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Patrick, Warren A. (ed.) / Show world
(July 10, 1909)

Murdock enters exchange field [continued],   p. 13


Page 13

THE SHOW WORLD
13
MURDOCK ENTERS EXCHANGE FIELD
(Continued from page 3.)
The Pioneer Exhibitors.
"Men and women had invested the
earnings of a lifetime in the business
of exhibiting moving pictures. These
investments ranged from one hundred
to thousands of dollars.  Many  of
these men and women entered the
field with the desire to make a rea-
sonable livelihood. A few investors
believed that they could earn a tre-
mendous percentage upon their in-
vested capital-but these  instances
were rare. For the most part the
pioneer exhibitors were of a class
which was willing to work bard for
such profits as might be  obtained.
Their investment constituted the prof-
its of other ventures-small business
enterprises and the like-which en-
tailed long hours and hard work.
"The imposition of a two-dollar a
week tax upon the exhibitor proved
to be but a mere introduction to evils
of a far worse nature. The trust,
finding that its first grasp of the
situation promised to produce large
returns, grew bolder. It practically
admitted that it would proceed not
only to consume the exchanges, but
would eventually absorb the exhibi-
tion end of the trade into its own
gigantic system. In a word, the time
seemed near at hand   when   there
would be nothing else in the moving
picture business except the moving
picture trust and its nmanifold ran-
fications.
"It was at this stage, encouraged
by exhibitors and exchanges who ob-
jected to becoming mere serfs and
tithe-payers to a juggernautic com-
bine of film manufacturers that the
International Projecting and Produc-
ing Company was first thought of.
Encouraged by the requests of ex-
change men and exhibitors through-
out the country, our company was
assured that its formation was the
one thing necessary for the salvation
of the trade. Exchanges, many of
which were then clients of the trust,
assured us that at our given word
they would sever all allegiance to it
and would join us in an endeavor to
create an  independent movement,
such as their customers desired.
The Exchanges Want Output.
"After the  contracts  had  been
signed, and it was announced that we
could supply all the product of the
leading European manufacturers, and
before the first shipment left  the
European market, we were besieged
with hundreds of letters and tele-
grams from exchanges in all parts of
the United States, guaranteeing to
take the entire output.
"While we were working night and
day perfecting the system, we were
deluged with telegrams requesting us
to hurry our first shipment, so that
the exhibitors could be supplied with
our goods. Many of these exhibitors,
inspired by the spirit of independence,
had refused to bow their heads to
the mandates of the trust, and were
at sea regarding their future move-
ments.
"Being a man of the world, I have
not dealt with angels; but have come
in contact with all classes and kinds
of men that the world produces.
"Realizing the great advantage that
the introduction of our company into
the moving picture field would mean
to the exchanges, we arranged for
large shipments of foreign film and
paid for them in cash before they left
the other side of the ocean, staking
our vast capital against the word of
the exchange man. We did not even
ask a contract or a guarantee of any
kind from these exchanges-we took
them at their word, intending, in
time, to call a meeting of exhibitors
and exchanges with a view to per-
fecting a system of supply, of value
to the entire independent film move-
ment.
Flood of Congratulations.
"After our first release day we were
deluged with congratulations from ex-
hibitors throughout the country upon
the splendid quality of the goods we
had released. Many exhibitors sent
us statements to show that their daily
receipts had actually doubled through
the exhibition of the  International
films. We have already published, in
the columns of the Show World, the
opinions of some of the greatest men
in the United States as to the quality
and moral tone of the productions.
We congratulated ourselves that we
had won the day and, with the help
of the exchange men who were so
anxious to break away   from  the
clutches of the trust, the exhibitor
could not only be assured of a better
class of goods than he had been re-
ceiving, but could enjoy that inde-
pendent feeling that is dear to the
heart of every human   being that
breathes.
"The face of the situation changed.
