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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 332 (319)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 332
Page 332

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 332

Design and Color Blending Trends

Leading Theatre Decorators Give Their Views on the Outstanding Decorative Developments in 1948

The editors wrote to a number of specialists in theatre decoration and asked them to give their ideas on significant trends in 1948 for this edition of THEATRE CATALOG. The replies from many different areas of the country were enlightening in their presentation of factual data and the, decoratorsa personal reactions to the contemporary theatre interior decoration scene. Prominent in the topics discussed were color psychology, the amalgamation of functional and aesthetic purposes, the use of color, design and lighting to most efficiently serve the patron, and the trend towards simplicity.

In the year 1948 one definite trend in theatre decorating was towards simplicity and, whenever practicable, a combination of functional construction with aesthetic decor. Such simplification occurs throughout the decorative scheme of the Westmont Theatre located in Westmont, New Jersey, designed by William H. Lee, and nominated as outstanding by the Paramount Decorating Company, Inc.

uConsider the treatment of the walls for example. They are divided into slightly curved panels which are upholstered with a blue-green fabric the shade of which is somewhat similar to a teal blue. By the use of an optical illusione curved wall sections-and of color psychology the illusion of spaciousness is suggested, enhancing the already generous proportions of the theatre. Nor is the effect completely illusory. The shape of the panels and the material covering them contribute noticeably improved acoustical properties to the auditorium.

H0n the ceiling, the wall colors of teal-blue and rose are again presented but in lighter shades which harmonize with the gracefully bending lines of demarcation to form a very appropriate and attractive design.

uThere are three plaster offsets which aii'ord a transition from the auditorium walls and ceiling to the stage and form a definite setting and frame for the screen. Starting with a light shade of rose on the offset farthest from the stage, the color gradually deepens so that the, offset closest to the stage is but 21 shade lighter than the plush valance and side drapes. Bringing this interesting transition motif to a brilliant climax, the Screen curtain and borders feature a gold damask.

' HOne outstanding example of ingenulU' in combining functional necessity


with attractive decor to conceal the former is the art work over both exit doors, the drapes of which are of the same fabric as the valance and side drapes. These very effective plaster ornaments are painted an antique white and appear to the casual spectator to set off the exit orifice with a magnificent flourish. In reality, an air duct is located on each side of the theatre over the exit doors.

The ornamental embellishments conclusively prove that even air conditioning devices rather than becoming eye sores can be faultlessly integrated into a rich and pleasing decorative arrangement."

Of course, the trend towards simplicity does not preclude experimental work and discoveries which make available new and intriguing design forms. The Maharam Fabric Corporation, for

PARAMOUNT DECORATING COMPANY submits the Westmont. Westmont. New Iersey. for its decorum.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 332