Former Detroiter Herman Cohen
Masterminded Film Now at Fox
Herman Cohen, executive pro-
ducer of "A Study in Terror," now
at the Fox, is . one of the young
men in the field of independent
production who sprang from the
industry's grass roots—the theaters
—and believes it must turn back
to them for guidance if the movies
are to recapture their potential as
the greatest mediuM of mass en-
tertainment in history.
On this principle, Cohen is con-
tinually criss-crossing the country
to meet the audience, paying par-
ticular attention to the age group
between 12 and 26. He turns 'up at
high schools and universities, at
PTA and club meetings to acquaint
himself first' hand with the tastes
and peeves of the ticket buyers.
And he was back in Detroit—his
home town—this week for that pur-
He was here for a few days on
the occasion of the premier show-
ing of the Sherlock Holmes vs.
Jack the Ripper film, "A Study in
Terror," at the Fox. He said that
as co-owner of the Fox he was
naturally anxious to have. the De-
troit theater present the film first
in this country. In England, it is
one of the sensations of the year.
Passing on to the public his in-
timate connections with the thea-
ter and the public, in his home
in Hollywood, and in London where
he spends much of his time, Cohen
related his experiences abroad and
told of the deep interest in Ameri-
There :Was, for example, a
milestone of terror pictures
called "I Was a Teen-age Were-
wolf," which caught national at-
tention. In city after city, pro-
tests went up from people view-
ing with alarm the parked bicycle
congestion in front of theaters
showing a picture with such a
title. But Cohen went on the
road, challenged the objectors to
see the picture (which they
hadn't) and won it a clean bill
The young people in it didn't
carry switch blades, drink, smoke
or have illegitimate babies. They
were basically good, moral kids,
and he hadn't shown them doing
anything wrong .except under the
influence of "sinister supernatural
forces" or of villainous adults.
Besides, whose boy could turn
himself into a werewolf?
Mindful of what parents and
teachers had taught him, the
producer had shown. the young-
sters no evil they could imitate.
The picture cost $150,000 and
grossed $2,000,000 its first year,
and it: started the industry on a
whole cycle of chillers slanted
toward an age group making up
72 per cent of the total audience.
Cohen followed up with "I Was
a Teen-age Frankenstein," "Blood
of Dracula." and "How to 14lake a
Monster." Then in color and Cine-
maScope came "Circus of Horrors"
and "Horrors of the Black Muse-
um," the latter breaking box office
records throughout the world. Next
came "The Headless Ghost," "Kon-
ga" and "Black Zoo."
For "Black Zoo," Cohen wanted
a spectacle that old movie hands
didn't think possible . . . lions,
tigers, panthers, cougars, and chee-
tahs lying down uncaged and un-
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
30—Friday, April 29, 1966
chained in a living room in peace.
He got it too, though it took a
new and revolutionary kind of
wild-animal training to reconcile
these natural enemies. Cohen ex-
ercises personal supervision over
every operation of all his pictures,
from photography to the final cut.
He was born in Detroit, at 12
became a movie usher, and four
years later the teen-age theater
manager of Detroit's Dexter. He
enlisted in the U.S. Infantry
during World War II at the age
of 17 and was assigned to de-
tached duty with the Marines.
Out of service 39 months later,
he became manager of Detroit's
Fox Theater, now the country's
second largest motion picture
house. Then he switched to the
distribution phase of the indus-
try and became Columbia's sales
manager for the state of Mich-
At 23 he arrived in Hollywood
determined to produce his own
pictures and • after a _four-picture
apprenticeShip as a producer's as-
sistant at Realart, he made it. He
formed Herman Cohen Produc-
tions and became the youngest
member of the Screen Producers
Guild. Twenty-eight of the 30 pie-
, tures he made before "A Study
in Terror" have been box office
Besides his co-ownership of the
Fox, Cohen also owns the Cinder-
ella theater on West Jefferson.
His primary interest, he said, is
as motion picture . producer and
He retains his local interests not
only because he is a native De-
troiter 'and because of his business
crests but because his father,
i Meyer Cohen, and his three sisters,
Mesdames William Banks, Gordon
Levine and Julius Droze, are De-
troit residents and he visits them
Cohen visited in Israel three
times and he is interested some-
day to produce a film there.
Egypt Lags in Tourism
as Israel Surges On
ROME (ZINS) — The lively com-
petition between Israel and Egypt
for tourists ended in 1965 with
Israel as the victor, according to
a report by the Italian tourist
company "Centra da Documenta-
zione" which recently appeared in
Whereas in 1965, the number of
tourists visiting Israel steadily in-
creased, Egypt, the report com-
mented, suffered from a steady
decline in its tourist' trade.
Statistics bear out the report: -
the volume of American tourists to
Israel increased by 15.5 per cent
in one year, while Egypt showed
a decline of 4 per cent. Israel
emerged triumphant in the race
for European tourism as well.
