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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 303 (290)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 303
Page 303

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 303

The New Patented Inner-service Marquee

A Specially Designed Room and New Light Source Provides Working Space, Storage and Efficiency

In contrast to many non-commercial buildings in which immense volumes of empty space play a definite role in establishing the aesthetic motif, the moving picture theatre never completely subordinates its functional principles to its decorative scheme. Where the metropolitan depot of a great railroad would induce a feeling of grandeur by the psychological use of a fantastically high roof almost lost to the eye, the theatre with the same vertical dimension to play with would almost certainly introduce multiple balconies for the more efficient accommodation of its clientele. The theatre does not neglect the aesthetics of architecture; however, if practical, it strives to make the beautiful also useful.

Sometimes the result is astounding in its logic. A case in point is our new patented hollow marquee designed and developed by Poblocki and Son, Inc. By placing a work room inside the marquee, we have given the theatre world a valuable new concept that will undoubtedly exercise a far-reaching infiuence on the design of the. theatre front. In this article, the new marquee is described and some of its many advantages enumerated. Safety, economy and efficiency stand out prominently in this list. Theatre men thinking specifically of the marquee and its vital function of selling the show can evaluate this new version according to their own requirements.

Weaknesses of Current- Design

For the past two decades there has been a growing realization in the theatre world that eventually a new kind of marquee or a basic metamorphosis in the theory of marquee design would take its rightful place in theatre architecture. Marquees now in general use are in many instances skillfully planned and artistically wroughtehandsome products of the theatre craftsmanls workshop. But, while they represent constant improvements and advances in design and efiiciency, they have not completely fulfilled their functional potential nor completely satisfied all the exacting requirements of theatre owners.

Maintenance continues to be a costly problem: attraction board changes are slow, inconvenient, and at times even dangerous; the use of many small lamps is costly both in electrical current and lamp replacement; changeable letters, lamps, and cleaning materials must be stored at a distance from the marquee, and this naturally consumes time whenever a new show must be announced, or luster has to be restored by the oldf'ashioned expedient of cleaning. In short, present marquees are well built and beautifully designed; however, they do exhibit some disadvantages and would benefit by technological improvements.


Poblocki and Sons. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A New Concep'l'

With the completion of the Fox Garfield marquee in Milwaukee, and Capital, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a new concept of marquee design and utilization will usher in a new era in this phase of theatre tectonics. For theatre owners this new concept when fully realized in general usage will minimize or eliminate most of the disadvantages stemming from the conventional marquee. For theatre builders, the new source of space which the Fox Garfield marquee makes available will be a godsend.

The basic problems of changing letters and lamps, and cleaning attraction signs were solved by Poblocki & Sons, Inc., by the often discussed expedient of converting the marquee into a room. Access to the inside of the marquee is gained through a door installed in the front theatre wall. In a new theatre, this door can be incorporated in the plans. If such a door is not always possible in a remodeling job, a scuttle hole can be placed in the roof of the marquee or a door in the marquee soffit.

More difficult to plan and develop was

Among the potential future developments of the theatre building that farsighted theatre architects of past years promised to the industry, were marquee signs that could be serviced from the inside and without the problems and hazards of wind, weather, and pedestrians. Over eight years ago, in a specially prepared survey on Page 194 of the 1941 Edition of THEATRE CATALOG, the celebrated theatre specialist from Pittsburgh, Victor A. Rigaumont, wrote of such a plan and pictured the recently opened Harris-Mantis Theatre in Jeanette, Pa., where he had designed such a marquee storage room. even though service was from an exterior parapet.

The new Poblocki marquee. Patent. #2114639, seems to be the ultimate development of this basic theme. The room and storage bins with access to Ilw theatre interior are the same; but by a cleverly engineered window and lighting arrangenwnt, and by a dovelopmcnl. of the idea into animation and additional adverlising areas, the complete fulfillment of its potentials now seems possible.

the manner in which the sign servicing could be accomplished from this room. New equipment and new methods had to be created. Attraction boards were split up into window type panels. These panels, by sliding up and down like a window, allowed letter changing from the inside, as well as bulb replacement in flasher signs. If desired, the panels could be hinged to open like a door. The attraction sign lights needed to be placed three feet or more away from the glass so that a man could easily stand in front of them and make any needed changes. The advantages of working from inside the marquee will be obvious to all thea tre men.

Lower Operating Costs

Operating costs are greatly reduced, too, with the new Poblocki marquee. Present marquees utilize 40-watt lamps placed four inches apart against a relatively inefficient white painted background to reflect part of the spillage in order to produce a uniformly bright ate traction sign, Thus, an attraction sign 18 feet long and four letter lines high, requires 216 lamps and utilizes 8640 watts. The new marquee for the same area utilizes only 12 200-watt lamps in Holophane redectors to direct a maximum of light through the sign board with the use of only 2400 watts. Since wattage is a measure of electrical current consumption rather than brightness, this means a saving of 72% in current alone. The saving in lamp cost is believed to be even greater.

The use of Holophane renectors as in the Fox Garfield was adopted after many experiments with a variety of sizes and types. The Holophane is an industrial type, all glass, prismatic redector which giVes even distribution of light over the entire attraction board face without hot spots. There is no silver to chip, tarnish or dull and since the inside of the refiector is perfectly smooth, it is easily wiped for maximum reflector value.

The lamps and refiectors are mounted on a metal channel, two or three lamps to each channel, and this is suspended from the marquee room ceiling. Each channel carries a plug, similar to the one used on household lamps and appliances, and can be taken down at any time if additional working space is desired, or for the use of a stereopticon or projection machine. Socket channels are mounted to the underside of the ceiling. Neither the weight of the socket bar nor that of the reflectors is borne by the electrical connections.

The Holophane reflectors carry a metal ring around their facing edge to minimize the danger of breaking or chipping, a hazard existing in marquee territory because of concentration of let THEATRE CATALOG 1948-49
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 303