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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 474 (448)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 474
Page 474

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 474

should be entered on one sheet. With this sheet started, the actual wordy and buiky contract can be filed away, for the pertinent, every-day facts are now easily scanned and should be added to as the results are actually experienced. Its use should not be restricted to features alone, but should include all contracts on shorts, newsreels, and other subjects.

For continuing use, the sheet treats in columnar form: (1) Date available, (2) date played, (3) production number, (4) title, (5) days of the week on which features played, (6) group number, (7) percentage or flat cost, (8) actual gross, and (9) remarks. Under the last column should be recorded any holiday date, weather condition, local event, premium give-away. or other feature with which it was doubled, that might have conceivably effected the recorded gross. Day by day and feature by feature, this sheet should be kept up to date and should record. the individual success or failure of each individual feature. Separate tlocks should be entered in blocks as purchased and ruled off and totaled when the play is completed. Seasonal buys should be recorded in brackets-Le, if 5 features at 35 percent and 10 features at 25 percent constltute the top prices, the 5 blank lines should be left and ruled off, and then 10 blank lines should follow and be ruled off for the later designations. In either event, a quick pencil totaling of the net cost column and the gross income column can show definitely, at any time, the actual percentage cost to you of that distributors product right up to the last picture played.

The data on shorts need not be so extensive, for their return at the boxofiice can not be so definitely traced. It is necessary, however, to keep an accurate check on the number of each series to which you are committed, their unit cost, your cancellation privilege, the number available, and the number played. If paid for, on a weekly payment plan, the beginning and termination of payments is important. The latter applies to serials

and newsreels as well.

This system merely applies to each distributor the same ticut-oiflf or spread of knowledge which his exchange kLeps on every theatre customer in each territory. Each exchange supports a staff of clerks and bookkeepers so that a manager, salesman, or booker can glance at the card of any one theatre and tell the owner promptly when he played any feature or short, what dates he owes them, and any other facts which will support their business trading. By using this system in reverse fashion, the theatre owner is also up to date and can support his business statements or trading, with definite facts. It has proved to be an invaluable aid toward rationalizing and systemizing the buying of film.

Reviewing and Index Records

Both for aid in intelligent current booking, and for reference in later years to potential re-issue material, it has been found that some trustworthy reviewing service is needed by most theatre executives. Unless the particular executive is operating close to his particular film center and has ample time to attend all trade screenings, it is obviously impos . sible for him to see, in advance of book ing, every feature which he must advertise and play. Fortunately, most trade papers and several outside bureaus review most of the more important features, so the average theatre man has many sources of such advice available to him. It might be recommended that he spot check one or more of these reviewing services against his personal opinion of 20 or 30 features which he plays, until he finds the style of reviewing, and honesty in reviewing, which he feels best suits his own judgment. Once established, however, he ought to depend on the opinions of that service only and not be swayed by the laudable quotes from more Pollyana reviewers which 'may be dropped into his lap by some homepflice exploiteer. The next question is how to file and

THE CONTRACT RECORD AND CUTOFF FORMS provide for the records of each company's product purchased for a specific theatre, with provision (shown at the left) for the recording of the availability date, title of the feature, cost, whether bought flat or at a percentage, the distributor, running time, actual playdoie, and remarks. The feature-listing continues on the back of the sheet (shown at right), with space provided for similar dam on shorts.

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save all current reviews for reference when the picture is available, or later on when looking up a re-issue.

The method used by THE EXHIBITOR is to print its reviews and indexes as a s e p a r a t e , loose, punched-for-a-ringbinder, second section to each weeks issue. When the weekly magazine arrives, the reader may read thoroughly or only glance at the second section, but it is a simple matter to slip it into a ring binder without, in any way, mutilating, scissoring or otherwise damaging the news and feature sections of the main book. As this second section is consecutively numbered from issue to issue, the new section, which is placed at the back of the ring binder, maintains the numbering for easy reference and has on its last page a complete index to all previous reviews of that particular season. When the given season ends, it is, therefore, a very simple matter to remove the reviews so compiled and file them away for occasional reference in succeeding years. Such permanent files justify their existence in innumerable ways.

The Finger-Tip File as sold through THE EXHIBITOWS Book Shop is one tested and much used method of permanently saving the reviews of past seasons. This file consists of a number of patented adhesive strips covered with waxed muslin in much the manner of the popular Band-Aid, and bound between stiff book covers. Again working from front to back, each individual review section is inserted by stripping off the waxed muslin and pressing the section down against the fresh adhesive. Once so inserted, the paper itself will tear before the anchor of adhesive will give way, so that there is little likelihood of losing pages or sections.

A good, standard ring binder can also be used for this purpose, but the very ease of adding or subtracting reviews increases the possibility of losing the very section containing valuable re-issue material needed several years later. If a book bindery is available, the ring binder could be used for any current year and then the accumulated reviews taken out and forwarded to the bindery for permanent stitching into a book case volume.

Booking and Perpetual-Clearance Calendars

Both on his office wall and bound into his booking book, the executive theatreman should have available a legible calendar of at least 12 full months on one sheet, so that he can calculate ahead the 30 to 60 day clearance and booking period. The conventional calendar pad of a single sheet for each month is of little use for this purpose, for it must be turned over and back time after time in order to approximate any one given date.

As a service to its readers, and available free to any domestic theatre making a request to the publishing office, THE EXHIBITOR for many years has prepared such an annual calendar. This latter calendar actually turns the year, showing the month of December from the preceding year, and the month of January from the following year, or a total of 14 months on one large sheet. The purpose of this, at the start and finish of any given year, is obvious to the man who has ever used it. Set in bold, black

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 474