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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 198 (186)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 198
Page 198

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 198

FIGURE lle'l'he first step in selecting a site for a drive-in theatre is to check the potential patron strength. It is suggested to the smaller exhibitor to stick to areas of 30,000 to 75,000 population, where competition will be slow in entering and where patrons are not apt to demand costly, but minor details. This drive-in is set back only 50 feet from the highway, due to lack of lot depth in this situation.

job outstanding through the intelligent use of neon and other lighting. The drive-in theatre is a night operation and, while it must be pleasing in appearance during the daylight hours, it must be detinitely inspiring at nightesomething which will cause favorable comment from those who view it to the end that their favorable comment will be responsible for a large amount of free publicity which is beyond price from the exhibitorsi angle. A display of this kind is shown in Figure 5, in which the "Sidney Lust" is in red neon and the uDrive-In Theatre" is in scintillating yellow bulbs. While this is one of the more simple

FIGURE 12#This screen tower building is set back 600 leet trom the highway. The extra depth shows the building up to advantage, in addition to taking all at the waiting cars from the main highway. Another reason tor such setbacks is that certain states have started to control drive-in

types of signs, it is extremely effective, both during the daylight and the dark hours.

The installation of the transparent type of changeable letter attraction board to the front elevation of the building also greatly assists in reducing the apparent height of the structure, and the projecting break at the ground level aids materially in giving the structure a greater depth in addition to increasing the available usable floor space within the structure. In many instances, however, where the screen building is located a considerable distance back from the highway a V-type attraction board

should be set between the highway and the screen building. Two such boards are shown in Figures 6 and 7. Although the board of Figure 6 cost three times that of the Figure 7 board, the latter has a most pleasing appearance both day and night.

The floor area of the screen building frequently provides space for the manageris ofiice, electrical distribution room, girls, locker room, and boys, locker room. Several of the newer and larger operations also provide a managers suite, which will compare favorably with the suites in the better class apartment houses. These suites are not an additional item of expense as in every instance the manager has been willing to have from $25 to $40 per month deducted from his earnings so that, over a period of years, the suite Will be paid for in cash saving. Furthermore, the management of a drive-in theatre is practically a twenty-four hour a day job, if the manager has to travel any distance from his home to his work, so he is more than willing to live on the site provided the living quarters are made attractive to him.


As is usual with most every type of operation, there is a considerable variation of opinion as to the proper type of ticket oflice that should be used with a drive-in theatre operation. The problem to be solved is to pass the cars by the ticket ofiice at sufficient speed to prevent them blocking the highway, and the solutions are many. But the best one, in the opinion of the writer, is that of having the ticket office open and ready for business when the first car arrives, usually about 2 hours before the show starts, in order to prevent a long line of cars building up in advance of the real rush.

When the ticket offlce is opened early 21 really good cashier should be able to keep it moving with about four girl carhops helping in the ticket sales; but, with the average run of cashiers, it is often necessary to have two in the

theatre operations chiefly because oi the traffic conditions which are developed by them. One state, tor example, requires an entrance drive 104 feet wide, and thirteen lanes for traffic to turn of! the main highway. (Compare Figures 11 and 12 with Figures 1. 2. 3, and 4 on layout.)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 198