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U.S. Movie Theaters Should Hold a Seance

March 11, 1990

Regarding the article "Disney Orders Theaters to Drop On-Screen Ads," Feb. 9), why don't theater owners use the same technique in running ads as they do in France?

In that country, there is a pre-movie period of 5 to 25 minutes known as a seance, when previews of coming attractions and advertisements are run. The starting times of the seance and the film are advertised in movie guides, newspapers and on the marquee. In this manner the customer can decide when he'll show up for the performance.

I'm cynical enough of American business to realize that advertisers would scream if their ads were grouped in a pre-film time period, with the starting time of this period and the film advertised. They'd probably assume the theater would be empty for the commercials.

However, if advertisers were to put some artistic thought into their commercials, I'm sure that an American seance would eventually become like the ones in France: A lot of people come to be entertained by the great commercials.

MICHAEL V. STRATTON

Brea

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