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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 12 (xii)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 12
Page 12

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 12

will be 21 per cent of all generators and rectifiers. Thirty per cent of all theatres say they need new screens, 37 per

cent say that new seats must be obtained, ,

and 61 per cent say carpet must be replaced.

Now, add to the above the demand for equipment in foreign countries, and I feel that it can be understood why I say, SR is not all coming in one years time? But it is coming, and perhaps quicker than we think-when our manufacturers

hit their stride. Remember those planes, ships, etc.!

I feel that the dealers owe the exhibitors of the country a big "thank youi, for their cooperation and patience during the war years.

It was a case of the exhibitors marking time with the dealer, the dealers, with the manufacturer, and the manufacturers' with the governmental rulings. In fact, the whole industry is to be praised for the manner in which they

met and adjusted themselves to wartime conditions. While I have always been proud of the industry in which I have been a part for many years, my pride today is far greater than ever in show business.

Yes, I am proud of show business for the great part it has played in the war effort, for its educational value, its tremendous aid to morale, both military and civilian, and for its works of charity. Yes, I am proud of show business.

The Whole Industry in the War Effort

A Review of the War Activities Committee In Its Coordinating an Industry's Effort

The motion-picture industry saw the storm of war coming toward the United States long before most of the country realized the German aggression was more than a local upset.

In April, 1940, a group of Army officers asked the producers of Hollywood to make a few films to help out with recruiting, since Selective Service was in danger of being abandoned. These men in uniform were so impressive in their description of the danger that faced the world that Hollywood saw a greater need for its aid.

Sidney R. Kent, a producer who has since died, called a meeting of film people for the Union League Club of New York. Representatives of production, distribution, newsreels, theatres, and other allied branches of the industry were invited. The meeting was on June 5, 1940. France was then reeling, and Britain's only army, its equipment abandoned on the sands of Belgium, had straggled back from Dunkirk, and Hitlerls Luftwaffe was smashing English cities. In the United States, it was generally thought that the Nazis would invade England and that the King and his government would flee to Canada. Few people bothered to speculate on what Hitler could do to the defenseless United States. Many were

afraid to contemplate What would hap-.


Mr. Kentls meeting produced the Motion Picture Committee Cooperating for National Defense. George J. Schaefer became president. Arthur L. Mayer, former Paramount executive and owner of New Yorkls Rialto Theatre, became the treasurer and Simon H. Fabian, of the Fabian chain of theatres, became chairman of the theatres group. These were all volunteer workers. Francis S. Harmon, taken from the New York oflice of the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America, Inc., where he had been executive assistant to that organizations president, was made vice-chairman and coordinator, and a full-time, paid employe.

Many ways were found to help the government in its effort to make the country aware of the danger from the Axis and to arm it to meet that danger. For Xiu


eign managers of the producers and distributors and newsreels furnished valuable information to the War and State Departments as to the progress of the totalitarian plots in Asia and Europe.

It was a dark, dark picture. There seemed little likelihood that the advancement of Japan, Germany, and Italy would be stopped unless the United States stopped them. The American army was still using Ford trucks to represent tanks and water pipe and tripods to simulate machine guns.

Then came Pearl Harbor. Remember? It was a cool, crisp Sunday afternoon in most of the Atlantic seaboard states. Many people were listening to the New York Giants-Washington Redskins pro As its director of publicity and associate coordinator, the War Activities Committee of the Motion Picture Industry chosa Walter T. Brown. Prior to service in the Army-4mm which he was discharged as a. captain following wounds received in the Sicily campaigueM'r. Brown was chief of the Albany bureau of the Associated

Press (1928-1936) and secretary (1936-1942) to the former governor of New York, Herbert H. Lehman. His early training in journalism and politics has stood him in good stead in serving the motion-picture industry.


fessional football game. It was December 7, 1941. A fidgety voice broke into the game broadcast to say that the White House had heard that the Japanese had bombed Hawaii. We were in the war, kicked in the backdoor by the little sons of the Mikado. The Japanese had had the gall and the daring to hit the base nearest the American coast.

On December 8, the War Activities Committee of the Motion Picture Industry was born out of the Motion Picture Committee Cooperating for National Defense. Since then, it has been the one funnel through which the industry poured its generous and important assistance to the national war effort. All branches, factions, groups, and cliques of the business buried their grievances, their business antagonisms, their jealousies, and their prides and worked together to help win the war.

It is not "terrific" nor "colossal" language to claim that no other industry has a more enviable record, and it escapes my attention just now if there is another that can equal it.

The industry has actually given away $200,000,000#or maybe $300,000,000# of its wealth in doing what Uncle Sam wanted. How come? Well, the producers made available all their Hollywood productions for showing to troops overseas. Whatever the Army wanted was made into 16-min. films and contributed. Seventy thousand of these films-"half entertainment features and half short subjectsewere distributed. More than 1,000 entertainment features were picked. This gift film contribution in raw stock, processing, and at 5 cents a copyright cost a person, represented more than $40,000,000.

Through July 6, 1945, the 16,000-odd theatres held 30,661 free movie (lays, 23,913 regular and childrenis bond premieres during six of the seven war bond campaigns. Admission to these shows was by bond. The theatre got no money, the distributor no rental. There could conceivably be $100,000,000 contribution in this. Films were made for the use of the Office of War Information, hundreds of technicians and executives gave their time to government work, and paying their own expenses. Stars of the screen

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 12