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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 486 (460)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 486
Page 486

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 486

Unused Roof Space Turned into Profit Area

Creation of a Roof Garden Utilizes Space For Developing Good Will - - - and Profits

Many times in the smaller theatres, there is considerable space seemingly lost to constructive purposes above the second-story level and in front of the high rear wall of the auditorium box.

In the Reese Theatre in Harrington, Delaware, owner Reese Harrington and architect William Lynch Murray (of Hare risburg, Pennsylvania) have combined ideas and talents in such a way that there is utilized all that space which many another theatre quite overlooks.

In front elevation, the Reese Theatre is a nice, smart, modern cinema, but built quite to what one might almost consider to be a conventional pattern for houses in communities of a couple of thousand souls. The island box otlice is in the center of the entrance way, with a store on either side.

Nor are the stores of different ilk from that would be expected in such a spot, particularly since the project bears the communal title of Movie Center. Indeed, with the increasing sales of refreshment items in the theatre and the equally increasing development of similar commercial ventures in association with the theatre, it would have been astounding if the Movie Center Snack Bar had not been included!

Thus far, the plan is quite orthodoxe and as laudable as it is excellently executed in perfect symmetry. At this

THE REESE THEATRE, Harrington, Delaware, is typical of many a modern theatre in small American communities, with its centrally placed box oltice and entrance and the store on either side. Likewise typical of the times is the snack bar and the "Center" idea.

point it was realized that, naturally, a considerable investment had been made: and that there was an area of appreciable dimensions that was not bringing into coffers any return for the moneys spent in creating it. It was the space in front of the theatrels rear wall, comprising actually the roof over the two-story structure that meets the building line. What to do? Might not this space be


THE ROOF GARDEN of the Reese Theatre is a distinct novelty which brings to an area of the theatre structure, formerly ignored as a revenue producer, utility and great service as a builder of community good will - and nice profits for the theatre management.

made to produce revenue? And then Owner Harrington and Architect Murray had an idea. Yes, a roof garden, no less!

And why not! Here, indeed, was the perfect set-up: They have the space, and, through the Snack Bar on the street level, they had the stock-in-trade.

And so it was that the Reese Theatre became, so far as is known, the first cinema to have its private roof garden, a place where, of a summerls evening, the young in heart of all ages may relax in the informal atmosphere of an outdoor tea room at a resort and a sidewalk cafe in the Montmarte all rolled into one-and only a few bloaks from home!

The architectural and constructional details are not available, but it takes no imagination to picture dumbwaiter service between the Snack Bar and the roof garden, and the necessary connections with the theatre that make the tw0 operations one. V

Such a development would not, of course, have to tie in directly with the theatre, although it could be that the place might be made so generally appealing that theatre admission would be almost construed as ttcover charge" and the screen entertainment a tifloor show"!

A venture such as this can hardly fail, and it can be a potent factor in creating good will for the theatrkand a profit for the management!

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 486