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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 347 (309)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 347
Page 347

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 347

Recapturing An Audience

A Thorough Study of the giCurtain at 8:303i Program And Methods of Establishing a Periodic Art Policy

At. this very moment there is someone going about his daily routine who has gotten out of the habit of going to the moviesealthough at one time he had been an avid fan. The very simple reason why is that the he finds little interest or stimulation in the standard product that plays in the theatres of his community. When questioned about this he will usually admit, in one way or another, that he considers himself above the level of the average motion picture. Is this person a snob? Perhaps. However, the important thing for every exhibitor to remember is that he represents millions of potential customers who stay away because they can not find films to suit their tastes.

The problem of how to get these persons back into motion picture theatres, and keep them there, is certainly worth consideration, for the solution represents an important source of revenue, as well as supplying a segment of the population with the brand of entertainment that they desire.


In order to solve a problem you must first know with what and with whom you are dealing. Therefore, let us take a look at this group, which has been called among others things, the ttlost audience], For one thing it is not made up of any particular age bracket. The members of your lost audience may be starry-eyed high school students, or cynical and world-wise octogenarians. The group consists of persons from all walks of life and all strata of society. They are college graduates, bored housewives, tired businessmen, and members of the country club set. They are snobs, dreamers and rcalists. However, despite

these differences, they all have a number

of things in common which bind them together as a group.

They are thoroughly fed up with most of the films that are played. Hackneyed, corny, juvenile, and nonsense are the adjectives they frequently use to describe the pictures they do NOT go to see. A point which is important for exhibitors to keep in mind is that this audience mass feels the Very same way about home television entertainment. What they are seeking are films off the beaten track. Films with adult plots and handling. And frankly, they want films that appeal to their sense of being a cut uabovcd the average movie-gocr.


After studying the situation the exhibitor is faced with two alternatives. He may either decide that this group is not worth going after, or he may set up a. special campaign to woo this untapped source of patrons. Not too long ago a


BRIEF: Millions of former movie-goers have stopped attending because they do not feel that the average motion, picture appeals to their tastes . . . This group is often. spoken of as the "lost audiencei, . . . An attempt to win back this group was made in Canada recently and featured the presentation of an art house film on a special evening . . . and specifically designed to cater to the tastes of this group . . . This plan, known as TCurtain at 8:30" has proven itself successful in theatres all over Canada and the United States.

Although it is not necessary to convert to a complete art house policy a limited TCurtain at 8:317, program can bring in extra profits and be the source of much good will in the community for the theatre . . . Presented here is a study of the first experiments and the methods that can be used to set up n iiCurlain at 8:30li policy in almost every type of situation . and a discussion of the' merits of such a program.

Canadian couple, Nat and Yvonne Taylor, who operate the Twinex Century Theatres, Corporation, Ltd., Canada, decided that they were going to do something to capture this art house audience. The Taylorls made a careful appraisal of the entire problem and came up with "Curtain at 8:30? What this plan did was to recognize what the art house group wanted, and then proceeded to do something in their regular scheduling operation to satisfy those demands.

Orillia Experiment

The small town of Orillia, about 75 miles north of Toronto, was selected as the site for the initial experiment. One of the standard complaints among the art house group was that they usually did not hear about a film they wanted to see until it was too late, or when they did find out they already had other commitments. To counteract this it was decided to set aside one evening for the showing of the selected picture, and do it far enough in advance to properly

A GROUP OF POTENTIAL patrons. that runs into the millions have stopped going to the movies because they feel that the average motion picture does not match their standards of quality and taste. Recognizing the presence of this vast untapped audience a Canadian exhibitor put into operation limited or! house programs which were aimed directly at this group. This uCurtain at 8:30" policy was a success.




1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 347