5. The day before opening, invite a reporter over and take him through the theatre. perhaps you can run a test reel that the engineers carry and show him an idea of how wonderful CINEMASCOPE, stereophonic sound and THE ROBE are. Give the reporter the full treatment for a good advance story. Copy in the press book on THE ROBE or in the HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE press book, if that is to be your premiere attraction, will give you plenty of material for this type of story. The Palace Theatre in Albany used this idea to get a half page spread with story and picture in the Knickerbocker Press.
6. Make the premiere performance the biggest event ever staged at your theatre. Climax your pre-selling drive with appropriate fanfare. Have the mayor, civic officials, business and society leaders as guests. Use search lights, bands, etc. to create an atmosphere of excitement around the theatre. (See press books on THE ROBE and HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE for more explicit details.)
7. After the opening, get comments from patrons, etc., and work in a story on the reaction of the public on the picture and the new medium.
All of this build-up will add to the prestige or your theatre and make it the most important entertainment center in your community. Always keep uppermost in your publicity that this is the most important event that has happened in the motion picture industry in 27 years, since the movies found voice.
USE SPECIAL EVENTS TO SELL CINEMASCOPE
Here are a few suggestions on how to make your opening unusual.
1. Proclamation by the Mayor-designating the week of your ROBE opening as CINEMASCOPE week.
2. Arrange CINEMASCOPE discussion programs for schools and clubs. Don't be blushing violet when it comes to TALKING about CINEMASCOPE. Supply speakers for these occasions. In the Fox Midwest Theatre in Wichita for example, it was found that one of the operators could and would make talks at schools. He was able to answer some of the technical questions and made a very effective missionary for this new system. Other members of the theatre's staff also can be used for this purpose.
3. Open house for patrons. This was used most successfully to create public opinion for CINEMASCOPE in several Midwest Theatres. The theatre designated an open house afternoon prior to the premiere of THE ROBE and patrons were escorted in groups backstage where they saw the horns and the size of the screen. The manager explained to the patrons how the new system worked.
4. Hold an advance press luncheon, to indoctrinate writers and editors with the scientific nature of CINEMASCOPE, as well as the new values it gives to motion pictures, and gives them a sounder basis for appreciation of what they will see when THE ROBE is presented in this new process.
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