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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 172 (150)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 172
Page 172

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 172

Chemists' Developments Find Theatre Uses

Lucite, Nylon, and Plastic-Coated Fabrics To Make Contributions to Post-War Cinemas

With war restrictions on building construction and improvement removed, many theatres, both legitimate and motion-picture, may be in for a face-lifting job. New products of the chemical industry and new applications for old products undoubtedly will influence many proprietors to remodel and renovate their properties, both within and without.

A progressiVe renovation policy has been known to hold many theatre patrons in the face of keen competition. Lack of adequate air-conditioning equipment or none at all is, of course, known to drive patrons into the competitors door. Theatres that need interior rejuvenation generally do not tend to increase their clientele.

Theatre managers must keep a step to the fore in such matters as architectural design and decoration. Showmanship demands it. In this they have a kind of spiritual kinship with the ever-innovating chemical industry. The showman is the first to want to know about the p0ssibilities of anything new from the laboratories. With change likely to be the rule in the post-war world, it may be useful to take a look at how chemical research is now affecting theatre operation and the influences it may bring to bear in the future, based on activities of the E. I. duPont deNemours and Company, Inc., as


Public Relations Department, E. I. drlPonI deNemours and Company. Inc.

a leading manufacturer of chemical products.

Plastics are a good example. While the DuPont company does not expect plastics to be used to any extent as weight-bearing structural members, it is considered likely that they will be found on maintenance equipment and as part of the furnishings and decorations of the average theatre.


The properties of Lucite methyl methacrylate resin, which is an acrylic plastic -crystal-clear, light in weight, and shatter-resistantemake it exceptionally attractive for decorative purposes, particularly for murals, edge-lighted signs, hand rails, and the like.

Lucite push-and-pull bars for doors are already in use in a number of theatres and it is possible that mirrors of Lucite and other plastics will be quite widely used in theatres due to their toughness. Other applications, which emp10y the materials light-transmission characteristics to good advantage, are likely to be mighty welcome in a movie theatre. A

OUT OF AN INEXHAUSTIBLE SOURCE of raw materials-coal, air, and water-chemists have been producing new and vitally important products, like Lucite, the crystal clear plastic manufactured by the E. l. duPont deNemours and Company, Inc. Lucite is clearer than glass, has the ability to pipe light around corners, possesses freedom from color, with strength, lightness, and weather resistance. The photograph, emphasizing the transparency of Lucite, shows one of the many inspections the material must pass in process of manufacture.


bent Lucite rod, for instance, can pipe light around corners and may serve to keep the exit or aisle light glare from/ patronsi eyes.

The possibility of using Lucite sheeting for the face of shadow boxes used on theatre marquees is already in the experimental stage by several individuals, and the results look very promising. Lucite, as is well known, has good weather-resisting and light-carrying characteristics. Some precautions would have to be taken with high-wattage bulbs, but other than this the current grade of sheeting appears to have good possibilities, particularly with the fluorescent type of lighting.

Electrical switchboards and other lighting backstage may involve much use of this material. In many cases, small molded caps of this plastic in various colors are now used on switchboards.

A reflecting lens of Lucite constitutes an important part of a television system now being developed by the RCA Victor Division of the Radio Corporation of America for post-war theatre use. The lens is part of a projecting system employing the optical principle of the Schmidt astronomical camera, but extensive development was required to adapt it to short-throw projection. The high cost of a hand-ground glass correcting lens has been overcome, however, by the development of the methods and equipment for moldng the aspherical correcting lens from clear plastics.


Both nylon, as a plastic, and polythene are highly serviceable as insulating materials and are likely to be of considerable importance in the projection booth and on other theatre equipment. The new nylon compound, which can be applied as a coating on wire at rates of more than 1,000 feet a minute, offers a tough, abrasion-resistant compound for sheathing cables or for the manufacture of tubing. Polythene, the generic name applied to polyethylene plastics by the Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd., and adopted by DuPont, combines remarkable insulating prOperties with extraordinary lightness. It is tough, Hexible, and has excellent chemical resistance.


Public lounges and back-stage dressing rooms no doubt will utilize Plastacele cellulose acetate plastic for liuorescent lighting shields. This material, a veteran in the comparatively young field of plastics, in combination with opaque or translucent louvres, is marketed in the lighting field under the trade-mark Louverplas and is used extensively on fluorescent equipment. The function of this type of lighting shield is to reduce the glare of fiuorescent lighting and concen CATALOG-1945
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 172