Variety (August 15, 1951)

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U. S. Distribs Rush For Initial Arg. SIX HI. If. HOUSES Despite NCAA Grid Ban, Theatre TV Dates With New Pix: ‘Ribbon’ 1st Out Buenos Aires, Aug. 7. < American distributors and local exhibitors now are busy jockeying to set contracts for exhibition of first U. S. pictures which have have passed through the customs under the agreement to allow new Yank screen product to be shown here. Although many films are available, the Entertainment Board does not move fast and apparently is determined to retain the advan- tage for native productions as long possible—hence slowing up issu- ance of exhibition permits. No new foreign pix have been allowed into the country from March, 1949, until last month. For example, the Opera Theatre had slated the preem of “The Men” tUA>. But the Entertainment Board indicated to the Opera that it would prefer to have “Los Arboles Mueren de Pie" (San Miguel), local film, held a fourth week. Had the U. S. film not arrived, “Arboles” might have had a much longer run. But with such new pictures as Red Shoes" (UA), “Song Was Born" iGoldw'yn) and “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" (RKO) available, native product has not held up so well. Another instance of delaying tactics was on ‘Enchantment" slat- ed for Aug. 2. The Gran Rex The- atre had to postpone the preem so that “Cosas de Mujer" (Interameri- cana-Mapol) could stay a fourth stanza. Same thing happened to “Illusion Eternel," which DIFA Distributors open day- date in four houses. It now appears that exhibitors here would like to change the cur- rent holdover system so they can obtain shorter run setups, but can foresee that they will have to alter- nate outside (mostly U. S. product) (Continued on page 13). Low-Cost TV Unit Gets 2d Test Via Louis Fight; On Market in Sept Philadelphia, Aug. 14. New low-cost theatre television unit, which is being produced by a group of Philadelphia exhibitors incorporated as Theatre TV Enter- prises, will have its second test tomorrow night (Wed.) when the Royal Theatre here uses it for the Joe Louis-Jimmy Bivins fight pick- up. Set, an instantaneous projec- tion model, is designed to sell for $3 500 and TTE hopes to have it on the market within the next month. TTE has arranged with a Phllly firm to manufacture the sets and is also making a deal with a thea- tre equipment supply house to handle distribution. Outfit will have four sets ready within the next couple of weeks to go to the distrib firm for demonstration pur- poses. Unit was tested for the first time last month, at the Lincoln. Theatre here, which was opened after being shuttered for some time to carry the last fight trans- mitted via big-screei. video. Royal, which is in Philly’s Negro neigh- borhood, has been operating stead- ily and so will not face the b.o. dilemma which confronted the Lin- coln when it reopened. Warners’ Stanley Is also carrying the figHl tomorrow night, with both houses charging $1.25. I’athe Ties Up Screen Rights to IBC Fight On the heels of securing ex- clusive film rights to the Sugar Ray Robinson-Randolph Turpin re- turn match at the Polo Grounds, N Y., Sept. 12, RKO-Pethe also bas a pact with the International Boxing Club granting it sole screen rights to the IBC’s next big bout Who’ll take part in the scrap isn’t known as yet. Plans for distributing the RKO- Pathe fight prints were discussed yesterday (Tues.) by RKO sales chief Robert Mochrie at a division managers meeting. Italy Bows to WB Special radio wavelength to facilitate filming of 'The Crimson Pirate" in the Bay of Naples has been granted War- ners by the Italian govern- ment. Radio - telephone hookup links the production office in Naples, two-masted brig and three-masted frigate at sea, shore set* ; and film’s head- quarters on Ischia Island. Robert Siodmak is the director and Burt Lancaster the star. Research Expert Hired By Par For Telemeter Push Paramount took a significant step last week in speeding its Tele- meter subscription TV device into use by hiring Louis K. Ridenour, chief reasearch consultant to the Air Force, to work on its develop- ment. Ridenour is an expert on computers and transistors. Importance of employing a spe- cialist in that field is that it’s an attempt to make the gadget smaller, cheaper and more foolproof, ac- cording to Telemeter spokesman. A transistor is a tiny metal device about one quarter inch in length— that dill do all the work of a vacuum tube. Par’s aim is to get'the cost down by reducing the size and complex- ity of the Telemeter via introduc- tion of transistors. Field tests on the larger, original model are slated to start in a few weeks in the Los Angeles area with private telecasts from Par’s station there, KTLA. Telemeter attaches to the side of a TV set. By inserting coins in It, it enables patrons to see films and other entertainment that are not visible to other viewers. Par owns 30% of the stock of Telemeter. Its other principal owners are David Loew and Carl Leserman. who financed and worked on its original develop- (Continued on page 15) * SAG Asks Talk Date Ob New Pact; Pay Hike, Video Rights Included Hollywood, Aug. 14. Screen Actors Guild made a formal request for a meeting with the major studios on Aug. 27 to negotiate a new basic