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The Case Against the 20% Federal Admissions Tax on Motion Picture Theatres (1953)

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"The Entire Motion Picture Industry Presents" this film. At the time this film was made, motion picture theaters were required to pay a 20% tax on gross ticket sales, and Congress was ... See full summary »

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Title: The Case Against the 20% Federal Admissions Tax on Motion Picture Theatres (1953)

The Case Against the 20% Federal Admissions Tax on Motion Picture Theatres (1953) on IMDb 5.4/10

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
...
Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Gordon Bauer ...
Himself (uncredited)
E.R. Baum ...
Himself (uncredited)
James Bell ...
Himself, actor in film clip from 'Dial 1119' (archive footage) (uncredited)
Keefe Brasselle ...
Himself, actor in film clip from 'Dial 1119' (archive footage) (uncredited)
...
Himself, Actor as Bartender in film clip from 'Dial 1119' (archive footage) (uncredited)
Claude Cooper ...
Himself (uncredited)
Virginia Field ...
Herself, actress in film clip from 'Dial 1119' (archive footage) (uncredited)
C.R. Guthrie ...
Himself (uncredited)
Leaman Marshall ...
Himself (uncredited)
Pat McGee ...
Himself (uncredited)
Charles Tannen ...
Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Avis Waldron ...
Herself (uncredited)
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Storyline

"The Entire Motion Picture Industry Presents" this film. At the time this film was made, motion picture theaters were required to pay a 20% tax on gross ticket sales, and Congress was debating lowering this tax (as well as others) in a bill being considered by a Congressional committee. This film, which was made especially to be shown to members of the committee, sets forth the motion picture industry's case for reducing, if not eliminating, the tax. It presents statistics regarding the closing of theaters in general (approximately 4500 US theaters, or about 25%, from 1946 through 1952), and the number of theaters that have closed in each committee member's state. These closings have caused a steady decline of revenues. Additionally, theater owners in various midwestern cities tell how this tax has adversely affected their businesses. In the small town of Holton, Kansas, merchants state that the closed movie theater was the city's main entertainment center. Without it to draw people ... Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

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Begins with "The Entire Motion Picture Industry Presents"... See more »

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References Deep Waters (1948) See more »

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A film prepared for presentation as testimony before a Congressional committee.
16 June 2000 | by (Springfield, VA) – See all my reviews

Early in 1953, the "art theater" in the north end of Columbus, Ohio, as movie houses specializing in British and other import films were known at the time, announced that it would no longer charge admission, thus avoiding payment of the admissions tax. They hoped to attract enough customers to keep them in business on sales of popcorn and sodas. I don't know how this worked out because my family moved from Columbus before we had an opportunity to try out the new plan.

The movie is deliciously amateurish in its presentation, all the "witnesses" being theater operators or local business people affected by theater closings, not actors. Even the principal narrator is a representative of an exhibitors' trade association.

The statistics are shocking, but gloss over the effects of the infant television industry -- which is mentioned without much emphasis -- and other social changes occurring in the nation at the time, blaming all the problems on the abominable tax.

It's a really well done little propaganda piece, and especially interesting in the present era of the huge multi-screen movie complexes that have sprung up in shopping malls and as free-standing installations in the last 30 years or so. Virtually all the neighborhood houses and a large portion of the downtown theaters are gone, but we now have more "screens" than ever. (And less that's worth watching -- but that's another subject.)


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