Author Zilberzweig Yeshivah to Dedicate Southfield Unit
The dedication . of Yeshivath addition to a Beth Hamedresh
to Discuss 'Truth' Beth
Yehuda's new Daniel A. for advanced Hebrew studies.
Building and Julius and
The Jewish community is in-
of Yiddish iii. Israel Laven
Alice Rotenberg High School will vited to the May 15 dedication.
Zalman Zilberzweig, prominent
Yiddish author and Zionist, will
speak on -"The Truth About 'Yid-
dish' in Israel," 8:45 p.m., May 6,
at the Sholem Aleichem Institute.
The oneg Shabbat lecture is
sponsored by the Institute and
Farband, Labor Zionist Order. The
public is invited for a nominal ad-
Zilberzweig, who has visited
Israel before and after statehood
some 10 times, completed a study
on the attitude of the leaders and
people toward Yiddish. In addition
to facts he accumulated, there are
concrete proposals and expecta-
tions related to the future- of Yid-
change in attitude toward the Yid-
dish language, tied in with a new
Israeli policy of rapport with Jews
in the Diaspora to retain the unity
of the Jewish people throughout
ilizrachi to Honor
Gelman May 12
Leon Gelman, pioneer Zionist,
former president of .Mizrachi of
America, will be honored by Miz-
rachi-Hapoel Hamizrachi of Detroit
at the organiza-
tion's Israel Hai
bration, at Beth
Abraham s y n a-
gogue May 12.
Kirshblum, w h o
served as Miz-
rachi p r e sident
for a number of
year s, will be
There will . be
cantorial s e 1 e c-
tion s, a n d re-
freshments will be served.
Admission will be free and the
entire community is invited.
Vision Testing Program
Set at Jewish Center
The Jewish Center is among a
number of area locations that will
be staffed by Detroit Health De-
partment vision technicians giving
vision tests to Detroit youngsters
age 31/2 to 5 next month.
Dates for the "Project 20/20"
vision screening at the Center will
be May "6, 13, 20 and 27. Hours
are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Parents of preschool children
are urged by the health depart-1
ment to have their youngsters'
vision checked before the busy
summer season begins.
Defects such as one-eyed blind-
ness may affect a child's vision for
the rest of his life if not detected
and treated by the time he is 5
Birmingham-Bloomfield There is no charge for the tests.
appointments, call the health
1st Bank to Pay 5 7/s Pct. For
department vision office, 871-4722,
BIRMINGHAM — Birmingham- or 871-3464.
Bloomfield Bank this week became
the first Detroit-area bank to in-
crease interest paid on time de- Lois Winsen Joins
posits to 5 1/8 per cent. The new Simons-Michelson Co.
higher guaranteed bank rate will
Simons-Michelson Company Ad-
be paid on one-year savings time vertising announces the appoint-
deposits on any amount over $1.
ment of Lois Winsen as a key
Thomas H. Wagner, chaiiman member of its creative staff. Her
of Birmingham-Bloomfield Bank, duties will include campaign
said the new 5 1/8 per cent time sav- planning and account work on ad-
ing deposit rate will become ef- vertising and public relations
fective immediately. All certifi- assignments.
cates are insured by the Federal
Mrs. Winsen was formerly direc-
Deposit Insurance Corporation tor of public relations for the
and will be available at all five Jewish Welfare Federation. Prior
offices of BBB or may be ordered to that she operated Lois Winsen
by telephone or mail.
Enterprises, specializing in adver-
Depositors will receive savings tising and public relations coun-
certificates which may be re- seling. Her background includes
deemed at any time on 30-day extensive copy and account ex-
written notice. F o 1 lowing the perience in New York and Chicago
legally required 30-day notice, cer- agencies. She is a graduate of the
tificates redeemed before the end University of Michigan School of
of the one-year period will receive Business. Administration, a mem-
the bank's regular 4 per cent rate ber of the Detroit Press Club and
from the date of deposit to the Mensa.
date of withdrawal.
New Israel Housing Units
Nine-storied terraces rise by
A total of 550,000 housing units
gradual accumulation of bricks.— have been built in Israel since the
state was founded 18 years ago.
be held 11 a.m., May 15.
Hillel L. Abrams, president of
the Yeshivah, announced that Cir-
cuit Judge Nathan J. Kaufman will
serve as chairman of the dedica-
The judge, an authority on youth
and its problem s, called Beth
strong force in
of Jewish youth
in our communi-
ty. It gives the
child meaning to
his life as a Jew
and a reason to
be proud of hi:
Judge Kaufman Jewish heritage."
The new structure . will have
facilities for nursery through_
grade school and high school, in
Serving with Judge Kaufman on
the dedication committee are
Abrams, David J. Cohen, Reubin
D u b r i n s k y, David Goldberg,
Daniel A. Laven, Joseph Nadler,
A. M. Silverstein and Nathan
Emil Mossbacher, America's Cup
skipper, was one Of the sports per-
sonalities appointed to New York
City's newly formed Sports Com-
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