Record #2307

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Reel 10
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Allied States

Allied States blames the business practices of the producers -- especially block booking -- for the Catholic boycott. Hays should resign; the boycott should be selectively directed to affiliated theatres. Roosevelt doesn't act to help the exhibitors because he's surrounded by motion picture men.


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Bulletin, 11 July 1934, of Allied States, on the Catholic boycott, etc.:"Coming during the slack season, it nevertheless is visiting severe punishment upon all theatres and if continued into the late summer and Autumn will deal the industry a blow from which it may never recover." Urges exhibitors to explain to the leaders of the campaign that they have no voice in the making of films and very little choice in what they book. A bulletin stating that was published in the Pittsburgh Catholic with favorable editorial comment. Denounces Jay Emmanuel, publisher of several regional exhibitor papers and former treasurer "of the producer-controlled MPTOA" for criticizing Allied urging that the boycott be directed against affiliated circuits only. Claims Allied had denounced indecent pictures at their conventions in Chicago in 1931 and Detroit in 1932. Allied's policy is "every blacklist should be accompanied by a corresponding white list. In other words, exhibitors should contact the leaders of the boycott campaign and ask them (a) to affirmatively approve good pictures as a balance to the proscribing of bad pictures; (b) to direct their efforts more especially against the producer-controlled theatres in order to hasten the desired result and free the industry of this terrible blight; and (c) to urge their adherents in patronizing independent houses as against the producer-controlled houses. Suggests that the Darrow Report supports their position, arguing that the Motion Picture Code is contrary to the National Recovery Act in that it promotes monopoly. Darrow criticizes block booking -- without it the boycott would not have been necessary. Argues that the independents need to unite under competent leadership. The MPTOA has been disrupted by the withdrawal of independents in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and various other strongholds. Claims that FDR is "surrounded ... by former representatives of the motion picture trust. Two of the President's secretaries, McIntyre and Early, are former newsreel men, the former being connected with Path, the latter with Paramount. Frank Walker, one of his closest advisors, is a former Comerford (Paramount) man. J.P. Kennedy, new head of the Securities Commission, is an old Path man. Rosenblatt, with Nathan Burkan, was counsel for various producers. Miss Robinson, executive assistant under General Johnson, is a former employee of RKO. H.M. Warner is a friend of the President and one of the largest individual contributors to his campaign fund." "The producing companies have their plans all laid to make the exhibitors assume the entire burden of the code, and also to increase their own earnings, by demanding higher rentals, increased percentages and more preferred playing time next year. This plan can only be frustrated by refusing to buy before you have to, and then buying from the exchange that will give you the fairest deal. "Base your buying on this year's performances; do not allow the company which promised high quality pictures last year, and then cut its budget in two in order to make a showing with the bankers, to fool you again this year. "Do not make agreements with other exhibitors that you will not buy the product of a particular company; that constitutes a boycott, and while boycotts are encouraged by NRA and the code (see Darrow Report) exhibitors, not having so many representative in high places, had better keep their hands clean. "However, there is no law or rule of ethics to prevent an exhibitor from discussing the product situation with his fellow exhibitors, or from taking advice from his leaders, or individually resolving that he will not buy Fox (for example) unless he can obtain them on a favorable straight rental basis. The producers exercise their full measure of right under the law; the exhibitors can not afford to do less."Not a subtle hint, that, but clear enough. Note also the suggestion that some companies cut their production budgets drastically mid-season in 1933-4 -- probably difficult to turn up concrete evidence to that effect, I suppose.

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