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Harold B. Franklin (1889-1941) was born in New York City and educated at the City College of New York. He started working as a vaudeville booking agent in 1910 and became a theater manager in 1914. In 1922 he joined Famous Players-Lasky as director in charge of Publix Theatres. Franklin helped guide the expansion of Paramount's exhibition arm until 1927, when he left to become president of Fox-West Coast Theatres. He remained at Fox-West Coast for three years before being named president of Hughes-Franklin Theatres. After resigning from Hughes-Franklin, Franklin became an adviser at RKO and in 1932 was named president of the KAO and RKO circuits. The following year he left to form a partnership with Edgar Selwyn to produce stage plays. He joined Columbia in 1935 as a production executive and in 1938 was manager of the industry-wide publicity campaign "Motion Pictures' Greatest Year." Franklin died in Mexico City while on a trip surveying theaters.
The Harold B. Franklin collection spans the years 1926-1939 and encompasses 0.4 linear foot. The collection consists of clippings and correspondence regarding the opening of the Paramount Theatre in New York City in 1926, as well as material documenting the campaign for "Motion Pictures' Greatest Year" in 1938 and 1939. The latter material includes proposed ads and campaign handbooks. One scrapbook contains miscellaneous clippings and trade paper advertisements for various 1930s films. There is no information about any other aspect of Franklin's career.
Gift of Dr. Milton Sheinbein, 1996.
Harold B. Franklin