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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 151 (139)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 151
Page 151

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 151

have clear exit space for outgoing patrons during normal operation, and also complete control in case of a panic. To do this, provision must be made in the plan for the layout of the removable standee posts and the installation, preferably during construction, of the sockets for these posts. In some cases standees will be held only at the rear of the center bank of seats or the two center banks in case the seating is laid out with a center aisle. The standees are ,then fed into the aisles as fast as the seats are empty and the aisles cleared. It is sometimes desirable to provide for two cut-off ropes, the second one about 5 feet behind the first, to serve as a lock and to be operated by the usher when necessary to prevent the crowd from getting beyond control.

The theatre designer will find that any experienced theatre manager or operator have some very definite and very efficient ideas regarding the method of controlling hold-outs, and the arrangements of the barriers, and should be consulted in this regard.

The construction of the standee posts and rails or ropes should be thoroughly streamlined with recessed eyes and Without sharp projections to catch and tear the patrons clothes. In some cases it may be required that the connecting ropes be equipped in center with a friction connecting link which will separate when suchient pressure is applied in case of emergency. These would not usually be required unless the ropes cut off the line of travel to the emergency exits,

The short feed ropes which are operated by the usher to permit the standees to proceed to the seating area should be located a suiiicient distance from the aisle to allow the usher on duty to operate without interfering with the aisle trafiic. (See Figure 12.)


The auditorium is the principal room in the theatre so far as the public is concerned and is the space in which the patrons spend the greater portion of their time while attending a show. It, therefore, holds that this room should be designed, constructed, furnished and decorated to provide the maximum amount of comfort and pleasure possible for these customers. There is no question that many people will attend a theatre which has these attributes even though the picture currently showing may be, inferior, in their opinion, to the one on view in a competitive house, in which they feel uncomfortable, for one reason or another.

Auditorium Plans

There are four basic plans to consider in the design of a motion-picture theatre, namely: (1) the single floor plan, (2) the orchestra and mezzanine plan, (3) the orchestra and balcony plan, (4) the stadium plan.

in a theatre of 1,500 seats or under, a large balcony would rarely be required and the most economical plan would probably be one which would have 1,000 to 1,200 seats in the orchestra, and the balance in a small mezzanine. Since the seating area in the mezzanine overlaps the seating area of the orchestra, there is a definite. saving in the. side wall and the roof umstruction. This type also re 1947-48 THEATRE CATALOG

sults in more seats nearer the screen than in either the one-floor house or the stadium type.

The stadium plan of course has advantages in certain cases depending on the site and the number of seats required, and also has some advantage in requiring less personnel for the operation. As against these advantages it results in the greatest viewing distance from the rear seats and also the longest throw from the projection booth.

When the seating capacity of the theatre is over 1,000 seats, the most economical plan is the one door and mezzanine. The orchestra floor in such a house will in most cases have sufficient

capacity for weekly matinees While the mezzanine can be closed off and only used when business requires the additional seating capacity.

The retiring rooms in this plan should be located on the orchestra floor level for proper control with the least personnel. If the stairs from the mezzanine are so located as to lead directly from the front of the aisles to the foyer, and the highest seat bank is not more than 15 feet above the foyer, then under most codes no fire escapes or fire towers are required from the mezzanine, and the control of the public is very much simplified for the manager and his staff.

FIGURE 12*Sketch showing layoul lot hold-cu! posts in the standee foyer. The short feed ropes should be located cl sufficient distance from the aisle to allow the usher on duty to operate them without interfering with the aisle traffic. Sicmdee posts and rails (or ropes) should be streamlined with recessed eyes and no sharp projections which might catch and tear the patrons' clothes.






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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 151