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The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers

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President Ellis Arnall's Final Letter

The President of SIMPP explains the status of the Society at the time that the SIMPP offices were closed in 1958. The letter is highly informative as to the circumstances of the Society, as well as designating Walt Disney Productions as the final steward of the legacy of the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers.


SIMPP president Ellis G. Arnall. This memorial to the former Governor stands at the Georgia state capital.

August 6, 1958

. . . We do not plan to completely dismantle the Society. It will be our purpose to maintain it in a more inactive status but, nevertheless, have the corporate structure available for use whenever we can render service to our members.

. . . As you have seen from my recent announcement to the motion picture trade press, it has been determined to curtail and limit the operations of the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers. However, the Society will be maintained and will expand its activities when and if conditions in the industry become such that effective results, important services and substantial benefits may be rendered to our members.

The Executive Committee of the Society, at a meeting held July 28, 1958 in Beverly Hills, and pursuant to recommendations of the President, the Finance Committee and the Programs and Activities Committee, remitted requirements for additional dues accruing after June 30, 1958.

This action of the Executive Committee was under the authorization accorded it by a resolution adopted June 26, 1958 at a membership luncheon of the Society held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

In an effort to operate the Society in a very limited fashion so as to require only limited expenditures, the offices of the Society at 333 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, California, will be closed, and we will withdraw from labor representation of our members. Marvin L. Faris, who has served so efficiently and loyally as Executive Secretary of the Society, tendered his resignation effective July 31, 1958. However, Marvin has volunteered to render assistance and advice to the members of the Society when such does not conflict with his other plans. Mr. Faris may be reached at telephone Granite 9-8704, Los Angeles.

The corporate records, books and files of the Society will be in the custody and maintenance of Gunther R. Lessing, Chairman of the Board, and Chairman of the Executive Committee, at the Disney Studios. His telephone number is Victoria 9-3411, Burbank. He will be pleased to answer inquiries and to be of service to our members.

Should there be any advice, suggestions or assistance which I may be able to accord you and our other members, you may reach me at my Atlanta law offices, telephone Jackson 5-2992 or Jackson 3-3739.

The members of the Executive Committee of the Society have been prevailed upon to remain in office together with our able Chairman, Gunther R. Lessing, and our excellent Treasurer, George Bagnall. I will continue to serve as President.

In the future, the Society will be available to represent our members in important Washington governmental matters, in special foreign motion picture market situations and in foreign government film negotiations and agreements.

Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company, Certified Public Accountants of Los Angeles, completed an audit of the books and accounts of the Society as of the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 1958. Copies have been furnished to each officer and member of the Executive Committee.

All the information in this letter applies equally to Independent Film Producers Export Corporation, which was organized several years ago for the purpose of representing our members in foreign negotiations and foreign sales activities.

It is my firm belief that independent motion picture production will continue as the backbone of the industry, and that ultimately new markets and new developments will open new opportunities for the production, sale and distribution of the quality films of our members.

Though the Society now enters into a phase of more limited activity, we will hold occasional meetings and will render limited service to our members. . . .

Sincerely yours,


Ellis Arnall


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