Complaints began pouring into us,
thick and fast, from exhibitors. One
exhibitor wrote us that he had con-
tracted with a certain exchange for
International goods. The exchange
had agreed to supply International
films, and International only, and we
found upon investigation that the ex-
hibitor received one and two reels of
International goods and the balance
of cheap, shoddy, duped films of a
very old vintage.
"This was but one instance of
many.
"We requested, in a general letter
to the exchanges, that they play fair
with the exhibitor, and state to him
which was International goods and
which was not-in other words, to
tell him exactly what he was buying.
Would Fight Fair.
"My life's experience has brought
me into contact with every type of
man and I want to say that in the
film business I have met some of the
squarest men I have ever known, men
whose bond I would refuse in prefer-
ence to their word.
"There is nothing that a real man
admires like an open fight. When I
started in this business, in the open,
threw down the gauntlet and started
in to win, I made up my mind that
the fight would be clean, and clean it
shall be to the very end.
"To give you an idea of the tactics
of some exchanges we have in our
possession letters written to exhib-
itors by certain exchanges, stating
that they buy the entire output of the
International company, whereas they
have never bought a reel of film from
our office; but instead, are supplying
faked, shoddy and duped goods. We
know of instances where exchanges
have but one or two reels of Interna-
tional film, in order to exhibit the
bill to their clients in proof that they
were receiving International goods,
and, week after week, have palmed off
to the unsuspecting exhibitor inferior
goods, and the innocent exhibitor be-
lieved he was getting International
product.
"One exhibitor came to us person-
ally and stated that he had tried in
vain to obtain International films from
exchanges. We referred him to an
exchange, which agreed to supply him
with International service exclusively.
At the end of the first week he came
to us with the list of goods he had
received, and there appeared but one
reel of International on the list. The
balance of the list was made up of
goods two and three years old.
Exhibitors Disgruntled.
"We are receiving letters from ex-
hibitors in all parts of the country,
who are willing to pay any reasonable
price for International goods. They
have tried in vain to get a straight In-
ternational service.
"The profit on International goods
has been enormous to the exchanges
who have dealt fairly and squarely
with the exhibitor, because the ex-
hibitor can well afford to pay a big
price for International films by rea-
son of his box office receipts. But
some of the exchanges have not been
satisfied with a fair profit, but have
been cheating the exhibitor by using
the old stock that has been on their
shelves for years and claiming it to
be International goods. The exhib-
itor, however, has become 'wise' to
ths old junk. He has obtained lists
of films released two and three years
ago. Certain exchanges, endeavoring
to meet this condition, are having
new titles made for their old stock
and palming it off to the exhibitor as
a recent release of International
goods.
"Exhibitors who have dealt with
fair exchanges and received strictly
International goods, have written that
it is the most satisfactory servicethey
have ever had. And this, coming as
it does from the pioneers who ran
the first successful moving  picture
shows, proves to ts that we have the
goods that the exhibitor and public
demands, and it is our intention to
see that they get what they want.
The Middle Man.
"We realized in the beginning that
to eliminate the 'middle man'-the
exchanges-and supply the exhibitor
direct, would mean a tremendously
increased profit to us. But as we
considered the work that the ex-
change men had accomplished in up-
building the industry and the thou-
sands of dollars they had invested in
the business, and their assurances to
us that they would rather join the In-
ternational movement than affiliate
with the trust, we believed it to be
but common justice to avail ourselves
of their assistance.
"So the idea of supplying the ex-
hibitor direct was abandoned. We
therefore gave the exchange man the
opportunity of reaping the benefits of
our hard work, continuous advertis-
ing and invested capital.
"But the exchanges did not appre-
ciate this opportunity.  They  con-
tinued to palm off shoddy, duped and
old, rainy films under the guise of
International, thereby injuring the re-
sults of our efforts and cheating the
exhibitor out of his hard-earned
profits.
"We said in the beginning and we
will say again, the exhibitor must get
what he pays for. We have our vaults
filled with the finest films that the
moving picture world has ever known.
The foreign manufacturers, since we
have created a market for their goods
in this country, are outdoing them-
selves in massive and expensive pro-
ductions.
