Variety (March 1956)

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Wednesday, March*14, 1956 WCTUKES 23 'P*ARIETT Film Stock Insider Buys & Sales Washington, March 13. Sales of AB-PT common stock by five officials of the company marked a busy month of “insider trading” by motion picture indus¬ try biggies. Securities & Exchange Commission has just released its report for the month Jan. 11-Feb. 10. Late Walter W. Gross sold 2,500 shares of AB-PT common retaining 10,100. Edward L. Hyman divested 2,500, keeping 10,000. Robert H. O’Brien sold 7,000 but retained 5,600. Simon B. Siegel divested 2,000, leaving him 3,100. Robert M. Weitman unloaded 6,500, keeping 6,033. Jack Warner added 1,100 WB common, building up his holding to 298,999 shares. He also has 13,400 in a trust account. Maj. Albert Warner added 1,000 shares; he now owns 166,000, plus 32,700 in a trust account. Y: Frank Freeman upped his bundle of Paramount Pictures common to 3,100 shares, via purchase of 1,000. E. G. Rhoden'added another 1,000 shares of National Theatres. He now holds 36,800 in his own name, and 47,525 in holding companies. Steve Broidy acquired an extra 9,500 shares of Allied Artists com¬ mon, under the company’s. stock purchase plan, for a total of 60 218 shares. Harold J. Mirisch bought 12,000 shares undjer the stock pur¬ chase plan. This gives him 40,440. Abraham Montague divested 100 shares of Columbia common re¬ taining 9,506. Jerry Wald added 100, and now holds 368 Edgar J Mannix reported belatedly that he unloaded his 3,000 shares of com¬ mon in Loew’s Inc. in two transcastions, in 1954 and last year Albert A. List reported making a gift of 20,000 shares of RKO Theatres common. He still owns 510,053. Donald T. Yates acquired another 125 shares of Republic Pictures common; he owns 3,130 in his own name and 196,536 in his Tonrud, Inc. Preston Davie picked up 100 shares of Universal Pictures common and now owns 109 shares. Robert Lehman sold 1,000 20th-Fox com¬ mon, but still owns 20,000. Harry Brandt purchased 200 shares of Trans-Lux common for an H. Brandt Foundation. His G. Brandt Foundation bought 2,000 sold I, 000 and wound up with 1,000. Brandt also owns 125,215 in his own" name; 17,000 in his wife’s name; and 200 shares in a holding company Eastman $32,180,000 Wage Dividend’ / __ Figures as $30.25 for Each $1,000 of Salary Earned Per Employe, 1951-1955* Screen Writers’ Awards 2 Collaborations Get Special Undated Achievement Laurel—Jessel Toastmaster—Skits Spoof H'wood Rochester, March 13. Eastman Kodak Co. employees in the U.S. will share a wage 1 divi¬ dend estimated to be $32,100,000 or the largest distribution by the company to date. The actual dis¬ tribution will be made today (Tues.). This wage dividend plan was voted by Kodak directors last November. Under this, about 50,900 eligible persons are receiving $30.25 for each $1,000 they earned at Kodak during the five years, 1951-55. A year ago the total dividend pay¬ ment in the U.S. amount to about $28,300,000 at a rate of $28.75 per' 1 $1,000 earned at Kodak during the five-year period of 1950-54. This was the previous high payment. The wage divvy plan, started 44 years ago, recognizes the part that Eastman Kodak people have played in the prosperity of the company. Thq wage dividend is paid in ad¬ dition to regular wages and has no effect on wage rates. Eastman men and women who left for active duty with the Armed Forces dur¬ ing 1955 will receive the wage divvy if otherwise eligible. VOLKS FILE APPEAL Will Argue Trial Judge ‘Wholly Wrong in All Respects’ Minneapolis, March 13. Lee Loevinger, counsel for the Volk Bros., is filing an appeal to the Federal circuit court of appeals from Federal district court Judge G. H. Nordbye’s decision denying Volk’s Terrace earlier than 28-day clearance now shared with a num¬ ber of other houses. In the decision following a lengthy trial, the judge also re¬ fused the plaintiffs any monetary damages for alleged clearance dis¬ crimination, although approximate¬ ly $4,000,000 had been asked. Loevinger reveals that his- ap¬ peal will be based on the conten¬ tion that in its decision “the court was wholly wrong in all respects” and that its rulings are counter