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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 171 (137)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 171
Page 171

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 171

basis of many a successful advertising campaign and promotional scheme. Every year millions and millions of dollars are directed primarily to the ears and eyes of children. 'Such phrases as "Ask mom to . . . ,n "Get dad to . . . ," or "Bring your parents in ." are commonplace nowadays. Naturally, all this time, effort and money would not be expended in this direction if it were not a profitable approach.

Children Persuasive

The phenomenal success of the kiddieland is a perfect example of the inherent qualities of salesmanship possessed by our children. Even though kiddielands hardly ever appeal directly to the parents, every night they are jammed to capacity. The reason is obvious. Once a child has experienced the thrills of a junior amusement park, he is transformed into a salesman . . . a salesman who works hard and takes his job seriously for he knows heill enjoy the pleasures of his favorite kiddieland once again only through persistence and diligence.

Now consider the tremendous advantage you have over kiddielands. You not only offer juvenile diversion but also adult entertainment. Naturally, parents are going to put up less sales resistance to their childrenis pleas if they know they can expect some enjoyment, too. Yes, you can employ every child in your community as your salesman, too. However, helll work for you only if he gets a good return from his efforts. Put yourself in the shoes of your best salesmen and try to analyze your playground from their viewpoint:

1. Is your equipment safe? Regardless of how much enjoyment your equipment affords, you give your junior salesmen an insurmountable task when you ask them to itsell" their parents on dangerous equipment. Most of the time this will bring an emphatic and final thO"l and before you realize it, your

emissaries decide youive sent them out with a very poor product. What would your reaction be if you were in their place?

Before you purchase any equipment, make sure you check its safety features. Contact other drive-in theatre managers who have bought this same equipment and find out if they ever had any serious accidents. A little research on your part will save you a lot of grief in the end.

Look over your present equipment. Try to imagine what reckless, careless children could think of to make it a safety menace. You must constantly be on the alert for any exposed mechanism, a broken step, a strained part-anything that could cause big tears from small eyes.

Once you and your employees are assured that your equipment is completely safe, then keep it that way. A daily schedule of preventive maintenance is usually all thatis required. It doesnt take too much time or effort and it will pay off in big dividends. A squirt of oil here, a new part there, a new coat of paint occasionallyethis constant upkeep will help you maintain a spotless safety record.

Remember, your safety factor is the key to a successful playground operation and, ultimately, to a profitable enterprise.

2. Is your playground equipment appealing? Does it possess that indefinable quality known as good Showmanship? You cannot expect your pint-size promotch to work for you unless you make it worth their while. Why should they plead with their parents for a night at the drive-in if you donlt reward their efforts with an evening filled with fun and laughter? You can correctly assume that almost every child in your playground should get at least some credit for another car in your ramps. Donlt you think he deserves a good commission?

MIhACLE -SWINGI SET (left) is claimed to be the first major improvement in swings for years. The animal slide (right) combines both Showmanship and imagination, plus added safetv factors.


Naturally, the number of pieces of equipment in your playground depends upon many factors. However, if youire crowded for space or limited financially, that still does not keep you from displaying good showmanship with the equipment you have on hand or plan to buy. There are swings on the market now which are modern in design and gaily painted like peppermint stick candy. Some of the wooden seats on your present swings can be replaced with safety belts, chairs or even hobby horse units. One or two animal slides might do wonders in enhancing the appearance of your playground. You can buy multicolored merry-go-rounds which are selfpropelled and handle an amazing number of children.

Of course, a mechanical ride helps tremendously. Pony rides, chair rides, miniature trains . . . there are many good rides from which to choose. However, make sure you exercise good judg ment when you make your selection since a mechanical ride is always the center of attraction. Make sure its bright and colorful . . . make sure it can be easily supervised . . . make sure it will not require a huge amount of expensive upkeep . . . make sure it has mass appeal.

A colorful picket fence enclosing your playground not only makes it more appealing but also helps parents keep track of their small fry. You can increase this appeal even more by mounting some of these Masonite "fairy-tale" characters on your fencing. Yes, there are countless ways to improve the showmanship of your playground . . . but it depends to a large extent upon the imagination of you and your staff.

Above all, always keep the kids in mind! Try to envision every new idea in their eyes. They are the final judges . . . they are the ones you must please. Are they too demanding? Well, maybe

but, after all, theyire your best


MIRACLE WHIRL is ideal for children. Painted in bright colors. it holds up to 40 youngsters.
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 171