United Artists Tries Storming The Beach
|It Stretched 275 Feet From 45th To 46th Streets on Times Square ...|
1959: The Year We Had To See On The Beach
|Stanley Kramer Hammering His Yes Men At|
Publicity Confab For On The Beach
|Life Among The Lowly In UA Publicity: They'd Spend Long Days Shipping/Handling|
Such On The Beach Material As This
Citing reviews was a start. They were rhapsodic. To knock On The Beach was tantamount to being against world peace, Kramer's message so urgent that you just had to give it a boost. Not only did notices rave ... they came from all over the world. That looked swell on paper, but would it sell tickets in
A so-called "Seven Continent" Campaign promised to raise awareness of On The Beach "Across the Globe," this by way of star-studded premieres at various world capitals. December 17, 1959 was the target date for openings at eighteen far-flung sites from N
|Lillian Gish, Honorary Chairman Of The Sponsoring Committee For The Astor Theatre|
Opening, Poses With Tony Perkins and President Of The Academy Of Dramatic Arts, Frances Fuller. They'd Help Supply Prestige United Artists Was After.
Toward touting the worldwide premieres, UA got out 150 prints of a "newsreel" narrated by Mike Wallace to play theatres and television during January/February 1960 as On The Beach achieved wider play. Charity openings were safe bet for US engagements, a Southeast splash for the March Of Dimes attended by On The Beach stars and taking place in
On The Beach would be the picture we had to see, as in "If You Never See Another Motion Picture In Your Life." But what of patronage who might view The Shaggy Dog in those terms? Few films sell successfully in terms of patron's civic responsibility to attend them. Beach's campaign risked intimidating its public, but UA notably lacked selling choices. There was but one way to exploit this one, and that was with a sledgehammer. Miss On The Beach at your own risk went unsaid, but certainly was implied. Like A-Bomb preparedness drills at school, it would put us ready whatever the awful eventuality of world events. What helped in key engagements was On The Beach being a horror that could happen, sort of like science-fiction where the alien menace wins. Anti-nukers drew signs, came out en masse at openings, and drew news coverage to UA advantage. Trouble was their tipping off bleakness of those 134 minutes. Besides, UA didn't want to sell On The Beach in political terms, even if Kramer did. That might require choosing a side, and consequent loss of half their audience.
|Getting Set With a Fourteen-Foot Illuminated Shadowbox at the RKO |
Keiths Theatre in Washington, DC.
UA's pressbook trumpeted worldwide openings and key dates here (Records Shattered!). Much was undoubtedly learned from mistakes, plus things done right, and it was here that marketers faced the greatest challenge of getting back investment via wide release in the