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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 56 (22)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 56
Page 56

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 56





CHART C.-Shown by selected age groups are the percent of population and the percent of the number of tickets sold in cities of over 10.000 population. Figures by Audience Research.

these important factors. Supply and demand is now working in the valuation technique of motion picture theatres. The factors underlying this situation may be divided into three general categories: (1) within the industry, (2) competition, and (3) miscellaneous face



Within the industry itself there have arisen in recent years many elements which in their effect upon the complicated process of producing and distributing pictures have had a definite adv verse effect upon the exhibition side of the business. Among these factors are such things as the following:



On May 3, 1948, in the case of US. v. Paramount, et al, the court decreed a complete divorcement between production and exhibition, on the grounds of violation of the Anti-Trust Laws. When this is 3inally accomplished it will mean the production company will be completely separated and divorced from the exhibition field. The court decreed sale of pictures, theatre by theatre, and picture by picture. This disturbed the even flow of product to well-established theatres, for it means that each theatre must buy each individual picture.

This has led naturally to a competitive situation for where two theatres want the same picture, bidding for it follows. In fact, this has become so common, that it is Called "competitive bidding," and was started by the producer since he would benefit from such a prace tice. But the effect on the exhibi' tion end of the business has been harmful as it further inflates already high cost of the product.

.Another aspect which complicates

the picture for the exhibitor, is what is known as "clearance in

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runs." By this is meant the length of time between first-runs, secondruns, and subsequent runs. Under the court ruling, the burden of proof of the necessity of clearance is placed upon the producer. Inasmuch as they have been sued by many exhibitors for treble damages, this has resulted in much harsher and arm-length dealing between production and exhibition.

.The motion picture industry like

every other aspect of American life has felt. the impact of the rising cost of living; and this increased cost in production and distribution is naturally passed along to the exhibitor. At the same time the exhibitor finds himself faced


with higher cost of operation due to the increased cost of labor, supplies, maintenance, and the like. Yet he is receiving a lower gross income due to falling off of attendance.

The quality and quantity of the product also plays its part. While the quality of pictures has improved greatly in the last ten to fifteen years, the public is much more discriminating in its choice and it takes something quite outstanding to attract reasonably full houses at the movie theatres. In 1949 there were produced 479 feature pictures as compared with 761 in 1939. It will be readily seen from these figures that where there are three or more good first-run theatres in a community, there is today a definite shortage of acceptable product to keep these theatres operating on a basis of one good picture per week. Producers are doing their best to make the kind of pictures the public wants but it takes time to catch up with changes in public taste and it must be remembered that the making of a feature picture is an art and production-line techniques are not applicable here.

The rapid increase in the number of theatres in the past decade has already been pointed out. In some areas particularly there has been a noticeable overbuilding of conventional theatres, and especially drive-in theatres. It seems to be a general opinion that all one needs to do to make money is to build a theatre. Under present conditions, this impression is being rapidly dispelled. In addition to new construction, there are any number of the old opera-type theatres still in use despite the fact they no longer meet public requirements as to safety and convenience. While this type of theatre has long since out CHART D.-lllustruted here are comparisons of the percents of the total population in selected age

groups for 1830. 1940 and 1948 with estimated figures for the year of 1955.


7% 1930 1940 BIS 95.5 051.)

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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 56