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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 330 (317)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 330
Page 330

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 330

to show much appreciation of these amenities, but take them away and he will soon want to know whats wrong. The point is that decorations serve to create an atmosphere and thereby make a definite contribution to happiness and


Pictures Thai Shine In The Dark

Within the past decade, a new means of creating an attractive environment in the motion picture theatre has become available with the introduction of blacklight murals. Stated in the simplest way, a black-light mural is a picture that glows in the dark. It is entirely different, however, from an ordinary picture illuminated by ordinary light. A blacklight mural is painted with iiuorescent paints which are literally filled with light in a wide variety of colors. These paints come to life, or light up, when they are exposed to the invisible rays of special equipment which produces a flood of neareultraviolet. If the movie goer notices this equipment at all, what he sees is a circle of purple glass which he is hardly likely to associate with the beautiful array of soft glowing colors on the walls of the theatre. The effect is mystifying and intriguing. When he is bored with the picture on the screen and his eyes begin to wander, black-light. decorations serve to relax him and make him contented, whereas he would not long be satisfied to look at a blank wall.

The spectator-response to black-light decorations is in no sense theoretical. Black-light murals are already an ims portant part of the decoration in hundreds of motion picture houses. They enjoy the enthusiastic approval of exhibitors and audiences alike.

A LARGE AND ATTRACTIVE MURAL in the Vine Theatre. Willoughby, Ohio, by Hans Teichen Studios. (P/Jolo mm'lm) 0f Swilzm' Brat/Jeri, 1111.)

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A New Technique For A New Art

Just as with any new development, the use of black light has had to wait upon the spread of information about its possibilities and its methods of application. There are still many motion picture exhibitors who have never seen a blacklight mural, but they are becoming steadily fewer. Contrariwise, there is a steady increase in the number of artists who know how to use fluorescent paints and of electricians who understand black-light equipment. Many of the existing black-light murals originally represented an experiment for all concerned. For example, artists and decorators had to forget the old color rules and learn new ones. In fluorescent blacklight art, blue and yellow do not make green, but a clear white. Red and blue

produce brown rather than purple, and.

in ordinary light, the pigments are practically identical in color. Now, the use of iiuorescence for decoration is defined by rules just as precise as those which govern all the other phases of theatre design and operation.

Elecirical Requiremenis

The first of these rules governs the installation of the necessary electrical equipment. Briefiy, it is just this: be generous with black light. Even the best of pictures cannot be appreciated unless it can be clearly seen. The colors in a fiuorescent mural cannot glow with full effect unless they are literally bathed in a flood of black light. A 250-watt black-light equipment is an absolute necessity for any mural more than 6 feet high or more than 6 feet wide, or having a total area greater than 30 square feet. Inasmuch as a mural of these dimensions would be inadequate in all but the smallest of motion picture theatres, it is safest to regard 250-watt equipment as the minimum requirement. If a mural is more than 10 feet wide, an

additional 250-watt black light will be

needed for every additional 10 feet of width, or portion thereof. For example, a mural that measures 28 feet in width takes three 250-watt units. This rule is dictated by the operating characteristics of the electrical equipment. The beam pattern of a 250-watt black light is an extremely elongated ellipse which cannot be more than 10 feet wide at effective range.

Experience has demonstrated that fluorescent decorations on the side walls of a theatre are most effective when the black lights are installed in the ceiling. Modern black-light equipment is specifically designed for recessed mounting and can be painted to match the ceiling so that it is hardly noticeable from below. Results are most satisfactory when the distance from the recessed unit to the wall line is equal to one-half the distance from the bottom of the mural to the ceiling. For example, if a mural is 14 feet in height and runs up to a point 2 feet below the ceiling, the distance from the bottom of the mural to the ceiling totals 16 feet. The black light should then be placed 8 feet out from the juncture of wall and ceiling. Incidentally, it is always preferable to keep the top of the mural a few feet below the ceiling rather than to run it all the way up.

Modern receSSed units also make it easy to adjust the angle of lighting. It is desirable to aim the black light at a point approximately one-third of the distance from the bottom to the top of the wall mural.

The high-intensity mercury lamp used in black-light equipment demands an adequate and sustained flow of electrical current. During its initial warmup period of from 5 to 7 minutes, a 250swatt lamp will draw up to 375 watts. Unless the wiring is heavy enough to carry the maximum load, the lamp is very likely to go out. It will then have to cool before it comes on again. For the same
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 330