to the various courts’ findings in the Paramount consent decree matter which Judge Nordbye held did not apply in this case. New York Theatre |—RADIO tITT MUSIC MALL—> Rockefeller Center WILLIAM HOLDEN k PICNIC w* KIM NOVAK eu stcriRt ROSALIND RUSSELL A Columbia Picture L wimTttmxttKmgKHnwt Courting School Trade , Minneapolis, March 13. Martin Lebedoff, who operates two neighborhood theatres in this area, is achieving a good payoff from special. attention he’s giving to schools and other approaches to the youngsters. Whenever he has product deemed particularly suitable for children, Lebedoff advises local teachers and community groups and they, in turn, encourage mop¬ pet attendance at his' houses. Ex- hib makes it a point of planning many special shows for the juve¬ niles, and this is a policy endorsed by school authorities. Trade Eyebrows Up As Minneapolis-St. Paul Plums Go to Indies Minneapolis, March 13. Trade circles here are struck by manner in which independent loop exhibitors are grabbing off so many of the recent top boxoffice pictures for local first-runs. This is despite the fact these exhibi¬ tors are competing with United Paramount' Theatres (Minnesota Amusement Co.) and RKO Thea¬ tres which have more, and larger, downtown theatres. Although Paramount has three local loop first-run theatres, includ¬ ing 4,100 and 2,300-seaters, and RKO two, one of which is the 2,800-seat Orpheum, Ted Mann with his single 400-seat World got UA’s “The Man With the Golden Arm” and Paramount’s own “The Rose Tattoo” within recent weeks. And another likely boxoffice ace, Metro’s “Meet Me in Las Vegas,” goes into Bennie Berger’s 1,000- seat Gopher. In St. Paul, Mann gets “The Man With the Golden Arm,” “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” and “The Rose Tat¬ too” for his 600-seat World. Para¬ mount has two and RKO one down¬ town theatre there. All three are much larger than the World. Mann also has secured the Alec Guinness “Lady Killer” for a Twin Cities’ first-run at his local neighborhood “fine arts” Suburban World. All this is supposedly the re¬ sult of competitive bidding under the consent decree or, perhaps, dis¬ inclination of distributors to risk legal action for alleged favoritism in alloting product, or maybe prod¬ uct "split agreements. At any rate, it’s pointed, the independents are getting a good product break. ‘ALEXANDER THE GREAT' BALLY PLENTY EARLY Minneapolis, March 13. In line with the planned all-out exploitation campaign of United Artists’ exploiteer-in-chief Mori Krushen, “Alexander the Great" has gotten one of the biggest ia& in-advance ballyhoo campaigns of recent times. “Alexander” won’t possibly open before May or June in this territory and no firstrun deal has yet been closed. Close on the heels of the visit here of Dave Ballard, “the world’s biggest press agent,” in its interest, Ramsey Ames of Madrid, Spain, a member of the cast, was in town escorted by United Artists exploit- eer Ward Bpntley. Miss Ames garnered an unusual¬ ly large number of newspaper, radio and tv interviews during a three-day visit, appeared before numerous organizations and was introduced between halves before a crowd of 9,000 at Minneapolis Lakers professional league basket¬ ball game and took advantage of the occasion to plug the film. Tell Theatremen: Go to Publisher Five-point, program on how the¬ atres can work with hometown newspapers is presented by Dave Jones of Kerasotes Theatres, Springfield, Ill., in the first issued of Theatre Owners of America’s Business Builders. Pointing to the importance of newspapers as an outlet for theatre news and advertising as demon¬ strated by the discontinuance of Detroit papers because of a recent strike, Jones lists the following suggestions for developing the proper relationship between the theatre and the newspaper: (1) Make you contact “at the top” with the publisher first. (2) Establishing your contacts With the editor and advertising manager of the paper so that you are a “person” rather than just a “theatre name.” (3) Use the news columns when¬ ever possible—when you install new equipment, decorate, remodel, have a club meeting, farm machin¬ ery film demonstration, cooking