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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 132 (110)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 132
Page 132

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 132

falsely prescribed as the only color maintaining an antiseptic atmosphere. By 1942, a definite science of color application for hospitals, known as color therapy, had been established. This was the immediate predecessor of the color dynamics principles or the scientific application of paint to promote efiiciency and comfort in man-made surroundings. Practical color schemes in war plants increased production by raising morale, decreasing absenteeism, reducing accidents, and stimulating a sense of good housekeeping with its attendant economy of operations. This was done by using eye-rest and focal colors in planned contrast rather than depending upon simple reflectivity or mere brightness to accomplish efliciency. The principles of color dynamics utilize a comparatively wide range of carefully chosen colors which atford maximum amount of reflection with minimum absorption and glare. Colors, used in accordance with their natural psychologic, symbolic, and visual characteristics, can be equally effective in the theatre as they were in industry.


Regardless of type, style, or price class, all theatres should be colorustyled to achieve one single purpose: To give patrons the feeling of serenity, well-being, and relaxation necessary for the thorough enjoyment of the presentation. There can be no doubt that people entering or sitting in a pleasant atmosphere will more thoroughly enjoy themselves than they will in sombre or inhar monious surroundings. From its very nature, the theatre should be treated with colors that provoke an immediate feeling of enjoyment. Most theatre operators have recognized this fact and have attempted to employ bright, brilliant colors to achieve this end. Unfortunately, the inexperienced use of more powerful colors, such as reds and blues, can very easily defeat the end results desired. Color harmony produces essentially the same reactions as any other harmony* when properly utilized there is produced a particularly desired effectewhen improperly used it creates confusion.


In color-styling a theatre, the basic characteristics.of the primary colors should be kept in mind.


Yellow, for example, suggests sunlight and warmth and has a cheering and stimulating effect. It can be used extensively in theatres where the absence of natural illumination calls for substitution of a color bordering sunlight in tone.


Blue, on the other hand, is a cool color. Although its basic effect on people is calming and spacious, it can, when incorrectly used, become a depressant. Many theatre owners and others look upon blue as a color expressing, as it were, a sense of sophistication and the ultra-touch in decoration, and have thus

BASIS OF THE PRINCIPLES of color dynamics is the scientific use of contrasting colors. A special series of

colors, known as Focal Colors, has been developed for use in styling interiors. These colors have been selected

from those which afford maximum amount of reflection with a minimum of absodpticn and glare. Color dynumic principles employ eyesrest focal colors and planned contrast to achieve maximum visual efficiency with the least effect upon the eye muscle.

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used it more extensively than it should be. There is a lesson in that old saying of fa blue Monday" for theatre decorators, for the phrase has foundation in scientific fact.


The one color found predominantly in theatre decoration that should be used with utmost discrimination is red. Commonly associated with danger, fire, and excitement, a little red can go a long way in any color scheme. Too great use of it can very easily cause irritation.


Green, partaking of the better characteristics of its blue and yellow components, is an ideal color for theatres. This is a particularly appropriate color for the walls of the lobby opposite the doors leading from the auditorium, because of its eye-resting qualities. The theatre patron, emerging from the dark audie torium, goes through a momentary nearblindness, and the green on the wall opposite his eyes will greatly facilitate the readjustment of his vision. In a like manner, the walls of the lobby and foyer should be in tones which will expedite the adjustment of the eyes with least possible muscular reaction. Generally, the color of the lobby should be yellow of about the shade of suntone. This is considerably less brilliant than sunshine and paves the way for the gradual adjustment of the eyes to the ultimate darkness of the auditorium. The foyer should be finished in hues of green further to ease the readjustment. A particularly attractive and adaptable color for foyer wall treatments is the vista green, which proved so effective in easing the eyestrain of industrial workers.


Violet is another color which is found in the decorative schemes of theatres. Although this has a formality and richness, inherited from its red and blue sources, its practical uses are very limited. Perhaps a touch of violet in stage drapes or hangings should be the extent of theatre, usage of this color, commonly associated with royalty and luxury.


The brightest of all colors is orange. This is made from red and yellow and possesses the attributes of both. Although it is the most cheerful of all colors, it has a great impact force on the eye and is, consequently, tiring. Except for tints and shades, it should be used sparingly in theatre decoration.


Admittedly, the theatre presents a color styling problem not found in practically any other type public building. The exterior of the theatre should be colorful, but the lighter cream colors, attractive and appealing patterns can be achieved. The great percentage of the interior area of the theatre is devoted to the auditorium, which is dark for approximately 100 per cent of the time. However, when the lights do go on between shows or at intermissions, the

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 132