Variety (May 1942)

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22 PICTURES Wednesday, May 27* 1942 Uncle Sam's Roll Call jConttnned from pafe 4; aiming for Chief Specialist post in Entertainment, because of his show biz bacl<ground. Jolin Healy, for many years exec- utive secretary to Spyros Skouras at National Theatres, has joined the Armyi He's at Fort Dlx. Sol Levy, of Mort Blumenstoclc's eastern ad-publlclty staff at the War- ner homeofflie, scheduled for induc- tion into U. S. Army. Bod McCulloch Joins Up Des Moines, May 26. Rod McCulloch, assistant manager at -the Des Moines, enlisting. £m- mett Lockard succeeds him. Joe Goetz's Air Training Cincinnati, May 26. Joe Goetz, 34, assistant manager of RKO Theatres in the City and Day- ton (O.) division, reports June 8 at Miami Beach for special training in the Air Force SchooL ■ His enlist- ment with the Air Service Command calls for a commission as a second lieutenant. Goetz U president of the Cincin- nati Bookers Club and a director of Variety Club, Tent 3. He has a wife and a 10-year-old~ daughter. Norman SprOul, district advertis- ing representative for Paramount in the Cincinnati territory, U. S. Army at Ft Knox, Ky. CapL Callen Laodla Detroit, May 26. CuUen Landis, former star of the client screen and now a director for commercial film studios here, has joined the. Army Signal Corp with the rank of Captain. ' George Delinger, manager of the Grand, Grand Haven, tMich., enlisted in Armyr Rated 3-A, he joined the eervice and has been assigned to Officers' Training School. Be'a Now s Real Sailor; Beware Meniphis, May 26. Eddie Craven; Memphis actor, who played one of the three leads on Broadway in the original company of 'Sailor, Beware,' has joined' the Navy. He's a yeoman, third class. ' Jack Dailey,' Paramount publicist at liome and abroad since 1926, re- ports for duty as a first lieutenant in the Air< Corps' public relations di- vision at. Randolph Field, Texas, to- day (Tuesday). Malco is losing two of Its aces to the colors. Clyde Smith, general manager of Malco circuit's three houses In Hot Sprhigs. Ark., volunteered for active Arioy- duty. ' ' Jack TunstUl, assistant to M. A. Llghtman, Jr., as' manager of the first-run Malco here on Main Street, has been notified to stand by for im- mediate induction. • Shakeipeare t« trnel^ Bsot . Great Lakes, lU.) May 26. William A. Nichols and 'Walter Williams, members of Maurice Eyans' 'Macbeth,' -v^hich closed over the ■weekend in Qhicago, hWe enlisted In the U. S. Naval Reserve. Nichols, a storekeeper, third class, and Wil'. llams, apprentice seaman, are now ^undergoing training here. Donald K Glenn, with the Theatre Guild, Inc., as stage manager,' actor and casting assistant, is also in train- ing here. Det. Announcer Geto Commlnloii Detroit, May 26. Ron Gamble, former announcer of the Ford Sunday Hour and for six years on the staff of WJR here, has ' been accepted :or the officers train- ing schooL ' ' The same station also has another commissioned man. .Colin MacLellan, assistant chief engineer at WJR, has gone into service as a 1st Lieuteiiant In the signal corps. Rednick Hamer, manager of Tren- ton, at Trenton, M{ch., joining Army. Chester lObrenski, former manager of the President (Brooks Circuit), in radio section of field artillery. Rob- ert Siana, of the Central Shipping Bureau, assigned to Army Medical Corps. Two managers of Chargot Circuit Into service. ' Harold ' Chargot, son of Michael J. CHiargot,' and manager of his father's Esquire, in Grosse Polnte, Jttmy. His successor is Art Black. James n}lUer, manager of the chains' Riviera, Port Huron, Navy. His assistant. Jay Brooks, replaced Cleve. Beornlts ' < Cleveland, May 26. Don Marcus, booker and publicity rep for Monogram, Is booking jpas- sage for Patterson Field, O, wher* he will become part of Air Corps. Nate Bigelson, manager of Union, nabe, stepped into his exchange job. Seth Carey, trombonist In Stubby Gordon's WTAM staff , oasd, Is being measured for a khaki uniform May 20. Dick Reed, who directed orches- tra on Steamer Goodtime for seven years, came back from Coast to go into- the Army. David Bachner, former pa. for Warners, now sta- tioned at Jefferson Barracks, Mo.