Jump to: navigation, search

Motion Picture Daily (23/May/1936) - G.B. Never to Be Sold, Says Bernard Here




G. B. Never to Be Sold, Says Bernerd Here

Producer Is Emphatic At Sales Session

"G. B. will never be sold."

These are Jeffrey Bernerd's own words in answer to rumors going the rounds and the highlight of his talk before 125 G. B. executives, branch managers and salesmen convened yesterday at the Warwick for the annual sales convention which is to extend for three days.

"It will always remain G. B. Pictures Corp.," he stated with emphasis.

"I want to take you into confidence to ease any doubt in your minds that G. B. is on the verge of selling to someone else. I am giving you this absolutely official. G. B. has never lost confidence in the men who have built this great organization."

To bring home his point, Bernerd outlined the financial structure and the various interests of the company, declaring G. B. has a capital of $75,000,000. This should show our finances and security. "In England, we feel we are the tops," he said.

"G. B. has 350 of the most modern and largest theatres in England, and in addition controls 250 cafes, several hotels and the most powerful broadcasting station in Europe."

Approximately 15,000 people are on the weekly payroll, he stated. Two newspapers, one of which has the largest circulation in London, are owned by G. B., he added. The company has two modern equipped studios, owns a film laboratory, gets out its own newsreel and has one of the greatest libraries of educational films, he said. Out of the 4,000 English theatres, 1,700 show the newsreel.

"My idea is to give you a picture of the vast octopus of which you in America are a part," he said. "When you go out to sell the new program you can feel you are representing one of the greatest picture enterprises in the whole world.

"We have been battling rumors of a pending sale and I know no one could buy our company. We want too much and they haven't enough money to buy," he declared.

Bernerd praised Arthur Lee, general manager ; George W. Weeks, A. P. Waxman and Clinton White for the work they have done. He also read cables from Mark Ostrer, Michael Balcon, Alfred Hitchcock, Jessie Matthews, and Robert Donat.

He concluded by reciting an incident which took place on his recent trip to Hollywood, saying that on the coast producers look upon Balcon as the "Darryl F. Zanuck of England."

Get 20 Weeks at Roxy

Having played 18 of the company's pictures for 23 weeks during the past two years, the Roxy has guaranteed G.B. 20 weeks' playing time next season, Howard S. Cullman, trustee of the theatre, yesterday told the distributor's sales force at a convention luncheon at the Warwick.

Not one of these pictures has shown a loss, Cullman asserted, and "I challenge the record of any other theatre."

Cullman lauded A. P. Waxman's efforts, humorously stating he ran out of ideas at Warners and began using them all over again at G.B. He also told of an incident, which he modestly claimed to be true, where two men in a restaurant were overheard discussing the meaning of G.B.

The two men apparently were advised that G.B. was a film company and one of them remarked that the initials stood for "Got Brains."

"No, it can't mean that," the other replied. "They make English pictures." Another suggestion was made to the effect that the letters indicated "Great Box-Office." This solution was ignored until one of the two puzzled alphabeticians decided that it must mean "Good Bictures."

Nate J. Blumberg, John J. O'Connor and Max Fellerman of RKO were introduced to the gethering by George W. Weeks, who acted as host.

Ed Kuykendall. president of the M.P.T.O.A., was the next speaker. He said he enjoyed the lunch because food is 90 per cent of his overhead. He talked about cooperation between exhibitors and the support the M.P.T.O.A. is giving the industry.

"I am unalterably opposed to governmental regulation of the industry," he said, "as this industry is not run like a sausage factory where the same type of food is manufactured without change."

Paul Nathanson, son of N. L., was the final speaker. He acted as spokesman for his father and conveyed an expression to the sales force which was brief and to the point.

In addition to the speakers, on the dais were: Arthur Lee, Jeffrey Bernerd, Oscar Hanson and James Campbell, the latter head of G.B.'s music division. Ralph Poucher of Consolidated dropped in during lunch for a round of handshakes.