working agreement covering two years and retroactive to the date of the first meeting. It is likely that reps of the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers will sit in on discussions with the majors. Dis- cussions with the Independent Mo- tion Picture Producers Assn, will be held separately. Prominent In a list of demands compiled by John Dales. Jr., ex- ecutive secretary of SAG,“ is a clause seeking preference of em- ployment in day player work for trained and experienced picture actors. Ides is to clamp down on “hit-and-run" competition by non- professionals who have no inten- tion of making acting a career. It reads in part: "In the employment of day players, preference of employment will be given to professional actors. In this esse s professional actor is a person who has had previous employment in motion pictures during a period of three years. Only in the event professional actors, as above defined, are not available for employment at the place where the producer has its studio, may the producer employ (Continued on page 34) TRIM COSTS IK Inclusion of six New York thea- tres for the first time in the thea- tre TV network for the Joe Louis- Jimmy Bivins fight tonight (Wed.) is expected to reduce by al- most one-third the charges levied against each house for rights to the event. Reason is that the costs are based fundamentally on the total seating capacity of all thea- tres involved, so that the more seats which are included trims the cost to each theatre proportionally. Under the formula set up by the International Boxing Club, which promotes the fights, and Nathan L. Halpern's Theatr? TV Network, which reps the theatres in deals with the IBC, the cost to each theatre is arrived at by dividing the total right* fee by the individ- ual share of each house. Latter cost is based on each theatre's seating capacity multiplied by its admission price. Cost actually is based thus on the maximum gross possible of all houses, rather than the actual business they do. Six N. Y. theatres, which in- clude the large Broadway Para- mount, Warner and Fabian’s Fox in Brooklyn, have upped the ca- pacity of the theatres carrying the fight to 39,000, as compared with the 26,000 which transmitted the last previous bout. Since the cost works in inverse proportion to the seating capacity, boosting the num- ber of seats by one-third auto- matically trims the cost by one- third. In addition to the fee paid by each theatre to IBC, there is also tagged on the $230 flat fee, which goes to Halpern's outfit for his work. N. Y. theatres are getting s crack at a big-screen fight for the first time because the bout itself is to be staged in Baltimore. Un- der the “controlled network" deal worked out by Halpern with the IBC, the* theatres in the fight’s city of origin are blacked out each time. Baltimore houses, conse- (Continued on page 15) RKO TO RELEASE 36 IN 1951-52 SEASON RKO will release 36 features in the ’51-'52 selling season, prexy Ned Depinet revealed yesterday (Tues.) at an all-day division man- agers meeting held at the Hotel Waldorf-Astoria, N. Y. Most of the 36 pictures, he said, are al- ready completed; 18 are in color. Product will all come either from RKO or its affiliated pro- ducers, with the exception of an occasional Independently made pic. Slate includes four fllroi from Walt Disney, two from Samuel Goldwyn. seven from Wald-Krasna, two from Edmund Grainger and one from Howard Hughes, among others. Helprin, Lopert Back This Wk. From Korda Gab Morris Helprin and Ilya Lopert are due back at their New York headquarters this week after a month and a half tour of Europe. Helprin is rep of Sir Alexander Korda in the U. S. and Lopert heads Film Distributing Corp., which handles some of the Korda product in America. They went to England in June for huddles with Korda on future product and to finalize a deal by which some of the film originally to be handled by Korda bas been sold to the new Snader outfit for distribution to both threatres and tele. They continued from there to the Continent, turning part of the trip into a vacation jaunt. Uruguay Honors Pftxltes Washington, Aug. 14. Flock of film execs, actors, stu- dio people and newspapermeu-**ill draw down “special" medals Thurs- day (16) in commemoration of the recent Uruguayan Film Festival. Trinkets will be passed out by the Uruguayan Ambassador here, although most receipients will not 1 be on hand. Is Rapped for Navy’s ‘No Home Tele’ - - ■ -♦ Washington, Aug. 14. 15 for Louis Fight Although about 25 theatres are now equipped for large- screen tele, only 15 will carry the Joe Louis-Jimmy Bivins heavyweight tilt tonight (Wed ). Others cannot be serv- iced by the American Tele- graph & Telephone Co. be- cause they're out of coaxial cable range. Fifteen, however, will be the highest number ot houses yet to carry an exclusive telecast. The two previous bouts on the network were shown by nine and 11 theatres, respectively. 