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Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World (07/Jan/1928) - Letters from Readers



Letters from Readers

From Across the Sea

LUDLOW, ENGLAND.—To the Editor: Herewith cheque which is one year's subscription to Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World.

Soon after I received your paper first, I began to keep a card index file of exhibitors reporting to "What the Picture Did for Me." As an exhibitor played a picture which I had shown, I compared his verdict with mine by a simple system of signs. When I had a fairly big number of exhibitors, I began to look up new pictures with the aid of the file, which showed me how far an exhibitor was to be relied upon. There are a few—Wm. Tragsdorf is one—whose patrons' verdicts are so exactly similar to my own that I could rely simply and solely on them.

I began showing "Herald Chosen" pictures in September, and I can only say that it is the finest method in the world of choosing pictures where you cannot see them personally.

I must also praise "The Box Office Ticker." Experience has proved that pictures below 50 per cent are mostly poor. I would advise all small town exhibitors in America and England to take and study Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World and to keep a card index file.

I seem to know the "old brigade" who report regularly personally now, and much enjoy J. C.'s "Colyum." J. C.'s travels are making me familiar with the geography of the U. S. I suggest he write a book entitled, "Painless Study of the Geography of the U.S.A.," written by J. C. Jenkins, edited by Phil Rand, with poetry by Adeline Further. I don't know who'll draw the maps.

Over in England, production is going ahead like a rocket in both quality and quantity. In 1926 we made 26 films. For the year October, 1928, there will probably be over 100 British films available. That will mean small town theatres will be able to show 40 to 50 per cent British, as our percentage of hits is far greater than Hollywood's—our producers can't afford a failure. I have seen them working at the British International studios on "A Little Bit of Fluff" (Syd Chaplin and Betty Balfour, our most popular star) which Metro will distribute in America; "The Farmer's Wife," directed by Alfred Hitchcock, who gets £13,000 a year, and who is one of the world's best directors. He made "The Ring" recently, a boxing picture which succeeds where others have failed—to appeal to women. Albert Parker saw it here a few days ago and said that if made in America it would have been the hit of the season. Another American said it was "a British movie that America would have to take." There are two other films in production at B. I., "Moulin Rouge," directed by Dupont, and "Toni." The only trouble with B. I., who sell through their own agency, is that they have completely lost their heads and are asking ridiculous prices. Other British firms are afflicted with the same disease. The Trading Scheme would bring them to their senses.

Most renters are up in arms against this huge cooperative buying scheme, which might involve 1,000 theatres. These gentlemen foresee that it will forcibly cure them of their gluttonous plans to bring the American situation to England.

Yours truly.

—R. R. TEMPLE, Picture House, Ludlow, England.