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Karie (site owner) Written by Karie (site owner)
Oct. 8, 2009





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Alexander Film Company To Mark its 90th Anniversary

The below press release arrived in my in box the other day.  It piqued my interest and I thought you might find it interesting too!


Colorado Springs, Colo. (October 6, 2009) —Alexander Film Company is to mark its 90th anniversary this November, 2009.


Alexander Film Company was founded by J. Don and Don M. Alexander, in Spokane, WA in 1919, the brothers purchased a defunct motion picture advertising firm and proceeded to build a successful commercial enterprise.


This thriving business quickly outgrew the Spokane facilities and in 1923 the Alexander Film Company purchased a studio in Englewood, Colorado. Covering nearly two city blocks and featuring an imposing administration building, the larger facility enabled the firm to expand its sales. J. Don recruited ambitious salesmen through a liberal commission policy and developed sales manuals and training programs to increase their effectiveness. Because he considered train travel too time consuming, he also purchased a second hand airplane for their use on sales trips. Dissatisfied with the performance of the aircraft, however, he asked the company engineers to design a small, lightweight airplane that could be operated with a minimum of expense. The result was the Alexander Eaglerock which was first flown by Joseph Hammer, a test pilot, in September of 1925. The Alexander Film Company and the Alexander Aircraft Company became divisions of Alexander Industries, which was established as a Colorado Corporation in 1924. After production began, sales of the Eaglerock boomed and the firm became the second largest builder of airplanes in the world with 33 distributors and 143 dealers throughout the nation.

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Alexander Enterprises moved to Colorado Springs, CO in April 1928. The firm had formulated plans to move to Colorado Springs, CO and had purchased 260 acres of land on North Nevada for a new plant, which was under construction. The Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce had purchased an additional 90 acres of land for an airfield and had raised $50,000 in private subscriptions to insure the firm’s relocation in the city.


Because of the popularity of movie entertainment during the depression years of the 1930’s and the war years of the 1940’s, the Alexander Film Company enjoyed a sustained growth in the production and sale of its advertising units. In October of 1939 the firm purchased its largest competitor, TAD Screen Advertising Incorporated of Dallas, Texas. The market crash of 1929, however, ended the market for small aircraft. Sales of the Eaglerock and the Bullet dropped and orders were cancelled. To protect the profitable film company, which was now subsidizing the production of airplanes, the Alexander Aircraft Company and Alexander Industries filed for bankruptcy and liquidation of its assets in 1932.


By the early 1950’s, the Alexander Film Company was producing between 2,000 and 3,000 films annually to meet the demands of its advertisers and to maintain a library of films covering 8,200 different subjects. Production facilities in Colorado Springs included a large stage capable of housing 32 full size motion picture sets; modern laboratories for complete black and white and color film processing; a sound recording department; and an art department capable of creating cartoon animation, stop motion, backgrounds and other special movie effects. The company also had its own maintenance and engineering department to repair and service equipment and to deign new stage equipment. All of the forms, contracts and company publications were printed in the on-site printing department. The company employed 600 people locally and the annual payroll exceeded $2,500,000.


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The company was also producing film for 75 of the nation’s leading manufacturers including General Motors, U. S. Rubber, Ford Motor Company, Philco, Hotpoint and Seven-Up. Regional offices in Dallas, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles were established to enable national advertisers to purchase film or film series featuring their product.


With the advent of television and the closing of neighborhood theaters throughout the country, Alexander Film Company turned to producing advertising films for the television market. However, the firm was a non-union organization and because its films did not have a union label they were blacklisted by union technicians and cameramen. When the management of the firm refused to allow its workers to unionize, it became impossible for national advertisers to use Alexander commercials. The firm did have some success in the local and regional television markets of Denver, Salt Lake City, Omaha, Dallas and Oklahoma City, but the competition of local producers pushed Alexander out of the market and the television production business.


J. Don Alexander, an aggressive businessman with a flair for public relations was also active in community affairs, particularly with the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind, and Junior Achievement. He was also active in the Boy Scouts of America and in 1945 provided leadership and capitol for the establishment of Camp Alexander, a Boy Scout camp located near Lake George, Colorado.


Join us on this 90th anniversary to commemorate our past and to charter the way for the future into the digital age.


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Alexander Film Corporation:


YouTube Video Links

The Alexander Film Company promotional video

Tour of the Alexander Film Company

Alexander Film Archive 1 - Landmark Documentary BBC2

Alexander Film Archive 2 - Landmark Documentary BBC2

Alexander Film Archive 3 - Landmark Documentary

Off-Road Climb up Pikes Peak with Chevrolet truck in 1957


About Alexander Film & Video Services
Today, Alexander Film & Video Services is a leading media services company that provides award-winning video production, streaming video services, digital media archiving, broadcast duplication, digital distribution (satellite), audio editing, CD/DVD/USB drive duplication/replication, graphic design, blank media supplies and much more!


Contact:
John Kunze, Owner
jkunze@alexanderfilm.com


Gibson Hazard, Director of Sales & Marketing
ghazard@alexanderfilm.com


Alexander Film & Video Services
1414 North Academy Blvd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80909
719-531-6311
Fax: 719-531-7731
Toll Free: 888-382-7787
www.alexanderfilm.com




First Comment:

  1. I am curious If the Alexander Film Company has a company personnel archivist that assist me with some family research concerning my father, George E. Sheldon, whom was employed by Alexander Film Company in Spokane, Washington in 1923? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards
    Philip Sheldon

    Posted by Philip Sheldon on 09/19 at 08:52 PM

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