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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 131 (109)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 131
Page 131

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 131

Application of Color Dynamics to Theatres

Right Color Schemes Will Assure Patrons The Most for Thorough Enioyment of Show


Modern theatre industry has reached many times into the past for some of the more amazing mechanical contrivances and processes which are today speeding production and showing of better and better pictures. The basic laws of science, mechanics, and mathematics, which great men from all ages have discovered and formulated, serve as guideposts for modam living. While such men as Euclid, Kepler, Huygens, Gallileo, and others concentrated their activities on highly technical and abstruce incursions into the realm of pure science, many of them found time to deVelop mechanical contrivances or processes which have ultramodern application. '

When the name of Isaac Newton is

mentioned most theatremen probably

conjure the picture of this eminent scientist sitting under an apple tree, watching the fruit fall earthward, and, from such occupation, proceeding to formulate the law of gravitational attraction and eventually the natural inter-relation of the component parts of the universe. But Newton should be remembered by the theatremen as an experimenter, and the discoverer of certain theories of light which have fathered the increasingly important science of color engineering. It was in 1936, approximately 280 years after Newtonls first discovery of the visible spectrum, that research technicians first used color as a specific, that is, they reduced the measurable characteristics of color to a given formula so that certain prescribed effects could be obtained. Much of the knowledge utilized in these first attempts at using visible color as an actual tool was derived from nearly three centuries of activity in the field. Yet such use presented many complex problems which the color engineers had to solve before it could be compacted into a practical applicable form.

The practical results obtained with application of color according to scientific formulas of the principles of color dynamics are readily apparent in wartime industry. In hundreds of plants the energy of color is being used to promote efficiency and establish improved employer-employe relations. The use of color as a specific instrument is in its infancy and promises to be one of the more important considerations in charting the course of theatre decoration in the future. * E. D. P.


That color has certain power and energy is nowhere better illustrated than in the theatrical industry. No stage producer would present a musical extravaganza in settings finished in the sombre,




Color Consultant to the Department of Color and Design Pittsburgh Plate Class Company

colorless black, white, or gray tones, nor would a motion picture be made in black and White if it were possible to produce it in color. The tremendous appeal that full Technicolor presentations have over the conventional black-and-white is an indication of the fundamental attraction of color. This attraction is a manifestation of a basic appreciation that is common to all people. From childhood, when brightly colored toys are the chief attraction, to old age, when the magnificent hues of a sunset excite admiration, color exerts a profound power over human behavior. Investigate the reasons why a person chooses one thing over another and, somewhere along the line, the color factor will inevitably enter the picture.

Although one segment of the theatrical world, the producers, have recognized and used the popular appeal of color, the operators of theatres have not been as progressive in adapting color as an aid in improving the physical attraction of their houses. This has been largely a result of the fact that until quite recently little or nothing was known about the practical application of the power and energy in color. The remarkable dise

coveries made several centuries ago by Sir Isaac Newton concerning color and light were left undeveloped, except for academic classroom discussion, until less than a decade ago, when intensive experimentation was started in the color field. Research men, knowing that certain colors did have a direct effect on people, began delving into the question of whether or not color had actual physical power and energy which could be harnessed for practical purposes such as making a theatre more attractive and appealing to patrons.

One of the first things discovered was that color waves could be measuredei. e., Violet was 16 millionths of an inch; yellow, 22; red, 32; and so on. Experiments proved that color had a pronounced effect on muscular reaction. In ordinary light, muscular activity was found to be 23 units, increasing to 24 units for blue, 28 for yellow, 35 for orange, and 42 for red. It was determined that color was a specific and, as such. could be reduced to a given formula to produce a desired result. To determine the efficacy of their findings, the color engineers visited 500 hospitals in seventy cities and evolved basic plans by which color could be employed as a direct therapeutic aid. Basis of the plan was to use the power and energy in color to replace the static dead-white treatment, which tradition

HAYES QUINN, noted color engineer, is explaining some of the basic principles of color dynamics to Eleanor Patterson and Betty Thorpe. While much of the information concerning the inherent power and energy in color was discovered by Sir Isaac Newton, only recently have the principles been adapted to practical use in theatres.
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 131