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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 31 (19)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 31
Page 31

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 31

Quonsets in Low-Cost Theatre Construction

The Arch-Ribbed Structures Are Redesigned And Engineered to Meet Codes Requirements

The past year has seen the Quonset ttcatch-on,y in the theatre industry as the basic part of a low-cost, attractive movie house particularly suited to the small community. TREND TO QUONSET

The trend toward Quonsets for smallcommunity houses perhaps may be best observed in results of a survey by the manufacturer which disclosed that, as of this past fall, at least 21 such theatres were in operation, 16 others were building and plans for 10 others were on the drawing boards. In view of the fact that approximately two-thirds of the countryis Quonset dealerships did not participate in the poll, it can be fairly reliably estimated that the actual number of such theatre projects-operating and plannedenow exceeds 60.

On the basis of these figures and of hundreds of inquiries received by the building manufacturer concerning its adaptation for theatrical use, it is evident that the Quonset definitely is meeting one of the industryis needs.

These factors have developed during the past 12 months further to stimulate this use of the archwribbed structure: (1) the Quonsets acceptance by the public has increased, as is evidenced by the increasing numbers of these buildings which are being erected throughout the country for many varied uses; (2) recognition of the buildings virtues by the architectural profession, and development by its members of standardized plans and equipment to achieve a truly low-cost theatre; and (3) improvement of the basic building itself by the manufacturer.


In discussing the latter point, it should be recalled that the Quonset was developed as a wartime structure when speed was paramount. Research which had proved the arch-rib as the form best qualified to meet exacting military requirements has been resumed, now tow ward the objective of furnishing peacetime Quonsets for use on a world-wide basis. This meant redesign and engineering the structures to meet the many variable requirements found in different building codes.

Two changes in the building specifications are of importance to their use as theatres. These are the adoption of a high tensile strength alloy steel for framework, and doubling of the buildingts ribs whenever additional strength is required or indicated by climatic and structural-load factors.

High Tensile Alloy

All Quonsets in the 40-foot width, the dimension used for theatres, now have arch-rib framework of N-A-X low alloy, high tensile steel. N-A-X high tensile has approximately twice the strength


HERBERT K. LEWIS Slramswvl Division 0/ (he Cmal Lakes Sle Curpuraliun

and four times the corrosion resistance of ordinary structural steel. This means added building life.

Concerning structural requirements in various localities, it should be explained that in view of the differing geo graphical requirements in two sections of the country, the sections have been designated by the Quonset manufacturer as Zones A and E. Zone A consists of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,

Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Zone B is comprised of the remaining states, whose more severe winters bring heavier snow and ice loads. '

Stronger Design

The Quonset 40 is produced in two types, A and B. Each type is specified for the respective and differing requirements of its corresponding zone. The B type differs from the A in that it has additional bridging and purlins in the framework.

THE MELODY THEATRE, Port Hueneme, California, was designed by Loy L. Smith for M. C. Kennedy. P. E. Smith, and F. H. Eddington. The theme of the design was an echo of the Quonset halt-moon by a horizontal half-ring (open) marquee and half-round store fronts. Cost of the structure alone was $40,000, including fees and financing. and cost of equipment was $25,000. Audltonum ls seen below.
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 31