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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 546 (530)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 546
Page 546

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 546

TABLE 184Percentage of theatres indicating certain price levels as representing

the most saleable groups.

5 cents IO cents 20 cents 25 cents 50 cents $1 and over Northeast .... .. 83.0 61.7 10.7 14.3 3.0 2.5 South ......... V. 100.0 100.0 10.0 9.0 4.0 4.0 North Central 74.6 83.0 7.5 8.9 3.0 1.5 Mountain .... 4, 82.0 68.0 . 13.6 4.5 0 Pacific ................ .. 80.7 77.3 10.6 17.6 7.0 0 U. S. TOTAL 83.0 78.0 9.5 11.7 3.6 2.1

There seems to be one very good explanation - and probably others of a reasonable naturkthat theatre operation should, by and large, result in a better cash return than under concession operation. It may be that in theatre operation, the theatre man has a very personal interest at stake in the deal and, therefore, pays more attention not only to what he sells but how he sells it-and there is no question but what that good old attribute of ffShowmanship" plays a tremendous part in selling candy and popcorn and the other items as it does in promoting current and coming film attractions.

In concession operation, it is very easy, no matter how much Showmanship might have entered into the picture at the start of a venture (for impressionmaking, perhaps), for such a business as it developseand there can be no question of its growth and development in the past few yearseto acquire, however unwittingly, a caveat-emptor attitude with, as is true in some cases, the insistance of the concessionaireis own brands when the demand, proved time and time again, is for the nationally known confectionery by-words.

Four-tenths of a cent may not seem much, but it can amount to an appreciable sumeespecially when this fraction, of course, is quite on the profit side. Suppose, for example, you own an average GOO-seat theatre (Table 6) and you present 2.8 shows (Table 4), you have a potential capacity of 1,680 patrons. Now, if you are fortunate to have all seats occupied at all shows, and the average number of patrons (59.6) buy extraprofits items (Table 19) there will be 991 sales. If the facilities are operated under concession, the daily potential take, at a 7.6 cents per capita spending, amounts to $75.32, while under theatre operation the potential at 8 Cents a head, would be $79.284and the extra $3.96 is quite respectable extra Extra Profits.

It would seem, accordingly, most de sirable for the prospective seller of extra-profits items to ponder long and hard, with plenty of paper-and-pencil work, to see what, in his particular situation, is the best deal. It is definitely not the intention here to decry the leasing of concessions, for there are no doubt many places where such operation makes possible a patron service which might not otherwise be economically desirable or even possible from the standpoint of personnel. And, of course, the business aspects of provisioning counters, stands, and machinesewhich in times of nonetoo-plentiful supplies of fast-moving items%an be headaches of the first magnitude, which are, naturally, obviated through concession operation, which also absorbs losses from pilferage, as well

TABLE 19-The number of items sold for each 100 admissions, and the average sales price.

Volume Average

of Sales Amount

(Percentage) (Cents) Northeast ................ .. 57.9 7.3 South ....................... .. 64.6 7.8 North Central',,..... 59.5 8.6 Mountain ,, 49.7 7.3 Pacific ............ .. ., 58.4 8.0 U. S. TOTAL 59.6 7.9

as provides the salary of the attendant. The preceding are facts as revealed by this one survey, and the data, together with the annotations, are offered strictly for what benefit may be derived from them in particular situations.


Besides the spaces for the eight sets of questions on the main form, the questionnaire provided space for "any remarks on your textra profitsf lobby stand experiences that you would like to pass along to other theatremen." Many respondents utilized this space, in addition

TABLE 204Average sales (in cents) at machines, counters, and both types, according to whether the equipment is theatre-operated or leased as a concession.



Machines Counters Both Ma

to noting specific commentsasome vehementehard by the pertinent question. From these gratuitous data can be culled interesting notes on management of various aspects of extra-profits merchandising. However, it must be borne in mind that these comments are from isolated individuals and in no way represent any regional or national consensus. And it must be remembered also that, as circumstances alter cases, what one theatre man finds valuable and expedient may be quite the reverse for another operator in different conditions. Accordingly, what follows must be regarded as ideas, to be studied by the individual in the light of his own specific location-his theatre and its patronage.

Machines. Counters. Displays

Inasmuch as the survey has revealed a predominant liking for lobby stands or counters (Table 10) and the general tendency for the returns to average better with them than with vending machines (Table 20), it was to be expected that most comments on operation would refer to this type of equipment.

Whether a theatre uses an open display or a closed counter, it seems that there is general agreement on the policy of effective display to boost the sales of the item. It would appear that there is, through mass display, the tacit endorsement that uYouill like itlieand the patron convinces himself that such a volume of material must mean a lot of buyers and, hence, a better product. Coupled with mass display, some exhibitors feel that, even though there is some loss, it is advantageous to have the piled up candy bars where the patron may handle them.

In some cases, it has been found that open displays sell three times as many items as machines.

Another important angle was pointed out. Where a theatre is operated for a colored population, it is more or less mandatory to have a closed counter. While this type of merchandising equipment is installed, these operators find that many of the available stands do not have enough glass, so that a full display eand a visible oneemay be placed in the body of the cabinet.

In the dispensing of ice cream and beverages, operators, where it can be done, find it desirable to have separate store facilities for this type of selling.

As to the placement of the stand, it is felt that the closer it is to the entrance the betterenever hide a stand in a cornereand the greater the sales will be. Despite thisemaybe because of this# some observers feel that a foyer stand will gross more than a lobby stand.

Packaging Material

The data in Table 16 indicate that, as a rule, extra-profits merchandisers are reasonably content with the type of package presently available and used, a satisfaction briefly summarized as cellophane for candy, paper for 5-cent popcorn, and cardboard boxes for 10-cent popcorn. As to candy, in particular, many feel that it does not really matter what the wrapping is, providing the bar is attractive and a good-seller.

While satisfied, more or less, with cellophane for candy bars, theatres do appreciate two faults: (1) that it is

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 546