Variety (October 1922)

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46 PICTURES Friday, October 6, 1922 I FIRST NATIONAL WITH HAYS DECIDED AT CHICAGO MEETING lOErS WAtFIELD a COAST POOL =^i Producing Plan Also Under DUcuttion—Rumor of Ousting of Williams and Schwalbe Denied — Modification of Franchise Plan Proposed Deaf Closed Whereby House Will Be Booked With ■• . Zukor Chain v LYNCH HOUSES BOOK 1ST NATl ». FEATURES ON 2y0 BASIS Chicago. Oct. 4. First Xational has Joined the Mo- tion I'ictuie Producers and Dls- tributora Assn., the organization which has Will 11. Hays as Its head. That was one of the principal mat- ters of discussion at the meeting of the Executive Committee of tho First National, which started Mon- day. According to the information during the course of the meeting the First National has had an ap- pliratlort before the Hays associa- tion for more than a month. Sept. 14 it was ofllclally voted on and Bince that time there h.ive been a number of meetings held at which the exact status of tho organization was defined In regard to its mem- bership in the Hays outfit. In addition the matter of great- est discussion was that in regard to First Xational joining the pro- ducing ranks, which naturally had bearing on the rating under which It would enter the Producers' and Distributors. It is certain that they contemplate entering the producing field, Taut just what definite steps have been taken at this meeting were not disclosed. The Rowland plan was presented to the committee and the discussion was a lengthy one. Some of the members of the committee who are also In the producing field on their own It Is understood opposed the idea of Firf^t National organizing its own producing units. This, was to be expected, as tlielr position as producers with a certain outlet through the organization would be impai(,ed through this. The meeting really didn't get un- derway until luesday because of Monday's religious holiday. It was accepted the move on the part of the First National to join with Hays was engineered by Robert Leiber, president of First National, from Indianapolis, and recognized as willing to help out Hays because of the "home town" feeling. Rumors were plentiful here in re- igard to tho possible ousting of J. D. Williams and Harry Schwalbe with the possibility of Richard A. Rowland being appointed to head the organization. This was all in the air and no verification could be obtained regarding the situation. It was admitted there was a pos- sibility of the question of the organ- ization joining the ranks of the producers being discussed at length at the meeting. Nothing could be learned in re- gard to the po.ssibility of Jesse I^asky being afnilated with the First National in the event the long threatened break between he and Zukor occurred, although it was stated it was hardly probable First National could give L.-uky a.s good a deal off hand as he is getting with Famous Playe»8. MANSFIELD ACT OFF N«w York Picture Agent Did Not Koop Agroomont The Martha Mansfield act, which was to have made a tour of the middle wcft in conjunction with the showing cf "The Queen of the Moulin Rouge," released through the AriKrlcan Corp., was called off. The American Releasing Corp. had arranged with a New York picture agent for the act. The agent prom- ised ho would liavo Ned Wayburn stage it. At tho last minute he pleaded he was unable to get the producer to handle the turn and obtained'another stage director. Wiien the act was shown to the releasing fori>oration's ^executives prior to the opening date they im- mediately cancelled all time ar- ranged for It. One manager in- sisted that,as he had spent several thousand dollars In advance adver- tising, the act play for him. On opening it drew the first day on the strength of the advertising, but the balance of the week proved a flop for the house. San Francisco, Oct. 4. Loew'a Warfield Is now being booked by Eugene Roth of the Mar- ket Street Realty company that controls the California. Granada and Imperial theatres here. This led to a report that Roth's inter- ests had purchased the Warfield. The booking arrangement is the outgrowth of a plan on the part of the downtown exhibitors to "beat the gate" In the matter of keeping up the price of first run showings. As the Roth outfit controls prac- tically all of the downtown first run theatres his buying for the Warfield as well practically gives him absolute control of the nfirket. According to those in the know film salesmen heretofore have been playing one picture theatre against another in seeking to get top prices for a film that was dt>sirable. The only houses now booking separate- ly are tlvs Strand and the Tivoll. The film board recently hold a meeting and sought to pievent the merger of the picture theatre man- agements In their film buying scheme, but their efforts were un- availing. As it stands the Metro releases will fill the Warfield about half the year and Roth will be reqiiiied only to buy for the remaining half. Roth has made a statement deny- ing that he had acquired any finan- cial Interest in the Warfield, Hold of Famous Elayert on South Broken by Big Deal—Percentage Booking Involves 150 Houses —^All First National Releases to Be Played VALENTINO INJUNCTION F. P.