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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 74 (63)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 74
Page 74

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 74

by a single door inside the theatre, often from an adjacent business office. Where the ticket bar is used, racks are on the wall behind the bar and the door in that wall leads into an office which serves all other box office purposes except ticket dispensing. The light in the box office is best concentrated on working areas with additional general illumination. School and college theatres are often handicapped because they were designed without box offices.

Confusion, inefficiency and ill will engendered from lack of adequate architectural provision for the one point at which the theatre stad' has business dealing with its customers can do much to discourage patronage. A typical condition is one in which the curtain is held while ticket sellers fumble through the box of tickets to try to accommodate the last-minute box office rush. The box office takes up very little space and cannot be neglected in any type of theatre.

For the turnstile box office and the automatic dispensing motion picture theatre box office, specifications drawn by the manufacturers of the box office equipment may be followed.

Lest it be forgotten, the box office needs ventilation as much as any other part of the theatre, and heating to counteract blasts of frigid air from the foyer.


The requirements for lobby size and shape are derived from traffic studies. In the interests of safety, doors must usually occupy the whole wall between foyer and lobby. Their equipment and swing must fill specifications for foyer doors save that there is never any reason for glass lights in them. Doors between lobby and house may not be necessary unless the show is continuous. Between lobby and lounge no doors are necessary. Whether or not there are doors to the house, the lobby must be quiet, for which reason the door must be completely carpeted, the walls sound absorbent or containing sound absorbent panels or covered with draperies, and the ceiling sound absorbent. Sound from the lobby must not leak into the house.

Lighting in the lobby must be warm enough to be flattering, bright enough to highlight jewels, so directed that it will not spill into the house. If lobby lights are dimmed during performance, there must still be enough illumination t0 read the ticket stub, see the stairs, find the coatroom or the lounge. For continuous-run motion picture houses it is desirable to have the general illumination of the lobby of lower intensity than the foyer, to facilitate dark adape tation for the entering audience. These requirements can only be met by carefully planned combination of direct and indirect illumination, i.e., coves and louvered reflectors recessed in the coiling, chandelier and ceiling, containing a large indirect source of light or many small, flush, ceiling lights with frosted covers, lenses or louvres. Illuminated signs indicating coat room, lounge entrance and balcony stairs or elevator are desirable. Exit signs are requisite over all doors leading to the foyer.

Ceiling height may well depend upon


other elements in the theatre structure and a high ceiling contributes to a feeling of luxury. If the stairs have a complete run along lobby walls, the ceiling may well be as high as that of the house. The aim of all decorative treatment must obviously be the promotion of the feeling of luxury.

The furnishings of the lobby are fairly obvious. They include mirrors. In them the theatre-goer can be sure he is seen if only by himself. Mirrors have no value unless they are tall and obviously a part of the decorative scheme. A tinted mirror is to be preferred to the standard silver mirror; it is not so harsh and may be flattering to the modern Narcissus.

Wall tables for flowers and to hold the hat while the coat is being put on, benches to facilitate putting on rubbers, complete the necessary lobby furnishing save where lounge limitations and local law and .custom demand ash receivers. Furniture in the lobby must be located in space over and above the clear width required as passageways by building codes, Care must be taken that furniture does not impede audience traffic.

The best carpet is the cheapest in the long run. The original chenille carpet in the lobby of the Roxy Theatre in New York has lasted more than a decade. No carpet could be subjected to heavier wear. Wilton is a good carpet but will not last as long as a good chenille. The design of the carpet may well be planned to lead the audience in the direction conducive to minimum traffic congestion, i.e., from foyer to checkroom, to stairs and crossover, from audience area to lounge entrance by circular path to the left, back to the house. When low intensity lighting is employed to accommodate the audience to a dark house, fluorescent lines in the carpet, energized by overhead UV lamps, have proved to be useful.

Stairs leading to balconies require carpeting for the same reason that the rest of the lobby is carpeted. Maximum

comfortable riser height is 7%: inches, and minimum tread width 10% inches. For added wear, for quiet and for comfort, carpets must be laid on padding.

Balcony lobby provisions for comfort and safety are derived by observing the same rules which apply in orchestra lobby planning.

Check Room

The check room counter should be wide enough for five attendants per 1000 seats in the house. With adequate check room facilities, the efficiency of checking is governed by the size of the staff, not by architectural limitations. Check rooms in balcony lobbies reduce orchestra lobby congestion. Racks built to accommodate coats, hats, sticks, umbrellas, and parcels, used in some of the new dining rooms and check rooms of some modern hotels may well serve as models for theatre check room equipment. Selfservice checking apparatus, using patented locking clothing holders may be considered.

In conformity with the principle of keeping traffic moving to the right, the check room is best located at the right side of the lobby as the patron enters from the foyer. The fact that it is on the patrons left as he leaves the theatre is of little consequence because he faces no opposing traffic and he has already found out where the check room is.


As the audience comes out of the house at intermission time, it finds the lounge most easily if it is located at the right, i.e., at the opposite side of the lobby from the check room. The lounge, as its name implies, is the place where the audience stretches, talks, and refreshes itself during intermissions. Its hall marks are the deeply upholstered chair and the sand-filled receptacle for butts. In it are bar, telephones, water coolers and entrances to lavatories.

Floor, walls and ceiling of the lounge merit the same treatment as their counterparts in the lobby and for the

IN THIS VIEW of the lobby of the recently remodeled Washington Theatre, Granite City. Illinois. designed by architect Leo F. Abrams. the opinions of Messrs. Burris-Meyer and Cole seem to be borne out with grace and simplicity. A large mirror provides an adequate spot to primp or straighten a hut, besides adding size and grandeur to the room. Several side tables are well placed to catch the everpresent bags and bundles while coats are pulled on or off. And the built-in upholstered benches look'comfortable and inviting. Modern columns lend cm air of grandeur.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 74