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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 190 (168)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 190
Page 190

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 190

Theatre Design and Construction in Mexico

Architect Tells about Building Activity And Some Special Problems Met and Solved

The construction of theatres in the City of Mexico from 1930 to the present has kept pace with the rapid expansion of the cityis population from 500,000 to 2,000,000. inhabitants.

Many important theatres, such as the Alameda, the Palacio Chino, the Metropolitan, the Encanto, the Teresa, and the Chapultepec, with a capacity of from 3,000 to 4,000 and a cost of up to 3,000,000 pesos, have been completed in this time. At the moment, the Latino, the Cosmos, the Opera, the Plaza, and three other yet unnamed theatres are under construction. These theatres have a capacity ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 per sons and have a cost up to 7,000,000 pesos.


The City of Mexico, contrary to popular belief, has a temperate climate tending toward the cold. The average temperature ranges between 13 and 19 degrees Centigrade (56 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit), and suifers enormous variations during the course of the day, sometimes registering changes of as much as 50 degrees F. The mornings are cold. The mid-day is hot, due to the great intensity of the tropic sun, and the evenings and nights are cool to cold. Pines and palms

THE CINE TERESA is distinguished by the absence of decoration in the sense that the United States theatreman uses the term. At the left is seen one of the stairways to the balcony, with the granite risers protected with bronze fronts. The wall paneling is also notable. At the right is the mezzanine foyer, on which


Engineer and Architect

grow together, and there are flowers all year round. Often in December roses are blooming under leafless trees. Although it never-or only every 20 or 30 yearsiesnows in the city, the peaks of the volcanoes that tower over the capital are perpetually covered with snow and ice.

One might say that the climate of Mexico was "air-conditioned by naturexi for as summer comes on, in May, the northeast winds bring in moisture from the Gulf Stream in the Gulf of Mexico, and when this moisture meets the cold atmosphere of the Sierra, dense clouds are formed, tempering the heat of the sun and producing a long rainy season, lasting from May to September. During this season it rains almost every afternoon and the freshness of the rain relieves the intense heat of the morning sun. As winter supplants summer, the heavy clouds begin to disappear, giving way to a bright sun that does much to modify the cold, especially in those places with a southern, eastern, or western exposure. These places can always count on solar calefaction. Solar heaters often heat bath water to a temperature of 124 de


grees F. after only two hours of sun in the dead of winter. And there is always



Mexico City is at an altitude Of 8,000 feet above sea level and the mountain air, the relative humidity of which is very'low (15 to 50 per cent), has been made the most of in the use of evaporative cooling systems for theatres. During the construction of the Cine Teresa, an acute shortage 0f electric power made the use of mechanical-electric refrigeration impossible. At that time, a plan was presented for cooling the air by canalizing it through air washers containing water at a temperature of 13 to 15 degrees C. (56 to 59 degrees F.) to modify the heat produced by an audience of 3,500 persons, the only charge of heat that would need to be reduced. It was discovered, however, that it would be necessary to introduce a minimum of 100,000 cubic feet of air per minute, an excessive amount for a small, mid-week audience. Due to this discovery, a plan was worked out

through the cooperation of two engineers, E. N. MacKinney, of the Sturtevant com pany, and Calvin Barnes, by which the flow of air could be modified. This was to be accomplished by means of radial swing dampers placed at the mouth of

level are located the menls room (beyond the arch, left background) and the ladies' room (at a comparable spot at the left). Note the absence of obvious fabrics and the accent on marble and granite. The statue adds a touch of classicism, carried out further in the proscenium decoration of Muses and Graces.

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 190