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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 464 (438)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 464
Page 464

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 464

to carry advertising C0py about the picture, time, and weather or news fiashes as an additional attention-getter. The whole display is topped with huge neon letters spelling out RKO Palace.

The new display was first used for the engagement of RKO Radiols ifThose Endearing Young Charms," and has been used to tie-in with important events such as the visit to New York of General Dwight D. Eisenhower and the V-J Day celebration. ,

The sign used to be run on a cooperative basis, but now it is rented to one account, RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. The whole beauty of this sign is its flexibility and the ease with which we can change the copy.

Each picture on the sign has some sort of scene or something in keeping with the movie: for example, for tiAlong Came Jones," the copy read, HGary shoots it out with a killerf, and there was a picture of Gary doing just that! On iiBack to Bataanf) there was a sequence showing an aeroplane flying and being shot down in fiames. From the ensuing explosion the words thack to Bataanii was

THE WONDERSIGN-virtually three signs in one-is perhaps the most complicated ever constructed. It is composed

borne on smoke. Other times, certain pieces of copy are run for one day, such as "Welcome General Ike" or thew York Welcomes General Wainwrightfl Specials are run for different holidays, such as fireworks for the Fourth of July. The surrender of Japan was announced a few minutes after the news was received. The cost of manufacturing any other type of display would have been several hundred times the total cost of any one of these complete changes.


A most unusual form of advertising, also well within the province of "The Lamplighter? is institutional advertising-mor the indirect advertising by all Broadway theatre houses in a form entirely different and apart from house displays, signs, or bulletins. This was best manifested during the war.

The erection of the huge cash register by Artkraft Strauss in the heart of Broadway served to aid the war effort as well as advertise all Broadway houses. This type of advertising is a happy con (ut the top) of o "moving-picture" are made up of thousands of light bulbs. Below this is the silhouetteIetter sign, and at the bottom is traveling message. The "picture" portion can be manipulated easily and quickly, to meet the topical demands of the clay, as well as to reflect salient points of the current feature.


glomeration of all the facets of good advertising, plus service to the public and to the country in what can be aptly called a tiBroadway Block Party."

Artkraft Strauss also erected the Statue of Liberty for the Motion Picture War Activities Committee. The statue was erected ten days after receipt of the order. The 60-foot lady was sculptured from a specially prepared concrete-andplaster compound to withstand the ravages of the weather. TWO stages were constructed on the 20-foot pedestal on which she stands, a traveling message sign was located at the feet of the statue, and a bond booth on the ground floor. Each theatre along Broadway took turns in supplying personnel and entertainment for the daily bond rally. The traVeling message sign would announce each act as it appeared. The names of buyers of thousand dollar bonds or larger, would be flashed on the Sign, as an added incentive to bond purchasers.

Instead of being a temporary display, the statue had become a permanent fixture on wartime Broadway. It became the center of all the rallies, all the drives in which the motion picture committees participated. For the March of Dimes, the Artkraft Strauss built a 30-foot birthday cake for the late President Roosevelt. For the Red Cross drive, a 25-foot Red Cross in glass. For the Seventh War Loan, a replica of the Statue of Iwo Jima was built, showing the famous six marines raising the flag. This statue has been moved to the Saint Albans Hospital, and is to become a pernent fixture.


Now, with the war ended, Broadwayls future looms as bright as her sensational speculators. All the experiences of the past, plus the ingenuity which produced newer, more original ideas during the emergency of wartime, will be combined towards the creation of a hitherto undreamed of future in the history of sign making. Experimentation has educated the engineering department so that now the pictorial matter, when used for three dimensional work, is purposely distorted in such a manner so that when it is suspended 20 or 30 feet above the ground, it would appear to the observer to have the necessary perspective. With newly invented materials from which to choose; with the combination of fine art work, stage lighting and designing, perfected electricks, and the potential use of three dimensional ideas and materials, there will emerge a radically new phase of sign displays.

The function of a spectacular, as in any advertisement, is to attract attention, secure interest, create a desire, and then finally to get action. But. whether a moving-picture or a beer company uses the spectacular electric sign, one of the important facets of its presentation is position, or location. The old saw about the world beating a path to the door of the man who builds a better mousetrap does not hold much water in this day and agehnot on Broadway, anyway.

Public apathy springs from the knowledge that if a man builds a better mousetrap, he will bring it to their attention; he will advertise it and they will know

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 464