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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 101 (90)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 101
Page 101

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 101

The Helix

La Mesa, California

In both concept and execution this new theatre is radically different.

Deriving its name from Mount Helix which identifies the general region, it is situated in an highly competitive suburb of San Diego. In the immediate area are three exceptionally lush drive-ins and a deluxe neighborhood first run playing day-and-date with downtown. It is the kind of location where a theatre needs to be outstanding in order to attract a discriminating clientele and where an ordinary theatre might suffer by comparison. So the Helix had to be good!

On La Mesa Boulevard at University Avenue, there is a heavy flow of automobile trafiic but virtually no pedestrians. Therefore the 45,000 square feet parking lot to accommodate 125 cars, asphaltic covered and landscaped, with easy access


and egress to both the main highway and a back street, was of paramount importance.

In the building itself, a lot of old tradition and practice was torn up and thrown away. Situated in a mild climate where lighter weight structural methods could endure, a Lamella (wood waffle) roof was mounted on six and one half feet high and ten inch wide reinforced concrete walls which due to the grade elevation produced an inside height of 14 feet at the proscenium wall. As the owners simply state: "All savings in structure were spent at eye level where it would mean something in attracting patronsf,

A white lattice panel underset with green neon and with a background of dark green, features the front and sets

off the name sign. A waffled copper facia around the canopy of the porte cochere of the entrance drive, is repeated in the boxofiice base, in the main entrance door panels, and in the auditorium dado trim. A Perey turnstile is the modern replacement for the traditional doorman, and the patrons like it!

The interior is as rich and inviting, with the accent on new materials and new concepts. Lacquered squares of salmon colored striated plywood feature the auditorium sidewalls. Plum colored front walls are highlighted with sculptured figures of a theatrical theme tied together with a gigantic strip of film. Black jumbo buttons are used as push-plates on all doors. And a double terrazo drinking fountain boasts of two levels, Hfor junior and for his mamafi

There is plenty of idea value in the Helix!

A CARVED PLASTIC BOXOFFICE. a dramatic marquee with neon strips that conform to the lattice idea, and enameled white splayed frame poster cases, set off a front that is sparklingly different. The manager's office is positioned so that he can see both the foyer and parking lot from his desk. There is a well furnished. and beautifully decorated. glass fronted "Monkey Room" off the foyer. where smokers or atrons with small or restless children can enyoy the show without annoying others.




1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 101