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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 151 (129)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 151
Page 151

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 151

Road Showmen: Opportunities and Problems

Mobile Booths, Serving Several Theatres Held a Boon for Cinemaless Communities

The manner in which motion-picture road-show operations are increasing, along with thealmost daily announcements of new motion-picture-theatre building projects, reminds me of a story the late James J. Corbett used to tell about his dad.

ttGentleman Jim," you know, gave up a career as a banker for that of a prize fighter. When he told his father that he was really on his way to his first major fight, the old man solemnly shook his head and said:

"Jimmy, my boy, its a sorry move youlre making this day, and please to remember as long as you live it was your old father who told you that a rolling stone gathers no mossill,

A few days later, however, Champion Jim Corbett returned and dropped five crisp $100 bills into his fathers hands.

iiYou got this for prize-fighting?" Corbett senior demanded to know.

"I did," Corbett junior replied.

ttJimf, observed the old man, earnestly, uremember always it was your old father who told you, titis the rovini bee that gathers the honeylll'

THE SHOW GOES ON. Here is a sketch of what might be almost any available space, converted into a theatre serviced by the mobile proiection booth. The truck moves alongside the pre-orranged port in the rear wall of the building, and the crew installs the screen and the loud speakers. The ticket seller sets up the box,



President , DP l 'r)' Corporation

In other words. there is new and bigger box office for the regular motion picture exhibitor-and ittherels gold in them thar hills? too, for the road showman. There is easy money and quick fortune for neither of themebut there is good showebusiness crying to be developed both at home and abroadein local neighborhood, near-by suburb and outlying community-as W(ll as in the far corners of a world where movies, uthe universal language," may be making a vital contribution to a slow but sure realization of the late Wendell VVillkieK-s "One World."


As I consider the market for movies open to the road showman, I think back, four long decades ago, to the earliest experiences in the motion-picture industry of my father, the late Dr. Herman A. DeVry. Herman DeVry was a road showman, traveling from town to town with

a motion-picture production, entitled "Around the World in 80 Minutes." His early vision also encompassed the modern newsreel, for shortly he had added ttThe Battle of Manilail and "McKinleyis Funeral" to his programming. And it was Doctor DeVry, you may recall, Who visioned the road showmanls need for portability in his projection equipment. It was "to take the wonders of motion pictures out to the crossroads, the class, conference, and living rooms of the world," that Doctor DeVry devela oped his suitcase projectorethe portable 35-min. projector that today is on exhibit at Washingtonls Smithsonian Institution, along with other of the world's ttIirsts." In view of Doctor DeVry's pioneering, it is axiomatic that we of DeVry should have a wealth of information, data, and first-hand experience upon which the prospective road showman may feel free to draw. Out of this experience, our first admonition to him is that he give most careful consideration to his market. And the factors that enter into market consideration, from the standpoint of the traveling motion-picture exhibitor, are many.

and everything is ready to go. A refinement of this project would, of course, include a permanent house screen and built-in speaker systems, in which case only a connection would have to be made at the rear wall beside the truck. Being a sound truck as well as a proiection booth, its crewmen are publicists, too.




1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 151