Variety (Jun 1945)

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Wednesday. June 6, 1945 PfiRIETY PICTURES Balaban, Freeman Head Nominees For Par Directorate; 16 to Be Named Notice of Paramounl's annual + stockholders, meeting, to be held June 19, at which 16 directors for the ensuing year are to be named, was scut to shareholders this week to- gether with a proxy statement. Man- agement nominees for the director- ate are Barney Balaban, Y. Frank Freeman, Stephen Callaghan, Harvey D. Gibson, Leonard H. Goldenson, A. Conger Goodyear, Stanton Grif- fis. Duncan G. Harris, John D. Hertz, John W. Hicks, Jr. (who died last week), Austin C. Keough, Earl 1. McClintock, Maurice Newton, E. V. Richards, Edwin L. Weisl and Adolph Zukor. ' ' Highest salaried executive, up for election, according to the proxy statement, is Balaban with remun- eration of $156,000, which does not include expenses allowed amounting to $20,800. Next is Henry Ginsberg, v. p. and manager in charge of studio operations, with $145,316. Freeman, v. p. in charge of production, is next highest with $130,000. Others in_ higher brackets are ICcdugri, v, p", chief counsel and . secretary, with $78,000; Zukor, chair- man of board, $109,000; Charles. M. Reagan, v. p. in charge of domestic sales (named to present post by the directors, April 6, 1944), . $77,491; Goldenson, v. p. in charge of thea- tres, $44,200; Neil F. Agnew. v. p. in charge of domestic sales until April 6 last year, $41,531; John W, Hicks, Jr.. v.-p. in charge of foreign sales, $41,600. and Jacob Karp, assistant secretary, $46,200. Griffis, chairman ol' the executive committee, re- ceived no salary. After Agnew's resignation, the an- nuity contracts In which he was named as beneficiary were delivered to him, according to provisions of the Pension Trust Plan, Annual benefits estimated to be payable under this Pension Trust, in the event of re- tirement, for Balaban are $28,250; for Freeman, $10,797; for Keough. $6,- 47!): for Griffis, $12,458. Hicks was due to get $4,725. Par Aide a Suicide Hollywood. June 5. Lav.erri R. Davison. 52. assistant chief of budget control for Para- mount studios, shot and killed him- self June 3 at his Hollywood home. Earlier he had attempted suicide by gas but was rescued by a brother who survived him. Reason for death was given as despondency over ill health, ^ SELZNICK'S P.A. STAGES 'GI AWARDS' IN D C. Washington. June 5. David 6. Selznick's eastern public- ity chief. Jack Goldstein, has been hustling through a half-dozen dif-' fereiit official channels to set up Hie GI Awards stunt next Sunday (10) at the Walter Reed hospital here, where Jennifer Jones and Cros- by will appear. Miss Jones is a Selz- nick star, but the producer was able to s.nag Der Bingle in on the stunt, whereas representatives for Rita ~Hay worth, Eddie "Bracken and"the- "Going My Way" (Par) producer will send stand-ins. These five won the GI Favorites contest as staged by the Army Pic- . torial Service and announced in Yank mag. Selznick seized upon I his as a GI contrast to the usual Holly- wood hoopla when the Academy awards its Oscars, and publicist Goldstein contrived a plastic GI Os- car in the form of a shield. Before an audience of 2.000 pa- tients at the Reed hospital next Sun- day along with President and Mrs. Tinman, who have been, invited:'Sec- retary'of War Stimson, solons from the Senate, the Washington newspa- per publishers, veterans" organiza- tions, generals,i et ai..' 'Mis* Jones.- Crosby and the others will be pub- licly kudosed.. PIX MOGULS NAMED FOR EUROPEAN 0.0. The film industry key executives who leave the U. S. on or about June 18 for a tour of liberated European nations under the guidance of Su- preme Headquarters, Allied Expedi* Tionary Forces are: Barney Balaban, Paramount president; Sidney Buch- man, Columbia s' dio. head; Harry Cohn, Col prex Lester Cowan, iifdie producer;"Si .abianrWar-Ac- tivities Committee theatres division chairman; Russell Holman. repre- senting Henry Ginsberg of Par; Francis Harmon, WAC vice-chair- man; Charles Koerner. RKO studio chief: Sol Lesser, indie prod; E. J. Mannix, Metro studio chief: Taylor M. Mills; N. Peter Rathvon. RKO president; Jack L. Warner. WB stu- dio head;. R. B. Wilby, WAC the- atres division; Cliff Work. Universal studio topper, and Darryl F. Zanuck. Major Stuart Palmer, of the War Dept.'s public relations staff, will be liaison officer for the group. Trip, in line with recent tours made by Congressmen and news- paper editors, is to acquaint film execs with problems in which the Army is involved, including the re- deployment of the Army of Occu- pation, American Military Govern- ment, displaced persons, prisoners