Document: dbr034 [view transcript]
Letter: Chicago, Illinois, 1927 Oct. 24
author: Micheaux, Oscar, 1884-1951
extent:  p.
date: October 24, 1927
summary: Letter from Oscar Micheaux, seminal African American film director, producer, and president of the Micheaux Film Corporation, probably directed to the managers of the Douglass Theatre, dated October 24, 1927, regarding a new policy for shipping film trailers. Micheaux explains that trailers are a problem because, while they are the best means of advertising, they are expensive and are frequently lost in shipping from one theater to another. He announces that his company is trying to solve the problem, beginning with The Millionaire, by having a laboratory make and mail trailers at cost, for C.O.D. $3.50. Micheaux explains that when the trailer is mailed back to Micheaux Film Corporation, the company will refund the sender $2.00, for a net cost to the theater of $1.50. He notes that they are sending a trailer for The Millionaire that day. The Millionaire, released in 1927, starred Grace Smith, J. Lawrence Criner, Lionel Monagas, Cleo Desmond, Samuel T. Jacks, E. G. Tatum, and Chicago Defender editor Robert S. Abbott.
repository: Middle Georgia Archives
collection: Charles Henry Douglass business records
Page:  [view image]
[Note: This document contains typewritten, handwritten, and printed text.]
[typewritten text: TRAILERS:
Have proven a problem to us for years. It is the best single medium of advertising; every Theatre should have one and run it from a week to ten days before playing one of our pictures. Every Theatre wants one and we want every Theatre playing our pictures to have one -- but how can it be done without quite a large cost to the theatre -- and a lots [loss] to us, which we have been forced to take for years, in order to try to oblige our customers. But the worst of it has been the fact that not every theatre has had this service, nor can many be absolutely sure that they will get it in the old way. The trouble has been that we get out an expensive trailer and ship it open to a theatre. We write that theatre to send it on to another -- and that is the end of it. We lose the trailer and the money it cost us -- and several other theatres that could use it, lose the service.
Now here is how we will try to solve the problem henceforth, beginning with this picture, "The Millionaire" we are having a large supply made and the Laboratory noted above, is sending the same out at cost, C. O. D. [Cash On Delivery] $3.50. Use it, mail it back to us, 200 W. [West] 135th St. [Street], New York City, when through, on receipt of which we will send you our check for $2.00, letting you have the use of same for $1.50 -- cheap enough, eh? We are shipping you one today.
[Signed] MICHEAUX FILM CORPORATION]
[Signed] [written text: Oscar Micheaux
[added text (appears to be different ink and hand; right margin):