Patrick, Warren A. (ed.) / Show world
(September 21, 1907)
Penny arcade is rapidly growing in popular favor, p. 6
THE SHOW WORLD PENNY ARCADE IS RAPIDLY GROWING IN POPULAR FAVOR W. S. Mills Tells of Phenomenal Advancement Made by This Attractive Amusement. S'ri.' \ii'1N " Iwre is nothingn sy inder the sun," but if Solomon should happen into an ordinary Penny Ar- ;,tdo and see the wonderful manner in wlich the bright young Twentieth Cen- it y amusement promoter has planned, tilt and equipped this little theater for 1I.. people, he would change his mind. The Penny Arcade is, in point of time, In infant in arms in comparison with i aged grandparent, the theater, yet in int of fact, it is a sturdy young strip- o and growing every day. \s an amusement enterprise, it is al- I at idle to say that it has come to ny, the fact is so apparent. Although was at first looked upon as a fad, its irinsic merit as a means of entertain- at immediately put it upon a sound Iing among amusement enterprises and mitd plenty of old experienced amuse- nt men who were ready to back it as winning proposition. Nor has their 1gment been found wanting. The Penny Arcade is in ninety-nine s's out of a hundred a success. Like theater, there have been cases known * .rn it did not pay, but like the theater, tie crowds passing for twelve hours, and to sure thbat it isa continuous crowd, and not the crowd going or coming from business or the theater. The location which is most desirable for an Arcade isw here therekisiantall-day run of pelop from 8 o'clock in the morning until 11 o'clock at night. "Do not hesitate to pay a high rental or a bonus to get the right location. The ren t ould not be high if the loca- tion were not a good one. Bear in mind that the more people who visit an Arcade the more money it will make, and that more people will enter its doors if it is located where people continually pass and congregate than would otherwise be the case." Another requisite to success is cleani- ness. It seems almost ridiculous to sug- gest to any man who is running an amusement venture in which he caters to the general public that he ought to keel his place scrubbed out and have his ma- chines rubbed down with oil or some sort of furniture polish at least once a week. Clean Place Essential. The better practice is, of course, to em- ploy a porter or a scrub-woman to db this work daily. This keeps the Arcade lwusE. In f"el, " -iisrg that has been suggested ( inl the above costs more than an extremely moderate amount. The margin of expense between a well-man- aged Arcade and one that is poorly man- aged is almost negligible. Thought and attention bring almost as good results as the lavish expenditure of money. Need- Iss expense is the bane of any well oinducted business. A small amount can be well invested in keeping an attendant in uniform stationed near the entrance. A few dollars a week mean the difference between an agree- able, well-bred woman and a cheap, frowsy girl as cashier. A few dollars a wecok for potter t,) lv((J the Ar-cade .'irt.iterinore, the public has c e to a- cept the Arcade as a legitimate formvi0 amusement, the same as the theater, the circus, etc., and have become regual patrons just as they patronize thevaud ville theaters for the new attractions, NEW THEATERS 'The Ruick opera house at La Grain Ind., is being remodeled into a mnoder theater. A six-story building which is to contai a t,,itrr with sating rapaity of 1, L- :7 1 AM -K--f -w IA FRONT VIEW OF MILLS' PENNY ARCADE. Ncll t.ptlihed and shining is money well spunt and returns many, many times over in increased patronage. To run an Arcade and keep it as one of the city's amusement places, which thousands of people will patronize every year, should be the aim of the Arcade proprietor. The owner who aims to make all he can without the expenditure of a dollar or a moment's thought will make money, but far less than lie might by giving his property the right kind of at- tention. The really surprising part about the Ar- cade business is that it pays under most any conditions. Arcades that seem hope- l-ssly located and conducted in a st p- Stied, spiritless maniner seem to thrive and make money in spite of such severe taxes on their earning power. Outlasts Ordinary Shows. This, of course, speaks better than will be ercctcd at Grand avenue, near Sev- enth street, Los Angeles, Cal., by Georg L. Walker of that city at a cost of ('l5,- 000. Emil Olcovich has leased the theate. Messrs. Frew, of Charlerol, Pa., and Maz- lett, of Connellsville, Pa., are looking over sites in Lonsconing, Md., for a new the- ater which they intend to erect in that city. W. J. Michael, of Morgantown, W. Va, plans the erection of a vaudeville house o Main street. The structure will be two stories