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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 183 (161)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 183
Page 183

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 183

ated in building codes and fire regulations, require minute consideration of possible solutions, so as to provide the greatest attainable number of perfect seats under given conditions. The length of one continuous row, being limited to 14 seats (seven to each aisle), decides the number of seating blocks. Evidently shorter rows will be leSs economical as to the amount of traffic-lane area necessary for their access. Yet the usual, irregular shape of orchestras and the converging aisles make it rather difficult to maintain an optimum of layout. The main aisles are preferably unbroken; any break of aisles requires cross trail-1c lanes which offset by loss of seats the potential advantage of changing the blocks according to the changing width of the orchestra. Besides, such breaks do not facilitate the assigning of seats and the continuous traffic in motion-picture theatres. An odd number of seating blocks will have the advantage of a rectangular center block with parallel aisles on either side, all rows containing 14 seats. This is then the best section of seats. The arrangement with a center aisle does not seem to be as favorable, because it cuts out the most centered seats; on the other hand, it accommodates two blocks, one on either side, at the same time and creates a larger number of more equivalent seats. Also, an even number of blocks leaves the choice of center aisle or center block, because one block may be divided into two half blocks along the side walls with no outside aisles necessary. This arrangement, however, is not possible When the sidewalls-as they usually do-contain several emergency exits and other traffic requirements. The distance between rows is another point in planning the seating. The tendency is toward a more generous space between rows even at the cost of the loss of one or more rows.

Thus, in a given theatre there is a meager selection of ideal arrangements. New theatres are already built in consideration of most efiicient seating layout. The planning of traffic and exits has, of course, a definite bearing on this problem. With the disappearance of deep stages, exits below or on both sides of the screen take advantage of otherwise useless areas and do not interfere with the seating layout, provided, of course, that the configuration and location of the building lot favors such a solution.

The usual curving of the seat rows is the natural consequence of the general shape of a theatre. The seats facing the center of the stage wall constitute a wider or narrower section of an amphitheatrical plan regardless of the direction of aisles and the exact shape of the enclosing walls. It is evident that, in a motion picture theatre, the angle of this sector should be reduced. The most theoretically adequate shape for a motion-picture theatre is one that is rather narrow and triangular (isosceles), with the screen at the apex of the narrow angle, while that for a stage theatre is like a horseshoe, which consequently, while providing many seats in front and on the extreme sides, would impair by distorted viewing the enjoyment of a screen picture frorn these seats.



Requirements of Vision

In connection with the seating problem it might be pertinent to say a few words about undesirable distortion of screen image, which is one of the crucial points when the requirements for two-dimensional and three-dimensional shows are compared. Theoretically, the distortion of the screen picture works in all directions. A picture seen from the side will elongate all features, seen from above or in a frogis perspective will shorten them. Practically, the sidewise distortions are the more conspicuous; human visual sensation is more sensitive to them than to the distortion in vertical direction, which it tends to correct by mere experience of vision. The raising of the picture, leveling the slope of the orchestra-as explained beforee-and reducing the steepness of balconies will avoid too oblique angles of vision in vertical direction. At the same time, it

makes possible a reduction of the over-all height of the auditorium.

Sidewise distortion is the more present problem because of its annoyance. It can be avoided only by narrowing the angle of the seating sector, thus reducing the seating capacity. The countermeasure for re-establishing the capacity by utilizing the widening back part of the auditorium is possible only in a new structure. The balcony would benefit equally and even more so from the extra width of the back areas. Even then the configuration of the building lot and the wider span of the ceiling in part of the house may oppose or outrule such a solution. Under all circumstances the attempt should be made to equalize as far as possible all seats as regards the an gles of view towards the picture. Not

all advantages should be invested in the orchestra as a preferred area. Balcony and orchestra could be assimilated easily

A FOYER CLUTTERED WITH FURNITURE and palm-tree stands is seen here. Less would really be morel The

fountain figure would be sufficient a feature. A remodel

ing could practically create a new modern Interior,

that would look more like a theatre and less like a museum of fine ans, the while losing none of the pleasing effects that good theatre urchiieciure can easily achieve by modern materials applied in the modern manner.


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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 183