Variety (Oct 1948)

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FILMS RADIO VIDEO MUSIC PuttUshed WMlV.At tS4 West -ICth-street, Kew TorK lOi N. Y., B.v Varletv, Inc.. Annual subscription, JIO. Single coploti, ZS; cCHlS;, . . Entered: as Beeond' class matter. December aa. iaoB,. at tlio Piiat Offica at Now Yorlt, N, Y., unUcr , the act o£. JWarcl* a* COFVRICIIIT, 1048, BX VAKIK'IY, I><J. AJJIj BICIHXS RKSEIIVKD VOL. 172 No. 5 NEW YORK, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1948 PRICE 25 CENTS COMICS GANG UP OH GIVEAWAYS Cold War Hits Berfo's Theatres Which Are Hot Only in Russ Zone By HANNEN SWAFFBR Berlin, Oct. 1, In Berlin, the Cold War is even being waged in the theatres! The seven in the Russian sector are heated; the two in the district con- trolled by the Americans and the British are not. In the Middle Ages, and much later in witch-scared Massachu- setts, Intolerance went to the length of roasting people alive. The Russians, in order to put on the heat, turn it off! . So it was that, after paying $6 for a stall at the Stadtische Opera House. I stood one act of "II Trovatore" and then got my over- coat and went - back to my hotel, wondering what Billy Rose would . have said about it. : \ "If you had gone to 'Sadko' at i the Deutsche State Opera," said' an American officer who was sticking it out, "you would have found it warm. But that Is in the Russian sector." There is no "private enterprise'* in the Berlin theatre. But there •is plenty oi enterprise. Indeed, from wliat I saw during my week's stay in the former German capital, opera and the drama have done more to reestablish themselves ■than any other form of industry. Although all the theatres .were destroyed; or at least shockingly damaged, it was not much more than three months after the war (Continued, on page 63) ♦Satira' Pardoned, Will Resume Nitery Career Chicago, Oct. 6. Patricia "Satira"' Schmidt, 22- year-old exotic dancer, released from prison: in Cuba last week through pardon by President Grau San Martin, has been offered two nitery Jobs here, one at the Silver Palms and the other at the French Casino. Dancer was convicted in the fatal shooting of John Lester Mee, Chicago attorney, April 8, 1947, in Havana harbor. She served 15 months of a 15-year sentence. m Medicos At largest Clinic' Via TV Screen Philadelphia, Oct. 5. Video: is making possible the largest clinic in, the; history of sur- gery. Approximately 4,000 phy- sicians and surgeons attending the State Medical Society convention here this week will witness a tele- vised series of operations In Con- vention Hall. The operations will be performed in the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Hos- pital (about 500 yards distant from the auditorium) by a group of sur- geons from the faculty of the Uni- versity's School of Medicine. The special facilities for video transmission have been, installed by Radio Corp. of . America. The project is sponsored by the Smith, Kline & French pharmaceutical laboratories and constitutes the MAYOR OOTR'S $200,000 PIC PRICE Mayor William O'Dwyer wants $200,000 from any film company interested in putting his. life on celluloid, according to reliable re- ports, Iiizzoner is asking that price of Milton Sperling, Warner, . , ., . . - Bros, producer, who planned to do major demonstration of a new a filmization under the tentative , ( Contmued on page 6 2) title, "From Stoker to Mayor." | ' " Warner project called for the ' ,f, •, iri* ir V * use of 'Brooklyn, U. S. A ," a, tapitaruaill, 1 LOVe lOU Broadway play which the Burbank' " . lot owns, as the pivotal event in a life of O'Dwyer. It treats with the Mayor's prosecution of Mur- der. Inc.—the Brooklyn hoodlums —while he was District Attorney in . that. borough. Chances are, if TO 'EM f F THE IIIR If the Federal Communications Commission fails in Its current threat to pry radio loose from the giveaway craze, the nation's top air comics are set to step into the breach and finish the job. The fact that the flock of re- turning air comics during the past week (Fred Allen, Edgar Bergen, Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, et al) sniped away at the giveaway com- petition that's inundating the air? waves, has more: than .gag over- tones. The kidding-on-the-square, climaxed by Allen's announcement on his premiere bi-oadcast Sunday (3) that he was bonding his listen- ers against the loss of prizes from the opposition "Stop the Music" giveaway on ABC, is seen as only the. fir'St step in a seasonal bom- bardment designed to woo- the na- tion's listeners back to the Com- edy fold. It's the first known instance in radio annals of an organized gang- up of top talent against competi- tive programming, predicated (Continued on page 63) UA Creates Ist Major Television Film Dbtrib Via Regular Pix Exchanges New Show Biz Theme Song Last Wednesday (Sept. 29) wit-, nessed vhe formal handmg-over by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower of his, biography to Doublyday, the pub-' Concert-Opera Still Looks Big By ARTHUR