high. Work on the new opera house for Pales tine, Tex., is progressing, and W. E.cSif the owner, expects to have it consplree within sixty days. Plans for tile new vaudeville theate: which the Atlas Dramatic and Amusemen Ie muswas directly traceable to some ult either in the location or the man- ageinent. In spite of all that is said to the con- n try, an Arcade, to produce the best re- tilts, must have proper thought and at- lention. Like anything else, it grows nwilb cultivation. To their credit be it aid that most Arcades will make money e on under such severe handicaps as rWk street locations, dirt and neglect. They will thrive even in places where a ieater would be starved out. But this to their credit and not to the credit t the owners who are too short-sighted - see where their negligence and disre- cird for their own interests are costing tiim hundreds of dollars every month. An Arcade, to produce the largest in- 'ate, must be located first of all where it will get all the patronage possible. I-it is a matter of ratio; high rent nmcans, generally, good location and big Kiciness; cheaprent means poorrlocation ,,d poor business. In other words, You nnt only get what you pay for but as \rir expenditure for rent increases, the .n-t'entage of your income increases. Location Most Important. This is what H. S. Mills, who operates, probably, more Arcades in this country nd abroad than any one man, has to <sy about location: "One of the most essential features to thte success of an Arcade is location, which should be absolutely the best ob- :ninable. It should be on a prominent thoroughfare or on a corner, at a street -ar transfer point, at an amusement park cr anywhere people are either passing or -re compelled to wait. Alwais select the busy side of a rr \ Whtei e-rlecting a Iantion, wttli bright and shining and invites patronage. If the room is well lighted, as it should be, passers-by will be attracted by thc clean, pleasant appearance of the place and step in out of curiosity. No one likes a dark, forbidding, dirty unkempt place, and even though an Arcade will succeed and make money in spite of such shiftless management, it speaks only for the extreme popularity of this form of amusement. A final fact bearing on the success of the Arcade venture is the big question of attractions. Every man, whether he is in the Arcade business or any other business, knows that if he intends to succeed, he must offer some kind of bait to purchasers. His goods must be made attractive. The same holds good with the Arcade-only more so. Not only must the attractions be fresh, but they should be displayed in such a manner as to interest and invite the attention of the public. When a set of pictures are old, theynot only ill otbepatronized, but they affect all the pictures in their immediate neighborhood. Once "stung" by seeing an old set of pictures under a new or misleading name, the purchaser fights shy of patronizing any other ma- chines under the impression that all the exhibits are old and worn out. The same holds good with the phonographs. No one cares to hear an old worn out record although the sign on the machine affirms that it is positively the newest and most popular hit of the day. On the other hand, unless the new attractions are properly displayed and featured in some way, the patron is apt to miss them or fail to find anything of interest in the exhibit. There are many vays of making an Are-not arttrnliv- :it a vr sligit ex words for the success, from a business standpoint. of the Arcade as an amuse- ment enterprise. Unlike many low- priced, popular forms of amusement, the Arcade is based upon a sound business principle ana will outlast the hundred and one other kinds of shows which after a season's popularity hase to be discarded and the expensive equipment sold for junk. According to the statements of some of the oldest Arcade men in the country. the Penny Arcade is more popujar today than ever before. The reason they give, and it seems perfectly logical, is that the preinidice of the "'Mrs. Grundy'' elemlenrt ig t' tttlli' lin- I 1n-o1e1nt Cuiairy will erect at cieniie, Wo trave been completed. The Lyric theater, which opened Lai Day with high-class vaudeville aodm ovie pictures, takves its place anlioag tire tsar, soice otessin picture tieateoa of Chicag and its environs. The theater is situate at 115th street and Michigan avenue, and nmanaged by Ben Snyder. Hundreds of workmen are scurrying wit iaight and main, working at top speed, that the new Forrest theater at Broad an Walnut streets, Philadelphia, Pa., may ope at the appointed date. The theater wi omrlplet l will lie e of ter l it' rest pla U 6 September 21, 1907, MUSIC SECTION IN THE PENNY ARCADE. I r. t CASHIER'S DESK IN THE PENNY ARCADE.