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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 17 (xvii)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 17
Page 17

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 17

Santiago. In Brazil, the only Portuguese-speaking South American nation, public interest in Hollywood films, like the growth of the country itself, is on the upgrade, and it looks as though greats er returns per capita can be expected in the future for American screen entertainment.


A certain amount of growth, as far as popular interest in American-made films is concerned, has also been noted in South

Africa. The percentage of growth is going to be greater, I believe, once the market on 16-min. films and projectors is broadened sufficiently to create the motion-picture habit in thousands of additional fans. Their potential needs are unsatisfied, and their inherent desires to see motion pictures will be met either through the building of new theatres or by bringing to their settlements, wherever distances are too great, portable 16-inm. projection equipment and films for open-air exhibitions.


Barring a few relatively unimportant spots, I believe Hollywood may look with confidence to a bright and prosperous year of international trade in 1946. Unless the Angel of Peace folds its wings in a dive for bomb-proof shelter-ea most unlikely happening according to present signs-American-made films, the purveyor of hope and happiness to the masses of the world, will overcome all obstacles in fair and open competition for global entertainment.

The Goal of Post-War Film Distribution

A Vital Role ls Played in Entertainment Diffusing American Ideas to Whole World

In the larger sense, the goal of distribution in the motion-picture industry must be, I submit, to insure a constant How of entertainment, information, and education to the theatres in our own land, and to maintain through our films a broad highway of communication with other countries throughout the world. It is a man-size job. That the American picture industry is able to do this upon a level of distribution which makes economically available the best films that our studios can produce not only to the "picture palaces" in our great urban centers but, eventually, to the smallest crossroads theatre is no mean achievemerit.

Film distribution in the domestic market alone is directed to some 17,000 theatres scattered over 48 states, requiring thousands of Skilled and experienced workers in 431 film exchanges strategically located in 31 key cities. One must marvel at the precision of this intricately organized and technical operation which rarely fails to produce the scheduled film at the right time for the show to go on as planned in every theatre.

The challenging goal for tomorrow is to do all this on a basis where every responsible element in the industry can meet on a common platform of service.

This industry is not unique in its competitive problems. The balance springs that regulate the processes of production, distribution, and consumption, if Industry and labor are to fulfill their promise of prosperity, always need care and often need readjustment. Such readjustment can only be the result of industry thought and planning, of conciliation and arbitration.

Every industry today must soberly face its responsibilities in a world which yearns for peace and plenty. But the screen, it seems to me, has a peculiar responsibility. We are the custodians of the greatest technique of telling a story ever devised by man. What we express through this medium is of the greatest importance to our own country and to the world. The distribution of entertainment to the millions of men, women




and children who look to the screen for recreation, and often for inspiration, is a function of vastly greater significance than distribution of goods and services in most other fields.

Each week something like 80,000,000 people in our country go to the motionpicture theatre for wholesome entertainment. They are entitled to the finest programs which can be projected on the screen. Through the fact of our artistry, our pictures have found a place on the screens of other lands. We must see to it that abroad the American design of living is truly refiected and not distorted.

For all these reasons, it is clear that,

Eric A. Johnston, as president of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, achieved wide recognition as an effective spokesman for American business. The soundness of his views on the present and future role of business in the development of the United States are acknowledged at home and abroad and greatly influenced his selection as successor to Will H. Hays as president of the nownanied Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. In W'oi'ld War I, he was a Marine, and was, in 1921, discharged with the rank of capmin.

as an industry, we must not forget the value of united cooperative effort which the war so well taught us. All elements of the industry-producer, distributor, exhibitor, representatives of the actors, directors', and writers guilds and the crafts*have worked together for common victory. They must continue to work together for common progress.

Enlightened self-discipline is and will continue to be the surest guarantee against gOVernment censorship and regulation. The industry, by trial and error, has learned that decent, clean, and truthful entertainment is most surely and permanently successful. The lesson has been learned. It is the job of all of us to see that it is not forgotten.

The debt of an industry like ours for its tremendous growth and for warm acceptance by the American people is too obvious to mention. It must be repaid in the steady unclipped coin of responsible and enlightened leadership. Such leadership must even be willing to sacrifice short-range advantages for long-range benefits to the public and thus to itself.

The substance of any lasting system is the hope of an ever-rising standard of. living in the future, accompanied by convincing evidence of accomplishment as we move along. We can and must provide better food, better clothing, better housing, and education for all our people. With our know-how and tremendous natural resources, we can do this.

We may as well face the fact that there are other political and economic systems in the world, wholly different from ours, but which do have mass appeal especially in time of industrial strife and stagnation. The only way to prove our system is better is to make it work better. The next five years may tell the tale. Now is the time to pull off our coats and get at it.

This is the sort of job that all of us working together in the motionnpicture industry can doea down-to-earth sort of job providing an unprecedented opportunity to serve a united, democratic, and prosperous country.

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 17