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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 384 (346)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 384
Page 384

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 384

ner. Staggered shelving offers a much better chance for effective display than cases with shelves of even depth. Similarly, three-shelf cases seem to do a better job of merchandising than those with two shelves. Whether candy cases are open or closed, they should be so arranged that the product itself is easily visible. In some instances, where closedtop cases are used, samples of all candy brands are kept in arrangements on the counter. It is not wise to arrange bars in geometric designs, however, since a potential customer may buy something else, or not at all, rather than break up the design. In open-style cabinets, the effect of mass display of attractivelywrapped candy bars helps to create sales.

Seasonal Decoration

No matter how attractive the basic stand may be throughout the year, it can be provided with new interest and excitement with seasonal decorations and changes of trim to coincide with picture themes. Enterprising exhibitors have increased sales measurably by special decorations for Easter, Valentines Day, Thanksgiving, and the like. In addition, certain film titles offer easy opportunities to capitalize on public interest. Rigging the refreshment stand to look like a pirate ship during the showing of "Treasure Island", or like a circus tent while thhe Greatest Show on Earth" plays the house, may seem like useless trouble and expense, but the interest and eye-appeal the change may have for complacent patrons will make the effort worthwhile. No matter how devoted customers may become to an attractive concession stand, an occasional gimmick to rekindle their interest pays 0E in dollars and cents. After all, the patrons

5N EXAMPLE of smart merchandising. Notice use of counter-lacing. counter-top. and backing displays. Ceiling spots high-light important areas.

expect the show to be changed each time they attend. Why not an occasional itchange" at the snack stand, too?

Along this line, some exhibitors have had success recently with tiein merchandise other than food items keyed t0 the themes of certain pictures. Dolls, toys, specialewrap candies, etc., are available from most specialty houses and distributors, and may substantially increase profits if properly stocked and displayed. Best bet for this type of extra merchandising effort is the large downtown first-run house, where children are accompanied by parents. Experience indicates that this type sale should be made at a secondary stand, away from the snack bar, to avoid congesting the hightrafiic stand area. And, of course, it is wise not to overstock when taking on merchandise of this type.

Advertising Material

A proper wedding of advertising and merchandising activity takes place at the counter and back-bar, where easel cards, motion displays, neon signs, and other advertising matter can effectively call attention to featured items. Widespread use has been made in many sections of shadow-box displays in the facing of the counters, using the countertops for candy and the inside shelves for storage.

In arranging for advertising display material and its placement, it is always wise to strike for the total effect. Displays should be kept simple, massive, and uncluttered. Good merchandise sells itself when properly shown. Brands that are nationally advertised, and nationally known, are pretty well presold to the customers. One can increase sales volume, turn over stock faster, and wind up with more dollar profits by sticking to popular items than by risking inventory capital on large-profit merchandise which is, nevertheless, unknown.

During the Breaks

Scheduling of the breaks between shows can be effective in merchandising the concession stand. Some 79 per cent of house operators make periodic use of film trailers between shows to invite the customers attention to the snack bar, and these prove highly effective where used in variety and not overworked. Film trailers are available from several standard film companies,. such as National Screen Service and Filmack and in some instances from product suppliers like Armour and The CocaCola Company.

The scheduling of the break itself can be an important item. When the crowd is unusually large, an extension of one or two minutes will enable more patrons to be served. A small house, on the other hand, calls for shortening of the break period so as not to bore seated patrons. The screen should never be left entirely blank, no matter how long the break. An "intermission clock" on film is a good device, or colored spotlights on the stage can be used to add life and interest.

A break that is too long. no matter what the reason, will antagonize customers, and keep their valuable ticket dollars out of the till.



The people employed to serve the public through the concession stand have extremely important jobs. Since they deal directly with an exhibitor's prize possession, his patrons, they act in his interest whenever they are on duty. They are service people, people who serve a critical and responsive audience.

Certain basic requirements are elementary. Attendants must, first of all, be immaculately clean, both in person and in uniform. Hair, face, nails, and especially hands should be constantly checked and scrupulously cleaned. An attendant with good habits of personal hygiene will keep a clean stand' and cleanliness and neatness are of prime importance in handling food items.

Uniforms are the responsibility of the house owner. They should be neat, \vellfitting, attractive. Enough should be available so that a clean change is possible when necessary. Laundering should he often, and regular. Caps are advisable for attendants, male or female. Where caps are not possible, hair nets [or girl attendants should be required.

Interest in the job is another important characteristic, because interest, or the lack of it, will be refiected in the way a job is done. A pleasant personality is a requisite, as is the ability to smile. Alertness is a plus factor in selling. Courtesy is a must. And honesty, of course, is essential, since stand attendants handle both money and its equivalent, stock.

When serving a customer, the ideal salesman opens with a smile and a friendly greeting. A suggestion of service comes next: ifA big bag of hot popcorn?,' "Would you like ice-cold CocaCola?", but not the negative dMay I serve you?"

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 384