Document: dbr027  [view transcript]

Letter: Chicago, Illinois to William M.? Smith, Macon, Georgia, 1927 Sept. 24

author: Micheaux, Oscar, 1881-1951
extent: [1] p.
date: September 24, 1927
summary: Letter from Oscar Micheaux, seminal African American film director, producer, and president of the Micheaux Film Corporation, to Smith, probably William M. Smith, manager of the Douglass Theatre, dated September 24, 1927, negotiating film rental prices. The letter responds to Smith's counteroffer of seventy-five dollars to rent The Millionaire (see [dbr025] of the Douglass Theatre Web site). Micheaux recalls the profits that both parties received from The Spider's Web and announces that he is changing the rental to one hundred dollars, which he describes as too low. Micheaux allows that if Smith cannot pay the amount he can let the film be shown on a percentage basis with the cost of vaudeville to be taken out first and the balance split between both parties. Micheaux's film, The Spider's Web, was released in 1926 and was based on "The Policy Players," an original story by Micheaux. The film starred Evelyn Preer, Billy Gulfport, Marshall Rogers, Edward Thompson, Lorenzo McLange, Henrietta Lovelass, and Grace Smith. In 1932, Micheaux released a sound version of the film, The Girl from Chicago.
repository: Middle Georgia Archives
collection: Charles Henry Douglass business records
box: 19
folder: 173
item: 7

Macon (Ga.)
Bibb County (Ga.)
Douglass Theatre (Macon, Ga.)
Micheaux, Oscar, 1884-1951. Policy players
Micheaux Film Corporation
African Americans in the motion picture industry
African Americans in motion pictures
Race in motion pictures
Race films--United States
Rent charges
Feature films--United States
Motion picture theaters--Georgia--Macon
Film posters--Georgia
Advertising--Motion pictures--Georgia--Macon
Commercial agents--Illinois--Chicago
Girl from Chicago (Motion picture : 1927)
Millionaire (Motion picture : 1927)
Spider's web (Motion picture : 1927)
Letters (correspondence)

Page: [1]  [view image] thumbnail

[Note: This document contains typewritten, handwritten, and printed text.]

[handwritten text: [added text in right margin (appears to be different ink and hand): 27 & 28]]

[printed text:
Western Exchange

[typewritten text: September 24, 1927
Douglass Theatre
Macon, Ga. [Georgia]
Dear Smith:

We cannot rent a better picture than the "Spider's Web" when the "Spider's Web," which we [added text: you] had rented for $100.00, but was afraid to pay that much, grossed over $550.00 on a percentage basis. After paying off our share of the vaud[deleted text: i][added text: e]ville, I recall very distinctly, that we received over $200.00 for our share.

Now I am changing the contract again to a rental of $100.00, which is entirely too low, but rather than te [to] waste time dallying, I will let it go at that. If, however, you fear that you cannot pay this sum, we will let it be shown on a percentage basis on the two days set forth in the contract, with the cost of a vaudiville [vaudeville] pro rata to be taken out first, and the balance split 50-50 -- and we will get over $200.00 I venture, on this basis.

Very truly,
[Signed] [written text: Oscar Micheaux]
[typewritten text: P. S. Please excuse stationery as we run out of our regular.]
[written text: State what adv. [advertisements?] when you answer.]