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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 264 (253)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 264
Page 264

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 264

sions of entrance and exit drives and of parking areas to accelerate incoming or to slow outgoing traffic. The drainage system to be put in will also usually require the approval of the city or county engineers so that any change in the grade of the theatre area will not cauSe a serious drainage problem on ad joining property areas or highways. The engineers completed these pre-construction details and the approval of the proper authorities was secured before the Danville job graduated from the drawing board stage. After the theatre layout was approved, the owner then secured plans for the screen tower, the projection building and the concession stand governed by the type of construction he desired and the approximate extent of investment he felt justified in making.

The first steps in the actual construction of the Danville theatre were to put in the approved drainage system, then to carry out the grading of the entrance and the exit drives and of the ramps themselves. Top soil removed from the theatre area proper during these initial operations was set aside for later utilization in landscape gardening. Necessary wells, cesspools, electrical lines, water, sewer, and other utility lines, and the electrical lines to the junction boxes of the in-car speaker system were arranged for, and installed before the lot was paved.

As for subsequent construction, Motiograph offers these general rules: tilt does not particularly matter which build ing is constructed firstescreen tower, projection building, or concession stand

-though often the projection building is finished first since many of the electrical connections and utility lines terminate in the projection building. It is then desirable to arrange for the completion of such projects as ticket booth construction, fencing and landscaping, painting of buildings, fences and paving. Installation of projection room equipment and in-car speakers should be completed well in advance of the intended opening date so that complete tests and adjustments can be made."

In the Danville drive-in theatre, the screen tower was erected at the corner of the site farthest from the road. In most drive-in theatres the designer and the owner prefer to have the screen tower located adjacent to the road becauSe this arrangement makes the back of the screen tower available for advertising purposes and this is an opportunity not to be lightly declined. However, in the Danville drive-in, the location of the screen tower places it at a point where the land is much lower than the land

adjacent to the road. If the screen tower .

had been placed in the opposite corner, the amount of cut and fill required would virtually have doubled the actual cost of grading.

The economy that this planning made possible can be more readily appreciated when the arithmetic of this particular instance is given. Basing the estimate

PROFILES and viewing angles for the Crescent Drive-In may be seen below in the h'nal drawing. This theatre was built with 13 ramps and the plan shows how each ramp was graded to provide the best possible viewing angle for all cars. Dash lines indicate what were the existing levels.

on the usual cost of about 40 cents per yard for moving earth, it is calculated that a saving of approximately $11,000 resulted from the unorthodox placing of the screen tower, a tidy sum and a very convincing illustration of the advantages of thoughtful planning.

In order to hold grading costs to an absolute minimum, the theatre layout stipulated maximum grades. Generally it is desirable that the grade drop no more than 21/; feet over a linear distance of 100 feet. However, the grading in the Danville amphitheatre has for the most part violated this general rule, not as an excursion into futuristic architecture but merely as another economical step. If the design had specified the more conventional and frequently more desirable 21/2 feet drop per hundred linear feet, the entire grading cost would have been much greater than it actually was.

Because of the peculiar topography of the site, it was found necessary to install many more heavy drain tiles and in a greater number of locations than are required in an ordinary site. However, in most situations this extra tiling would be eliminated, another valid reason for spending some time and money on a thorough study of the ground before the building actually starts. To discover an abnormal drainage condition before paving is planned and carried out means a tremendous saving in time, money and materials later on.

In the construction of the Danville drive-in theatre, maximum clarity of vision for the patrons was a prime consideration. The viewing area was laid

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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 264