Record #821

Record Type:
Reel 9
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MPTOA - Allied States Meeting
Also in reel 09-2296 to 09-2297. Additional text in Transcriptions.

Situation with independent exhibitors is extremely critical and must be dealt with, or else the industry will face both Federal and state regulation. The chief executives of the companies can solve this.MPTOA Allied States and independent exhibitors generally completely disaffected because of breakdown of cooperation with distributors over last 2 years - zoning protection block-booking arbitration all issues - exhibitor claims in the main reasonable (also see 09-2433 to 09-2434)


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Long Description:

September 29, 1932. Memo - probably for Hays' delivery at Board meeting, - with copy sent to RKO 03 October 1932 "Every effort, every sacrifice, every loss taken to reduce costs to increase income and to gain public favor, all to the end that the industry might survive and return to its place in the sun of stability are likely to be dissipated and the whole structure of production and distribution threatened by industry factors which counsel for the distributors, theatre circuit operating Executives and distribution Executives have failed to recognize. All of these factors can by avoided by the adoption of reasonable measures of self-control. Unless immediate action is taken to remove the causes of a strongly developed and almost complete revolt of exhibitors operating the so-called independent theatres in both the large and small exhibition centers, the industry undoubtedly will be saddled with both Federal and State control and regulation of distribution, production, censorship and taxes which will bring the industry to a vassalage from which it will not be freed for at least a decade.These factors have been created by: a. The failure of distributors to agree to use an alternative standard form of exhibition contract. b. The demands of circuit theatres for increased and often arbitrary and unreasonable protection. c. The failure of distributors to adopt a practical method of arbitration for the determination of contract disputes. d. The failure of circuit theatres to recognize the reasonableness and justice of a fair division of product resulting in litigation and claims in many localities charging monopolization of the exhibition business. e. The failure of distributors to recognize that the sale of pictures in very large blocks is probably outmoded, and f. The failure of distributors to recognize and reasonably attempt to avoid the petty grievances of particular exhibitors. The remedy to cure the ills of the independent exhibitor and re-establish him as a valuable and necessary ally in the ever-constant battle against adverse legislation and existing biased opinion against motion pictures, lies in the hands of the chief Executives of the members of this Association. They can without difficulty or sacrifice being about a self-control and regulation within the industry which will eliminate the factors I have named, prevent the entry of the government into this business and restore the era of the "satisfied customer", so essential for the profitable and the efficient conduct of any business.

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