Record #1149

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Reel 11
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Potential problems posed by exhibitors who use limited availability of major studio pictures as an excuse to show salacious money-spinners.


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5 May 1936 letter from Cliff Work to Blumberg of RKO about the manger of the Embassy theatre in San Francisco, who has justified his playing of pictures without a seal by arguing that the majority of playable pictures are controlled by Fox West Coast and he can't get them: "He further stated he would be willing to enter into an agreement with Mr. Hays or anyone designated, if they would agree to furnish him pictures on which the theatre can exist, and in this case would not play pictures without the seal."14 May 1936 Palfreyman writes to Blumberg: "The question of maintaining the right moral standards on the screens of theatres should not be permitted to be used as a means of forcing the licensing of pictures by an exhibitor who is unable or unwilling to go into a competitive market and bid for attractions. It seems to me that the moral question of indecency or of publicly exhibiting offensive and objectionable motion pictures has no connection with and should not be allowed to be twisted around into a commercial dispute between rival theatres. If this line of reasoning was to prevail, any theatre could get away from a competitor by merely starting to show dirty pictures on their screen and insisting that they be allowed to take the attractions away from the other house in order to get them to stop showing such pictures. It is just an alibi to avoid responsibility for the type of entertainment put on at the theatre, as far as I can see."

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