Document: dbr031  [view transcript]

Letter: Macon, Georgia to R. E. Norman, Arlington, Florida, 1927 Oct. 17

author: Stein, Ben
extent: [1] p.
date: October 17, 1927
summary: Letter, probably from Ben Stein, owner and manager of the Douglass Theatre and Stein Enterprises, to Richard E. Norman, head of Norman Film Manufacturing Company, a Jacksonville-based, white independent film company active from 1921 to 1926 that specialized in outdoor adventure films for African American audiences, dated October 17, 1927, negotiating terms for showing the film Black Gold (1928). The letter responds to Norman's refusal to lower the rental price of the film Black Gold (see [dbr030] of the Douglass Theatre Web site). Stein warns that he will have to pass up playing the film Black Gold as long as Norman does not agree to share fairly in the profits. He explains that features usually cost him between $12.50 and $15.00 and that he is only willing to show films on a fifty-fifty basis after the cost of the film is taken out. Stein questions why he should be expected to assume more of the risk, since his business is good. Stein concludes that he might be willing to do business with Norman when his business is bad next summer. Black Gold, a story of the oil business in an African American city in Oklahoma, starred J. Lawrence Criner, Alfred Norcom, Kathryn Boyd, Steve Reynolds, U. S. Marshall, and E. B. Tatums.
repository: Middle Georgia Archives
collection: Charles Henry Douglass business records
box: 19
folder: 173
item: 39

Macon (Ga.)
Bibb County (Ga.)
Jacksonville (Fla.)
Boley (Okla.)
Douglass Theatre (Macon, Ga.)
Norman Film Manufacturing Company
Norman, Richard E., 1891-1961
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
Commercial agents--Florida
Black gold (Motion picture : 1928)
Letters (correspondence)

Page: [1]   [view image] thumbnail

October 17th 1927.
R. E. Norman
Norman Studios
Arlington Fla. [Florida]
Dear Sir:

In answer to your letter of the 15th. Inst [Instant] regarding our playing Black Gold.

As long as you cannot see your way c lear [clear] to take out for our picture program we will have to pass this picture up this time and at some future date if you care to do this let us hear from you.

You seem so sure that you will do such a big business with this picture that this item should not make such a big difference our feature scost [features cost] us from 12.50 to 15.00 and the short subjects cost us around $10.00 and if we cannot take this out and then split 50-50 I will never be willing to play any picture in my house on a even split basis especially as business is pretty good now and even if we have a full house one half of that will not be a great deal more than I am doing with my regular business so why should I take all the chances.

Possibly next summer when business is bad I will be willing to fi[deleted text: g] figure with you.

Yours very truly
[Signed] Stein Enterprizes [Enterprises].