How To Lose Your Job As A Motion-Picture Exhibitor
You think you’ve seen everything in our crazy, wonderful business, and then something like this comes along. Now, mind you, they used to give depression-era exhibitors awards for this sort of stunt, but today? Forget it, he’d be hitting the bricks. They wouldn’t even bother with sensitivity training for a guy so dumb, but back in those whimsical days of 1931, life was just a Ton ‘o Fun, as these Big Mamas found out when clever-as-a-fox (Fox Theaters, that is) Jim Clemmer got together with his "publicity director"(all the big houses had them in those days) Vic Gauntlett (as in running the….) to stage what the trades generically referred to as the old fat woman’s gag. I know this appears made up, but we are on the level here. Seattle, Washington still bears the shame of it. Anyway, the pitch was that every femme who could tip the scales at 180+ got free admission to see Reducing, starring those two immortal "blues-chasers", Marie Dressler and Polly Moran. Ready for the clincher? The scales were located at the front door of the theater, and the contestants had to walk through the boxoffice throngs to get to them! Most women today won’t even submit to that in a doctor’s office! I guess folks looked at it differently in those days, or maybe it was ol’ man Depression, because Jim and Vic handed out over 1,000 free ducats. Quite evidently, fat people are not adverse to enjoying a little fun as the number of free admissions indicate, sniffed the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The hell! I bet if any of them were alive today, they’d still be in therapy over a blurb like that. Clemmer and Gauntlett more than proved that a good ballyhoo will create interest any time. Granted the free admission cost them quite a bit, but the publicity attained was worth it. Hey, this might be an idea for the DVD launch!