20th Denies Nix Of Non-Competing Plan by D. of J. Detroit, Aug. 14. Rumors that 20th-Fox’s plan to exhibit pictures in nearly 200 nabe houses on a non-competing basis had been quashed by the U. S. Department of Justice are completely untrue, according to Joseph J. Lee. district 20th man- ager. Lee said he had been be- sieged over the weekend by callers offering condolences or asking what was going on. The false rumors started, Lee said, when a group of lawyers from other film companies got to dis- cussing the plan at the New York deposition-filing by James A. Mul- vey, of Samuel Goldwyn Produc- tions. in the antitrust suit filed by the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers. The unidentified lawyers con- tacted the Department of Justice and asked for “clearance" to ex- hibit their films on a non-compet- ing basis, too, Lee said fie had learned. The Department of Justice reportedly informed the lawyers that 20th had not submitted its plan for clearance and the depart- ment knew nothing about it. Lee said the whole affair had helped 20th and the plan because the queries from other film com- panies proved conclusively to the department that there was no collusion. The 20th plan was put into effect here after a survey showed as many as 40 subsequent- (Continued on page 18) Theatre Tele a Major Topic at Trade Shows Ib N.Y. of TOA, Allied Theatre television is expected to be a major topic at the annual conventions and trade shows in New York of the Theatre Owners of America, Sept. 23-27, and Al- lied States Exhibitor Assn., Oct. 30-Nov. 1. Almost all of• the large-screen theatre television companies, are planning erposltlon of their prod- uct, including RCA, General Pre- cision Laboratories. Theatre Tele- vision Enterprises. Inc., of Phila- delphia, Paramount and Skiatron. Si H. Fabian, general chairman of the TOA convention, reported that 80% of the tradeshow booths already have been sold* Sale thus far tops number of booths sold for either the Los Angeles or Houston conventions,, at a higher cost per booth, Fabian said. Final airangements for the con- vention Will be made Monday (20) by TOA leaders. The women’s committee, headed by Mrs. Leonard Goldenson, al- ready has prepared a program of entertainment for wives of exhibi- tor's, such as sight seeing tours, special matinee at Radio City Music Hall, fashion show luncheon, shopping tours, cocktail parties, etc. Fair Television Practices Com- mittee, organised by a group of New York lawyers and union offi- cials to protect TV set owners, went after the Naval Academy last week for contracting to sell rights of three Navy football games this season to theatre video. FTPC called the arrangements "bad poli- cy" in view of the Academy’s status as an institution which derives its support from public funds. Arrangements for theatre show- ings of grid game* are purely “ex- perimental,’* according to Academy spokesmen. They point out that as members of the National Colle- giate Athletic Assn, the Navy is permitted to allow only one home game and one away game to be sold for home TV. NCAA limitations on x televising of football games are now under study by the Department of Jus- tice. along with broadcast restric- tions on baseball, for possible anti- trust violation. In a letter to Vice Admiral Harry W. Hill, superintendent of the Academy, FT PC’s chairman Jerome W. Marks said that “all Navy foot- ball games should be freely avail- able for telecasts for the general public benefit." By selling the rights to theatre TV, he pointed out. thousands of hospitalized vet- erans. soldiers and sailors will be deprived of the opportunity to watch the games. “It appears to us,” he said, “that to these the Navy owes a primary debt." # Theatre TV has lined up the Navy-Prinleton game on Oct. 6 and the Navy-Maryland game on Nov. 10. The Academy has tentatively agreed to sell the rights to the Notre Dame game on Nov. 3, but may give home TV priority to this con- test. Feldman Promises U Sales Promotions To Come From Ranks Universal will continue to make all promotions from within the company's ranks as new distribu- tion posts become available, Charles J. Feldman. U’s domestic sales chief, promise^ division and district managers yesterday (Tues.). He spoke at the concluding session of a two-day sales meet in New York. Feldman instructed the staff to render all possible assistance to exhibs in distressed areas. This fol- lowed Metro's move in providing film sans rental to theatres hit re- cently in the Kansas floods. Sales chief called on the division and district toppers to indoctrinate thoroughly personnel in the field with aims and objectives of the forthcoming “Movietime U. S. A." drive. He asked that they render the greatest possible assistance to the campaign on both a national and local level. Composer Sues for 10G Is Laurel Pact Breach Laurel Films, Joseph Lerner, Rex Carlton and N. Y. Film Asso- ciates are named defendants in a $10,000 breach-of-contract suit brought In N. Y. Supreme Court by Gall Kubik. Action came to light this week when Justice Aron Steuer granted Miss Kubik the right to examine Lerner and Carl- ton before trial. • Miss Kubik claims she had an agreement with Laurel to write the score of “Guilty Bystander," a Zachary Scott-Faye Emerson star- rer, which Edmund L. "Dorfmann and Carlton produced in 1949. Rut, according to the complaint, some- time after Feb. 20, 1949. the de- fendants induced Laurel to break the pact. It’s charged that Lerner and Carlton control Laurel Films as well as N. Y. Film Associates. An- swering the suit, the defendants entered a general denial of all alle- gations and asserted that Laurel did not produce "Bystander."