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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 562 (546)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 562
Page 562

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 562

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL cup-vending machines are considered lo be the dual-flavor dispensers, such as this machine manufactured by C. C. Bradley and Son, Inc. The arrangement has special advantage for the large-volume situation, for. besides giving a choice of drinks, one side is always available should the other be out of order. The two sides are separate, even though flavor may be the same.

sion counter can outsell any vending machine, except the beverage vendor. For several reasons-usually wider selectivity, better display, as well as personal attention#the average theatre patron seems to prefer to buy his candy from a counter rather than a machine. But the reverse is generally true of the soft drink vendor. This machine handles beverage sales more quickly, more efficiently than would be possible to sell bottles over a counter.

However, both types of operation can be used simultaneously, if so desired, one supplementing the other. The merchandising machine, operating at all times, can accommodate off-hour patrons when the counter might conceivably be closed.

A small self-contained soda fountain unit, which is capable of dispensing 250 to 275 six-ounce drinks an hour, has recently been developed by the Charles E. Hires Company. This machine, serving drinks in paper cups, is manually operated. To my belief, this equipment makes an ideal tie-in with candy counters, as it can be operated by the attendant selling other merchandise, which means a saving in laboreas well as in space. The machine requires an area of only 19% inches deep, 241/2 inches wide, and 56% inches high. Installation of this unit is relatively easy. Conventional type electrical outlets can be used, a water supply piped in through the regular plumbing system. The draining problem is slight, as provisions have been made for a waste bucket in case of excess Water. Units are equipped with hermetically sealed compressors in order to meet various fire ordinances. Handling of the product is comparatively simple, with no bottles or ice to handle.

Installed and operated in conjunction with the candy counter, thid type unit should prove a profitable piece'of equipmentggto the theatre owner. Cost of serving a drink through a manually controlled machine in paper cups is con' siderably less than serving the same drink in a bottle. Excluding charges

for labor, it usually costs 31/3 cents to serve a drink in a bottle, making 12/3 cents profit over ingredient costs on each 5-cent sale; while the cost of serving the same size drink, including the cost of paper cups, through such a self-contained unit, would be approximately 11/2 cents, or a profit of 3%) cents on the nickel sale. Both these sets of figures are based upon actual product costs.

Recently, a major beverage company installed a super sales counter in a New York theatre. Specially designed by the theatres art director, this counter, handling only bottle goods, was set up to manage the sale of 8,000 drinks a day. It has five built-in refrigerated cabiinets capable of holding 1,500 bottles. However, it is my opinion that efficiency in selling carbonated beverages in hottles in theatres is greatly difficult to attain because of excess handling of the product.


It is rather difficult to obtain actual sales volume of the number of drinks sold through cup vendors, but from data that we have been able to gather, the average cup dispenser sells between 4,000 and 5,000 drinks a week. In ceftain large theatres, depending upon the picture playing and also upon the weather, cup-vending machines have been known to sell 5,000 drinks in a single day.

To do the most good, the vendor should be placed in a prominent position in the lobby, or lounge, or wherever traffic is heaviest. It should be well forward so as to be easily accessible to patrons.

In large lobbies the space that the machine occupies is, of course, of little importance. However, a 1,000-cup machine, standing about 6 feet in height, will on the average occupy an area as small as 3 by 2 feet.

But size, in the opinion of most theatre managers, is secondary to appear ance. It is all to the best if the machine can tie in with the decoration scheme

of the theatre, but in any event it should be neat and well-kept. A good-looking, clean machine is an asset to the lobby .and an invitation to the customer, which

means better business for the manager.

Cup-vending machines are installed on a percentage basis. The operating company puts in the equipment at his own expense and makes the necessary arrangements for water and electric supply. It is his responsibility to keep the machine operating at all times and to keep it well stocked. Generally speaking, this means servicing at least once a day. It is also his responsibility to keep the equipment clean-although, in some cases, theatre managers cooperate by having their janitor dust the machine in his daily round of housecleaning other theatre equipment.

In theatre locations there is a limited amount of pilferage or abusive treatment to the machine, because of the constant presence of theatre attendants, so that operators are able to pay commissions from 20 to 25 per cent of the gross intake, based upon the number of drinks sold. A

Installation of cup-vending equipment is relatively simple. The machines are compact in themselves, as the unit is really a self-contained soda fountain with a mechanical coin and a cup-dispensing device enclosed in a steel box. They can be installed almost anywhere in the theatre, as arrangements can be made to use the conventional type electrical outlet and a water supply can be piped in. Draining is really no problem, provision being made inside the machine in case of excess water.

Especially attractive to theatre owners is the fact that the firm installing the equipment bears all the expense of installation, as well as servicing, and the only responsibility of the theatre is the protection of the equipment from abuse.

Generally the machine operates on regular 110 volts a. c.--just about as simple as plugging in the radio or a door lamp. The cord, of course, is considerably heavier, because it is carrying a bigger (cooling) load, but no special wiring is required.

In some cases, water is furnished by the company in tanks, but generally is piped in through regular plumbing lines. Carbonated in the machine, the water is cooled in a supply tank, which makes for speed of delivery, so that when a customer puts his nickel in, the cooled carbonated water mixes with the cooled syrup and pours out into a six-ounce cup, ready for drinking, in a matter of seconds. ,

The latest cup-type vendors, with a capacity of more than 411/; cases of bottle drinks, arequire but one servicing daily. This may take the brief time of 10 minutes, and the machine is back in business with its tremendous capacity refilled, ready to serve the next customer, without waiting for a cooling period. These vendors are designed for peak production, and fill the bill in a theatre location with large volume,where speed of delivery is essential.

According to our information, the most successful cup-vending machines operated in theatres today are dual-flavor, offering Hires and another drink. This arrangement has a special advantage for the large-volume location, which theatre

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 562