Cinema Center Films

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Cinema Center Films
Division
Industry Motion Pictures
Successor CBS Theatrical Films
Founded 1969
Founder William S. Paley
Frank Stanton
Gordon T. Stulberg[2]
Defunct 1972[1]
Headquarters Hollywood, United States
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Gordon T. Stulberg[2]
Products films
$10 million loss (1971 est.)[1]
Owner CBS

Cinema Center Films (CCF) was the theatrical film production division of the CBS Television network from 1967 to 1972. Its films were distributed by National General Pictures.[3] The production unit was located at the Republic Pictures lot, Hollywood and produced 30 films.[li 1]

History[edit]

CBS chairman William S. Paley and Frank Stanton founded Cinema Center Films division in 1967 with Gordon T. Stulberg as its first chief.[2]

In February 1967 CBS had bought the studios of Republic Pictures (which would be renamed CBS Studio Center) for $9.5 million.[li 1] The following month they announced Stulberg's appointment, stating they intended to make ten films a year at a cost of $3.5 million each on average. Pasley and Stulberg met with owners of Paramount Picture, Gulf & Western Chairman Charles Bluhdorn in a search for a distributor but Bluhdorn's over chumminess turned off Paley. Stulberg reported to John A. Schneider, CBS network president.[4]

The studio's first notable talent signing was with Doris Day[5] which resulted in their first movie With Six You Get Eggroll.[4] Which the film community took that CCF was only "fluffy films" for rebroadcast on CBS.[4]

Their second signing was with Bob Banner Associates, who were to make a series of projects that did not come to fruition.[6] National General Pictures agreed to distribute their films in August 1967, agreeing to provide $60 million for 22 movies.[7] They signed a four picture deal in 1967 with Jalem, Jack Lemmon's company worth $21 million – Jalem was to produce four films, two in which Lemmon was to appear.[8] Other people who signed deals with the company include producer William Graf,[9]Warga, Wayne. Steve McQueen's Solar Productions.[10]

Ogilvy Mather was hired in July 1969 to provide advertising for the division.[11]

To counter act the film community's perception of being a "fluffy films" producer Stulberg recommended making The Boys in the Band to Pasley. Little Big Man was CCF's biggest hit at the box office however it had gone over budget to cost $9 million to lose money.[4] CCF also financed a Broadway production, Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?, a Don Petersen drama that opened in February 1970.[12] Pasley moved responsibility at CBS for CCF from Schneider to Goddard Lieberson, president of CBS/Columbia Group.[4]

Twenty-six films were produced under Stulberg until he left to work at 20th Century Fox in 1971.[2] CBS closed the unit in 1972;[1] its last film was the Peanuts animated musical Snoopy, Come Home.[citation needed]

The studio never reported a profit in any year of its operation losing money on the 20 out of 27 films for a total loss of $30 million.[4]

Postscript[edit]

Since then, CBS attempted another return to the theatrical film production business in 1982, with a unit known as CBS Theatrical Films, as well as with Tri-Star Pictures, the joint venture between CBS, HBO and Columbia Pictures.[13] CBS would later fall under common ownership with Paramount Pictures after being bought by Viacom (Paramount's parent since 1994 and originally the syndication arm of CBS) in 1999. CBS and Viacom split again in 2005, but both are still owned by National Amusements. As such, Paramount currently handles DVD distribution on behalf of CBS Home Entertainment, and also handles theatrical distribution should any re-release occur.[citation needed] CBS eventually launched a new film unit independent of Viacom and Paramount in 2007, called CBS Films.[2]

Filmography[edit]

Unmade projects[edit]

The following projects were announced but not made:

  • The Apollo of Bellac based on the play by Jean Giradoux (1967)
  • Contrast based on two short stories by W. Somerset Maugham (circa (1967)
  • Nelly Bly a biopic of the famous reporter (circa 1967)
  • Yucatan a motorcycle adventure starring Steve McQueen to have been made in 1971[15]
  • Man on a Nylon String - an adventure tale to be made by Solar Productions in 1971 but not starring Steve McQueen set in the Alps[15]
  • Applegate's Gold a Western for Solar Productions (circa 1971)[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Gould, Jack (January 10, 1972). "C.B.S. IS DROPPING ITS THEATER FILMS; Paley Takes Action as Part of a Production Review". New York Times. p. 47. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Oliver, Myrna (October 18, 2000). "Gordon T. Stulberg; Studio Executive, Lawyer, Negotiator". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Norman Levy, 67; Fox Chairman Turned Offbeat Films Into Hits". Los Angeles Times. September 28, 2002. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bedell Smith, Sally (February 29, 2012). "5: The King". In All His Glory: The Life and Times of William S. Paley and the Birth of Modern Broadcasting. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307786715. 
  5. ^ Martin, Betty (May 9, 1967). Film Pact for Doris Day. Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, Calif) (1923-Current File) Page D17.
  6. ^ Martin, Betty. Multi-Film Agreement Signed. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 22 June 1967: d9.
  7. ^ National General, CBS Sign Deal for Film Distribution. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 22 Aug 1967: c8.
  8. ^ CBS, Jalem Sign $21 Million Pact Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 02 Oct 1967: d24.
  9. ^ Cinema Center, Graf Announce Film Plans. Los Angeles Times. (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 10 Dec 1968: 31.
  10. ^ Film Star of Year Turns to Creative Extension: McQueen's Creative Film Kick. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Sep 1969: u1.
  11. ^ "Ogilvy & Mather Gets Film Task". New York Times. July 21, 1969. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Zolotow, Sam (September 7, 1968). "C. B. S. Subsidiary to Help Stage Petersen's Drama on Broadway". New York Times. p. 23. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Palmer, L. (1998) "How to write it, how to sell it: everything a screenwriter needs to know about Hollywood" (pp. 232–235). St. Martin's Press, New York. ISBN 0-312-18726-2.
  14. ^ Cutting Loose': A Film That Never Made It Warga, Wayne. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 04 Dec 1977: x46.
  15. ^ a b c Warga, Wayne. Film Star of Year Turns to Creative Extension: McQueen's Creative Film Kick. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 21 Sep 1969: u1.
  1. ^ a b c d e f Orders of Magnitude I. Page 331-332.

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