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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 12 (xii)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 12
Page 12

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 12

picture theatres, and that consequently we have a vast untapped market from which to draw. If this is the case, do we need any better proof that our present crop of motion pictures is not appealing to the tastes and the understanding of the majority of the population?

The exhibitor, of course, does not make the pictures. There is nothing much that he can do except to continue, by all the means which lie within his power, to spread the light to the producers that their product has wandered far off the beam. No great industry can or should die in our present economy unless it brings about its own undoing.

It may be mentioned in passing, however, that there are a few things the exhibitor can do in the programming of his pictures. There is a common tendency to schedule the best attractions for the good weekend nights, and to fill up the rest of the week with the ticats and dogsfy Here is one good reason in itself why more people do not go to the movies. If you had to stand in line for an hour or more in order to view a good movie, and could only see inferior productions on the nights when you could get in without difiiculty, what do you think you would do?

There are and always will be seven days in the week, and we ought to try to make each day as profitable as possible. Wouldnlt it be good business sense to strengthen the weak spots by siphoning off some of the surplus patronage from the weekends ?

We also find theatres trying to book attractions at or about the same time as



their competitors. Only a few films are so outstanding that there is a readymade audience waiting and watching for their appearance.

Good pictures are profitable mainly because of word-ofemouth advertising, which is far more powerful in motion pictures than in most other industries. If all the theatres in a community play short runs of the same picture at about the same time, all of this word-of-mouth advertising goes to waste, because the

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many people who were unable to see the picture at that particular time or who only heard about it later will never be given another opportunity. Wouldnlt it be wiser to stagger pictures so that one theatre might benefit from the other?

The exhibitor should also remember that there are potential patrons who are more interested in quality than in quantity. Whether he believes it or not, the truth is that there are many people who stay away from his theatre altogether because they donlt agree with the double

feature idea, especially when one half of the bill is invariably several degrees lower than mediocre. Much of this potential audience could be captured if the schedule was interspersed with one or two shows with the real feature only, or if scheduling was so arranged that people could come and see the good picture at convenient hours, and get out before the itstinker."


Now we come to that television. It is no small wonder that the exhibitor is running around in circles when it comes to television, From one side he is told that television is his greatest enemy and a menace to his livelihoodfrom the other that the whole trouble is due to the fact that motion pictures have been too slow to embrace and exploit television. One group tells him that theatre television will be his ruinatione another that it will be his salvation.

The truth of the matter is that no one knows as yet. We are going through a temporary stage of adjustment between motion pictures and television. If we keep our heads and a good sense of business direction, motion pictures are going to come out all right.

In considering the effects of television upon motion picture attendance, we must weigh the three aspects of home television, theatre television, and color television.

Home Televisionelt is our opinion that if the exhibitor would spend two or three days viewing as many television


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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 12