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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 13 (xiii)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 13
Page 13

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 13

made tours and individual appearances on all war drives. They went overseas to entertain. They visited hospitals and camps here. Trade papers gave away space and paid for advertisements, and accessory concerns, like National Screen Service Corporation, gave material and time to the War Activities Committee and to the war.

Everybody in the whole motion-picture

business can be proud of what the industry did in the war. It was a front-rank, civilian soldier in the national effort that brought success. It need not be reiterated that thousands of men and women were called to the colors. Seven thousand, or one-third of Hollywood, went to war. A percentage of them died in battle just as a percentage of barbers, bankers and bartenders.

There is a job ahead for the barbers, bankers, bartenders, and other ex-service men and for the civilian fighters, like the motion-picture industry-the preservation of the peace that was so dearly bought. The screen is the newest and most comprehensive town meeting. With the radio and the press, the screen has the responsibility to keep the peoples of the world informed on world events.

United We Stand, in Peace as in the War

Eloquent Plea ls Voiced for Preserving Gains of Industry's Wartime Cooperation

Recently I visited India, a vast and potentially powerful nation, and it reminded me greatly of the motion-picture industry. In spite of its huge resources and possibilities for human service, it has been consistently pushed around and treated as an inferior and an outcast. Why? Because, like the motion-picture industry, it did not have sense enough to get together and use its strength.

ffWhat we really need is to exploit our unity? said an Indian taxicab driver to his young lady passenger. fiIf every Indian were to spit once we could drown the British},

The motion-picture industry also requires unity, although it does not need indulge in such unsavory salivary practices to obtain it. During the War we made vast progress. Through the War Activities Committee, for the first time in the history of the industry, all the discordant elements of our discordant business found solid ground on which they could function effectively and harmoniously. We discovered that individual hostilities and grievances could be overlooked in a common effort for an uncommon cause. Through our independent, self-regulating divisions-exhibitors, distributors, Hollywood, trade papers, and the rest-every branch of the industry, without sacrificing a fragment of its own sovereignty or its own right to independent action, had the opportunity to make itself heard and felt and to perform the job for which it was best adapted.

In every town in the United States, our theatres became community centers as well as commercial enterprises. We enriched and deepened our contacts with the outstanding members 0f every community-bankers, congressmen, legislators, business men. In every city of 10,000 or more population, our public relations division had a local representative constantly in touch with press and radio. Mimeographed publicity stories emanate ing from New York and Hollywood receive uncertain attention when sent directly to the nations 1,800 newspapers, but our local public-relations men had direct personal contact which proved invaluable in placing releases of interest and concern to the public.

In the 31 exchange areas, for the first time, we had committees of exhibitors, distributors, and publicity men working




together instead of against each other. Every film salesman of every company was a part of this exchange area organization. Through this set-up it was possible, within 24 hours, to get in direct touch with virtually every theatre in the country. Only those in the field who have seen first hand the effectiveneSS of the War Activities Committee machinery in our various drives, can fully appreciate the value of such an organization. To this widespread organization of exhibitors, the power of the Motion Picture Producers Association and of the craft and talent guilds of Hollywood were harnessed for industry-Wide nationmserving purposes.

Now it is solemnly proposed to junk this invaluable organization like so much old film. If we do so, we will, in the nut too distant future, I predict, have to seek

As (managing director of New Yer/sis Rc'alto Theatre, Arthur Loeb Mayor has achieved nation-wide notice, but in spite of his ifHouse of Horrors? this Alabama-born, Harvard-educated erhibitor has developed a highly sane view on the whole industry. He has served as film consultant to the Secretary of l/Vm' and to the National Red Cross, for which he has made trips to the Pacific Ocean Area, the European. Thcarfre of Operations, and (pressufly) China. He also served the War Activities Committee at one time as treasurer and assistant coorrl'inrmw.

to reconstruct something of a similar nature and to reconstruct it without the cohesive pressure of war and patriotism, and without the stimulus of our nation's peril. Let us make no mistake: the problems of peace will be as arduous and complicated as those of war. No industry, least of all one as vulnerable to attack and misinterpretation as ours, can afford to face these problems a house divided against itself. No industry, without grave danger to its future usefulness, can afford to be left at the post in the postwar world.

Within our ranks there are, and I assume always will be, internecine strife between distributors and exhibitors, between afiiliated circuits, unaffiliated and independent theatre owners, between major and minor producers, and between both of them and the Hollywood guilds. But above and beyond these inevitable internal problems, there will, in the postwar world, be issues at stake affecting the welfare of every man and woman in the industry-issue; on which we as members of the picture family, inevitably see and feel alike whether we are producers, distributors or exhibitors. Issues on which, if we are wise, we will act alike.

We have many organizations: the "Hays" association, exhibitorsi organizations, and talent and craft guilds. I am not suggesting for one moment that any of them be scrapped. But when we get into a fight,the resources, inanpower,and experience of all of them must be concentrated in a solid phalanx of defense. And we are in for such a scrap. The bigots, the reactionaries, the isolationists, the anti-Semites are more virulent, more vicious, more widespread than ever. The horrors of war did not extract but only enhanced their venom The need for national unity failed to make a dent on the hard epidermis of their enmity. Throughout the war they sought to deprecate our contribution to the national effort, the patriotism of our leaders, and services of our fighting sons. Anyone who listened to them would have thought that we had instigated the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor and that we were responsible for the Nazi and Nippon policies of race hatred and bestiality, which even in defeat still endanger all mankind. These enemies of humanity regard the freedom of the

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 13