Telephongespräch Montag morgen 9 Uhr! Drring…

Anonymous ad in Herforder Kreisblatt, published on May 26, 1913.1

Montag morgen 9 Uhr!
Drring!! Hier Martin Dentler, Braunschweig !
– – Hier Haase, Herford! Herr Dentler, Sie
müssen mir unbedingt für diese Woche einen
grossen Schlager zum Programm geben – –
Aber werter Herr Haase, ich habe Ihnen doch
diesmal einen hervorragenden Schlager ins
Programm gegeben. Den Dreiakter:
Verderbliche Leidenschaft ! ! !
– – Ja gewiss, danke schön, aber ich muss noch
einen Wildwestschlager dazu haben. Helle-
witt, verstehen Sie! Ein Herr hat in Hannover
Die Geisel
gesehen und much ganz scharf gemacht.
– – Ja das glaube ich, aber „Die Geisel“
beabsichtige ich von Dienstag bis Freitag in
meinem eigenen Theater hier in Braunschweig
zu spielen – – – – Tun Sie das nicht Herr
Dentler, geben Sie mir den Film, bedenken
Sie, es ist 5 Minuten vor dem Ersten. Am 1.
muss ich Ihnen wieder eine Stange Gold schicken
und Sie haben doch genug andere Schlager –
– – Hm. – Also gut Häs‘chen, weil Sie es
sind, sollen Sie den Schlager haben . . Machen
Sie aber ein gutes Geschäft damit Drrring ! ! !

This rather unusual ad was published in the Herforder Kreisblatt, a local newspaper, on May 26, 1913. The ad does not provide any means of identification or an origin besides the name of the two participants of the alleged telephone conversation. One identifies as Haase, supposedly a cinema owner and the other one as Martin Dentler from Brunswick, the well known film distributor.

The content is a renarration of the call where Haase expresses his need of an extra blockbuster (Schlager) towards Martin Dentler. The particular film is Die Geisel which Dentler later agrees to provide alongside the already pledged Verderbliche Leidenschaft even though he had planned to exploit the copy of Die Geisel himself in one of his cinemas. Haase argues that he has to fulfil his outstanding debt towards Dentler at the beginning of the following month and therefore requires an additional box office draw to make sure Dentler receives the agreed payment.

Ad by Lichtspielhaus „Wittekind“‌ and Victoria Lichtspiele in Herforder Kreisblatt, published on May 27, 1913.2

One day later the readers of Herforder Kreisblatt could read a different kind of ad. This time the previously mentioned films Verderbliche Leidenschaft and Die Geisel were promoted by the local cinema Victoria Lichtspiele under the management of a certain K. Haase.


The managing director of the Victoria Lichtspiele K. Haase provided us with an odd example of the advertising activity of cinemas in local newspapers. Instead of opting for a regular ad with the film lineup Haase provided us with a dialog of an alleged telephone conversation.

Dentler himself published an ad in Der Kinematograph on April 23, 1913 literally emphasising the readers to just give him a call if the cinema owner wanted to play a real Schlager:

Ad by Martin Dentler, published on April 23, 1913.3

[ …]
Wollen Sie stets die neusten wirklichen Schlager spielen?
Wollen Sie kulant, pünktlich und doch preiswert bedient sein, so telephonieren Sie 1143 oder 1144 Braunschweig oder telegraphieren Sie Central-Theater, Braunschweig, und Sie haben den richtigen Anschluss.

In that sense Haase‘s ad is literally a direct answer to Dentlers offering.

With this conversation the Haase as client of the ad might have tried to create the impression to the public that he had a good relationship with a well know distributor. A relationship that proved to be fruitful for the cinemagoers because Haase was able to negotiate better content for the provided film programs on behalf of his customers. In addition to that he was able to quickly react to the customers needs organising a film that proved to be successful in towns in the proximity of the cinema.

On the other side the trade journals paint a different picture regarding the quality of the offering. Both Die Geisel and Verderbliche Leidenschaft were no major blockbusters in Dentlers eyes since the advertising activity for the two films was little compared to other films promoted by Dentler like the Sarah Bernhardt Monopolfilm Die letzte Liebe einer Königin4.

Die Geisel was first mentioned in an ad on April 12, 1913, with a release date scheduled for the same date.5 The film was promoted as Schlager while there is no reference to Verderbliche Leidenschaft being promoted by Dentler in either Der Kinematograph or Lichtbild-Bühne.

With that in mind Haase‘s ad appears to be a good example of a well executed marketing technique.

If you want to find out in what environment Dentler might have received the call here is a tour through his office.


The images used in this article are taken from:


The film trade journals are available at Internet Archive (Der Kinematograph, Lichtbild-Bühne). The Newspaper can be accessed on the zeit.punktNRW.

  1. Anonym. (1913, May 26). [Advertisement]. Herforder Kreisblatt , 68 (120), 8. Retrieved from ↩︎

  2. Lichtspielhaus „Wittekind“ and Victoria Lichtspiele. (1913, May 27). [Advertisement]. Herforder Kreisblatt , 68 (121), 8. Retrieved from ↩︎

  3. Martin Dentler. (1913, April 23). [Advertisement].Der Kinematograph, 7(330). ↩︎

  4. Martin Dentler. (March 19, 1913). [Advertisement]. Der Kinematograph, 7(325). / Martin Dentler. (March 26, 1913). [Advertisement]. Der Kinematograph, 7(326). ↩︎

  5. Martin Dentler. (1913, April 12). [Advertisement]. Lichtbild-Bühne, 7(15), 2. ↩︎

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