-L. Wins in Preliminary Actior^ to Roatrain Star OLD STUFF WEARIES Eng4iahni»n Say They'ro Tired of .Storootyped Screen Type* London, Sept. 22. Speaking at a luncheon given by IjOrd Ashfield and tho Provincial Cinematograph Theatres, Ltd., late- ly, following the showing of the Esquimaux picture "Nanook," Sir John Foster Fraser. M. P., the journalist, soldier and politician, said that the country was tired of the eternal triangle class of picture and of Its offspring being Instruct- ed in the rifling of safes, to say nothing of damsels dressed up as female Buffalo Bills. Speaking of films, ho had never seen an Englishman on the Amer- ican stage who wasn't an utter ass with a monocle, he had never seen an American on the English stage who wasn't eating cigars and spit- ting on somebody's carpets to say- ing nothing of remarking that he was out to "Whip the earth." Neither picture was in any way true. A. E. Newbould. M. P.. a high offlcial of P. C. T. said, the public was undoubtedly tired of foolish wives, wise wlvea, "should doctors tell" and sex trash. PICTURE UNITS At the offices of National in ^.ew York it was stated the rumors to the effect that W'illlams and Schwalbe would be ousted were mamifactured out of air and that it was only a rehash of the rumor grind *n progress at the time of the First National's French Liilc meet- ing. No comment would be made as regard the possibility oC the organ- ization entering tho producing ranks. It was denied there was anything known In regard to a pos- Bible deal with LaHky should ho break from Zukor. One of the principal topics before the Executive Committee In addi- tion to the Hays member.'^hip, is the question of whether or not there is to be a modification of the SHALVEY ESTATE $42,000 Edward J. Shalvey, late president of the V. B. K. Film Ccrporatlon; treasurer of the Ay Vee Bee Corpo- ration, producers of the Ernest Truex two-reel comedies; secretary of tho Notlek'^musomont Co.; sec- retary of tlie Van Kelton Amuse- ment Co.. and who, in the amuse- ment business, was actively Identi- fied, with Aniedoe Van Beviren, left a net estate of 142.280.99 when.ho died May 19. 1920. it was disclosed this week in the Surrogates' Court. New York, through the filing of a transfer tax State apprai.'^al of his properly. Tabs to Be Produced for Picture Houses. ; JohtT'Wenger, formerly art direc- tor with Paramount and other fJic- ture producers, is heading a cor- poration bearing his name which will specialize in the production of picture units to be routed over a circuit of picture thpatres. With picture houses paying headline at- tractions from 11,500 to $2,500 weekly, and more in the case of big "names," the matter of producing 15-20 minute tabloids at a lesser cost was broached to exhibitors and producers who promised full co- operation. Loula Silvers who has specialized in film music will com- pose the music for theso miniature musical acts. Sammy Lee la stage director. Kendler & Goldstein, attorneys for the principals, will charter tho cor- poration. They are also on the ad- visory tfoard. OPEN AIRS OPEN For the first time in ten years the open air picture theatres are still operating during Qctober. Sev- eral managers with the advent of the warm spell early this week/de- cided to continue running their out- door theatres Instead of closing and tran.sferring their shows indoors. A surprising thing is that last Sunday Coney Island had a bigger crowd than on any of the days dur- ing the summer. Those of ilie con- cessions that were still operating cleaned up and the motion picture places on the Bowery had a harvest. The Famous Players-Laaky Corp. won Its motion for a permanent in- junction to restrain Rodolph Val- entino from breaching his contract. The film star is accorded the'^TJflvi- lege of electing a opeeaj' trial be- fore a referee and Famous must post an additional bond of $25,000. A $10,000 bond