the scarcity of trained, men, due to enlistments iii the armed forces and because of the lack of trained men in the province. The sltuatlon,~as far as the number of available projectionists was con- cerned was getting worse, it was said. Par's Frlaoo" Sales Meet Regional sales meeting of Para- mount to discuss sales problems with representatives of the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle exchanges was held in San Francisco Friday-Saturday (22-23), with George A. Smith, western division sales manager from the homeoffice, pre- siding. C^harles Reagan, assistant general sales manager of the company, also attended the sessions, while brought to Frisco were branch . managers, salesmen and bookers of the four Pacific coast exchanges. WB's Pitt Changes Pittsburgh. May 26. With Army continuing to make in- roads on WB managerial personnel, flock of other changes have just been announced by circuit Budd Mayer moves up from assistant at Stanley to manager of Hollywood, replacing Dave Smith, called up by Uncle Sam, and Saul, Weisenthal, assistant at Warner, iets Mayer's old berth. Chuck Shannon, manager of the State in State College, goes to the Cambria in Johnstown and remaining shifts Include: C. W. Olcott from manager of Whitehall to Mt Oliver; Jack Bartholic, manager of Peoples in Tarentum to Ritz in New Kensing- ton; Henry Burger, manager of Mt Oliver to manager of Smoot in Parkersburg, W. Va.; Al Katz, assist- ant at Enrlght to manager of Centre. Bill Warrington, manager of Ritz to State in State College; Robert Brown, assistant at Prince in Am- bridge to assistant at Capitol in Steubenville, O.; Richard Kline, as- sistant at Ritz in New Kensington, to manager of Peoples in Tarentum; Jack Codero, usher at Sheridan Square to assistant at State in Wilklnsburg; John Macloce, assistant at Regent to assistant at Warner; Morton Haas, assistant at State in Wilklnsburg to assistant at Sheridan Square; Dominic-Tamburri, assistant' at Model to assistant at Camera- phone, and James Kaufman, chief of (Continued on page 18) Old Platters for B.O. Milwaukee, May 26. When tire rationing was first be- gun, some of the Fox theatres ac- cepted old tires as 'admlsislon fees to build up Saturday daytime pat- ronage. Latest gag, however, was pulled Saturday (23) when the Shorewood, Parkway, Paradise, Riviera and Layton, all Fox nabes, granted ad- mislon to any child or adult pre- senting two old, cracked or broken phonograph records, and they got a great shellac gross. MCA AIDES PAB BAIXT Stanton Griffls, of the Special Events Committee of Navy Relief, has named Jules C. Stein, president of the Music Corp. of America, chair- man of the coifimittee making ar- rangements for the sponsorship of 'Holiday Inn' on its opening at the Paramount N. Y., Aug. 4. Opening's proceeds will be for the benefit of the Navy Relief.