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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 473 (447)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 473
Page 473

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 473


The Booking Back

When the theatre executive considers that the Booking Sheet for any one week is the stock record for his business, and the entire inventory of the sales merchandise he is offering to his public for that one week, it is easy to see that such records are of too great an importance to be relegated to scraps of paper or some pocket-size notebook not large enough to permit legible writing. Also, it is not sufficient to record the feature attraction alone. Record also must be made of the shorts, newsreels, and added attractions that complete the bill, together with the trailer service, film delivery, advertising materials, and other accessories that have been ordered to sell the whole program. As a result, a large sheet is necessary and preferably one which will fit into a standard ring binder or ring-equipped brief case, so that finished sheets can be extracted andeither destroyed or filed, and new sheets added as needed instead of carrying around a full 52 or more weeks supply.

The Booking Sheet, as supplied in THE EXHIBITOWS Service Kit of booking and buying forms is a full 12 inches high by 9 inches wide sheet and provides seven lines of space for each booking day. Listing the days of the week, starting with Sunday, these lines provide sufiicient space for the legible listing of each feature, short, or stage sh0w attraction, complete with the stars of each and the individual running times, names of distributor, receipt of date confirmation, and even costs or buying arrangements if a code is used. Adequate spaces are also provided each day for all lithos and miscellaneous advertising which has been ordered on each attraction. At the top of each sheet is listed the various duties which have to be taken care of later, such as the date when all the attractions

THE BOOKING SHEET, (1 full 9x12 inches, provides for seven items in the show of every day in the week, with additional columns for indicating all pertinent facts and the things to be done for the Show.

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for the particular week have been booked and confirmed; when special copy or a list of shows has been sent to the printer for heralds; to the trailer service for trailers or slides, and to the film-delivery service so that the prints can be picked up and delivered on the proper date.

Space and completenes are the keynotes of this system, and it reflects the type of records that any modern merchandiser would use in any successful business, Contrast this With the dogeared little memoranda book sticking out of a pants or coat pocket as though its owner was taking horse bets or running a numbers bank or some other shady enterprise in which he was ashamed to carry normal business records.

Availability and Play-Oft'Work Sheets

Varying clearances and assorted national and local release dates make the availability of features and shorts to any one theatre a necessarily shuffied and irregular supply. Weeks may go by without the receipt of any availability notices, only to be followed by another week in which a fiood comes from each distributor with whom the theatre does business. And an availability notice is, at best, a flimsy, small memorandum which is both easily lost and easily mislaid among correspondence, records, or other availability notices. For this reason, what is known as Availability and Play-off Work Sheets have been designed, and a supply sufficient to the needs of any one theatre for a year are included in THE EXHIBITOIVs Service Kit of booking and buying forms. These work sheets merely provide a means of compiling all of the pertinent data from individual availability notices on one sheet as they are received, so that subsequent loss of an individual notice is unimportant, and so that all available product can be scanned at the same time for ease in planning a program or actual booking.

The actual sheet breaks down into varying width columns, the following headings: (1) Availability date, (2) title of feature, (3) cost, (4) fiat or percentage, (5) distributor, (6) running time, (7) actual playdate booked, and (8) remarks. In this last column, it is recommended that any data regarding the previous run, such as number of days played, the title of the other features with which it was doubled, or similar facts which might affect its ultimate gross in the following dates, should be kept.

As the name implies, this sheet is not intended to be a permanent record, but only a coordinating work sheet from which the permanent records can be prepared. Each side provides space for 44 features, and the common practice is to draw a line through and forget the features which have been booked, so that the available, but unbooked features, stand out like proverbial sore thumbs. With such a work sheet, it is pretty difficult to overlook unplayed product, and after all features on a particular sheet have been booked, or the obligation to play removed by either paying but not playing, or special agreement with the distributor, the sheet can be tossed into the nearest wastebasket. The key to its effectiveness, however, is the prompt and consistent entry of all availability notices the day of their arrival so that

the particular work sheet presents, at all times, a true picture of all available features.

The Contract Record and Cut-Off

In probably no other industry or other commodity is there so little relation between production and distribution cost and ultimate sales worth. It does not take much thinking to remember a a $2,000,000 epic that laid an egg and was not worth peanuts at the box-office; or a well-angled B picture which cost peanuts to make but did a percentage grOSS once it got away from the testy critics of the big-city first-runs. As a result, the average theatre owner must depend a lot on the smartness of a particular studio, thenames they have available, or the record of success that its type of features has in his theatre, when he signs up for a seasonts releases or even for only a block of five. He also must not let himself be blinded by some one tremendous gross, or some one series or starts profitable features, and sign up for a lot of others on which he has consistently lost money. Therefore, the only true, unemotional and business-like way to buy product is to have before him an easily kept and easily understood record of the last features played from the particular company, the circumstances of days and dates on which they were played, and profit or loss, both picture by picture and as a group or season.

For this purpose THE EXHIBITonls Service Kit provides a specially prepared contract record and cut-OE sheet for an entire seasonis play of each companyis product. Its use should start with the actual signing of a group or seasonal contract and, at that time, all conditions of (1) distributor name, (2) contract number, (3) contract date, (4) clearance or other considerations of week-end dates. percentages, splits, and so forth, and (5) just exactly what was bought and the prices or percentages agreed to

THE AVAILABILITY AND PLAYOFF WORKSHEET provides a fast and easy way of recording the when-conplay and have-played data on a theatre's pictures. Space is provided for 44 items on each side of sheet.


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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 473