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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 574 (546)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 574
Page 574

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 574

1943, $300,000,000. The sources of these figures are the Department of Internal Revenue and the Broadcasting Yearbook, respectively.

It is interesting to note that as important as the radio broadcasting industry is *in spite of the fact that it Iavishes upon the American public $300,000,000 worth of goods and services tifor freed each yeardohn Public still goes out and spends six times this muche$1,800,000,000 a yearefor motion picture entertainment. Does that mean that to see as well as hear is worth six times as much as hearing alone? Does it mean people would rather mix with other people, rub elbows with them, rather than stay at home? Or is it purely a question of Showmanship? Does it mean that the motion picture gives such vastly superior entertainment? Each of these suppositions could form the subject matter of a full length treatise.

There is invested in motion picture theatres in the United States today $1,900,000,000. Note please that the collective exhibitor gets his brick and mortar investment back in one year! What I am leading up to is just this: The theatres of America, as you can plainly see, have a tremendous investment and I am sure they are more interested in television and how they can become a part of it than appears evident on the surface.


I think the exhibitor will become one of televisionls favored beneficiaries. How? Here is an example: There will undoubtedly come into being one or more programming companies, booking offices, agencies (call them what you will) which

' will have a dual purposeethat of making arrangements with the owners or pro FOOTBALL, T00, WILL HAVE ITS THRILLS for television patrons, and such scenes as this - where Dove takes

meters of such events as prize fights, football games, baseball games, horse racing, etc., and selling these events to the motion-picture theatres of America on either a tiper theatre" or a tiper seati, basis.

The Races

Let us, for instance, take one single, one-time-a-year event such as the Kentucky Derby. The racetrack at Churchill Downs in Louisville has a very small capacity. The itsport of kingsf however, has a tremendous following scattered throughout the length and breadth of this fair land. Any horseflesh fancier, who has ever laid a two-dollar bet on the nose of some nag would jump at the opportunity to See the running of the Kentucky Derby. The exhibitors of America *showmen at heartewill not be slow to visualize this tremendous potential box ofiice. Their programming agency would, I am sure, be able to consummate a deal with the Churchill Downs authorities under whose auspices the race is held, whereby, for the payment of a rather substantial sum of money, this event would be telecast exclusively to the theatres of America. As I said before, there are approximatly 11,700,000 seats-sand I' daresay that the privilege of witnessing the Derbyenot from a seat somewhere behind a post or from the infield without a seatebut from a comfortable chair in ones own neighborhood theatre, for-let us say-eone, or even two dollars, would be eagerly accepted.

And it would not be a bad seat either,

.for you can rest assured that the telew

vision cameras will be so placed that millions of pairs of eyes in the theatres of America would have a Wlown-front" seat. As a matter of fact, they would

have better than a "down-fronti, seat. There would undoubtedly be a television camera stationed at each furlong post and the millions of watchers would be literally going around the track with the thoroughbreds. Watching from a theatre seat would be infinitely better than from a clubhouse seat at the track. You would hear the frenzied excitement of the crowd ethe thundering of hoof-beats. You would actually be there without leaving your home town. I feel certain that the Churchill Downs people would be inclined to make this kind of a dealeand Iim sure. that no sponsor of telecast programs could afford to meet the ante of the exhibitor. Which is a roundabout way of my saying that the event would be shown in the theatres only and would not be telecast for home consumption.

The Fights

Let us take another example-Madison Square Garden would become merely a studio in which to provide a ring, some lights, and a favored few to witness the boxing matches staged in the arena. Millions of fight fans in theatres around the country would constitute the Gardens real audienceenot the favored few in the $27.50 seats around the ringside. In the summertime, when fights are held in the Yankee Stadium, which seats 68,000 or more*many of whom, in spite of the high prices paid, are so far from the ring that the fighters look like a pair of dancing mickwhen they can be seen through the smoke-these comparatively few thousands will be but a small percentage of the aggregate audience accome modated by the theatres of Americaeand theylll all have a ringside seat. Here, again, the exclusive rights for the tele Vcasting of t0p calibre fights could be

bought by the theatres of America at a price far beyond the capability or willingness of any tigood Will" sponsor. In fact, if necessary, the theatre owners them Bertelli's pass for a good 26 yards, in a Noire Dame-Southern California game-will draw many lovers of big time college football to the nations theatres. (University of No'rre Dome photograph.) Other sports events-like the Kentucky Derby and the Worlds Series-will make for a year 'round cycle of sports events that should draw.

selves could promote fights and any other events which they figure would be a good box-office attraction.

Gen. John Reed Kilpatrick, president of Madison Square Garden, however, has expressed himself as follows:

At Madison Square Garden every year we have at least 65 attractions of definite boxoffice value for theatres, running for a total of more than 200 days. We invariably sell out for boxing, basketball, the horse show, the dog show, hockey, the circus, and other events. And there are millions everywhere who would gladly pay money to theatres to see these same attractions by tel vision. Uir irml m a. Garden is to get the people from the suburbs and out of town to come to see our major attractions. The time and cost of traveling are our biggest handicaps. Theatre television will make possible the establishment of Madison Square Garden theatre branches throughout the United States. Then Fur "resent capacity of 25.000 will be increased to 1,000,000 or more. And I think that theatre owners can count on events that will fill every seat.


Let us take another lookrn VVorll ' Series which might run a maximum of seven gaines%1' a minimum of fourw would have a potential theatre audience, on a four-game basis, of 44,000,000 people, or, on a seven-game basis, 77,000,000. You can reduce this figure by any factor you desire, and multiply it by any admission price you wish, and your answer is still an astronomical figure.

One of the leading figures of baseball

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546 IHEATRE CArALoeeI94s
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 574