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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 157 (123)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 157
Page 157

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 157

MR. M. C. SCHUYLER who proved that a good theatre can he successfully operated anywhere.

closed with a large glass oval. The box office is built right on the refreshment stand. The walls in back of the refreshment counter are covered with wallpaper imprinted with farm scenes. The lower parts of the box office and refreshment stand, as well as the doors, are upholstered in Chartreuse leather.

The main point of interest in the outer lobby is the giant National popcorn fountain of a size usually sold to theatres with several thousand seats. When the machine is in use and there is a stream of popcorn flying high to the top of the glass enclosure of the machine, patrons are amazed at What appears to be a blizzard of corn.

Lobby walls are done in shades of gray, and the ceiling is shrimp red. The tile floor is in the same two colors. A large customebuilt leather loveseat is a principal feature of the lobby.


The front of the theatre was paneled in knotty pine, stained barn red, with the trim painted a brilliant yellow. Large blue Bevelite letters form the name of the theatreAthe Dumonteand informal scroll-shaped display frames hold the attraction posters.

The Dumont Lions Club bought the 150 by ISO-foot vacant lot next to the theatre, and turned it into a large, gravel-covered parking area.

The Opening

Before the grand opening we had open house at the theatre, and hundreds of townspeople signed the guest book and were shown through their new Showplace. We opened the house shortly after noon, and by eleven that evening people were still milling through the lobby and auditorium.

The following day was a big day for us and a red letter day for the people of Dumont. Some radio reporters from Station WMT, in Cedar Rapids, came into town to broadcast the opening, and Boyd Bremmer, our house manager, doscribod the theatre over the air and told the story of how it was built. Boyd is a part-time insurance salesman who moved into Dumont from Chicago, and since the opening he has been a leader in all community projects. Of course, the Dumont Theatre plays a big part in the civic planning in which he pare ticipatcs.

School bands paraded through Dumont and serenaded the crowds gath 1952 THEATRE CATALOG


ered in front of the theatre for the opening. The mayor spoke from the Stage and introduced those who made the project possible. The townspeople were elated, not just because they at last had their own movie house, but also because a large void in their community had been filled with the addition of an institution as vitally important to civic growth as the home, church or school.

Since its opening, the Dumont has accommodated nearly capacity audiences every night, drawing patrons from a radius of 60 miles.


We operate on a policy of three feature changes a week, with double features on Friday and Saturday, and childrenis shows on Saturday and Sunday. Admission prices are 50 cents for adults and 10 cents for children, including tax.


We advertise in three nearby weekly newspapers, using ad mats bought from a firm in Omaha. We never use a cold type advertisement of the kind usually inserted by small town theatres. Our newspaper advertising costs run from $15 to $20 a month.

In addition, 4,000 monthly calendars are sent out in the mail, and gag handbills are distributed at least once a month at the theatre, in stores, and to cars on Wednesday and Saturday nights, when the stores stay open.

A novel advertising gimmick we useand which is only possible in a small town-is to put in a general ring on all party telephone lines within 15 miles of Dumont, calling attention to the "must" picture of the week. Costing only three dollars a week, this intimate contact with our patrons lends an especially personal note to the Dumontls advertising.

The usual complement of posters at the theatre are two one-sheets, a set of 11 by 14-inch colored cards, one insert, and a 40 by 60-inch heraldf A threesheet poster is displayed in the window of an empty downtown store building. Silent trailers are never used on the screen, as we make a point of using onlv the best available advertising materials.

THE CONCESSION STAND is adjacent to the boxoltice providing excellent merchandising value.

While We try to steer clear of any promotions that involve giving away free passes, we recently Vinaugurated one such stunt, and it has been very effective. Lots of folks would like to attend the Dumont more often, but are deterred by the extra costs of a baby sitter. If they leave their names and the baby sitters' names at the box office when they buy their tickets, we mail a pass to the baby sitter to help offset the parents' added expense.

A Challenge Met Thatis the story of the Dumont.

The three of us who set out to bring the magic of Hollywood to this little Iowa farm community are fiercely proud of our accomplishment, and immensely satisfied at having successfully met a challenge. Many exhibitors think that you must talk in terms of thouv sands of dollars when planning to set up a new theatre or modernize an old one. The Dumont didnlt cost a lot of money, and it doesnlt look like it did. But however modest, its a good theatre.

If youlre ever up near Dumont, where the old dirt road turns off the main highway, drive up the main street and look for the bright little movie house that used to be the old Odd Fellows Hall. Weill Show you through the Dumont, and tell you proudly, this is the kind of show business we believe in. Yes, a good theatre can succeed anywhere.

A PORTION OF THE AUDITOHIUM SIDE WALL illustratinq Idomae's ingenious use of fluorescent Black-Lite in a mural depicting a form scene which glows in soft autumn colors.
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 157