of war, the food problem, transporta- tion, reconstruction and other topics. They will be guests of the British government in London, and will also visit Copenhagen, Brussels, the Hague. Paris. Rome. Prague, the Rhine and Ruhr Valleys. Cologne and Frankfort, amongst, other cities. Mono Pfd. on N. Y. Curb Monogram Pictures preferred, a new issue,>was listed for trading on the N. Y. Curb exchange last week (Friday). Company always had" its common on the Curb but the pre- ferred is just making its appearance in public hands. Announcement that the preferred was going oil the Curb exchange was made by W. Ray Johnston, Mono prexy. Curbs Off 35 mm. Projs. But Army Still Gets 1st Revocation of the Limitation Order which governs production and dis- tribution of commercial picture pro- jection equipment recently means 'that manufacturers of 35-millimeter motion picture equipment have been given the green light by the War Production Board. The order impos- ing similar controls On 16-mm. equip- ment had been revoked earlier. Only, catch in any heavy release of picture projection equipment is that, manufacturers expect demands of. military services for such pro-' lectors' and amplifying.'.apparatus' will preclude early supplies to the- atre 'exhibitors. It's estimated that 'trie Army today has about 30.000 pro- jectors of both 16-mm: 'am* regular 35-mm. size, some, of which may be Cowdin to the Coast, Recuping From Op J. Cheever Cowdin. chairman of Universal's board of directors, was sufficiently recovered this week from his recent operation to take a train for Los Angeles Monday (4) night. He plans to further recuperate at his home, near L. _A., .aiid may _npt_get back_to his desk at the studio for several weeks; ~ " ~". Nate Blumberg. Universal's proxy, also will probably shove off for the Coast this week since he has re- mained east this time much longer than he originalyy planned. He wanted to be in N. Y. while Cow- din was in the hospital, and decided to~stay over a few days longer for the start of trading in Universal common on the N. Y. stock exchange. Blumberg acted as financial chief for the company in the. absence of Cow- din, who always has handled com- pany's financial affairs. Lloyd Drops One U Suit Hollywood. June 5. Harold Lloyd dropped one of his three plagiarism suits against .Uni- versal, but the other two actions are still on the court calendar. Dropped suit concerned the Uni- versal picture, "She Gels Her Man." actions in vol ye . ''Her Lucky and "So's-Your. Uncle." Other Night" DOS INKS NELSON y Hollywood. June 5. David O. Selznick signed Argylc Nelson as production manager -available -t-o-schools and-^colleg-es aft- . fc c tivR .. J une-,jq er the war. Among the biggest manu facturors of projectors and sound systems are Eastman Kodak. Inter- national Projector and RCA. Stanwyck, Cummings Duo Hollywood. June 5. . Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Cummings will co-star in the forth- coming comedy. ''The Bride. Wore Boots.'.' at Paramount, with Patric Knowlcs in a top. featured role. Seton I. Miller will 'produce and Irving Piehcl direct. Starting late, in; Jute,',-. '" ■..'': .'■:•', V'. Much Amus. Stock Trading Last Mo. Philadelphia. June 5. Activity in film industry stock was brisk in the period between April 11 to May 10 as disclosed in a re- port last week by the Securities & Exchange Coihmission here. One of the largest transactions re- ported was the acquisition of 3,740 additional shares of Warner Bros. $5 par common by Harry M. Warner, bringing his total holdings in that security to an even 150,000 shares. There was plenty of activity in -Loe-w'Si-Inc.f-common-highlighted-by a—stock splitup of 38,100 shares. Splitup went tp the following: How- ard Dietz, 30 shares: Leopold Fried- man, 1,424: Eugene W. Leake, 200; Charles C. Moskowitz, 1,500; Wil- liam A. Parker, 1,200; J. Robert Rubin, 4,130: Nicholas M. Schenck; 3,826: Joseph R. Vogel. 600; David conversion notes ,(2% c < f. Other throp, 200. Purchase of 2.395 shares of Colum- bia Pictures common by Harry Cohn, Hollywood, was largest deal in that security during the repoi:t period. Other activity in Columbia: Jack Cohn added 620 to his holdings, now totalling 32,496: the Joseph Cohn Trust added 65: Ralph Cohn Trust, 50; Robert Cohn Trust, 145, and Jeannette Cohn Trust. 