school, etc. (4) When you run a promotion such as Ten Best Pictures or Audi¬ ence Awards Poll, include the newspaper, as co-sponsor and you will get better cooperation. (5) Be sure the editor-publisher has a season pass to your theatre. (6) Cooperate with the classified ad department with qn exchange of space for tickets to entice new ads or readers of ads already in the paper. (7) Work out an- arrangement with the paper for carrier boys. Many papers give their carrier a “show ticket” for good jobs. (8) Tie-in with the paper when sponsoring a summer children's matinee series. (9) Whenever possible invite the editor to any special preview or appearance of a film personality in your town or sponsor • his trip to take him to any such event in a nearby larger city. OSCAR-GUESSING IN 20 CANADIAN PAPERS Toronto, March 13. Strong participation on the part of the public and excellent coop¬ eration from the press is reported for the Oscar contests being con¬ ducted throughout Canada by the public relations committee of the Motion Picture Industry Council of Canada. Contest is based on the results of the Academy awards due to be announced March 21. Canadian theatregoers are asked to vote for whoever they think will be the winner of the eight Academy cate¬ gories. According to Charles S. Chaplin, committee chairman, a total of 20 newspapers in key cities have joined the promotion. Merchants and manufacturers also have pitched in. Each locality is con¬ ducting the contest on an indi¬ vidual basis, with prizes contrib¬ uted by local merchants.' In the Toronto area alone, 500,000 ballots were taken within the first two weeks of the contest. Cinerama's Atlanta Bow Atlanta, March 13. Although a poorly-guarded secret, local newspapers waited the offi¬ cial handout that the Roxy here was being remodelled to house Cin¬ erama. The news the newsmen passed by was dropped by Mayor William B. Hartsfield at a luncheon. Some $140,000 is being spent, 1,000 seats on main floor removed for the three-booth setup, leaving the house capacity at 1,500, Ad¬ vertising campaign for the April 2 opening will sweep a 500-mile arc. Here to supervise opening is Zeb Epstein, Southeastern Division manager for Cinerama. Also on scene is Edward Howe, Roxy’s man¬ aging director and publicity and ad¬ vertising manager; Duke Harris, formerly with Loew’s, who will manage house. Treasurer is Miss Genevieve Daly, who transferred from St. Louis Cinerama. Proceeds of premierel will go to Atlanta Symphony Guild. ‘Marty,’ ‘Umberto D,’ ‘Prisoner’ Win in N.Y. Foreign Press Poll The Hecht-Lancaster production of “Marty” gathered more kudos last week when the film critics' cir¬ cle of New York’s foreign language press named it the best picture of 1955. Ernest Borgnine was tabbed as the year’s best actor, Hecht- Lancaster as the best producers, Paddy Chayefsky as best writer and Delbert Mann as best director. All for connection with “Marty.” Presentation of the awards was made Sunday (11) over WNYC, N. Y., with Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt as the guest speaker. Foreign press critics picked the I Italian “Umberto D” as the year’s | outstanding foreign language film and “The Prisoner” as the best British picture. Anna Magnani emerged as best actress for her work in “Rose Tat¬ too.” Ballots for the poll were compiled from the film editors of 26 dailies and 43 weeklies, pub¬ lished in 19 different languages in the N. Y. metropolitan area. Boston Traveler Expands Amusement Space 100% Boston, March 13. More space for film and legit critic Alta Maloney in the Boston Traveler and increased coverage of films Is upcoming under new policy set this week by newly in¬ stalled managing editor Hal Clan¬ cy, former executive editor, who took over with retirement of Wil¬ liam G. Gavin. Several other changes in personnel, and in edi¬ torial makeup, are in the works. One of the biggest expansions will be the amusement section, which Clancy said, will be upped 100%. Paper has used Hcdda Hop¬ per, but not on amusement page. Space is and remains problem, Clancy said, but he feels film cov¬ erage should be heavier, also legit and amusements generally. Action is in keeping with the campaign conducted for the