> > > >

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 547 (531)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 547
Page 547

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 547

or can be a source of annoying noise in the auditorium and (2) that the cheaper grades of cellophane disintegrate easily and make the merchandise unsaleable.

Indeed, the ideal wrapping would seem to be something transparent (to permit visual appraisal of the contents), stiff (to allow easy handling), quiet (to eliminate disturbing noise in the auditorium), and inexpensive (this last particularly in reference to theatre-purchased containers such as are used for popcorn).

Price Range

Three classes of comments were noted in connection with the returns on the question pertaining to the saleable price.

In the first place, the idea was expressed in no uncertain terms that cheap candy, at whatever price, must go if a satisfactory volume of sales is to be maintained. And in place of these inferior items, there is a demand for standard, nationally-known brands, for it is felt that such brands will be bought, other factors being equal, anywayebut it will be bought inside the theatre if it becomes known the theatre carries the desired brand.

The second demand is for the theatre to realize that candy must be sold by theatres at prices in accordance with the rise in prices of ordinary comparable merchandise. The time, they feel, is here when theatres must be reconciled to a reduction in prices in neighborhood shops selling the same items and when the theatre must impress on its jobbers and concessionaire the fact that merchandising in theatres is no different than it is in stores selling the same merchandise. In short, the party is over. The patron is watching his confectionery money and, in a market that is getting tighter, candy men will have to give an honest value to make the patron part with one or two or even more of his valued nickels.

Akin to the preceding is the third demand: that nickel and dime candies be sold for five and ten cents, not, respectively, 6 and 11 or 12 cents. In the face of rising costs, the theatremen realize that, for such a thing to be consummated, the size of the bar will probably have to be cut. All right, they say, make the bar smaller-the public appreciates (in part, at least) the candy manfs difficulties, but still let the manufacturer put into his bar a full nickells worth of candy satisfaction. And this satisfaction comes, the theatres think, in the publids munching its nationally-known bar at five cents each!

Sales and Saleabili'ly

The sales and saleability of various extra-profits items depends on what items are being sold. Such phraseology may seem a bit on the silly side; yet, judging by what has been written on the questionnaires and gratuitous information, all items seem to have their advocates, and the advocates have had success with those very items.

For example, one theatre man raises a hand in horror (the other one is taking in the nickels and dimes for candy) and shrieks, ffGod protect us from what happened to drug storeslli#and the unext" return declares, "We sell candy (priced from 6 cents to $1.50) and gum (both regular and bubble), cigars and


cigarettes, Tums, razor blades, handkerchiefs, and certain drug store items, such as aspirin, B-C, and so forth. We also sell frozen dainties in season."

Aside from an expected clash of opinions on the relative merits of the various itemseand on extra-profits merchandising in generaleone fact stands out in high relief for the serious consideration of extra-profits operators: that care must be exercised in the combination of items that are sold-at least, to appreciate the fact that a sale is a sale and that a coin spent for one item, at its percentage profit, cannot be spent on another item at, perhaps, a greater profit.

Many operators, who started their extra-profits venture on popcorn, and later added candy, have found that the money spent for candy was not spent on popcorn, and since the margin of profit on the popcorn was much more than that on candy, they found their net profit-despite increased volume of businessedecreased. Some operators point out that potato chips should not be sold along with popcorn.

Annotations on the returns revealed much interesting information concerning the actual volume at certain theatres While the figures are impressive, they were not written in with sufiicient frequency so that any factual analysis could be made. And since no figures were asked on total weekly attendance, it would be impossible to translate the proffered facts to any basis from which a general conclusion might be drawn.

But regardless of the magnitude of the take on extra-profits, there can be no question but that it offers the theatreman a substantial bolstering of the theatrels income, being sufficient, at times, to underwrite the ticket taxes and, at other times, to pay the cleaning bille

but all the while adding a tidy sum to the bank balance.

Management Aspects

Assuming that quality merchandisee such as name brands in candy, high rating grain and seasoning in popcorn, and comparable characters in other extraprofits items-is the basic principle on which to establish this extra-profits business-within-a-business, three fundamental rules of operation according to the consensus of the comments set forth on the returns, must be established and diligently pursued.

These operational rules, most logical and very simple, are really only two, yet one particular item was mentioned separately so frequenty it must be raised to independent rank.

First of the Three Commandments is Cleanliness: Keep counters, displays, and machines neat and immaculately clean. And the idea of spotlessness also carries over and is equally applicable to the attendant.

Second basic rule is Attractiveness: Keep counters and displays well-filled, good looking, and well lighted.

And the third fundamental is Proper Personnel: Be sure the attendant (preferably uniformed) is courteous and neat, and is thoroughly schooled in her salesmanship job so that she knows how to increase sales and the turn-over in otherwise slow-moving articles (some consider that a commission or bonus makes for more efiicient, harder-working attendants).

With these basic principles of extraprofits operation, no one can find fault# every one agrees with them uin principle" ebut all too frequently it is a human failing to become lax in some of the most obvious duties.

SODA FOUNTAINS, as represented by this one at the Adams Theatre in Quincy, Massachusetts, are generally apart from the theatre proper. This one has its entrance from the theatre lobby. although a! a position where. to be reached. the patron must have passed the doorman, thus restricting patronage to the theatre trade. The theatre also has a counter located on the other side of the lobby.
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 547