5 snares. Joseph McConville added 2 Col. shares: Abraham Montague, 50: Abraham . Schneider, 40: Nate B. Spinggold (through a holding com- pany), added 254 shares, and Don- ald S. Stralem, 15 shares. Monogram Pictures of Michigan purchased 2,000 shares of Monograin- Pictui'cs Corp. $1 par common; Wil- liam B. Hurlburt added 666 shares, bringing his holdings to 4,029. W. Ray Johnston. Hollywood, reported holding 20.491 shares of Monogram common. Barney Balaban, making a belated report (Dec. 1944), reported the acquisition of 2,000,000 Paramount conversion, notes 2 :l i '", >. Other transaction in Paramount: W. E. Griffis Trust reported disposal of 2,600 shares of Paramount SI par common to a beneficiary. Paul G. Brown, Boca Raton. Fla., reported" the~disposal-~of 8,672 Uni- versal -common warrants while adding 306 shares of Universal com- mon stock to his holdings, now totalling 29,000. Mono's $107,840 Net For First 39 Weeks Monogram Pictures' consolidated net profit for the first 39 weeks of the company's fiscal year amounted to $107,840 as against $111,961 for comparable period a year ago. The three-quarter period ended last March 31. Profit is after all charges, including .provision for Federal in- come taxes. W. Ray Johnston, company proxy, noted that the report did not fully reflect -revenue from Great Britain, since distribution in that country was changed, last Aug. 1 from an advance royalty basis -to •straight percentage distribution. This, he said, resulted in.a,great deal of rcye-' nue being deferred'to a later.period..; which .under the .previous way of. | handling would have been, reflected-j in this report. New distrib-arrange-j fnejnt in.Great Britain is expected to ' give .the company a grcaterperceiil-.; age of gross receipts there. , ... i Film Dearth a Real Worry in Chi; St. L Closings Because of Shortage Brown's Latin Post Hollywood. June 5. Lawrence K. Brown, formerly with the Joe. Breen staff in- the Hays office, has taken a post with the Motion Picture Society of the Americas. He will function "as con- tact for studio production personnel on matters . pertaining to Latin- American content fri films. Speaking both Spanish and Portu- guese, he will handle translations and interpretive matters for the office. el- Nelson recently resigned at RKO. where he had been assistant to Wal- ter Daniels, production manager, for four years. Bloomberg to Supervise Rep Building Program Hollywood. June. 5. • Republic'.'- new $2,000,000 building program will be under supervision, of' Dan Bloomberg, recently hoisted from sound director to chief engi- neer of the studio. . In addition to taking charge of all permanen"t~constrtictioit-.qn. the lot, Bloomberg will function as technical manager of film process and the ed- itorial' film library. MASS. SHOWMEN IRATE OVER NEW TAX THREATS Boston. June 5. Massachusetis amusement industry lias been staging secret sessions here to plan counter-offensive against tax gouger? who would ruin b.o, biz. -Tbe-Bay State, is.hard. up.-for..r.evel-_ nue to meet expenses of proposed soldiers' bonuses, •postwar public ■works, amplification of the East Boston Airport and the Port of Bos- ton. So solons turned as usual to- ward funlovers despite fact they are bearing as much burden as they can. The .legislative committee on tax- ation has voted 7 to 5 in favor of boosting admission taxes on theatres, racetracks and other amusement enterprises from 20 to 30%. Now the matter is in the hands of the ways and means committee, which will hold a hearing June 12. Plenty of sparks are promised by amusement mags, who are deter- mined to fight to the last. Plenty of legal talent has been assembled. Legislators from up-country want the tax. and. the governor's office doesn't know which way to turn. UA's MPPDA Resignation Effective Nov., WB on Fri. Warner Bros.' resignation from the Motion Picture Producers & Dis- tributors of America became effec- tive last Friday (1), without any word from WB of any action to rescind the resignation. ' United Artists has also resigned from the Hays organization, effective in No- vember. ' Both companies have long since been reported dissatisfied with the program of both trade and public relations set up by the Hays office. . UA, as first reported in "Variety" several months ago, discussed break with .the Hays-office when. some, jof _the_distrib's owner-members ex; pressed dissatisfaction with the play- ing tirne and conditions available to independent producers. Reported at that time that Mary Pickl'ord. David O. Selznick and other leading indies were pressing for an open break with the Hays office. UA reps met at the Hays office the same week and aired grievances. Official resignation fol- lowed several months later, although UA had planned breaking away from the Hays office before the Warner Bros, action became known. Major companies, meantime, arc reported expanding their individual' public relations activities, particu- larly in Washington.' Harry M. Warner, president of 'Warner Bros.rleft -N. Y. Sunday- f.3) for the, Coast. ■ He': had been east for about one month on a routine trip and prior to leaving for Holly- wood confirmed the WB withdrawal from the Hays' office, effective Fri- day ID. Harman Sues 20th Los Angeles. June 5.. .Hugh Harman. caribou producer, filed a breach-of-contract, suit here against 2(>th-Fox. demanding dam- ages of $1,072,900. ' . -«>. Plaintiff claims, ho had a contract with the studio for . a:. 