past several years by Mori Krushen, United Artists exploitation chief in Manhattan. Here in Boston and in key cities throughout U. S. Krushen has propagandized pub¬ lishers and editors on neglect of films, an all-out believer in news¬ print. The Traveler, afternoon, has been running between a page and a page and one-half of picture, legit and nitery news and ads, top- heavy with ads. As an example, Thurs. (8) issue had almost a solid page of ads, with only screen time¬ table and three one paragraph stories on it plus a half-page which contained a film review, two one- col and one two-col-cuts for films plus three film shorts. The proposed 100%. increase was seen as a necessary step to hold the advertising. Copy cuts in other parts of the paper will be made to compensate. Hollywood, March 13. Frank Nugent and Joshua Logan won the award for best written American comedy for their screen¬ play of “Mister Roberts” (WB) frem a play by Thomas Heggen and Logan; Paddy Chayefsky won the nod for the best written Amer¬ ican drama for his screenplaying of “Marty” (Hecht-Lancaster, UA) from his own teleplay; and Daniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart won the award for the best written Ameri¬ can musical, for their screenplay of “Love Me Or Leave Me” (Metro), from a story by Fuchs— the awards being presented at the Screen Writers’ eighth annual awards dinner Thursday night be¬ fore 950 industryites in the grand ballroom of the Beverly Hilton hotel. In addition, writing teams of Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, and Julius J. Epstein and the late Philip G. Epstein tied for the Laurel Award for Achieve¬ ment, so both’teams were awarded the Laurel—given to the screen¬ writer who over a period of years has made outstanding contribu¬ tions to his industry and profes¬ sion and has advanced the litera¬ ture of the motion picture. It was the first time in the history of the guild that there has been a tie for the Laurel Award, and prexy Dan Taradash explained the board, which selects winners for this achievement, could not break the deadlock ' so voted both teams should receive it. Appearing the day before he was due to open in a Flatbush cafe in deepest Brooklyn, George Jessel struck a serious note, declaring that writers’ “hearts and minds must not be stunted and dwarfed by ab¬ surd censorship” but expressed the opinion that conditions were ac¬ tually improved. v “Your minds are not tied down as they were be¬ fore. It is better now, and that's why pictures are better.” Added Jessel: “I am particularly proud that in the last three years, I’ve lived by my pen. With the ex¬ ception of a few personal journeys on the electronic pushcart—I mean- television—I’ve earned my liveli¬ hood by writing, and by speaking throughout the world the words I have written on paper.” Show for the occasion produced and staged by Edmund Hartman before the award presentation was generally regarded by the SRO crowd as one of the best. Satirical i in vein, the various skits poked " some fun at Hollywood and some of the film industry leaders who were.present. The highlight of the night was a filmed satire a la “Dragnet,” in which Don Hartman suddenly appeared to unveil hid¬ den talents as an actor. Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and his part¬ ner (Ben Alexander) have arrested Hartman, charging him with steal¬ ing a plaque from Dore Schary. First Hartman denies it. but when he’s caught plaque-handed, he cries crocodile tears as he con¬ fesses he did it because Schary won 87 awards last year, compared to his 86. U’s Island Earth’’Hailed As Best Sound-Edited Hollywood, March 13. Motion Picture Sound Editors ballotted Universal’s “This Island Earth” as the best sound-edited feature film for 1955, with plaques going to editors Patrick > McCor¬ mack and Ed Luckey and producer William Alland. Best sound editing award in tele- sion (first time organization has turned to this fieLd) went to “Las¬ sie” teleseries, editor Joe Kavigan and producer Robert Maxwell. Dore Schary’s documentary short, “Battle of Gettysburg,” was voted special award for its “unique and imaginative use of sound effects.” </ '/„ J/„; The Hollywood KflKKERBOCKER