Record #1317

Record Type:
Carl E. Milliken
Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Reel 10
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Double Features
Additional text in Transcription. EDITORIAL COMMENT: The chief resistance to a ban on double features appears to have been the companies' reluctance to go anywhere near anything that might provoke antitrust litigation. Obviously this possibility is a consistently sore point since the Thacher decision on the use of the Standard contract, etc. It may also affect their willingness to have the Code implemented.

CONSUMER INTEREST IN OPTIONAL ELIMINATION OF DOUBLE FEATURES BY REGIONAL VOTE OF EXHIBITORS.Double-features - consumer groups want it stopped - see attached report from Winter and comments at NRA Code hearings.


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CONSUMER INTEREST IN OPTIONAL ELIMINATION OF DOUBLE FEATURES BY REGIONAL VOTE OF EXHIBITORS. Except the continuance and strengthening of the process of self-discipline applied to the Production and Advertising Codes, no item in the proposed Code interests the consumer group so much as the elimination of double features. This interest was strongly evident in the remarks of the representatives of public groups in the Washington hearing ... Their objection is not theoretical nor fanciful. They believe that the practice hinders the development of family night programs, multiplies criticism because of the inclusion of incongruous features on the same bill, and diminishes patronage as a result of a species of entertainment indigestion produced by two features, in contrast with the ordinary balanced program. In voting upon this question the exhibitor, presumably, would decide in accordance with his opinion of the preferences of his patrons. The audience opinion in a given areas would obviously be represented more fairly by giving each theatre a number of votes equalling the seating capacity of his house. Why not put up the percentage to 80%, or even 90%, and let the vote be taken on the basis of seating capacity?*Milliken attached comments given to the Washington hearing on the NRA Code, September 12, 1933Mrs. Philip A. Brennan, President International Federation of Catholic Alumni (IFCA):"... We know that there are thousands of people who stay away from the motion picture theatre and keep their children away because of the risk they run when they go to see an endorsed picture that the accompanying program will be offensive. Repeatedly we have seen an endorsed film ruined by the presentation of an objectionable feature on the same bill. It is no accident when a lurid glorification of the sex theme, the heroics of the gangster, the subtleties and intrigues of the boudoir farce appear with good family entertainment -- it is the result of a theatre policy known as balancing the program. Our objection to that policy is our objection to double features. ..."

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