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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 174 (163)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 174
Page 174

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 174

Pointing Il'he Walls

If acoustical plaster or similar product is used, careful consideration must be given to the type of paint employed and to its application. Only a paint recommended by the maker of the acoustical treatment should be used, which will most generally be a cold water non-bridging paint. Though some manufacturers claim that their particular product can be painted with ordinary lead and oil paint without affecting the sound absorbing qualities, this does not hold and extreme care should be taken if such products are used.

To break up the monotony of a plain side wall treatment, consider, if you will, the installation of a feature panel, which might be lighted dimly by concealed lights. Also, the wall might be covered with special paint to stand out when a black or infra-red light is thrown on it. These last are available at all theatre supply houses with the necessary fixtures for mounting either above the ceiling or in other concealed locations.

Pointed Ceilings

The condition of the ceiling, of its supporting structure, and plaster ornae mentation should be investigated by qualified persons, and if found to be in a safe and sound condition, a decorative painting, which Will tie in with and accentuate the decorative scheme throughout the auditorium, should be applied.

In many cases, the original ceiling will be found to have a well-designed motif and well-executed plaster ornament, which will need only cleaning followed by freshening with one coat of paint. Oftentimes, the ornamentation may have been originally treated with gold leaf or dutch metal, which might merely need cleaning to bring out its original luster.

Should the ceiling paint be in good

condition, showing no signs of peeling.

because of roof leaks, one coat of paint might well do the trick and serve the purpose as well as two or three coats. Some people have the mistaken notion that it is necessary to apply two or three coats to produce a first-class painting job, but with an auditorium ceiling, which is far removed from the possibility of actual contact or close observation, the desired effect can often be obtained by cleaning and then applying one coat with a.second coat where required.

The old plaster, unlike new work, will not need a sealer coat. Nor will plaster require paint as a preservative. Hence the application of more paint than is actually necessary is a waste of money and time.

In order to get by with one coat of paint, however, it will be necessary to thoroughly clean the surfaces to be painted. Some painters prefer to apply the first coat while dusting, painting in what dust will stick and letting the balance fall where it may. Where none of the original work is to be retained, this may prove to be just as satisfactory and certainly less expensive than cleaning thoroughly and using less paint.



In the good old days when people everywhere lined up in long queues to see movies, it was good business practice to cram as many patrons as possible into as small a theatre space as possible.

Some very uncomfortable seating arrangements which no longer are good business, resulted. To this day, in the balconies of est-vaudeville and other ancient houses are found chairs from which it is impossible to comfortably relax.

For seats in the Himalayas of these theatres a lower admission fee is charged if, indeed, anybody can be induced to pay for them, which is doubtful. The solution to the problem will probably be less costly than the theatreman realizes.

Seats and Slopes

It is a plan dear to modern remode elersethe one calling for the loss of some seats. With sight lines of all seats in focus, row-spacing increased, and steep slopes reduced, it is their theory that every seat in the balcony can be occupied sometimeeat orchestra prices.

First, however, the structural supports of the balcony should be inspected for weaknesses and where necessary reinforced or replaced. The stairs, cross-overs, and vomitories probably should be revamped for easy passage.

Originally, the balcony undoubtedly was put in with steep slopes in an effort to pack in as many seats as possible.

Very often, without much change in basic construction, it is possible to increase the width of steppings in order to increase row-spacing. If a reduction in the height of the risers is found to be feasible, wide and easy stairs may be installed. With the climb made less an effort, balcony admission prices might be raised to the level of those of the rest of the house.

In the main stairway it is a good plan to use more than one run of stairs, with horizontal passages connecting the different runs. This relieves the total ascent. Further, with ramps put in wherever possible, balcony patrons do not realize nor resent the distance that they have to climb to arrive at their seats.

A loge section, in which can be set up a better seat than in the balance of the house, may be put in a large balcony by the introduction of a cross aisle. The loge, naturally, will command a higher admission price and may be used as a reserved section.

In altering the steppings, and especially with the creation of a cross aisle, more than usual attention must be paid to the sight lines, in order that there should be minimum interference from traffic in the cross hisle. Traffic could block the vision of patrons seated in the first row.

If the balcony is without aisle and step lights, these should be included in the remodeling program. At the same time, electric outlets for exit and directional signs, required to move crowds in an orderly and efficient manner, should be put in.

A WELL PLANNED AND WELL CONSTEUCTED BALCONY can not only increase seating capacity but can be a very advantageous spot from which to enioy the show. Here at the rebuilt Tower, St. Louis. Missouri, Architect Leo F. Abrams constructed a concrete balcony and concrete roof. As a result, 1500 American Seating Company "Bodiiorm" model chairs are accommodated with ease. The stepped ceiling and single modern 'murql set the decorative theme. Note the alternating aisle lights.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 174