was already posted at the temporary injunctive order. The papers disclose that F. P.'a contract with Valentino was grad- uated up to $3,000 weekly. The de- fendant through Arthur Butler Gra- ham alleged a contract breach through non'^exploltation and other alleged contractual shortcomings. Tho Thowias Melghan contract flg- ured In the argument. Mr. Graham setting forth that Melghan gets $3,000 a week working or not while Valentino la only paid when ac- tually employed. Valentino has "The Young Rajah" awaiting release and already com- l>leted. Ills next production was to be "Don Ceasar do Bazan" ("The Young Cavalier") under Allan Dwan's diorctlon. June Mathis, the scenario writer, who "discovered" Valentino's starring possibilities, has the scenario already completed. The picture was to have been "shot" abroad, either Spain. France or Ger- many, on u lavishness parrlng Douglas Fairbanks* "Three Mus- keteers." Edwin Booth and Alex- ander SalvinI appeared In the orig- inal version of the "Cavalier." A new version of the litigation was ciroulated this week. The point Is that Valentino received ah In- direct intimation he could have the name part in tho projected produc- tion of "Ben Hur" to be done by Goldwyn, if satisfactory arrange- ments could be made with Famous Players on a release. It la said the project was broached by June Mathla during the filming of "The Four Horsemen" for Metro. Mlsa Mathla had arranged the screen version of the Ibanez novel and was frequently in. consultation with the director. Rex Ingram, dur- ing Its production. When A. L. Erlanger disposed of the screen rights to "Ben Hur" to Goldwyn, he stipulated that he should have the approval of the adaptor. June Mathis, who was for sevft-al years chief scenario writer for Metro and who has handled sev- eral of its biggest enterprises from tho writing end, was suggested to Erlanger. He approved the choice and Miss Mathis la said now to be in Europe preparing for the work. Before her departure, she is said to have discussed the star part with Valentino with reference to his adaptability to the role. It is rsot indicated that she was empowered to offer the part to the star of "Blood and Sand" or that she even Atlanta, Oct. 4. A new era in percentage bookings on pictures seems to be looming. A deal Just closed here which covers the entire Southern .territory is in- dicative that the percentage idea is going to spread in the picture field in the near future. There are 150 of the S. A. Lynch houses involved In the contract that has Just been closed whereby the First National attractions will play all of the houses for 20 per cent, of the gross receipts. E, V. Richards closed the deal Frank Freeman and Dan Micbclove» general and booking managers, re- spectively for the Lynch House cir- cuit, were on the other side of the deal. • '♦( For several years paat. since'Iht* closing of the deal whereby Lynch, who was a First National franchise holder, made a deal whereby Fa- mous Players obtained an int(?rest in his holding and practically sewed up that part of the country. First National attractions have virtually been out of the houses of the cir- cuit. Under the new agreement, the Lynch houses will play all of the features released by First National on the percentage basis with the at- traction getting 20 per cent, of the; gross and tli^houses 80 per cent. First National producers have re- ceived contracts for their attrac- tions on that basis. PRISCILLA DONNER STUMPING Los Angeles. Oct. 4. I'rom pictures to politics Is the leap that Priscilia Donner has made. She is taking the stump thn^ugh the state in behalf of the chiroprac- tors In their fight t© obtain state recognition and licensina. pictures as lined up for the coming seanon are strongest they have ever present franchise agreement and if been in the existence of the com- MAE BUSCH HAS DIVORCE I..OS Angelos, Oct. 4. Mae Busch, former l'ni\orsal star and more recently under tlie direc- tion of Maurice Tourneur, has ob- tained a decree of di\orce from Francis J. MacDonald, al«o a picture Mlnneap^n^j. Oct. 4. :A»^ Forty exhibitors in the Northwest- have signed Xor F. & II. Film Co.'a road show licensing plan by which one exhibitor In towns of 5.000 or less gets the right to exhibit at least two unit shows per month. Each sho^ will be composed of a feature and short reels, the latter selected from the Educational Une-up. The scheme works oh a percent- age arrangement and calls for the Installation of a live exploitation department to help exhibitors In. even the smallest of towns. Tho cost of maintaining this