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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 548 (533)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 548
Page 548

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 548

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talent standpoint? Twenty to one, television uses movie stars as the main attraction. Weive already got them in the movieseno improvement there. Suppose the television station uses movie film for the telecast-they canit offer more in the movie film than we already have. I fail to see where they can offer more or oii'er the same for the same price. Another thing I believe is that theatre managers would rather depend on the projection in the booth than the network television whether by wire or air, when it comes to film.

For number three. This is, in my estimation, the most practical use of television for the theatre. It does have some merit. In the past, most theatre managers have been able to blame such things as a speech by Roosevelt, a Joe Louis fight, or other interesting events for a loss of receipts at the box office. How much of this blame is justified is a matter that probably never can be settled. If television pick-ups of such events were made by the theatre they could conceivably be a source of income. Whether such income would warrant the cost of the pick-up will be determined by those willing to gamble. It may work out in some instances and fail in others. At any rate the manager of the theatre is taking on a headache in schedule arrangement if he goes in for much of this type television. This will I believe, he the first type of television in the theatres and it is here that television will have to prove itself.

Since my convictions at the present (please note that Iim open for arguments from the other side) are that there is no reason for the theatres to accept television as an integral part of the industry, I must look at television as competition, Certainly it will exist


In 1926 Huber started ushering in Keithis Theatres, Louisville, while attending high school. After graduating, he remained at Keithis doing office work. The death of vaudeville eliminated two theatres and a number of jobs, among them, Huberis. Next he went to Herald-Post as a police reporter for a year. After this (1929), he was employed by the Avenue Amusement Company, Louisville, as part-time file clerk while attending University of Louisville for two semesters. In 1931, Huber was appointed purchasing agent for Fourth Avenue Amusement Company; and held down this job until the present with the exception of 20 months in the army (got out in 1946).

With Fourth Avenue Amusement Co. Huberis job of purchasing agent includes, in addition to buying equipment, supplies, etc., the upkeep and maintenance of buildings and properties along with the equipment. Also includes remodeling, rebuilding, and building of theatres.

Huberis personal history, as briefly reported by the gentleman himself,

includes these pertinent data:

Born June 9, 1909; married 1940; has two children. Until a few years ago he was very active in amateur theatre organizations.

A reading of E. S. Huberis theatre experience will make clear that he is well qualified to speak on the subject of moving pictures vs. television. His viewpoints and opinions do not necessarily coincide with those of the pub lishers. But we rather think they do!

regardless of the attitude the movies take. Frankly I donit know what kind of competition the television industry will be able to offer. Up to now the movies have weathered the opposition of ice-hockey, legitimate theatre, dance halls, night clubs, basket ball, night baseball and football, skating rinks and a host of other attractions that are after the entertainment dollar. I have a vague recollection that radio at one time was supposed to be of great concern to the theatres in that it would keep people at home for entertainment. Now we find that some of the big attractions offered by the movies come from the radio field, -vice versa, too. Radio can hardly be classed as competition for theatres. Maybe television will be differentehow,

I canIt fathom at the present time. I hardly think anything in the home will satisfy the urge of the average man to

"go out" for an evening or two a week. He likes a crowd around him. Women especially do, and where they go they take the men with them. Company is as much the entertainment as the attraction in a lot of cases whether it be at home with a few friends or the 1499 strangers with you in the theatre.

Summing up the television-movie future: 1. I fail to find wherein television will supplant or become more than a minor part of the theatre program; 2. I fail to see where home television will be more serious competition (after the novelty wears off) than is the radio.

Am I wrong?


Out at the TESMA convention, the RCA demonstration of large screen (15 X 20 foot) television proved to have a focal and light quality that would be acceptable to paying audiences if the picture it conveyed was one in which they had interest.

Even competitive manufacturers agreed to that.

But even RCA didnit seem to have the answer to the question of its commercial application. Where was the interesting picture coming from? How could it be scheduled into a normal two-hour show? And how could a theatre charge a 25% cent admission for the same picture that could be seen at the corner bar free with a 10-cent beer? Here is that rare case where the engineers are so far ahead that we have a finished automobile with no roads on which to travel and no gasoline to move it.

Out of a welter of ideas that have come to our attention there is one that seems to be constantly rephrased with increasing merit.

Spot news events, such as political conventions, Presidential elections, public parades, and boat launchings are certain to go out over the air to the millions of home Sets, with resulting small theatre value. Advertiser-sponsored programs of relative merit will also go out but their value will be further minimized by the objectionable commercial credits. But what about a network of captive lines radiating out from the cities where admission-charged sporting events, pageants, plays, and fashion shows take place, connected to a series of theatres at distant points where special, high admissioncd, reserved seat shows have been scheduled?


It certainly seems the right of any sports promoter to sell the television rights to his event just as he now sells the radio and movie ones. Through the captive network he could refuse to sell television rights in his immediate drawing area where reproduction might affect his boxofiice, but could get a percentage of the gate for his particualr event at 1,000 or more theatres throughout the country which coulant possibly be considered as competition, and whose total seating capacity would dwarf into insignificance the largest stadium. The theatre, in turn, would get some mighty big matinee or evening grosses that might warrant forgetting the normal film program. When a heavyweight fight can scale up to $100 for a ringside folding chair seat at Madison Square Garden, it isnit impossible to imagine an audience in St. Louis that is willing to pay $1.50 for a ringside upholstered chair seat at the same fight in the local first-run.

As a matter of fact, some events might warrant a network of one theatre in each city of 25,000 or more, and 15 or 20 theatres in the larger cities such as Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, etc.

Certain it is that over either air or wire the equipment for theatre television exists.

Is ftcaptive" television the theatre answer?

Reprint of (In Editorial originally published in. the PHYSICAL Til/9.477614} DEPARTI'JIIM'T of Tllla' EXHIBITOR under rill/c of ()rtobcr 20, III/,8
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 548