Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BoxOffice, June 17, 1939


"RKO's short subject program of 13 March of TIme reels, 18 Walt Disney Subjects, 39 singles and 24 doubles will continue without change, conventioneers will be informed Tuesday when the 1939-40 product announcement is made at the Westchester Country Club, Rye.
Roy Disney and Hal Horne of Disney Productions will attend."

ad mentioning Lantz, p17

"Cupid Over Miami
Miami - This city appears to be a mating ground for Max Fleischer's personnel since he moved his production facilities from New York.
Since production of "Gulliver's Travels" got under way there have been at least six marriages and a number of others have filed intentions to wed.
One marriage which gained considerable publicity was that of Jack Mercer (Popeye) and Margie Hines (Olive Oyl)."

p29: photo of RKO and DIsney people, including Gunther Lessing, Roy Disney, William Levy, W. B. Feignoux, Kay Kamen, and Hal Horne.

p30: list of Disney people at RKO meeting

Regarding Paramount's production budget:
"... 13 single reel shorts are being lopped odd the new schedule and the money heretofore allocated to this group of brevities now is tacked on to the feature lineup.
Max Fleischer is concentrating his short subject production on 12 Popeyes in addition to "Gulliver's Travels," cartoon comedy feature being animated in Miami."

"To Talk 'Snow White' Deal WIth Soviet Interest
New York - Reginald Armour, Continental European RKO manager, plans to visit Russia in the fall with the purpose of selling "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" to the Soviet. The price offered by Russia has been too low so far, according to Armour."

"The national labor relations board has set July 10 as the hearing date on the Screen Cartoon Guild's request to be designated bargaining agent for cartoonists at M-G-M. Screen Publicists Guild and producer negotiating committees are still deadlocked over terms of a proposed working code."

"Quimby Closes Caroton Studio Until July 5
Metro's cartoon studio, under the supervision of Fred Quimby, will shut down for a vacation from June 17 to July 5, to permit extensive alterations and additions to be made to handle the new season's output. Deliveries are now being made at the rate of one release every three weeks. The Hugh Harman and Rudolf Ising story units, however, will remain open. "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" is rapidly being completed for release."

p35: note, "yclept" is an actual if archaic word, meaning "going by the name of".
"A noteworthy and highly commendable contribution to Hollywood's still unofficial Americanization campaign is the 'Merrie Melodie' yclept 'Old Glory' which Producer Leon Schlesinger has rushed to completion for a July 4 release by Warner. Filmed in Technicolor, masterfully animated and edited, and treated to an exceptionally stirring musical score, this nine minutes of light, but topnotch, entertainment can conceivably accomplish more in impressing Americans - particularly the younger generations - with their many democratic advantages than some of the feature-length, more ponderous and provocative documents undertaking comparable preachments.
It is the first cartoon devoted to the currently popular production pastime of selling America and its benefits to her own citizens, and clearly indicates that more of its ilk would not be amiss; particularly in view of the fact that Metro has shelved plans for the production of Sinclair Lewis' 'It Can't Happen Here,' that Warner might similarly treat 'Boycott,' 'Underground' and 'The Bishop Who Walked With God,' all four of which have been acclaimed as formidable broadsides in the Americanization campaign."

p37 "Walter Bradfield of Paramount's publicity staff goes to Miami, June 21. He'll spend four months there handling the campaign on the new feature-length cartoon being produced by Max Fleischer..."

p44 Milwaukee: "Tommy Tucker, sound man who has lent his imitations to many Walt Disney 'Silly Symphonies,' was a local visitor"

