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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 276 (256)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 276
Page 276

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 276

Floodlighting the Theatre Faeade

A Pointed Discussion of How the Sorely Neglected Exterior May Be Set to Glowing as a Sales Factor

Light has long played an important role in the theatre, and its versatile dramatic qualities have been used in lobbies, foyers, lounges, auditoriums, and on stages to create desired decorative and psychological effects. Curiously enough, however, in spite of its full recognition of the outstanding dramatic results which may be achieved by the use of effective lighting throughout the interior of the motion picture house, management often fails to appreciate the fact that forceful lighting may also be employed to glamourize the exterior of


Manager. Illuminating Laboratory Apparatus Department. General Electric Company

a theatre building in ways that are sure to attract the attention of potential patrons.

Exterior Floodlighting Assets

This frequent neglect on the part of theatre operators to capitalize on the benefits to be derived from effective lighting of the exteriors of their houses,

PATTERN of a Hoodlight beam proiected on a vertical surface, changes with the angle-oi direction. Removed 30 feet and in direct line (below) the circular illumination is only 17 feet in diameter; but. tilted upwards (above) and still in an effective range, it can illuminate three tunes the area.

as well as the interiors, is all the more difticult to understand when one realizes that these same operators often possess theatres with gorgeous fronts highlighted by elaborate Hutings, cornices, scallops, and other types of eye-catching design features. The ironic fact is that these architectural values are often entirely wasted on the night-time audience (far larger than the matinee one) because they are either completely obscured in darkness or only faintly visible. Unfortunately, this failure to call attention to the theatre facade has been given added impetus by a somewhat misguided inclination on the part of many operators to dispose of upright signs completely in favor of mere simple overhanging marquees.

Many existing theatre facades lend themselves admirably to fioodlighting and, by the use of such devices as shadows and color, become even more interesting at night than during the daytime. The obvious reasons for this enhanced appeal lie in the fact that the architectural elements may be readily emphasized by highlights or silhouettes, and the entire structure may be made to stand out in vivid contrast to surrounding buildings. In addition to glamourizing the building as a whole, a properly floodlighted facade can be one of the biggest selling points of the theatre.

BRIEF: Lighting . . . in all of its appealing forms . . . has for some time enjoyed widespread favor . . . among theatre designers and operators . . . as an incomparable medium for setting expressions of mood throughout playhouses . . . in addition to its directional and safely functions . . . In nearly every modern. theatre one encounters new . . . and unusual . . . adaptations of light to a seemingly endless variety of purposes.

By some curious paradox . . . however . . . many theatremen have apparently never given much thought to the fact that light may also be used to attain striking dramatic safech on the exteriors . . . as well as in the interiors . . . of their houses . . . Apparently lacking either the knowledge . . . or the sense . . . to floodlight them properly, a number of exhibitors have sadly overlooked the selling potentialities of an efecliveiy illuminated facade.

The following article outlines the problems involved in, floodlighting a theatre facade . . . and suggests logical approaches to their solutions . . . Covered are such topics as: the advantages of exterior floodlighting . . . the separate considerations of both old and new theatres . . . the artistic concepts involved . . . environment and facing materials . . . selection aml placement of lamps . . . the use of color . . . and cost estimates.


1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 276