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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 445 (431)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 445
Page 445

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 445

of the fire that occurred on March 30, 1947, at about 11.20 p.m. in the gallery of the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh. Before the firemen arrived, fiames had taken a good hold and the front of the house became a total loss. However, the safety curtain and sprinklers saved the stage and the property behind it.

ttThe members of the theatrical company, which had finished its performance before the fire broke out, saved all its costumes and stage properties. This is the fifth occasion on which fire has damaged the theatre to such an extent as to necessitate rebuilding.

"From the foregoing it will be seen that the protective effect of automatic sprinklers could not be better displayed by a rehearsed demonstration. It is easy to imagine the hold the fire at the front of the house must have had to destroy that part so completely; and yet, where the sprinklers were installed, they came into operation and halted the fire abruptly. Thus we find in one area all the fierceness of a major confiagration and in another, not more than a few feet distant, an absence of fire damage. Members of the staff and company who had removed costumes and scenery to a nearby church hall were able to return the following morning, for the sprinklers had saved the stage, the office, and the dressing-room accommodation behind it. Not only did the sprinklers save the back-stage portion of the theatre itself, but inhabitants of the tenements built on the rear portion of the building were spared the inconvenience, as well as the danger, of what might have been a devastating fire in a congested part of the city.

HThere were two isafety curtainsi in the Edinburgh Theatre Royal: a statutory curtain, such as we have all seen, was one; the other, automatic sprinklers, not displayed by us by legal obligation, but always there, and always ready, and independent of human frailty. The Royal was the only theatre in Edinburgh equipped with sprinklers and reports from the management are enthusiastic about their efficient working on this occasion. Horace Collins, managing director of the theatre, paying tribute to the efficiency of the system says, tSprinklers worked excellently and saved considerable loss to valuable property. I do not think they are used as much as they should be in

theatre construction .


We do not want another Iroquois Theatre fire to happen again in this country. This means to avert such disastrous fires and to insure continuity of operation is available through installation of a properly supervivsed and maintained automatic sprinkler system. The cost of such an installation can be obtained from any member of the National Automatic Sprinkler and Fire Control Association. Your theatre can possess this added fire protection with a minimum of capital investment. The reduction in your insurance cost will pay for the equipment in five to ten years.

The efficiency of automatic sprinklers over a period of 70 years has proved its Value in all types of buildings and occupancies. They are the unseen tiautomatic firemen" that are continuously on guard for instant action when a fire occurs.


THE WORCESTER MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM, Worcester, Massachusetts, is more than three-quarter: protected with automatic sprinklers. The sprinkler system covers over and under the gridiron, the entire basement, back stage, the organ loft, all of the hallways, under the balcony, and as may be seen from the upper picture, in the proscenium arch. (All photos through courtesy of NASH-TIA.)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 445