BRONSON . The concei't; business looks for another good; year. Despite the rising cost of living, inflation, the international situation and war; scares, concert managers for the most part see their setup as I healthy. The bullish feeling per- I meates not only most recital and I concert fields, but opera and ballet as well. ■ ■■' ■ ■ ' To Columbia Artists Mgt., larg? est concert setup in the world, the coming - season looks . good, and only a little less than; last year; which was the best in Columbia's history. According to veepee Fred Schang, Jr., if biz' runs; behind, it (Continued on page 62) Headwaiter Buys Option on Legiter Haul Viarango, headwaiter at the Algonquin hotel, N. Y., has op- tioned "Doctors Are People," com- edy drama by Claire Read, which was tried out last summer by Arthur J. Beckhard at his Tangle- wood strawhat, Falmouth, Mass. Alan Baxter, who starred in the tryout, and Wendell Phillips, who staged, may repeat the assign- ments if Viarango can arrange a production. Viarango is an occasional inves- tor in Broadway shows. Tenn. Williams' Take-Home Pay Now$l500Wkly. With four productions on the boards in the U. S. and London, plus bullish sales of his published plays, Tennessee Williams is est!-, mated to be earning about^7,500 a week in royalties. That's not figuring various foreign,. stock and little theatre productions^ Dramatist is getting more than $5,000 weekly royalties from the Broadway and Chicago produc- tions of his "A Streetcar Kamed Desirei." Drama is grossing a solid capacity $27,500 at the Barrymore, N. Y., and more than $20,000, capacity, at the Harris, Chicago. In . addition, his new play, "Summer and Smoke," was drawing better than $18,000 a week in tryout, bringing him- an- other estimated ■ $lj800 a' week royalties. His previous prize-winner, "The Glass Menagerie,"; has been doing profitable business in London, with Helen Hayes starred, adding (Continued on page 62) ♦ United Artists this week became the first of the major film com^ panies ; to.>enter the distribution of '■ films for television on a nationwid* . scale. Company; has created a tela sales department,: Which will throw open its full dis,trib and sales serv- ice to telefilm producers, utilizing UA's 33 exchanges throughout the U. S. and Canada. Move- Is expected to provide a new and sigiiiflcant impetus to both the video and film industries. For tele, it opens up for the first; time a film releasing service com- parable to that enjoyed for the. last three decades by commercial cine- mas. Work of both tele broadcast- ers and advertising agencies in booking films will be made easier through the availability of decen- tralized offices in various terri'-:'; tories, film inspection, etc. For the film industry, UA's move paves the way for a new method through which: the film outfits can latch on toi some of the profits that have long been predicted tor videos Other companies, including Para- mount, 20th-Fox, Universal and (Continued on page 63) FREE MERCHANT SHOWS NEW WORRY TO EXHIBS ''""•Hollywood, Oct. 5. Exhibs are. worried about, • growing trend outdoor; showings hereabouts, sponsored by • local merchants. Latest in fast- growing list of communities using the gimmick i.s Studio City, where merchants have banded together and sponsor films on three week- end nights. Program usually con- sists of shorts, cartoons and single feature. Emcee also tries to drag up live talent from audience to ; enhance show. Plugs, Of course, fly freely. Films are narrow-gauge oldies which carry low rental. Projector usually is a setup in back of an automo- bile, screen being about half the usual size. Stunt originally started in raid- west towns that didn't have thea- tres. FOR the Mayor's price doesn't coW! l^-'hers, celling his literary proper- down, Sperling will concentrate on ty as a "capital gam for $600,000 Murder,' Inc.: episode without- use of Ilizzoiier's. name. La Guardia Pic Biog Hollywood, Oct. 5. . Fred De .Piano ■ has acquired rights to "The Little Flower," Fio- rello 11. La Guardia's life story, from the late N. Y. mayor's estate, and is readying it for the screen. De Piano, long time friend of La Guardia, and Maurice Golden istarted dickering for the rights five months ago with Newbold Morris, executor of the La Guardia estate. jNo release deal is set. meaning that the soldier-educator may keep 75';c thereof tax-free For show business this has spe- cial significance, coming on the heels of a cycle of similar deals consumi'-i;.ted or cooking. Among them arj the Amos 'n' Andy deal, the one with Edgar Bergen, report- edly discussing, etc. Al Jolson also set it up for his second Col- umbia filmusieal although denied him on his first biopic. One famed comedian has a sim- ilar stun', on the agenda, combin- ing iiis career into magazine-book- pieture parlay, for a fancy payoff, under a similar capital-ga)n$ set- up. ITELEVISION 1 The Hour" Of Charm The Perfect Pragrinni For , ^ TELEVISION rfW^ As •ii'l Btautiful fo St* as to Hear Under the Dlreetion of Phil Spitalny fhoRt CO S-13t3