| and studying for' radio flying berth. Elmer Zelman of Gene Erwln's band, Charles Cantor of WHK's music staff and Mickey Aaronson, who was with Ted Lewis,' are all bound for Army camps. George Tarassoff, Metro booker, Inducted last week, being replaced by Aimee Lewis, former assistant: Emerson Gill, iias given up. music business, capitalizing his engineering college degree by joining the aero- nautical division of Navy. - Hollywood's Qaota Hollywood, May 26. Gilbert Roland, film actor, and Joseph Lewi^, Universal director, into the Army. Robert Sterling, film actor, U. S. Army Air Corps. Jack Dailey, Paramount exploiter. Army Air Corps. Guy Newhard, former RKO proc- ess cameraman, upped from captain, to major, Photographic Division, Army Air Corps. Gerrit E. Roelof, Walt Disney pub- licity,. Army Air Corps. Julian Zimmett, Republic produc- tion assistant. Army. Dwight 'V.. Stark, Metro cartoon artist, Army. Orrin Tucker, orchestra leader. Into Navy's music and entertainment division July 15. Billy Gray, nitery emcee. Army. Richard Bare, Warners scripter. Signal Corps.' George- Bnnnan, 20th-Fox exploi- tation, Marines. Lou Amster, Universal icreen writer. Navy, Jimmy Hen'aghan, Hollywood pA, Army. Max Bercutt, member of Holly- wood 'Victory CommittetT, Navy. Ijce Frederick, RKO actor. Navy.- Joe RivUn,' Hollywood agent, upped to captaincy at Camp Crowd- er, Mo. Eddie Iiarkin, assistant dance di- rector at'Metio, Army. Jules Levine, Warners publicity staff, Army. Harold Mann, agent. Army. B'way Dinout fContlnaed from pace 2s horizon, qnd the dime-a-dance joints are caught with their trance down. Neon doesn't live there any more. Coming onto Broadway, from a side street after the, theatre has been a ritual with us, as to thousands of other hinterlanders for years. We dodge the tinseled thoroughfare all day and throughout the early eve- ning. We'll sneak blocks north or south to keep from crossing the Square before the final curtain. Then, with a couple of nips imder the belt and the taste of that last- act punchline in our mental mouth, we streak at near-midnight for the big moment, that sudden bursting upon the theatre world's Main street simultaneously with the - rest of tiie crowd. It used to be fun. We tried It the other night Thoughtlessly we elbowed along 45th from the Morosco, still chuck- ling ' Bbsent-mindedly over Noel Coward's current steal from Thome Smith. In a .moment we thought well be looking smack Into the eyes of New York at night And then It came. Times Square was still there. The people still hurried along, jostling each other In good-natured push. No blitz had blasted any landmarks from existence. But It wasn't the same. It wasn't even remotelr the same. Tense Abstraction The people even had a different air. They carried a set tense, deter- mined look. There was less friendly to be going somewhere, but defi- nitely, and well aware of how and why. Oh, ever so often, a lad in uniform with his girl came along, laughing gaily, though the percent- age of tear-reddened eyes was pret- ty .high among the obvious on- leaves and their dates. But oh the whole, Broadway's melody of peace has ended and not much of the song lingers .on. The night spots and the theatres also seemed to us visibly affected. Business in the nlterles was not too good, lor a wedcend—not at any of them. We mad« the rounds. Tbe choice places were playing .to a nice trade, but nothing big. The balance were defiantly ho-hum,'and only a few of the shows seemed to be en- joying capacity cramps. At some time or other, during the winter and spring In a series of weekend quickies, we've managed to see most of the shows. In due course, we have reported to our learned readhig public here in JJ^em- phis that the proportion of Items which they can take with relish is comparatively 'small. The visitor wlU go for 'Blithe Spirit', 'Let's Face If 'Best Foot Forward' and 'Sons O* Fun' witli a .vengeance. They are all good for the tourist trade. If there is any this summer. But four shows don't make a trip for the average out-of-towner. And for the' rest of his time, he'll have to fall back on 'Junior i/Iisa,' which he may or may not like, depending on his provincial attitude toward chil- dren; 'Porgy and Bess,' which many a visHIng fireman won't be able to take at all; a toss-up choice between 'Cafe Crown,' 'Guest in the House' and !Angel Street' none of which he ever heard of; and the survivors from last year he may have missed both there and on the road. That's a mighty low batting average for Broadway In the tourist league; usu- aHy there are a dozen shows Joe Blow from Kokomo is itching to see. Niteries are another matter, ^e traveler can find pretty much what, he wants, in season and out ^ils year is no exception. The women will go for the Rainbow Room, that Copacabana^ floor i show, and such. The men are more likely to prefer the Diamond Hors^oe, Leon Eddie's, the Latin Quarter. Hie Idds will follow their favorite bands, the Dorseys, 'Vaughn Monroe and the rest wherever they are at a given time. And a cross-section .