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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 167 (156)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 167
Page 167

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 167

better handling of the public, and, in many instances, better access to the boxofflce from the interior of the theatre. It will often be found possible to increase the net entrance width with an arrangement of this kind, which places the greater area of the boxofiice in unused space at the side rather than in the more valuable space in the center of the entrance.

The boxoffice, just as prominent in this location, should face the direction from which most traiiic is expected. Very often, the managers offlce can be re-located directly behind or adjacent to the boxofflce, thereby giving better control, and making it possible to transfer cash from the boxoffice without passing through public spaces. Such an arrangement is especially recommended for smaller theatres, where personnel is small, and the manager is required to attend personally to these details.

Ticket Machines

The lay-out of the boxoffice should be carefully studied in connection with the type of theatre it serves. If the theatre has a mezzanine or balcony, or both, the price policy may call for variouslypriced tickets, and provision should be made for a wider ticket machine. These machines are available in different widths, depending on the number of variously-priced tickets which they dispense at one time. The minimum width allowed for should be a three-unit machine. This should be increased according to requirements, which may call for five or six-unit machines.

If possible, the type of machine should be ascertained, and then the deal plate and ticket counter designed accordingly. For one of the mestipopular machines, the widths of the counterplates are: one, two, and three unit standard#12 inches; four and live unit standardeIS inches, and six unit standard-21 inches.

The ticket counter and the deal plate, whether it be marble, wood, or metal, will have to be rabbeted the thickness of the counterplate 0f the ticket machine (3/32") in order to keep the adjoining surface hush, so that the tickets, when ejected from the machine, will slide, without interference, to the customer.

Support for the ticket machine must either be provided from the floor of the boxofiice or from the front wall. Also, clearance must be provided for the operating motor, which projects from the side of the cabinet enclosing the mechanism. An electric outlet must be provided in the proper location for the motor connection.

In addition to the space required for the ticket machine, more space should be provided for a change machine and the attached chute and change receptacle. This last should project beyond the front window of the boxofiice. It will be found that the opening in the window for ticket-vending and change-return should be approximately 18 inches wide and 4 inches high, depending upon the equipment used.

Window Shutters

For use in colder climates, and also for closing the boxofiice at night, an easy, quick-operating closure will need to be provided for this opening. Stand

ard equipment for the openings may be obtained from theatre supply organizations, or may be specially designed. Some shutters slide both ways from the center, and some slide up, but the simplest and most satisfactory type will be found to be one which may be moved by hand, and which may be secured at night by simple catches on the inside of the boxoffice.

It is good policy to have as much glass as possible on the front and sides of the boxoffice. Therefore, the interior must be nicely finished, and fitted with drapes which may be entirely closed. The Austrian type of drape, which may be raised in folds forming a neat valance at the top, will be found to be the most practical in the majority of installations.

Just above the counter, for a 12-inch space, the glass should be etched in a design to more or less shield from sight coins and currency on the counter.

The deal plate, which should be a few inches wider than the ticket machine counterplate, must project beyond the face of the front glass in order to receive the change receptacle. A small shelf or bag rest about 14 inches below the change shelf, projecting from the front of the booth, is a handy appurtenance. It will be appreciated by the ladies.

The most satisfactory material to use for the deal plate is a good grade of Belgian black marble. Stainless steel or other metal is sometimes used, but due to scratching, denting, and discoloration of both metal and wood, their drawbacks are evident.

Exterior Conformity

The material for the exterior of the boxoifice may be marble, granite, aluminum, stainless steel, wood, brick, or glass block, depending on the design of the balance of the entrance, with which it should blend and conform. In certain instances, the space below the counter can be used as a display frame if proper protection is made to prevent the glass from breaking.

The minimum size for a boxoffice to accommodate one cashier is four feet wide by five feet long. It is sometimes necessary to increase the width to accommodate an extra cashier on busy days. The additional cashieris window may sometimes be located on one side of the boxoftice, when restricted entrance width is a problem.

The height of the boxofiice deal plate should be three feet, six inches above the level of the sidewalk. This is for the convenience of the patron rather than of the cashier. Adjustable cashiersi chairs are available to place the cashier at the proper level inside the boxomce.

In addition to the opening for change and tickets, there must also be provided, five feet above the outside sidewalk level, a speak-hole in the front glass of the boxofflce. This speak-hole should be four inches in diameter, and provided with a closure, either of special design or of standard manufacture, as retailed by theatre supply houses.

Air Circulation Provision in the interior of the box ofiice must be made for some storage space, telephones, push button to mans ager, heating, and, if available, summer cooling. In any event, an adjustable grille should be fitted into the door of the boxoffice and another in the ceiling to provide air circulation.

Lighting outlets and price signs should also be included. An extra duplex receptacle will many times be found useful. A cash drawer within easy reach of the cashier, with the proper number and size of compartments, is necessary.

In certain locations, it is well to consider the installation of a hoorsafe for the deposit of coin as fast as it is received. Cash may be deposited through a slot in the safe. The safe, unlocked only by the m'anager or another authorized person, is a safeguard against boxofiice holdups, frequent in some localities.

Display Frames

In designing the new front, the box office, display frames, and front entrance doors should be studied together to make a pleasing whole. If the entrance is narrow and may not be widened in the remodeling process, then a great deal of thought and planning should be given to the construction and the location of the standard size display frames.

For a medium sized theatre, no more than four outside frames are required to accommodate the standard 40 inches by 60 inches poster. These may be a pair of corner frames, with one double frame on the corner at either side of the entrance, or a single frame on either of the entrances facing the street, plus two single frames on either side of the vestibule between the building line and the front entrance doors.

Depending of course on the design of the front, the exterior frames can be combined with smaller frames on the re.turn pilasters or in the same plane. The smaller frames should take 10" x 12" photos or 12" x 15" stills. If the entrance is particularly narrow, frames on the returns are not recommended. They serve only to cut down the width of the entrance. In such a case, curved frames, each holding one 40 inch by 60 inch poster, set diagonally at the corners, may be a solution.

Exterior frames, set under the marquee, do not necessarily require individual lighting, as the marquee soffit lights will generally be sufficient. A special circuit may be provided with outlets in the soiiit to accommodate reiiector type spot or iiood lamps to light the displays with more light than provided by the marquee lighting, if thought advisable.

Special Problems

Each theatre will have certain problems and requirements as far as exterior display advertising is concerned. These should be discussed with the manager of the theatre or department head in charge of such displays, and provisions made to take care of the special requirements. In this connection, it is. not always good planning to provide a lot of display space which must be kept filled at all times if the front is to

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 167