Pathe looks deeply into the issue of the Cinema Tax.
Full title reads: "Cinema Tax Must Go"
Intertitle reads: "Ruin threatens British Motion Picture Industry unless Tax is abolished".
GV Coventry Street, London at night showing cinemas closed. GV Coventry Street at night showing cinemas open. Angle shot Neon sign "Odeon", Leicester Square. Angle shot Warner Theatre at night. CU Neon sign "Ritz". CU Monseigneur News Theatre.
SV Chancellor of the Exchequer - Derick Heathcoat-Amory sitting at his desk in the cabinet.
GV People entering ABC Cinema at Golders Green. CU Cinema manager welcoming visitors. VS of people buying tickets. Bill Symon questions people about how much tax they are paying to see films. Various shots of cinemas closed and boarded up.
SV Interior with Bill Symon sitting at desk and talking to Scottish Cinema owner Sir Alexander King. CU Bill Symon asking question "Sir Alexander, what are the main reasons why the tax must go?" SV Sir Alexander replying "Because if the tax is not abolished the whole British Cinematographic Industry will collapse." And remember this tax was introduced as a temporary war time measure in 1916, a temporary measure lasting 42 years, surely that's a record in Treasury tenacity. The choice confronting the Chancellor is simple, he either abolishes the entertainment tax or abolishes the cinematograph industry. Therefore, with anxious hearts and vanishing bank balances we sincerely hope that Mr. Heathcoat Amory will grasp his opportunity in his first budget."
Bill Symon visits the Ritz Cinema, Yiewsley, West Drayton which was saved from closing by local residents. He talks to people who campaigned to save the cinema.
Various shots of people working at Elstree Film Studios, Hertfordshire. Ronald Shiner is seen on the set as is film star Richard Todd. Todd is questioned by Bill Symon about the Cinema Tax. He also talks about the challenge of television. Good shots of the woodworking / carpentry workshop at Elstree. Shots of men painting scenery.
CU Bill Symon asking "How would the abolition affect production?" CU Anna Neagle answering "Production of British films hold their own and could be doubled. Studios which have been sold and are now warehouses and garages could be re-opened. New talent fostered, full employment again for our technicians and the British public could enjoy greater proportion of our own British films. All this must inevitably happen if the entertainments tax is abolished."
VS of row of houses with television aerials. Crowds into football ground. Crowds going to boxing match. Shots of boxing. People at greyhound racing (all pay no entertainment tax)
VS of children queuing to go into cinema. Children pay and are seen watching a film.
Ext. of Film Premiere in London. Jack Hawkins, Gary Cooper, Richard Todd, Tommy Steele, Sophia Loren, Yvonne Mitchell, Jayne Mansfield and Kenneth More are among those seen.
CU Jack Hawkins speaking "I always think that the cinema is our cinema, something which belongs to all. We like it or we shouldn't be here. Long may the cinema flourish. We must not let it be taxed out of existence."