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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 496 (480)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 496
Page 496

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 496

Junkets Return as an Exploitation Medium

The Producers Resume Sponsorship of Trips

To Ballyhoo Towns, Theatres, and

This year, prior to the instigation of the drastic econcmy wave that hit the industry when the full weight of the British ad valorem tax was felt and realized, marked the return of the junkets to towns and cities all over the United States for the premieres and tub thumping of many Hollywood productions.

Wartime travel restrictions had been removed and the lid was off as far as criss-crossing the country via rail and air was concerned.

Outstanding, perhaps, was the Warner trip to Skowhegan, Maine, where uLife with Father-l7 had its first showing in the straw-hat theatre first housing the first performance of the famous Clarence Day play, by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. Coming at a time of the year when it was a pleasure to vacation in Maine at Warnerfs expense, this the critics, and the newspaper and trade paper boys and girls, liked. The play had its world premiere on August 14, 1939, at the Lakewood Playhouse there, with the Warner film having its world premiere on August 14, 1947.

Republic, not to be outdone by the major companies, beat the drums for ttWyoming" with a premiere in Cheyenne, with stars William Elliott and Vera Ralston on hand for the big doings at the Fox Inter-Mountain Paramount and Lincoln that tied in with the Slst annual Frontier Days Celebration. A feature of this bally was a ttKnow Your Wyomingil contest, set with the Tribune Eagle, with contestants asked to identify photographs of scenes in Wyoming. First prize was a two-week, all-expense vacation auto trip throughout the state. Following the premiere the film played

BY TRAIN the iunketeers proceeded to the "Life with Father" rendezvous at Skowheqan, Maine, where the Warner Brothers had decided to stage the world premiere of the picture based on the famous Lindsay-Grouse play. Here is the eastern delegation leaving Grand Central Terminal in New York.


Editor n! BETTER 1V].-\s.4<.r;.rsr. and .rfssncinrv Editor of Tm: Exnlnnon

83 day-and-date engagements in the Rocky Mountain area.

Eagle-Lion got on the bandwagon with a junket to Zanesville, Ohio, where ftRepeat Performancet, bowed in at the Liberty, Weller, and Quimby, and where the state of Ohio rolled out the red carpet for Richard Basehart, one of the stars of the film, in one of the greatest welcome-home celebrations seen there since the First Regiment of Ohio volunteers came back from the Civil War. Originally scheduled for only the Liberty, the state-wide interest aroused by the advance campaign set by Eagle-Lion director of advertising, publicity, and exploitation, Max E. Youngstein, and staff, forced the addition of the other two houses to handle the demand for seats. The New York press and tradepress boys and girls were taken out to the little Ohio town for the doings, which also had on hand Chili Williams, Frances Rafferty, Benny Rubin, producer Bryan Foy, and others.

For thrail Street/i RKO Radio went to Liberal, Kansas, for its premiere, where bally centered around the dedication of a thoroughfare as thrail Street}, Traveling on a ffTrail Street" special train, Bill Williams, Madge Meredith, Billy House, Nan Leslie, and Ray Whitley, among other stars, toured the state, stopping off for bally in Kansas City, Dodge City, Larned, and Hutchinson.

Salt Lake City, Utah, was the scene for the premiere of Enterprises ttRamrod/l UA release which was designated as the ofhcial picture of the Utah Cen


tennial at its opening at the Utah. Producer Harry Sherman, stars Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Donald Crisp, Don DeFore, Preston Foster, Sonny Tufts, and many others made the jaunt from Hollywood. For this premiere the Union Pacific made available the first post-war special train for such a purpose.

MGM even held a junket for HIt Happened in Brooklyn," taking the New York critics to Brooklyn for the premiere of this film at Loewls Metropolitan.

For no apparent reason, Eagle Lion held the twin world premiere of uBedeliaH in Reading and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and again the critics and the boys and girls of the press, trade press, and others packed their bags and were off to take part in the doings. Once again they were royally treated by the film company who hoped for some kind words in return. On hand, also, was Isidore Goldsmith, producer of the film.

This enterprising newcomer among the film companies put on still another junket for its Senator Claghorn film, ttltls a Joke, Son," featuring Kenny Delmar. Held in Austin, Texas, this was followed by a series of Lone Star State openings in key spots of the Interstate Circuit, including the Aztec, San Antonio; Metropolitan, Houston; Majestic, Dallas; and Hollywood, Forth Worth. On hand were producer Bryan Foy; and a group of stars including Una Merkel, Guy Kibbee, Sheila Ryan, Lois Andrews, Steve Brodie, Jane Darwell, Benny Rubin, and others who helped launch the film at the Paramount and the State. The famous Mexican Government Band of 85 pieces, which had come to participate in the inaugural of Governor

BY AIRPLANE they went to Skowhegan, too, to participate in the event that was to duplicate, in the usual spectacular Hollywood manner, an evening exactly eight years before: when. in the Lakewood Playhouse. "Lite with Father" bowed to the world that soon adopted the Day family.

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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 496