"Two Miamians Win Roles In "Gulliver's Travels"
Miami - Awarding of two roles in "Gulliver's Travels," the full-length, all color feature being produced in the Miami studios of the Fleischer organization, is announced. The title role goes to Sam Parker, announcer on the local radio station WIOD. He will serve both as the model and the voice for the adventurous sailor.
Sam, whose brief career has included service in China when Chang-Kai-Shek was engaged in his work of consolidation, is the subject of considerable good-natured ribbing from his friends who observe that he came south in search of pearls. (He had planned to join a Pacific-bound pearl-diving expedition; had come to Miami for that purpose. Then, when the expedition failed to materialize, joined the staff of WIOD. That was three years ago.) He was selected out of a field of 500 applicants.
The other casting announced is of another Miamian, now in New York, Lovey Warren. Not only a dancer but a producer of stage shows as well. Lovey made her last appearance here when she directed the chorus and the stage show at the Royal Palm Club last season. Like Sam, she will serve as both the model and the speaking voice of the role for which she has been selected, 'Princess Glory.'"

"Old Glory
Vitaphone (Merrie Melody) 7 Mins.
Probably the first animated capsule of Americanism handled in a manner which will make exhibitors wonder why they have to pay for it. It's strictly flag waving and has only bits of fine cartoon work to recommend it. Porky Pig gives up trying to memorize the Pledge of Allegiance. He falls asleep over his history book and Uncle Sam explains to him how American won its freedom. A fine drawing of Lincoln climaxes the reel."

Yes, American with an N in the second to last sentence.
The political wing of the mag apparently did not control the short reviewer (see p35).

p96 "Mickey Mouse Club is Strong After 7 Years
Miami - Seven years after the establishment of Miami's first Mickey Mouse Club at the Biltmore Theatre (also, incidentally, the first such club in the south), Wometco theatres and the Miami Daily News are still holding the interest and membership of some 10,000 Miami children.
Gordon Spradler, the present Mickey Mouse co-ordinator for the activities of these clubs in the five Wometco neighborhood theatres, is "recuperating" from the annual talent tournament of club members, held this year at the new Strand. Twenty representatives from the clubs at the Tower, Grove, Rosetta, Strand and Biltmore clubs sang, danced, mimiced and stunted on this gala Saturday afternoon program. An entire page layout was given over to pictures in the audience and performers in the Daily News rotogravure section.
What happens to Mickey Mousers when they grow up is most brilliantly illustrated by Bob Wright, who, as a student in music at the Universty of Miami, was leader of the orchestra, which was featured on the weekly broadcasts of the original Miami Club at the Biltmore. Bob now is working on scores in Hollywood at M-G-M where he collaborates with Chet Forrest on such numbers as the "Donkey Serenade."
Annual Circus Day
One of the most popular of the many stunts utilized to keep club members interested is the annual circus day when pink lemonade and hot dogs are given away. All holidays are occasions for special celebrations, of course, with the Hallowee'en party being the most elaborate. Other peak points in Mickey Mousers' year are the annual Easter Egg huntand the fire drill fo which the fire department runs out its big ladders and puts on a dramatic demonstration for the juniors.
Special membership cards are printed for each of the five clubs, bearing the club creed on the reverse side. Files are kept on each member's birthdate so that a specially mimeographed greeting from the "chief mouser" can be sent each year.
One of the most recent stunts worked out for the Biltmore club's program was a dramatization, following a showing of 'Ferdinand the Bull,' in which two of the Biltmore ushers cooperated as the 'inside works' of a Miami-made Ferdinand which 'Chief Mouser' Spradley unsuccessfully sought to provoke. His ferocious toreador act was not provoking enough to lure Ferdinand away from his obvious delight in the heady perfume of pink frangi-pani (blooms of the sacred temple tree of India to non-FLoridians).
Other Teaser Methods
Other interest-teaser devices include the use several times a year of a file of telephone numbers - (does this make the youngsters feel important!); and of ten free admissions weekly. Names of four of these ten are printed each Saturday in the club bulletin; the other six are posted in various theatre lobbies during the week.
From the inauguration of the first club, these Mickey Mouse activities have been of particular interest to Sidney eyer, who with Mitchell Wolfson, heads the Wometco organization.
Several years ago, Birmingham claimed the largest Mickey Mouse organization in the south. Miami would be interested to know if the Alabama metropolis still claims to top the local organization."

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