Beautifully engraved antique specimen stock certificate from the Republic Pictures Corporation dating back to the 1940's. This document, which has the printed signatures of the company Vice President and Secretary, was printed by the Hamilton Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).
The intricate vignette features a pair of female figures flanking a framed eagle. Above their hands area set of wings and a globe.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
Created in 1935 by Herbert J. Yates, a longtime investor in film (having invested in 20th Century Pictures at its founding in 1933) and owner of the film processing laboratory Consolidated Film Industries, Republic was initially founded upon Yates' acquisition of six smaller independent Poverty Row studios.
In the depths of the Great Depression, Yates' laboratory was no longer serving the major studios, which had developed their own in-house laboratories for purposes of both economy and control, while the small, independent producers were going under in the face of increased competition from the majors combined with the general impact of the depressed economy. In 1935, he thus decided to create a studio of his own to insure Consolidated's stability. Six surviving small companies (Monogram Pictures, Mascot Pictures, Liberty Pictures, Majestic Pictures, Chesterfield Pictures, and Invincible Pictures) were all in debt to Yates' lab. He prevailed upon these studios to merge under his leadership or else face foreclosure on their outstanding lab bills. Yates' new company, Republic Pictures Corporation, was presented to their producer-owners as a collaborative enterprise focused on low-budget product.
The largest of Republic's components was Monogram Pictures, run by producers Trem Carr and W. Ray Johnston, which specialized in "B" films and operated a nationwide distribution system.
The most technologically advanced of the studios that now comprised Republic was Nat Levine's Mascot Pictures Corporation, which had been making serials almost exclusively since the mid-1920s and had a first-class production facility, the former Mack Sennett lot in Studio City. Mascot also had just discovered Gene Autry and signed him to a contract as a singing cowboy star. Larry Darmour's Majestic Pictures had developed an exhibitor following with big-name stars and rented sets giving his humble productions a polished look.
Republic took its original "Liberty Bell" logo from M.H. Hoffman's Liberty Pictures (not to be confused with Frank Capra's short-lived Liberty Films that produced his It's a Wonderful Life, coincidentally now owned by Republic) as well as Hoffman's talents as a low-budget film producer.
Chesterfield Pictures and Invincible Pictures, two sister companies under the same ownership, were skilled in producing low-budget melodramas and mysteries.
Acquiring and integrating these six companies enabled Republic to begin life with an experienced production staff, a company of veteran B-film supporting players and at least one very promising star, a complete distribution system, and a functioning and modern studio. In exchange for merging, the principals were promised independence in their productions under the Republic aegis, and higher budgets with which to improve the quality of the films. After he had learned the basics of film production and distribution from his partners, Yates began asserting more and more authority over their film departments, and dissension arose in the ranks. Carr and Johnston left and reactivated Monogram Pictures in 1937; Darmour resumed independent production for Columbia Pictures; Levine left and never recovered from the loss of his studio, staff and stars, all of whom now were contracted to Republic and Yates. Meanwhile, Yates installed a staff of new, "associate" producers who were loyal to him. Freed of partners, Yates presided over what was now his film studio and acquiring senior production and management staff who served him as employees, not experienced peers with independent ideas and agendas.
Republic also acquired Brunswick Records to record its singing cowboys Gene Autry and Roy Rogers and hired Cy Feuer as head of its music department.
At the 1958 annual meeting, Yates announced the end of motion picture production. On July 1, 1958, Victor M. Carter, a Los Angeles businessman and turnaround specialist, acquired controlling interest in the company for nearly $6 million, becoming its president. He turned Republic into a diversified business that included plastics and appliances in addition to its film and studio rentals and Consolidated Film Industries, renaming the company Republic Corporations. Having used the studio for series production for years, Republic began leasing its backlot to other firms, including CBS, in 1963. In 1967, Republic's studio was purchased outright by CBS and, having more than quadrupled the stock price for shareholders, Carter sold his controlling interest. Other than producing a 1966 package of 26 Century 66 100-minute made-for-TV movies edited from some of the studio's serials to cash in on the popularity of the Batman television series, Republic Pictures' role in Hollywood ended with the sale of the studio lot. Republic sold its library of films to National Telefilm Associates (NTA).