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In 1986 I was invited to present my SEX & VIOLENCE CARTOON FESTIVAL at The Ouimetsoscope Theater in Montreal: https://mtltimes.ca/Montreal/montreal/montreal-then-now/ouimetoscope/ .

I knew nothing about the theater until I got to Montreal. There I learned that THE OUIMETOSCOPE was the first theater to be built as a motion picture theater in both Canada and The United States.

Everything that might offend a mother and cause her to boycott a sponsor’s product was cut from the great films of Hollywood’s Golden Age of Theatrical animation. Many of the best are banned.

Originally 1,000 seats the theater had been cut down to a 50 seat, 300 seat and 500 seat venue.

I wanted the 500 seat room. I was given the 300 seat room.

I wanted them to charge $10. Their regular admission was $2. They agreed to charge $7 but felt few would pay it. I was told their animation programs did not pull a large audience. I heard (and hear) that even now. Today I want that admission to be at least $20. Terms were 50% after costs of promotion. the shows practically promoted themselves.

Upstairs a brand new movie was shown 12 time to a total of 60 people. It grossed $120.00.

I did 4 shows. Each was packed. At each show hundreds were turned away because the venue was full. We needed those 500 seats. The shows grossed $8,400.00.

I had been told that people in Montreal did not much care for people from Toronto and that as I do not speak French the audience would be antagonistic.

The first night I walked out and said, “Hi, I am Reg Hartt. I was born in New Brunswick. I live in Toronto. I understand you folks in Montreal don’t much care for Toronto. I love Toronto. I only speak one language, English. If you don’t like that, TOUGH.

The audience settled back comfortably in their seats, sighed like they had just experienced the best orgasm of their lives and with one voice said, “Ahhhh! An Anglo with balls.”

When I was leaving the woman in charge said, “Mr. Hartt, we had complaints about you.”

I said to her, “We had twelve hundred people. I would expect that with that many people a few had complaints but the important thing is that downstairs we grossed $8,400.00 while upstairs in the room I wanted you grossed $120. If I were you I would be saying, ‘Thank you. How soon can you come back?‘”

She said, “You are never coming back.”

When THE OUIMETOSCOPE turned me away THE RIALTO invited me in. I set house records.

I returned to Montreal not to THE OUIMETSOSCOPE but to the 1,000 seat Rialto Theater.

I am one of Canada’s most internationally highly acclaimed artists.

I got and get no support from my family. In that I am not unique. Bix Beiderbecke got no support from his family. They did not even open and listen to the records he sent home to them.

Few get support.

My father’s brother Douglas Hartt served as Director General of Public Works Canada. That is as high as one can rise in the Civil Service in Canada. He wanted me to apply for government grants. When I said I’d rather not he said, “You are crazy.”

Well, if wanting to walk without crutches make us crazy, call me crazy.

Theaters are dying not because there is no audience. The audience is always there. It will always be there.

When Walt Disney introduced Mickey Mouse in 1929 theater owners told him there was no audience for his animated cartoon.

Then Samuel Rothafell, one of the greatest showmen who ever lived, said to Disney, “I can fill my theater with your cartoon.”

He did.

What the motion picture industry lacks and has always lacked is showmen.

You can’t train people to be showmen. It is either in their blood or it isn’t.

This is why cinemas around the world are dying.

Dearth of showmen.

A fellow who ran a theater asked if I, like him, had studied marketing.

His venue had 1,000 seats. His normal crowd was 80 people.

When the night was done and he had just experienced his theater packed to capacity with the police coming out to help handle the crowd and hundreds had to be turned away he said, “Well, you broke every rule I was taught. I did not think we’d have more than a hundred people. How soon can you come back?”

David Ogilvy arrived in New Work with nothing but $10 in his pockets. He built Ogilvy & Mather. When I read his book I learned that what everyone who had studied advertising in schools and were telling me I should not be doing he did.

I had found that rare person I could work with.–Reg Hartt

https://www.ranker.com/list/famous-male-orators/reference?page=3

I found David Ogilvy’s book by chance. People who study advertising and marketing at university always tell me I am wrong. Reading Ogilvy I learned I am right. Said Claude Hopkins, a man Ogilvy constantly hailed as a giant, “Never let a man with a college or university education write copy for the masses.” What he meant was these folk write for the approval of their professors. Their writing is deathly dull in the real world beyond the ivy walls they are trained in.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Roxy_Rothafel , 

 

 

Postcard from Emo Philips.

Jane Jacobs is most famous for her book THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES. Her last book, DARK AGE AHEAD, is must reading. She was my friend from her arrival in Toronto in 1968. Her children say to me when we meet, “Our mother loved you.” I love her.

“We start out thnking about what we will do with our lives. We end up doing what life gives us to do.”–Chuck Jones. David Beard in a Toronto Star piece from 1980, “Reg Hartt is overworked, under-financed and snubbed. We should be paying tribute to him” Beard is right about the snubbed part but who wants to be liked by such people? Certainly not myself.

Liora Lind wrote in 1992, “Reg Hartt’s Cineforum is everything Jane Jacobs wrote about in THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES.” What makes that statement particularly true is that my work in this city has never been valued by the people who run this city. I have been under attack from the moment I started in 1968. Said David Beard in a Toronto Star piece from 1980, “Reg Hartt is overworked, under-financed and snubbed. We should be paying tribute to him”

Liora Lind wrote in 1992, “Reg Hartt’s Cineforum is everything Jane Jacobs wrote about in THE DEATH AND LIFE OF GREAT AMERICAN CITIES.” What makes that statement particularly true is that my work in this city has never been valued by the people who run this city. I have been under attack from the moment I started in 1968.

 

 

 

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