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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 542 (526)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 542
Page 542


1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 542

TABLE L-Percentage of theatres, classified according to the number of shows

offered each day







1 Show 2 Shows 3 Shows 4 Show: 5 Show: 6 Shows 7 Shows 8 Shows Aver. Northeast ....... ., 5.1 43.8 22.0 17.4 7.9 2.3 0 0 3.0 South ................... .. 8.3 36.2 21.7 15.3 16.6 2.1 0 0 3.0 North Central 5.9 67.8 9.1 6.5 5.2 5.2 0.7 0.7 2.6 Mountain .......... .. 9.6 52.6 14.3 19.5 0 4.8 0 2.9 Pacific , ............ ., 10.6 59.3 14.9 10.6 4.3 0 0 0 2.4 U. S. TOTAL 6.7 51.3 16.6 12.3 8.8 2.8 1.0 0.5 2.8



In the matter of the number of shows a day, Table 4 reveals that the reporting thealtres show a nation-wide consistency in the number of shows presented each day.

From an inspection of Table 4, it would seem that continuous-performance theatres (six or more daily shows, on an all-day schedule) are in the minority, with but 4.3 percent. On the other hand, theatres offering one, two, or three shows a day amount to 73.5 percent, leaving but a little over 21 percent of the theatres doing more than afternoon and evening business but less than continuous.

Type of Patronage

As to the type of patronage of the reporting theatres, it is about a toss-up as to whether the theatre is on the main stem or in a more strictly residential area. The, percentages are given in Table 5.

Just as there is a manifest tendency on the part of the theatres to consider themselves in the highest possible category in the clearance schedule, so is there an equal trend on the part of the cinemas to think of themselves as businesses in a business area. I

Accordingly, the data oii'ered in Table 5 probably renect more wishful thinking than fact, providing one overlook the general zoning regulation which makes the place a theatre can be erected, ipso facto, a business area.

That the survey has covered the whole range of United States theatres, from the standpoint of size, is shown in Table 6, where the range of seating capacities, and the sectional averages, is given. ,

While nothing was asked regarding the type of show presented or the operational scheme of things, write-in com ments indicated that the returns came from ifordinaryii theatres, as well as those serving more restricted groups such as Negro, newsreel, art, and foreign-made clienteles.

It might also be added at this point that any returns from theatres operating only on week-ends or in certain seasons were set aside. While virtually all of these theatres would and did sell extra-profits merchandise, it was thought best to keep the survey on a year-iround basis, and consider the profits from seasonal operations as just so much extra extra profits.

TABLE 5-Percentage of selling (94.4 percent of the grand total) and not selling (5.6 percent of the grand total) extra-profits items, classified as to the source of patronage.

No? Selling Main Residen Thealres Selling Main Residen



Slem lial Stem lial Northeast ,,,,,, ,, 30.2 69.8 41.7 58.3 South ................... .. 58.8 41.2 66.7 33.3 North Central 48.3 51.7 83.3 16.7 Mountain .......... .. 66.7 33.3 40.0 60.0 Pacific ......... 52.7 47.3 100.0 0.0 U. S. TOTAL 46.0 54.0 5772 42.8

Type of Merchandise

Having shown the type of theatre covered in this extra-profits survey4that all types, sizes, and conditions of theatres are included-attention can be turned to the actual items purveyed to the public in the nations houses devoted to motionpicture entertainment.

On the questionnaire provision was made to check 03 nine specific items4 candy, popcorn, beverages, gum, cigar TABLE 74Percentage of theatres selling various extra-profits items, broken down by sections of the country, with the United States national averages.

















Candy Popcorn Beverages Gum Cigarettes Magazines Stills Northeast 95.0 63.0 17.6 28.5 11.1 0.5 0.5 South ..................... .. 71.5 97.0 18.8 55.0 9.1 0 0.8 North Central .... .. 74.0 94.5 13.2 40.5 4.5 1.0 1.0 Mountain ................ .. 81.5 95.6 13.3 59.0 13.3 0 0 Pacific ................ ., . 93.0 91.0 45.5 61.4 28.0 1.7 0 U. 3. TOTAL 84.4 88.2" 5' 19.0 5' 41.5 ' 10.1 0.7 0.7 Records Song lee Potato Preuels Music Auto. Hot Nuts Cookies Sheen Cream Chips Box Photo Dogs NE 0 0 3.0 2.5 5 0 O 0 0 0 S 0 O 5.3 1.5 8 0 0.8 0 0 0 NC 0 5 0 5.4 0.5 0 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 M 0 0 13.6 4.6 0 0 0 0 0 4.6 P 3.5 0 14.2 0 0 0 0 0 3.5 0 U. s. 05 0 5.7'" "71.5" 3 i 053 073 0.2 0.5 0.2



ettes, magazines, star stills, records, and song sheets#with a tenth space for "otheril, the names of which were to be written in. That no theatre sold one of the items listed on the questionnaire (song sheets) 4but sold eight others not otherwise indicated (ice cream, potato chips, pretzels, music box, automatic photograph, hot dogs, nuts, and cookies)-is revealed in Table 7.

Besides indicating the wide range of items sold in theatres, Table 7 further emphasizes-and adds a quantitative significance to-the fact the industry has appreciated for some time: that the northeastern states have been the last to go in for popcorn and, probably, the first to see the advantages of candy. In this area, 95 percent of the theatres sell candy, while only 63 percent report selling popcorn.

In the history of the modern theatre, one outstanding complaint from exhibitors has been the headaches induced by gum-chewing patrons, and the extra work involved from time to time in scraping the bottoms of the chairs to

TABLE 6-Range of seating capacities and averages for the several sections of the country as represented in the extra-profits survey.









Range Average

Northeast 189-2500 676 South ................. .. 156-2000 515 North Central 200-2731 580 165-1500 451

300-1665 663

U. S. TOTAL ........... .. 156-2731 600

remove the accumulations of well-worn cuds. Accordingly, it was somewhat surprising to find that the No. 3 item, in point of theatres selling the item, is chewing gum! However, the old aversion is still prevalent in some quarters, so eloquently expressed on one return on which was written, 2N0! Not if youid give it to me!"

Most extra-profits items are comestible, but things as star stills, magazines, and records are such natural tieins that their presence occasions no particular surprise4nor does the smallness of the percentages of theatres using these items elicit any particular wonderment for no specializing source of supply exists.

An idea, albeit not new, comes out of the north central states, where several theatres have installed juke boxesX It has been frequently suggested by architects that where theatres have foyers, lobbies, or lounges of sufficient size, and the proper architectural arrangement, the prospective owner should consider the possibility of installing juke boxes for parting spare nickels from standees and those relaxing and waiting for the next show to be about to begin.

In connection with cigarettes, no effort was made to correlate the population of the cities where were located the theatres that sold cigarettes, but it became quite apparent that only in the larger cities were these items on the sales list.

The sale of ice cream in many cases

THEATRE CATALOG 1947-48
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 542