To Establish Exchanges.
"With their factories working night
and day we are able to supply ex-
hibitors in the United States and
Canada with the International product
and we intend to do it.
"We have no desire whatsoever to
interfere with the business of those
exchanges which have proven their
loyalty to the International company,
and who have treated the exhibitors
with due consideration.
"At a meeting in New York city a
number of exchanges signed their
names agreeing to treat their custom-
ers right and to stick to International
service.
"We will open exchanges in most
of the large cities of the United
States and Canada. We have already
secured the services of a number of
the best men to be found in the film
business, whom we feel assured will
deal courteously with exhibitors, and
we will establish our exchanges as
rapidly as men and locations can be
secured. We want nothing but the
high-salaried men, who are capable
ofhandling the vast business. As the
business is already established, all we
have to do is to hand the exhibitor
the goods.
"We will announce through the col-
umns of the Show World the loca-
tions of the exchanges as quickly as
they are opened."
St. Paul Park Notes.
ST. PAUL, July 4.-Wildwood, the
St. Paul amiusement resort, located on
White Bear Lake seven miles from
the city, and under the management
of H. M. Barnet. the well known local
park manager, is doing a nice busi-
ness this season.
The handsome new pavilion was
opened Decoration Day to a crowd
of over 5,000 people. Wildwood has
one of the finest bathing beaches in
the  northwest and   several other
amusement features including Figure
8, Down the Flume, Miniature Rail-
road, Laughing Gallery, etc. The
park is connected with this city by
trolley and with the village of White
Bear and   other lake   points by
steamer.
Mr. Barnet is also the concession-
aire of the pavilion and refreshment
privileges at Como Park.-BARNES.
EDWARDS QUITS FILMS
AMID MANY REGRETS.
Employees of Swanson's St. Louis
Office Present Retiring Manager
with Valuable Umbrella.
ST. LOUIS, July 5.-Last Monday
the employees of the Win. H. Swan-
son St. Louis Film  Company pre-
sented their retiring manager, .R.
Edwards, with an exceedingly hland-
some gold and ivory umbrella as a
token of their esteem and to show
their appreciation at the treatment
they had received at his hands vhile
they had worked for him. The gift
was accompanied by the following let-
ler:
"Mr. J. R. Edwards, Mgr.
"Win. H. Swanson St. Louis Film
Company, City.
"Dear Sir:
"We, your employees, being aware
of the fact that you are about to sever
your relations as manager with us at
this office and being desirous of pre-
senting you with  a token  of the
esteem in which we hold your past
relations with us, herewith present
you with the accompanying gift.
"Allow us to state that during the
time in which we have been in your
emnloy we have enioyed your per-
sonality, disposition and good fellow-
ship. and we sincerely trust that in
the future when von grasp the handle
of our Dresent, during what severe
(lowvpour of the elements you may
experience, that you will feel that you
grasp the hand of each and every one
of the undersigned.
"Wishing you prosperity and health
in the future, we beg to remain,
"Very respectfully.
"Barney Rosenthal. Bertha Warm-
hold, Bess Friedland, Edith Baird,
Miss T. Jackson. Margaret Murphy,
Helen Davey, Viola Samoniel, H. J.
Ridgeway, H. K. Radclift, J. J.
Noecker."
INTERNATIONAL MEN
MAKE NEW AGREEMENT.
NEW YORK, July 1.-At a meet-
ing held in this city today, the follow-
ing film exchanges agreed to handle
International films and to treat exhi-
1itors fair: Greene, Empire, Eagle,
Philadelphia, International and Con-
solidated.
Cines and Duskes in Line.
The Society Italian Cines of Italy
and the Duskes of Germany have
joined the ranks of International
manufacturers.
Margaret Arnold, the charming and
magnetic  comedienne, is now    in
vaudeville and is booked over the
United. At present she is playing
the parks.
White and Sanford are to appear
shortly in a vaudeville medley requir-
ing five character changes of cos-
tumes. They are spending their vaca-
tion in New York.
July10, 100.
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