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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 276 (265)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 276
Page 276

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 276

Prefabricated All-Steel Screen Towers

Sloped Design to Eliminate SKeystoneii Picture is Added to Rugged Construction

Because the drive-in theatre screen dimensions follow the usual proportions, variations in size are governed completely by the number of ramps and their resultant maximum viewing distances. It was accordingly found that between the very small and the maximum sized car capacity, there were only a few necessary size steps. This permitted more careful engineering than was ever possible under the old, telegraph pole construction; and eventually encouraged fabricators to design prefabricated units in various styles and materials. The first prefabricated all steel screen tower to reach the market is here


An all-steel screen tower, designed to eliminate the objectionable ffkeystone" picture and improve sight lines, recently was erected at the new driveein in Totawa, N. J. (See illustrationaEd.)

The tower was prefabricated by the Elizabeth Iron Works, Inc., for the Eastern Drive-In Theatre Corporation, which last year announced plans for the construction of a number of 900-to-1,000car theatres in New Jersey. Two years ago, the iron works fabricated and set up for the same exhibitors at Morristown, N. J., what was probably the first albsteel screen tower in this country. The tower was 45 feet x 60 feet.

Because of the compactness and well-thought-out design of the tower, J. J. Thompson, Eastern DriveeIn executive, stated that the cost of the structure was less than that of the previous tower, which was composed of materials other than steel. Still, the problem of the "keystone" picture remained the bane of drive-in theatre operators. Herbert S. Taylor, engineer for the Park-In Theatres, Inc., made the preliminary drawings which attempted to lick this problem and to improve sightline widths through a concave surface. His drawings of a sloped and concave type of structure were the nucleus of the allsteel rigid frame screen tower engineered by the Elizabeth Iron Works and set up at Totawa.

My enthusiasm and interest in these jobs prompted me as sales manager for Elizabeth Iron Works to promote the building of a compact structure that would combine maximum strength with minimum cost. A. Frank, consultant engineer, collaborated with our engineerlng department on this project. While the engineers were computing the design with slide rules and tables, a commercial artist was striving for another



Sales Manager. Engineering Department Elizabeth Irons Works, Inc.

important effect so essential to exhibp

itors, esthetic beauty. This last was accomplished in the design of tall, slender, tapering, rigid frame bents, which serve as the main supporting members.

Structural Details

Whether concave-sloped or sloped alone, the tower is designed for a 30pound-per-square-foot wind load. The structure carries an engineering label guaranteeing it to withstand a 100milesean-hour gale.

The bents to support the screen surface are of an all-welded construction. Structural shapes and plates incorporated therein are standard commercial No. 1020 steel. The wind bracing struts between the bents are made of 5 inch steel pipe and plates welded to form a rigid section. The rounded surface of the pipe avoids the settling of water or

snow which would cause extra weight and maintenance.

The screen surface is made of 1/8 inch thick steel plates ribbed and stiffened by fiat bars and angles, which are welded to the plates. The angles serve the dual purpose of strength and the means of securing the screen surface to the bents. The steel plates are accurately cut and fitted so that a minimum of joint opening is apparent. It is suggested, for a more desirable effect, that all such joints be caulked before the first coat of field paint is applied.

A minimum of maintenance is further accomplished by the use of an open type grating walkway at the top and back portion of the screen, which is reached by a ladder. This walkway runs the complete length . of the structure, ' and extends around to the front -of the screen surface on both sides for quick and inexpensive scaffolding. This is further augmented by a monorail beam arrangement which allows for portable maintenance service of the entire screen

FROM THIS DRAWING can best be understood the design features of sturdy base; catwalk grating and monorail for future servicing; and potential usable space of the support area. This last. with a firm concrete floor and good headroom could prove invaluable for oiiice, concession stand or storage use.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 276