Always on the hunt for interesting bits and pieces of movie memorabilia, my latest find at a flea market is a catalogue of over 700 titles put forth by MGM to market them on 16mm to theaters here in Canada by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures of Canada LTD. At one time the head office was located at 340 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ontario. Not isolated to Ontario, there were apparently distributors across the country.
There is no date in the catalogue but based on the movie prints available for rent I’m guessing it’s from 1960 as the Doris Day/David Niven feature Please Don’t Eat the Daisies is I believe the most recent title available along with other 1960 releases All the Fine Young Cannibals starring Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner and one of my favorite musicals of the era, Bells Are Ringing with Judy Holiday and Dean Martin.
The General Information page includes ….
When ordering 16 mm programs from this catalogue, please give the following information:
-Title and production number of program.
– The exact date(s) of showing.
– Complete shipping instructions
and the one that leaps off the page for this collector….
– Please advise us of your advertising requirements – Trailers – One Sheets Available.
Where’s Rod Taylor and that time machine of his!
With over 700 titles available for rent it should be noted that every film comes with a “cartoon or suitable short subject with each feature to make a complete program.”
There’s even a list for 82 movies presented in Cinemascope available for showings that includes titles like Bad Day at Black Rock, Jailhouse Rock and Some Came Running. The catalogue points out that a “special lens is required for your projector” should you want to present the film to audiences in Cinemascope.
The titles that are featured in the catalogue are not just recent releases for movie going audiences of 1960. No, the theater can arrange to show films dated as far back as 1939’s Goodbye Mr. Chips and further still with Wallace Beery’s 1934 adventure Viva Villa.
More than anything, what stands out in the catalogue are the 99 pages of movie ads that are sure to come in handy here at Mike’s Take.
Here’s a taste of what lies within ….
Glenn Ford and Ernie Borgnine would be on my ordering list if I’m managing a local theater.
Surely we’d have a male dominated crowd lined up around the corner to see a Mamie double bill if Mitch and Hitch couldn’t bring them in.
I’ve long been a big fan of this Robert Taylor/Richard Widmark western and would loved to have seen it on a big screen.
Count me in for this double bill of thrills with Karloff featured prominently on the ad.
Ava Gardner for the boys, Gordon Scott for the gals.
Plenty to pick and choose from here. Westerns, musicals, comedy.
Drama, sci-fi, Luci and Desi.
The final two pages of ads caught me off guard. Glad to see Bogie and Cagney available for movie rentals but if you know your film history the final ads are Warner Brother titles.
More Warner titles with contract players like Eddie G., Garfield, Rosalind and Flynn.
I’ll sign off with the ad for that Judy & Dean movie I’ve always been fond of.
Great ads as you say. Wonder why MGM would make so many available on 16mm . Who were they aimed at. Any details on cost of renting?
No pricing in actual booklet so I wonder if there was an accompanying sheet to fill out with prices included. The ads made it an easy purchase.
Have you tried ordering anything? Maybe they have ‘London After Midnight’ available! Ha ha ha! In all seriousness, I’d be interested to know if that title is in the catalogue because there have been rumours for years that there are copies in private collections. If it was available to buy that would support the possibility that this lost film might still be out there somewhere!
Wouldn’t we love to have a copy of that finally surface from beyond. No silent films were included in the catalog. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Mike, this is a very interesting article! Enjoyed reading it. It brings back pleasant memories of seeing The Law And Jake Wade and Escape From Fort Bravo on the big screen. Thank you!
A couple of fine westerns with superior casts and as I’m typing this I had to pause and confirm I was correct …. both John Sturges films. He sure knew how to direct superior action oriented entertainment.