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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 160 (148)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 160
Page 160

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 160


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FIGURE leThe grounds around the perimeter of the panel, Whether it be rectangular or irregular in shape, should be 3 inches in width. with a secondary ground on the outer edge 1 inch wide and 15 inches thick. This last is used as a tacking strip for the decorative fabric and the 1.5-inch thickness is required so the fabric can be smoothly stretched without allowing it to touch the rockwool but below.

graph on Stadiums are all applicable to the mezzanine construction.

The access to the mezzanine will be by means of two stairways, one on either side, from the foyer level to a cross aisle at the uppermost level of the mezzanine, or to the level of the first row and front cross aisle at the side seat banks. The design may develop where a mezzanine foyer is desired and with this scheme, the stairs would end at the mezzanine foyer level and the mezzanine Seating will be reached through a vomitory or vomitories from this foyer. The last-mentioned scheme rarely occurs when only a mezzanine is included but is primarily used when a full balcony is indicated.

The width of the last stepping in a stadium, mezzanine or balcony, also that of the stepping in front of a cross aisle with a solid railing, must be increased over the normal width 91/2 inches to provide clearance for the top of the sloping backs of the chairs. In a very large balcony where the last row of seats is a great height above the stage, this figure can be reduced to 6% inches as in such instances the seat backs will be tilted forward at their tops to provide the necessary comfort.


The proscenium is the area at the stage end of the theatre embraced in the. normal range of vision by seated patrons looking directly at the stage or picture. This includes the wall dividing the stage and the auditorium, the proscenium arch and the wall areas for a certain distance at either side of the proscenium arch. This is the space in the auditorium which does not require acoustical treatment, and, therefore, can be made a design feature with ornamental plaster, painted decoration and special lighting effects, in conjunction with a colorful and well designed stage setting.

The proscenium opening or arch should, of course, be of proper proportion and the permanent construction for this feature should allow for draping with borders and legs inside of the opening which will still permit the proper sight lines from the side seats, also to clear the light beam from the projection machines.

There will be some cases, of course,

where no provision will be made for a ,

stage or platIorm and no proscenium wall or opening, but with the screen on the back wall of the theatre. In such cases it is preferable to provide for installation of the horns directly behind the screen rather than to one side or below it.


Although a motion-picture theatre is designed and built primarily for the showing of pictures only, sooner or later it will be found desirable to have some sort of a platform for speeches, Bingo, or other promotional activities which are an inherent adjunct to the operation of a theatre.

Since there should always be a space of 18 to 20 feet between the picture screen and the first row of seats, this space with the exception of a 5-foot aisle in front of the first row can be used for a platform 3 to 4 feet above the orchestra floor, and this platform with a proscenium-arch treatment provides for the necessary space and facili, ties for hanging a screen curtain, and closing in to the picture with draperies, and so forth which can add greatly to, and be the general focal point for the decor of the auditorium. The screen curtain should be hung on a track, and opened and closed by an automatic electric curtain machine controlled by push buttons on stage and in the projection booth.

Footlights, border lights, or fioods in the auditorium ceiling, also operated

from the projection booth, should be provided for lighting the platform or stage when being used as such and for lighting the screen curtain and stage set at the opening and closing periods.

In connection with the above recommendations, it should be noted that such an operation is not possible in some localities on account of agreements with the local stage handsl union. Such agreements and union rules should be checked for the particular locality.

Easy access to the stage platform should be provided at each side of the proscenium.

Plastering or finishing of the walls and ceiling of the stage is not necessary or desirable since it is closed from the View of the audience by the stage set, but provision should be made in the ceiling construction for the hanging of the tracks, borders, and the like.

The floor of the stage should be hard Wood 21,4-inch face and stained a dark color to offset refiections of the light beam, or concrete covered with linoleum.

The stage equipment necessary to operate a motion-picture theatre with provisions for an occasional civic program, vaudeville act, and so forth, does not require the construction of a gridiron and counter-weight equipment to hang and fiy scenery, but certain provisions

should be made to hang the necessary.

legs, borders and curtain, either permanently or in such a manner that they can easily be lowered for cleaning or replacement. For this reason a suspended or otherwise plastered ceiling is neither necessary nor desirable.

If fire-proofing is required on the steel beams which support the stage roof, or if theSe should be of reinforced concrete, then, clip angles projecting below the tire-proofing, or in the case of reinforced concrete, steel eyes should be provided for in the construction details. These should be attached in alignment across stage and up and down stage at the location of the different stage drapes.

The usual complement of stage draperies for a theatre of the size and type in question will consist of a screen curtain about 1 foot in front of the motionpicture screen, a main valance directly behind the proscenium arch and two intermediate sets of masking borders and legs, so placed and of sufficient width and depth to mask the off stage space from the front row of seats.

In many cases, an additional main proscenium curtain may be installed directly behind the valance.

Since the stage height will not permit flying these curtains, they will be made in pairs with a 4-foot center overlap and hung on tracks so rigged to permit the curtains to be opened from the center towards each side of the stage. The curtains may be operated by hand, but in this kind of operation they should each be equipped with automatic curtain machines controlled by push buttons located on the stage, also on the front wall of the projection room at each machine location.

In order properly to hang, tie off, and mask the stage set, the distance from the underside of the proscenium arch to the underside of the stage roof beams should be at least 4 feet.

The curtain tracks will be attached to a pipe or wooden batten by means of leveling chains, and the batten will be

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 160