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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 152 (130)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 152
Page 152

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 152


. "Marketti for the road showman means a succession of communities, each of which is large enough to assure a profitable fftakef, One community may be good for one day a week, another for more. The best week-end communities (Friday through Sunday) must be carefully determined. Box-ofiice net is the determining factor.

"Market" means more than population, however. Facilities available for putting on the show are of utmost importance. And this brings us to a suggestion the writer feels is well worth considering.

Movies are an attraction which keeps people in their home community, as well as bring them to a community where they are shown. Movie-goers make business for a community, as well as for the exhibitor. So why not work out a cooperative deal with the community? Let it provide the "theatre,, and you provide the show. Be willing even to pay a rental which will partially cover the "theatres cost over a period of time-but make it a civic proposition which can be a good-will and audience builder for the exhibitor, as well as a business stimulator for the community. '


Illustrated herewith is an idea as to how a vacant store building can be converted into a motion picture theatreand for general meeting use by the community when the road showman is not using it.

This illustration shows the road showman's use of a mobile unit as built by DeVry for both 35-mm. and 16-min. equipment for use by governments to

THE "ITINERANT BOOTH" was originally developed by the DeVry Corporation two years ago for use by the Russian Army for motion-picture and radio entertainment and education. The tire-proof unit, such as might be adapted to the uses described in this article, is complete with a gasoline generator to supply all the electrical power required to operate the equipment. DeVry 35-mm. motionpicture theatre-model prciector, a high-fidelity sound system, a Hallcrafter all

take informative films into remote areas, for university extension courses, for business, sales and training films, and also for both major United States political parties. .

The particular mobile unit suggested in the illustration has a side port, making it possible to move the Smobile projection boothii into position at the buildingis rear for the period of the show.


Mobile units, as built for the Russian army, are complete even with sleeping and toilet facilities. They provide their own power through a 5,000-watt gasoline-powered generator.

Depending upon the scope of his operation, and the variety of conditions under which he must exhibit, the road showman can determine the type of equipment best suited to his needs. Mobile units, such as used by the USSR, easily accommodate standard 35-min. theatre equipment. The road showman may find it advisable to use 35-mm., as well as 16-mm., equipment. He may even find occasion to use both in a given community.

Increased use of motion pictures by educational institutions, churches, agricultural extension units, and business, suggest many profitable auxiliary markets for the road showmanis equipment.

All of this must have a place in the road showman's consideration and preparation of his market, and the selection of the type of equipment best adapted to his needs.

Experienced road showmen will tell you in all sincerity, however, that you need capital with which to start, and that you need to be a businessman, as


well as a showman, to make a success out of the business.

It costs just so much to open the doors on a motion-picture show#be it theatre or road showeand this cost for the road showman can be fi35-mm.-high," \so to speak, or "lG-mmslowit insofar as projection and sound equipment are concerned. Then there is the minimum personnel requirement, as well as transpOrtation and film rentals. And there are theatre rentals, tooewhether it be hall, auditorium, vacant storeroom, or tent.


The foregoing paragraphs suggest a consideration of the subject as to who is best suited to go into the road-show business*and here I want to second the suggestion of many who feel that it is not .too soon for the theatre operator to be giving careful consideration to the possibilities of developing his own roadshow business. r

A parallel is sighted into the growth of the small loan and installment finance companies, both of which made millions out of a financial service which banks and trust companies later came to realize might just as well have been theirs had they envisioned its profit potentiality.

There is a genuine demand for motion pictures in hundreds of communities which cannot afford elaborate theatres. There is an increasing number of 16-min. films being made available for showing in these communities, with 16-1nm. projection and sound equipment capable of theatre standards of performance readily available, as also are mobile units designed for both 16-min. and 35-min. equipmentis safe, speedy and economical transportation and use.

wave radio, Shure Brothers' microphones, Jensen loud speakers, astatic pick-up phonograph unit, fire-proof film cabinet, t'IIm splicer and rewinding apparatus, special Baldor rectifiers, Strong lamps, a Da-Lite screen, and other equipment. Thus, the truck is available for duty any time, anywhere, and not merely a per ambulating proiection booth. Air-conditioned living quarters for two are provided. Altogether, the unit is a theatre in itself, awaiting only twilight to function.

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 152