^of the lot will probaUy wind up the night at one Cafe Society or the other. And there are bound to be some of us traveling east war conditions or no. Business dictates It In some instances, and ways will be fotmd. En masse, of course, we shall have to stick at home this summer. If Times Square. Is going to stay In mourning, some of us think -it just as well that we do exactly that Monmouth Show sContlBned from page 4; marvels delivering the usual series of lifts, but with many new tricks. Work with ease and. effortless skill. Great applause act. They were fol- lowed by Signal Corps Brigadiers, led by Dick Lewlne and featuring Henry Levine, fbrmerly star tnrnip- eter with the Basin Street program ifxi NBC. Because of jive content throughout this was a great hit with the boys, especially when playing 'Alexander's Ragtime Band.' Dan Mahoney, ex-vaude unlcycllst, also scored. Danny Webb followed with moholog and Impressions. Mitchell Hodges, ex-writer for Shu- bert participated with Webb in most of the sketches, plus clicking on his own. An outstanding bit of foolery was contributcfd by, three soldiers, who did a takeoff on the Andrews Sisters shiging 'The Three Little Sisters.' The names of the soldiers are Ollt- sky, Quillen and Wallace. Single magic act was Saracino, pro maglco With Jhe usual stunts. Concluding turn was Johnny Laehr- feld, harmonlclst and formerly leader of Citppa Barra vaudeville imlt Lieut Uhley E. Bray, Post Special Service Officer, introduced Staff Sgi Ezra Stone, and then Irving Berlin to a tremendous ovation. Berlin stepped on to the stage and took over. After commenting to the effect that In his 25 years in associa- tion with the theatre he has never seen so much fine talent and mu- sicianship as displayed both at Fort Monmouth and other camps through- out the country, he then modestly asked if the audience would mind his singing 'God Bless America.' The 1,200 soldiers in attendance joined In singing the second chorus with him. It was, of course, the highlight of the evening. After the show Berlin gathered a number of boys around the piano and sang sev- eral of his wartime songs. Sgt Jack Glrard conducted the orchestra for the show; Sgt. William G. MacKoy, in charge of property and backstage; Corp. Jerry Blegel- man, lights and effects; Sgt, Danny Webb, Sgt. Jess Abies, Pvt. Richard Lewlne and Pvt. Irving Lazaar, of Post Special Service Office, In charge of production. hade Staff-Pkbires Next important Hollywood assignment In: connection with the war ef- fort will likely be to produce pictures showing how the Paul 'V. McNutt organization plans to conserve and channelize the nation's manpower Request for film Industry cooperation came from W. A. Irwin, of u. s^ Steel Corp. last week. - Pictures will deal with necessity and advantages of using U. S, tesei' voir of manpower in vitally needed defense projects. These fiJms would,' of course, have to be approved by the Theatre Program Division of the War Activities Committee before going Into release. Cooperation of the film industry's WAC was pledged last week by George J. Schaefer, chairman, who, at the saine time, becanw a member of the' Publicity Co-operation Committee of the U. S. War Production Fund to Conserve'Manpower. Others.on this publicity committee:include' Arthur Hays Sulzberger^ publisher of the N. Y. Times; Ben Hibbs, editor of Sat- urday Evening Post; Niles Traimmel, president of National Broadcasting Company; William S. Paley, president of the Columbia Broadcasting Sys- tem, and George H. McGraw, publisher, McGraw-Hill Publications. Poor b.o. registered by the John Steinbeck leglter, 'The Moon Is Down,' has been a sore disappointment to 20th-Fox, which recently paid $300,000 —a modern-day record price—for screen ri^ts. Show' was slated to close its run at the Martin Beck, N. Y., Saturday (23) after only 5^ per- formances, but has been given a short reprieve, Consenstu in.story circles is that .20th, which simultaneously acquired rights to the best-selling book from which the play was dramatized, has the makings of a fine picture: There's dubiousness, however, about the tremendous price paid In light of the marquee value lost by the show's inmilnent departure from Broadway. Play has-been a topic of dispute since it opened, some critics claim- ing It good propaganda, butntost feeling It bad because it-pictures the Nazis as too easy a foe. Poor showing at the boxoffice has been gen- erally blamed^too, .on errors In choice-of cast and director. An unofficial squawk has been registered by Washington about the use of a newsreel truck in sabotage plans as pictured in 'Saboteur/ Speaking of the picture's opening as a howling success, the squawk unofficially registered,' as related to 'Variety' by the recipient who shall remain nameless, reads-as follows: The howling is coming principally from the newsreel boys down here (Washington), who think you and your cohorts should be hung from a yardarm: How In the altch could Universal, (distributor of 'Saboteur*), pro- ducing their own newsreel,' think of such a clever thing as blowing up a ship through the medium of a newsreel truck? Already the newsreels are starting to feel the repercussions.' ^. In the 'Saboteur' picture