How “Dish Night” at the Movies Giveaways Saved Hollywood in the Great Depression with Kathy Fuller-Seeley
Movie attendance plummeted during the Hard Times of the 1930s. Savvy marketers at Salem China and other potteries sold theater managers on the idea of giving away free dishes to women to attract viewers. “Dish Night” promotions were wildly successful. Salem sold train cars full of their now-famous Tricorne pattern to theaters. “Free to each lady” offers brought colorful dinnerware into Depression era homes, controversy to the movie business, and even riots when too many gravy boats appeared.