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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 255 (231)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 255
Page 255

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 255

layout based on this height, the overhead height for fiying all equipment can be easily determined. However, in a majority of cases, it is found there is more space provided than is absolutely necessary and this, of course, should be avoided in the interest of economy.

The type of gridiron is next to be considered and this type of stage will operate satisfactorily from either the underhang type or the upright type. Experience, however, shows that the upright type is most economical, safest and most satisfactory.

The amount of space from the gridiron to the roof need not be more than 5 feet between the roof girders. On this type of stage, all stage-operating equip, ment comes down to the fioor and no iiy lofts are required. The control board is panelled in the proscenium wall and thus takes up no stage space, and is very handy for operation. The number of sets as listed above is ample for most productions, but additional sets may be added at a later date if desired.

Fire-Proof Curtain

On a stage of this type an asbestos curtain is required, although there are cases where this requirement has been waived. This would seem to be a poor policy, since the insurance underwriters recognize the value of a properly working asbestos curtain and make allowance for same in their rates. The liability companies, however, do not make any allowance in their rates, in spite of the fact that, in case of fire, the flow of smoke and gases into the auditorium would blind the audience and stifle their efforts in getting out. This has happened in many theatre fires and, of course, the failure of the liability companies to rec STAGES WITH OVERHEAD SPACE are, of course, more sumptuously equipped, especially because of the ability to fly equipment. Here is a diagram for such a stage, utilizing an asbestos curtain, proscenium valance, the proscenium traveler curtain, concert border light, grand drape, main act traveler curtain, screen, sound

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ognize the value of fire curtains does not exempt the owner from liability claims and actions. It would, therefore, seem that the owner for his own protection should insist upon a fire curtain, regardless of the size of the theatre.

Proscenium Decoration

Since the patrons enter the theatre facing the stage and sit facing the stage, the emphasis on interior decoration should be centered on the proscenium. Oftimes we see a beautiful proscenium with a cheap valance and a curtain which does not harmonize with the rest of the interior. All eyes are focused on this point and the public is quick to detect any shortcomings. The front curtain and valance, or other treatment of the proscenium opening, therefore, should be of such quality and workmanship that it will instantly appeal to the public.

Contour Curtains

Contour curtains are fast taking the. place of the proscenium draw curtain and valance, and make a very attractive treatment of the proscenium opening. The non-selective contour curtain is not expensive, particularly when taking into consideration that it eliminates the customary valance, drawing curtain, and track.

The contour curtains may be over ated from the projection booth or from the stage since they are motor operated.

There seems to be a desire on the part of many architects to use a curved proscenium opening and this type of proscenium can often be made very attractive, but it does not adapt itself very well to draw curtain track operation. Contour curtains, however, can be installed and







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operated on any radius. The proscenium curtain should be opaque, which effect may be obtained by using either heavier velours unlined, or the finer silks and satins properly lined. This is also true of the screen curtain when stage activities are to be carried on back of such curtain. Other drops, side legs, and so forth may be made from the cheaper materials such as rep, and the color should lean toward neutral shades to enable the lighting to produee the best effects.


The lighting for stages of this type need not be expensive. However, it should be remembrred that cheap lighting equipment is always the most expensive. The stage floor should be provided with suitable outlets for plugging in spotlights and the like, and there should be a few extra circuits available at the switchboard.


In this proper design of a stage there are a great many considerations and no two stages are exactly alike. There is no stock plan which will serve all types of stages. It follows, therefore, that the best and safest way to build and equip a stage is to design it very completely in advance, particularly when we take into consideration that space must be found for much other equipment such as hot and cold air ducts, water and steam pipes, and the like.

All of this equipment must be fitted in in such a manner that the stage may be easily and ediciently operated.

This can be done in all cases when proper thought is given at the proper time. The proper time is before the steel plan for the building is drawn.

horns, ceiling border, intermediate border light, ceiling border, draw curtain, border light, and back drop. This equipment, together with scenery, makes the stage available to practically anything short of a Ziegfeld extravaganza-and even these might be successfully staged in tabloid form with this equipment.






1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 255