Variety (February 1921)

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PRICE 20 CENTS X-2- - Published Weekly at 154 West 4«;t li St.. New York, N. Y.. by Variety. Inc. Annual subscription $T. Single roplrs. 20 cfnte. Entered as aecood class matter December 22, 1905. at the Post Office at New York, N. J., under the Act of March 3, 1179. No. 11 NEW YORK CITY, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 1921 48 PAGES PICTURE SCANDAL .*. t, "BLUE SUNDAY" SONGS NOTEO SHOW MEN ^HUBERTS PAY $500,000 TO 1ST CLEAN UP OR BE UNSUNG \ FACE TRIAL RECLAIM GARRICK, CHICAGO 3; ideville Managers 9 Protective Association on War- path Against Suggestive Lyrics—Two Listed to lie Ordered Out. - The "blue'* Blue Sunday songs via have to go out of vaudeville, as . Sui as the Vaudeville Managers' I protective Association hears their H^rics are off color. IK Two of the numbers have already I S>en listed for a passing whenever Sung in a vaudeville house that the V. M. P. A. know about. One of the numbers was ordered off a big time stage in New York last week, with the singer of the song told why. The number has an unusually sug- gestive lyric, made so raw in the nal lines of the chorus it has ught complaints Immediately m patrons to the house manage- ent wherever sung. Another number slated has a 1 chorus last line almost as re- lent. The 'Blue Sunday" agitaticn ap- rs to have inspired lyrical writ- into lines that seem to shade be- een applause and suggestiveness, ith the point frequently brought t what may bo done on Sunday rdlcss of any law. In one house last week when a of this character was sung, the hestra chilled up immediately on e suggestive finish, while the gal- ry loudly laughed. A vaudeville manager and an im- rtant one in commenting upon is class of song attempting to me into vaudeville, said ho could understand why music publish- would accept lyrics of that nat- for singers. Informed that pe of lyric was known as a "stage ng'' with the chances it could not commercially sold as a song hit t was exploited by the publishers a rule to promote the remainder his catalog, the manager observed the*) Au Uj v.;^ u»t cttC^SftffC son why the "blue" lyrical nmu- f should not be put out. ERLANGER-SHUBERT TRUCE GOES^WRONG Phila. Bonehead Nearly Brings on a Squall at Stanley. Philadelphia, Feb. 2. Local film and show fans here arc still discussing the • ar-Dcmpsey- Brennan climax to the gladfest opening of the new Maslbuuni Stan- ley screen theatre last Friday even- ing. Shameless as the admission is, it was this feature of the Mast- baum jubilee that most tickled prac- tically all of those present. No one will say who first put the idea into the bonehead that pro- posed to make A. L. Erlanger and Lee Shubert, both present, shake hands. Those who entertained the idea saw the Jubilee potential with possibilities for a great corner in the peace market. Everybody pres- ent knew the bitterest commercial warfare had raged for yea-s betweon the two men. Everybody knew that the future of the showdom of the country theatrically could be made a thing for prodigious profit if the two factions could be moved to be- (Continued on page 2.) Sir Walter De Freece, Gerald du Maurier and jOther Directors Must Answer Charges Against Alliance Cor- poration — Promoters Accused by Investors Who Put Up $700,000 $5,000,000 CONCERN London, Feb. 2. Hearing in the High Court on the writs issued against the directors of the Alliance Film Corporation has been set for a date immediately following Easter. There are 180 eases, involving approximately $700,000, alleged to have been ob- tained from investors in stock of the corporation through fraudulent misrepresentation. In the prospectus of the Alliance Corporation, issued in 1919. the cap- italization was placed at 1,000,000 pounds. Among other promises it contained ono to the effect that the company would enter into a con- tract with the First National Ex- hibitors to handle Alliance produc- tions in America; and it was esti- mated that the annual profits from sales in Great Britain would be 34,000 pounds, while those from the Continent, United States, Canada (Continued on page 2.) Bonus Given to Jones, Linick & Schaeffer—Nego- t ; ating With Woods for Recovery of Studebaker —Two New Shubert Theatres in Chi. ER OF GREAT INDUSTRY FIGHTS FOR FREE SUNDAY NO HOPE FOR FARE CUT TO AID ACTORS Oscar Price, Formerly in R. R. Administration, Tells Why. Oscar Price, who was Director« (Jcneral of Railroads, when the Government took over the (railroads of the United States during the war, discussing the heavy expense constantly increasing fares entail upon touring theatrical organiza- tion, says the agitation on the part of managers to secure a special rate for theatrical organizations is a waste of