Charles Schlaifer papers

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library © 2013

Descriptive Summary

Title: Charles Schlaifer papers
Date (inclusive): 1929-1957
Date (bulk): 1929-1948
Collection number: 20
Creator: Schlaifer, Charles
Extent: 2 linear feet of papers.
Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Languages: English

Important Information for Users of the Collection


Available by appointment only.

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Preferred Citation

Charles Schlaifer papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Charles Schlaifer, 1985


Charles Schlaifer was an American film publicist. Schlaifer got his start in the motion picture business in 1928, as an advertising manager of the Paramount Theatre in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. From 1936 to 1942 he was managing director of United Artists Theater in San Francisco. He joined the New York staff of 20th Century-Fox in 1942, serving as an advertising manager before becoming the director of advertising, publicity, and exploitation. Shortly after his departure from Fox in 1949, Schlaifer founded Charles Schlaifer and Company, a New York-based firm that specialized in motion picture marketing.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Charles Schlaifer papers span the years 1929-1957 (bulk 1929-1948) and encompass 2 linear feet. The collection consists of advertising material, correspondence, and two scrapbooks. The scrapbooks contain advertising, publicity, and exploitation materials from Publix Theatres Corporation in Omaha, circa 1929-1932. There are files containing numerous movie ads from the United Artists Theater in San Francisco, circa 1933-1941. Schlaifer's years with 20th Century-Fox are represented by correspondence between Schlaifer, company president Spyros Skouras, and company vice president Darryl F. Zanuck. These letters, memos, and reports discuss the promotion and marketing of Fox releases, as well as campaigns for specific films. Particularly detailed are the files relating to the advertising campaigns for GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT (1947) and THE IRON CURTAIN (1948). The collection contains several files of clippings and press releases regarding Schlaifer's work with the MPAA, in particular the 1947 campaign to revise and strengthen the industry's advertising code. There is little material on Charles Schlaifer and Company, although two proposals, "The Greatest Concentrated Point-of-Sale Campaign in Showmanship History" (circa 1956) and an untitled document outlining "a campaign to bring about a renaissance of the motion picture theatre in America" (1957), are of interest. Also included are transcriptions and lecture notes for a course in motion picture advertising and publicity taught by Schlaifer at the New School for Social Research in 1948.


Arranged in the following series: Not arranged in series.

Indexing Terms

Schlaifer, Charles , 1909-1997--Archives.