series is to be split equally. All of the territory embraced by the Dakotas, Wisconsin, Minnesota and upper Michigan which F. & R. controls by virtue of its franchise with Al Lichtman is Included In the plan, evolved by J. F. Cubber- ley. Whatever other features F. & R. control, Including the Warner output. Is also included in the plan. OPPOSITION HOTISli AT UTICA Utica, N. Y., Oct. 4. ri Utica Is to have an Independent,: theatre, to cost about $400,000, and to seat 2,500, to be known as the Criterion, and will be erected on a plot of land about 200 by 75 feet, by the newly Incorporated Criterion Theatre Co., backed by the Empsall Interests. Part of the site Is at was authorized to sound him on l I^"^^^*^"'c^^'^'^^d by the Hippodrome, th<rpro.«pect, but the possibility is | * "lotion picture house, one of the I oldest in the city. Construction will player. / a modification is finally decided upon what form it will take. There are at present three or four dif- cnt plans that have been worked out but whi«h one Is to be adept* d in the event that modifioation Is agreed \ipon, is a question. One of the executives attached to tho home office characterized the Schwalbe-Williams rtiniors as to- tally unfounded. The company ac- cording to him, is in better shape |iany. This fact coupled with tho possibility of a modification of the franchise agreement he stated shoi;l(l plrirr" the franchise ho'der.s ill Biii ii ;i frame of mind that a chauRo of executives at thl% time woultl mo.1t likoly be furtherest from their thoughts. S(iuawks from producers have lM?en plentiful at the meeting. Jos. M. Sclienck seems to be the only onr' who can Feeure what he wants mm timn It pvor baa been and their In the way of e.thibition values. FILMS CROWDED OUT (Continued fiom ji:ige 1) St. Charles Is to open on Nov. 5 with Francis X. Buslunm and Bev- erly Bayne as the star.s of the com- pany for four weel;s. If the venture is a suceessful one it in i»ossil)lo that a stock circuit will bo laid out with rotating stars, each star to make a return every four weeks or so as the visiting licid of tho local company. Thus each J?tar will be able to i)lay one role fi)r at lea.-t four weeks. Other rna!.:jr;ers in tlie :;i(»uiii are watching the dev»-lupinenL of the .«<tock invasion with f^reit interest in the belief tliat it is going to be one of the factors that in going to keep them on the right sulo of .the ledger, and atop the losses that thoy have been suffering IhroufJi falling picture receipts. said to have so stirred Valentino that he cast about for a way to dis- pose of his arrangement with Fa- mous Players. Accordingly, so the tale runs, he served notice on Fa- mous I»layers that the company had committed a breach of contract. Famous Players' application for an injunction to restraiti Valentino from playing for any other cumpany followed swiftly. Apropos of the story tho industrj' anticipates great thin^.s for the "Ben/illur" picture. The i)restige of the Gen. Lew Wallace novel and the play made from It. that stretches from ore end of the country to the other and abroad as v.-ell, promises a work that promise.^ to rival, or even oversliadow Grifiith'.s 'Birth of a Nation." It goe^ witliout .say- ing that the star uf the picture will be nindo for life. No name has been mcntioiicd in this connection and begin in tho spring. W. II. Linton, owner of the Hip- podrome, is promoting the enter- prise. Also connected arc: Hon. James D. Smith of Utica, former mayor of this city; Frank A. Emp- sall. millolnairo Watertown mer- chant and theatre owner; Willinm Rubin, prominent Syracuse attor- ney; Clarence E. Williams, former V. S. di.strict attorney, of this city. The company is capitalized at $ri00.000. according to Incorporation papers fllci at Albany. It is under- stood that citizens of Utica will be given an opportunity to purchase stock In tho venture. BEIASCO CO. STARTS San I-'rancifico. Oft. 1. J'.olaPc(» I'roJuctions, Inc., of wiiieh IMward Bi^lasco is president, h-^n stalled prodnrtion work on -i -tnry fi'W UutallH uf tJoWwrn*.^ rrnns ttarr oiyr- j u^^^^ rrlce." written by I-^J^ becopic known. Z.Ilner. It is an original scrijd and the scents will be taken at the Inl- Mrsal lot in Hollywood, where the company has leased space. 4 In the cast are Miriam Coopcfi Forrest Stanley, Mitchell Lewis and lilchard Tucker. Dallas M. I'itv:- gcrald will direct. Jess Levine. who handled npjxr New Y< rk City sales f.»r the New York exohat jo of Paramount, re- signed last week and has .issociated himself with the Warner Bros, ex- change. » •' • J •• . -» -i '/■ 1