time. He adds that it would be impossible for the rail- roads to make a rate for one in- dustry not applicable to others. Mr. Price states the United States Steel Corporation, the combined beef packing corporations and a number of others spend more money In railroad transportation in a year than all the theatrical companies put together, and if any tangible ef- fort were made to place the thea- trical industry on a preferred basis there would be an outcry from these corporations—not to mention the influence brought to bear to make it applicable to them aa well. Mr. Price does not think there la any relief in sight, but thinks pres- sure should be brought to bear from all angles for a general reduction in fares throughout the country. ^tha VOTES WASTED ■go Folk Given Ballots at Last Election. Albany, N\ Y.. Feb. 2. ,J ''• complete return* of the last action show that Mary Tiekford -ived one vote in this state for '"'dent; Charlie Chaplain, three Uovernor; William S. Hart and P« I'M a. one each for U. S. ffttor, and aome one cast a vote 'I" lute .la. k London as Slate |lne< G. F. Johnson, Biggest Employer in Shoe Trade, Says Ban on Sunday Shows Is "Unwholesome, Unsafe and Unwise"—"Let Well Enough Alone." IIIMIIlAMl'TOX, N. Y., Feb. 2.— (iCorge t K Johnson, millionaire shoe manufacturer, threw a bomb into the camp of the faction that is agi- tating the prohibition or Sunday picture shows In Johnson City and Kndicotl last week win u he came out wholehear' •< ly in support of film entertainment* on'the Sabbath. The "joy killer**' did not believe Mr. Johnson wouid take the stand in favor of Sunday pictures and re- ceived quite a shock when the man- ufacturer announced he was abso- lutely In favor of screen entertain - rncntf o;i the Sabbath. Johnson, who is one of the fore* (Continued on. page 7.) BENEFICIAL CONVENTIONS Kansas City, Feb. 2. Although the Chamber of Com- merce of this city has definitely se- cured 47 conventions for thia city f>>r the ensuing year, an attempt will be made to more than double that number. In a report just la- sued it is tdiown that convention visitors here in 1920 spent over $5,- 000,000, and with the National Con- vention of the American Legion aa one of the big ones for 1921 a record breaker is expected. Frank I. New- man, of the Newman theatres, rep- resents the amusement aection on the convention committee. CUT FILM SALARIES Chicago, F.-b. 2. The American Film Co., has cut all salaries 25 per cent., which re- sulted in the resignation of the Chi- cago Fx< hange manager and all salesmen. Chicago, Jfvh. 2. It is reported,in inside circles that the Shuberts have regained the (larrick here from Jones, Linick & Schaefer- at a premium of $600,000, probably the largest bonus ever paid for a theatrical leasehold. Lee Shubert, on hiH recent visit here, is- said to have closed a deal with Aaron J. Jones whereby J. L. & S. relinquished the 20-year lease that lirm had procured on the (Jar- rick, beginning in 1923, the Shu- berts taking over the 20-year ten- ancy on an agreement to pay the rent at the new figures and an added sum to J. L. & S. of $25,000 each year above the rental price agreed. This will about double the present rent the Shuberts are paying. The vaudeville-film firm thus turns a profit of half a million by two signatures, as it was not to take possession for several years. The original renewal of the (larrick lease had been proposed to the Shuberts at a considerable advance over the present rent, and Shuberf* held out for $5,000 a year less than the land- lords proposed. Jones, Linick & Schaefer heard of it and met the demand, signing the lease to takn effect on the expiration of the Shu- berts* tenancy without consulting with Shuberts. Shortly afterward a similar trick was turned by Lester Bryant, backed by A. H. Woods, and the Shuberts had the Studebaker stolen under their noses, leaving them represent- ed in the second largest city on tin? continent with the Princess and the Central, two small and remote houses. Lee Shubert came here and sought to lease, buy or build, but could 1 tad nothing satisfactory. He ia said to have then made Aaron Jones the proposition, and Jones is said to have acquiesced not because of the $500,000, but because of friendship, as he believes he would have netted two or threo times aa much by operating the house. The Garrick Is ideal for vaude- ville, being within a stone's throw of the Palace and State-Lake. It ia now the principal Shubert legitimate stand. The Shuberts are now negotiating for a similar deal with Woods, for the recovery of the Studebaker. Also the Shuberts have leased two sites on Clark street, opposite the Hotel Sherman, for two theatres, construction to start in 1928. 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