This one of my favorite Treasures! It is a Paramount Date book from 1923 found at a local Auction and purchased for only $30. This has been so fun to research! It is so rare that I only found one other one at an auction in 2006. It was listed at $196 but is long gone by now. I am so happy I get to put this out there for others to see.
This Date book is a booklet contains the Season 1922-1923 new releases.
It says: It is not always possible for each one of you to screen every picture that we purchased before you sign your contract. It is not always possible for us to send a representative to see you who will tell you everything about the picture that you should know before you buy it.
This refers to more especially to larger Productions that because of their very nature do not represent on the face of them, the same stabilize value that you know you are securing when you purchase stars who have a well-established patronage at your box office.
To assist in overcoming this, famous players will Hereafter put out on its Bigger Productions what will be known as featurettes. these feature acts will be carried by a Salesman as part of their selling material and will be screened for you before you are asked to purchase these Productions.
These featurettes will contain from 20 to 40 of the biggest scenes in the picture, or sufficient to give you an idea of the magnitude of the picture you are being asked by.
In other words, it will be the feature itself presented to you on a small scale so you can judge whether it has possibilities that the price asked should represent.
We believe the time is coming when the majority of the Bigger Productions will have to be shown to you in this form.
We feel the use of these featurettes by our sales organization is another step toward in eliminating any gamble on the part of the exhibitor and buying a big production in advance.
During the past year there have been many requests for a booking record that would be practical everyday service to the exhibitor. We have endeavored to work out something we felt would be useful especially to smaller exhibitors who are many times purchasing their pictures from 6 months to 1-year.
This booklet not only outlines the current 6 months Productions that are being offered but carries a review of releases of the past 6 months and a fine index of the Famous Players Laskey's Corporation releases for the past 3 Seasons in addition to having a complete booklet record covering a period of one year.
It is listed here
(First Paramount Logo used from 1917 - 1967)
In early 1916 it was called Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation owned by Adolph Zukor, Jesse L. Lasky and Cecil B. DeMille (Production) Samuel Goldfish (Laskys brother in law who would later be known as Samuel Goldwyn and soon leave to be known as the G in MGM). A few months later another merger with a nascent film distribution exchange called Paramount Pictures Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation.
There were 22 actors and actresses under contract at that time.They released two to three new pictures a week from 1916 to 1921.
Theaters could not just buy one or two movies. Adolph Zukor had it set up to where they had to buy a block of movies. It was Paramount that started the Block Booking.This went on for years until May 1948, the court issued a ruling, declaring to all the studios that would end the practice of block booking by requiring that all films be sold on an individual basis.
Up until 1927 movies did not have sound. When sound was introduced (it was called a talkie) some actors lost their jobs because they came to America from other countries and did not speak english or had too strong of an accent.
Some of the actors include:
Gloria Swanson Born 1899 Died 1983
Thomas Meighan Born 1879 Died 1936
Lionel Barrymore (Drew Barrymore’s Great Uncle) Born 1878 Died 1954
Dorothy Dalton Born 1893 Died 1972
Pola Negri Born 1897 Died 1987
Paramount is the 5th largest studio in the world.
Here are photos of some of the movies in this date book.
I did reach out to Paramount to see if they wanted this for their collections but I did not get a response.