a sound truck labeled American Newsreel Is -used as part of a plot to destroy a ship that Is being laiuched at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The town of Millbrook (Dutchess County), N. Y., which, under the by- laws of Paramoimt Pictures, Inc;, is its principal office but under a pro- posed amendment is to be changed is the little community where J. H. Cooper, a Paramount .theatre partnef, maintains a large estate. In the notice to stockholders for action at the annual meeting June 16, Par asks (hat the principal office of the company be made New York City. . . Cooper, who for some ye«r^ has. engaged in various charities, Including the organization of a boy's foundation. Is said to have assumed any num- ber of mortgages of farmers and businessmen in the section who were being pressed t6 the wall. Cooper has theatres In partnership with Par in iNebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado. Norfolk and Richmond' are two spots which did not. collect In the theatre last week for Army-Na-vy Relief. Local officials frowned on the theatre appeal upon the grounds that amusement patrons would think, they had discharged obligations to the service by contributing a dime or a quarter.. Both cities conduct War Fund drives in the fall and sug- gested that they would, prefer the larger contributions In this city-wide appeal Army and Navy officials and theatre managers argued that the small theatre' donation would not affect the later funds-drive. Officials refused to yield and rather than nu without this important community support theatres gave in. Unlversal's caminga report for the second quarter of the company's 'fiscal year is expected to be delayed longer than usual because of time ' needed to get In statements from foreign territories under war conditions. While this quarter-ended last month, some of March earnings figures are lust coming In. Despite heavy tax bill. Universal earnings In the second quarter are understood running at a better pace than in the first-quarter ended last Jan. 31 when the^ corporation showed $1,518,315 net before Federal taxes and special reserve. Indie producers are finding it tough to rent big sets- In major studios even when they are prepared to lay the coin on the line. Owing to priorities on materials, even the big companies will have to use their costly sets over and over. Idea is that the backgrounds will become too famiHar to the public if they are used too often in Ijidependent productions. Readjiistneiits jssContlnned from page Is^s posedly essential wartime industry, has also been bad for theatres ac- cording to circuit exec reports. / Weekends Only? Minneapolis, May 26, Northwest Allied reports that a ntmiber of smaller town theatres al- ready have started to meet the prob- lem of <<<rnint«^>itng retums,' csuscd by loss of population to the U.- S. armed forces and to defense Indus- tries elsewhere, by going to one change a week, usually from Friday to Sunday, and remaining closed anywhere from four to five days a week. Organization leaders have been predicting a wholesale complete shuttering of these houses unless the present doA^-nward trend Is checked. Exhibitors In the spots claim that the young men taken away have been among their best -patrons and the bulwark of their business. They assert that trade now Is 'brutal,' the decline In patronage being much greater than seasonal. Local film exchanges already are getting plenty of the anvil chorus. Demands for contract readjustments have been pouring in during recent weeks and some of the branch man- agers concede the problem of what to do a tou^ one and the outlook none too promising. Celling en Peroentage In this strongly anti-percentage territory, many leading Independents here now say they'd be resigned to percentage If the companies will re- lease their entire products, all down the line, on such a basis, providing, of course, that the percentage split is fixed at what they consider a 'fair' amount under no circumstances In excess of 25%. This, It's pointed out would put^the fllm_hQuses. on the same basis as legit roadshow thea- tres as far as cost of shows is con- cerned. With much agitation currently for reduced rentals and contract read- justments, inspired mainly because of war-time population maladjust- ments, local branches are following the iKillcy of considering each case Individually on Its merits. Independents have been served notice that there'll be no general or wholesale readjustments or rental slashes. It's generally agreed in trade clrdeir that the smaller-town situations now are suffering con- siderable boxoffice ~liardshlp in con- sequence of loss of population to the armed forces and to larger industrial centers. In this entire territory, for example, the only spots having war industries are Minneapolis, St Paul and Duluth.