936-foOt •sequence.- combining cartoons, wttlr livc actors, for ''Billy Rose's Dia- mond Horseshoe." .'/':'.'■ U , ROLLS TRIO Hollywood, June 5. Three new productions face the lenses at Universal this week, mak- ing a total of five in work'. Newies are "Once Upon a Dream," "As It Was Before" aiid "Alibi in Ermine." Holdovers are "Uncle Harry" and "Frontier. Gal." Chicago. June 5. ; Chi is strictly a seller's market these days, judging from features for July, tabulated last week for general release houses b.y Jack Kirsch of Allied Theatres. Of the 50 features on the short-shrifter this time, .a total.of 16 are reissues and seven are : westerns, to cue some fingernail-bit- ing on the part of hundreds of cxhibs here as to just how they're going to interest payees in coming out of the heat-and-glare into the aircondi- ' tioning. Exhibs, as' usual, are blaming dis- tributors,- who in turn admit there's (a) a print shortage, lb) a dearth of product," and (c> a tendency on the part of home offices to hold back releases. .-, To give an idea, here's the layout for the week of July 8: "Strange Death of■" Adolph Hitler." "Hard Guy," "Strange Boarder" and "Scan- dal for the Bride"---four reissues; plus "Sheriff of Cimarron" (west- ern),.. "Escape" in the Fog." "Kcip Your Powder Dry," "It's a Pleasure." "Pan-Americana^-aiTd—"Having' -a - Wonderful Crime." Releases for. July 22 week are "King of the Circus" and "Skull and Crown," reissues, latter starring Rin Tin Tin; "Renegade of the Rio Grande" (western), and "Music for Millions," "Main Street After Dark," "National Barn Dance." "Sporting Chance," "Fashion Model" and "Gangster's Den." "Try and make four double bills a week out of that, willya?" says the exhib. To continue the tale ot woe. here's the week of the 29th: Six reissues—"Air Force," "Swamp Woman," "13th Giicst." "Barbary Coast," "Mr. Boggs Steps Out" and "Hell's Crossroads." One western— "Cowboy from Lonesome River." The rest are "Honeymoon Ahead," "Between Two Women." "Enchanted Cottage," "Brewster's Millions" and "Stepping in Society." Weeks of July 15 and 22? "Let's not go into that." says the exhib, flopping back in his chair and staring blankly at the ceiling. „ St. L. fix Shortage Also St. Louis. June 5. Fancho.n & Marco has placed two of its deluxers, the 5,000-seater Fox, in midtown. and the Ambassador, downtown, and the Shubert a house owned by a syndicate in which the Arthur brothers are the principal owners, on a weck-to-week basis because of the shortage of celluloid of a calibre that would warrant screening in these places. There also is a possibility that one of the houses may be closed for a six- weeks" period~and the-Shubert; not air-conditioned.-for- three -months.— — Announcement of the possibility of closing was made in order that theatre contracts with the various union organizations employes in the houses may be kept and there will be no turmoil if any of them should be shuttered. The Ambassador, on several occasions at the fag end of an exhibition year, has been shut- tered during six weeks of the sum- mer season and although the closing last year resulted in some litigation with the owners of the building the execs of F&M produced a contract that gives it the right to close when ' films are not available. 'Corn' and 'Xmas' Wind Up WB's 19 for W45 With Ben Kalmensph. general sales manager for Warner Eros'.; set- ting up releases for July and August, company will end the current season (1944-45) at a new all-time low for it of 19. pictures. . WB will give its accounts, only one picture in July,. "Corn Is Green" and one in August, "Christmas in Connecticut." National release dates, respectively, are July 21 and Aug. 11. During the current month of June there will be two films, "Pillow' to Post." which goes on release Saturday (9) and "Con- , flict,". which - is set for June 30. . ' '■ Second only to Paramount in the number of pictures in' its present backlog, Warners 'now has 20 pic- tures in the can that remain to be released, these, of course, including the four picture.- ye; to be made available this season.. Company has five in production at the Burbank studios, while 10 will go before cameras as soon as stag* space is available. Scripts on 12 dif- ferent pictures to go into production later are now in work.