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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 427 (413)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 427
Page 427

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 427

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Sidewalk Heating Prevents Ice Formation

Patron Safety and Good Will Are Promoted Through-a Low-Temperature Heating System

The winteris snow, ice, and sleet poses no sidewalk cleaning problems for Edward J. Modie, Barnesville, Ohio, theatre owner.

The sidewalk in front of his two theatres in the eastern Ohio community, a few miles west of Wheeling, West Virginia, has been transformed into a large, low-temperature, heating unit which melts snow as quickly as it falls, prevents ice from forming and eliminates all snow shoveling and the use of chemicals.

Modie used to have a crew of ushers with mops in the lobbies of the Ohio and State theatres to clean up slush and water tracked in by patrons. Then he heard about automatic snow melting systems and became the first theatre proprietor in America to install one.

Even in the worst snowstorm last winter, his sidewalks remained dry and free from snow and ice. Patrons did not have to trudge through drifts or risk a spill on an icy sidewalk to reach the ticket windows of the show houses which are situated only a short distance apart on the main street of the Ohio town.

Modie reports that his snow-free, icefree sidewalks have gained for him considerable goodwill among the citizenry of Barnesville, because the local ration board officeewhere, at one time or another, virtually everyone in town pays a visiteis located between the two theatres and within the sidewalk heating zone.

Any good plumbing or heating contractor can install an automatic snow melting system. It is not a gadget. It merely is a principle of heat engineering, like the principles involved in ordinary heating systems.

To install the system, the 120-foot sidewalk in front of the theatre was torn up. Then wrought iron pipeeused because it resists corrosionewas shaped into coils, positioned over the gravel fill the full length of the walk and embedded in concrete that formed the new sidewalk. Coils are suspended in the concrete so that they are approximately 21,4} inches from the surface. The concrete is (S to 8 inches thick.

In this adaptation of the principle of radiant heating, wrought iron pipe is generally used because its coefficient of expansion is that of the concrete, which eliminates the chance of cracking due to unequal expansion rates.

During winter, the system is kept in Continuous operation. A small circulator pump forces hot water from the automatic gas heater in the theatre basement through the coils and the concrete is warmed just enough to melt any snow that may fall. Residual water evaporates quickly. Ice does not form. Modie declares that the sidewalk becomes dry in short order after a rainfall.

Water temperature in the system is kept about 95 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit


INSTALLING WROUGHT IRON PIPE COILS for a snow-removal system in front of the Ohio and State Theatres, Barnesville, Ohio, is shown in (his picture from the A. M. Byers Company. Edward I. Modie, owner of both theatres, reports that the system keeps the sidewalks free from snow, ice, and sleet. Such an installation as this resembles a radiant heating system operated at a low temperature level.

by an aquastat on the return main that automatically increases the flame of the boiler when the water drops below required temperature. To protect the system against freezing when it is not in operation, anti-freeze solution has been added to the water.

Although Modie is thought to have been the first theatre manager to install such a snow removal arrangement, his is not the first such system, since several department stores, industrial plants and private residences have similar sidewalk and driveway installations. The potentialities of these systems are vast. Hospitals, churches, schools and similar institutions are studying the advantages of removing snow without costly shoveling or the use of chemicals from sidewalks, steps, and driveways.

Airport oflicials envision the utilization of underground snow melting systems to keep runways and taxi strips

open and clear. The funds spent by airfield managements throughout the country in one season for equipment and labor to remove snow is a staggering figure. One airport alone has over $100,000 invested in equipment like plows and tractors. But even with such equipment, manual attempts at removing snow to keep runways clear sometimes are futile for the snow piles up so fast that by the time one section is cleared, another is blocked. And then ice forms to introduce a very serious hazard to take-offs and landings.

Cost of installing these unique systems is nominal compared to the expense of manually removing snow. Operation costs are considered to be very low. A Pittsburgh engineer who installed heating pipes in his driveway reports that it cost him only 60 cents to remove 15 inches of snow from about 400 square feet of surface.

THE IZO-FOOT LONG SIDEWALK in front of the two theatres in an eastern Ohio community has been turned into a heating unit which melts snow and keeps the pavement dry and clear. Wrought iron healing pipes were embedded in the concrete before it was poured. Wrought iron is used because the coefficient of expansion is the same as that oi concrete, eliminating cracking. (Byers' photo.)
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 427