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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 258 (238)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 258
Page 258

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 258

An Automatic Traffic Control System

A Unique Electric Signaling Device Clearly Shows Empty Speaker Stations on Board at Each Ramp Head

Although one of the greatest sales advantages that drive-in theatres hold over many roofed ones lies in the assurance to the patron that he definitely will have a parking place for his car, there is still some inconvenience to the customer involved in the frequent necessity for cruising down each ramp to locate a vacancy, to say nothing of the collision hazards involved. Of course, ramp boys are widely used to direct incoming cars to vacant spots, but oftentimes there are not enough of them to handle peak traffic loads, and many drivers actually are confused by and object to a lot of flashlight waving.

'In an ingenious eEort to overcome the aforementioned difficulties, Albert H. Reynolds, enterprising General Manager of Claude Ezell and Associates, recently invented and installed in four of the circuits newer drive-ins (the Mansfield in Fort Worth, the Burnet in Austin, and the Hempstead and Irvington in Houston) a revolutionary automatic traffic control system that eliminates all need for ramp cruising and its accompanying accident hazards. Furthermore, installation of the system has enabled the Ezell management to effect an important saving in operating expenses by doing away with nearly all of the lot boys.

Design and Operation

As shown by the accompanying photographs and Fig. 1, the entire set-up is

TO ALERT PATRONS to the use of this indicator system in finding "seats." a sign similar to the above is advantageously placed near the boxottice between it and the ramp area entrance.

BRIEF: The familiar drive-in sales slogan . . . gno parking worriesii . . . is perfectly true . . . up to a point . . . Even though he knows that he will find one eventually, the driver of a car entering an outdoor theatre often has to do considerable hunting . . . before he finds an empty space . . . At peak hours particularly he may not attract the immediate attention of a lot boy . . . to guide him to a ramp where a vacancy is available.

However, a progressive-minded circuit executive has come forth with a novel idea . . . that appears to be a panacea for this vexing problem . . . To find out how an indicator board . . . at the head of each ramp . . . plainly designates whether or not vacancies exist . . . and where they are . . . read on!

quite simple. An indicator board has been installed at the head of each ramp to inform the patron driving down the central roadway (into which all ramps feed) just how many speaker vacancies are available in that particular ramp and their locations. Thus, the driver of the car has only to glance at this directional speaker indicator to determine whether or not there is room for him.

Information on speaker vacancies and their locations is shown by a series of small light globes on the face of the board. A push-button type of switch is

installed on each side of every junction box from which two speakers are racked. These switches are designed so that pressure from any direction will depress the nosing. When a speaker is placed on the rack, the switch is pushed in by its weight to complete the circuit, and a green light Hashes on the board in the globe corresponding to that particular speaker location. The word iiFull" in large letters at the bottom of the board comes on automatically when the last speaker has been removed and the last light extinguished.

Since switches are cross-wired from each junction box, both speakers must be removed before one light on the board is turned out. Inasmuch as only one light signal is needed per station, only half as many light outlets are required. However, if individual speaker signals are desired, each speaker can be wired separately.

Plans are afoot to make new plates to replace the present "windows" on the indicator boards. Each board (see Fig 2) will be divided into three sectionsleft, center, and rightewith only the letters thZ ith, and ttRil visible to designate more precisely the locations of speaker vacancies. If the ramp is filled, the word itFull" will, of course, appear. However, the ramp number will be visible at all times.

The system is designed to operate on 32 volts with a three-kilowatt transformer, although it can be worked on

OPERATIONAL DIAGRAM shows the manner in which the ramp indicators are activated by plunger switches on the individual junction boxes. With Speaker No. 1 in its cradle, the vacancy light in the corresponding position on the indicator board at the end of that row is lighted. When Speaker No. 2 is removed trom its cradle by an entering patron, the circuit is broken and its corresponding light goes out.

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 258