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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 194 (182)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 194
Page 194


1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 194

FIGURE 3-Layout "C" gives a suggestion for the approach and exit drives, with an alternate treatment indicated in Figure 4. Although there are dozens of arrangements which can be used, they will conform. in a general way. to one of the three shown on the Layouts A. B. and C. The most important detail regarding the design is sufficient distance between highway and screen building

that can pOSsibly be omitted.

The writer cannot recall a single instance where a drive-in theatre was constructed without the aid of an experienced designer that did not cost the owner more than the designers fee for the construction alone and, in many instances, the operating expense and maintenance costs often equal the amount of such fee each year the show is in operation.

SELECTING THE SITE

Naturally, the first step in selecting a site for a drive-in theatre is to check the potential patron strength, and the writers suggestion to the smaller exhibitor is to stick by the smaller communities of from 30,000 to 75,000 population in which competition will be slow to enter and in which localities the patrons will not demand excessive attention to minor, but costly, details.

The second step is to obtain a site which is sufficiently large for the operation which the owner has in mind. It is surprising to know of the large number of properties which are purchased and which turn out to be about half large enough for the project. Acres, as acres, mean nothing in determining

the capacity of a drive-in theatre, as these operations are controlled by both width and depth.

A simple, though rough, method of checking the width of a site is to count the spaces between the utility poles across the front, then pace off the distance between two of the poles. For example, a frontage is five poles wide. The paced distance between two of the poles is about 125 feet. Therefore, you have 5 times 125 feet or a width of (325 feet. If this width is sufiicient for your purpose you can then proceed to talk with the owner as to a deal.

In an effort to assist the prospective owner of a drive-in theatre in the selection of a site of sufficient size for his proposed development, the writer has prepared two typical plot layouts which give the size of the land requirements for various car capacities. These layouts are subject to certain variations and many other type and size of sites may be developed into successful drive-in theatre operations, but the typical cases shown will give the owner a general idea as to the area of the land that will be required.

Layout "A" (Figure 1) is the typical, ideal, full-ramp arrangement which is

FIGURE 4-An alternate design to that of Figure 3 is shown here. The most important detail is to

provide sufficient space between the highway and the screen buildi

ng to the end that cars will not

have'to park on the public highway while waiting to pass the ticket office. When waiting cars start blocking highways, there is likely to be friction between the highway patrol and the drive-in theatre.

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the most desired principally because it brings the most cars closest to the screen. You will note that the schedule on the plan gives the number of cars desired, the required width, the required depth, and the number of ramps required for a given number of cars. In each instance, the depth includes a setback from the highway of about 200 feet.

Layout itBn (Figure 2) is the kind of site which is most generally available for the medium-sized drive-in theatres and, as will be noted, the frontage is narrower than in Layout i25G". Of course, a schedule on a site of this type would require pages and pages of detail to show all of the various land dimensions and car capacities, but the data shown will give those who are interested a working idea of what can be done.

Layout "Cf, (Figure 3) gives an alternate suggestion for the approach and exit drives.

Although there are dozens of arrangements which can be used advantageously, they will conform, in a general way, at. lease, to one of the three shown on the Layouts A, B and C. The most important detail regarding the entrance and exit design is to provide sufiicient space between the highway and the screen building to the end that cars will not have to park on the public highway while waiting to pass by the ticket office. When the waiting cars start blocking the public highway, there is likely to be friction between the highway patrol and the theatre, which is not conducive to the spirit of cooperation which is necessary on the part of the patrol.

The foregoing remarks can best be illustrated by Figures 11 and 12, the screen building on the former being set back only 50 feet from the highway due to a site which was not deep enough while the latter has a setback of 600 feet. The extra depth shows the building up to advantage in addition to taking all of the waiting cars from the main highway.

ORDINANCES AND CONTROLS

Another reason for the setback from the highway is that certain states, and certainly more will follow suit, have started to control the drive-in theatre operations, chiefly because of the trafiic conditions which are developed by them.

One midwestern state has established a minimum width of 104 feet for the entrance drive with the statement that there must be thirteen lanes for trafiic to turn off of the highway. The ridiculous angle to this attitude lies in the fact that regardless of how many lanes of traffic. leave the highway these same lanes are bottle-necked down to 40 feet in width at a point approximately 40 feet from the highway so that, actually, this arrangement will cause a more serious traffic congestion than Would almost any other arrangement. Some politician who is definitely ignorant of trach conditions at these operations has spoken. however, and that is the last word.

Another state has recently ordered that no drive-in theatre ticket ofiice may be less than 220 feet from the highway. There is some common sensc in this decision as the driveway from the highway will care for better than fifty cars and a good cashier should not permit more than that number to accumulate. The normal solution to this

THEATRE CATALOG I 947-48
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 194