> > > >

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 280 (258)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 280
Page 280

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 280

An Efficient Crowd Control System

Patrons Leaving City Line Center, Philadelphia, Exit Through Interior Rather Than Foyer Standees

In recent years, theatre designing has shown considerable improvement in certain phases having to do with patron comfort, such as wider spacing of chairs from back to back, improved air conditioning systems and acoustical treatments, better projection and sound systems. The plan layout, however, which controls circulation when the theatre is crowded, has shown little change or improvement. The standees are subjected to the indignity of being herded into nbull pens" behind ropes in order to create passage for the exitees. The patrons in the last four or five rows of seats are annoyed by the chatter of the standees, and the clearing of the house is slowed up, thus prolonging the confusion.

The City Line Center Plan

At the City Line Center in Philadelphia these conditions were corrected by the construction of a wall between the standee space and the auditorium which is termed the itfoyer wall." There are doors at the aisle heads. The last row of seats is placed five feet away from the foyer wall to provide a cross-over leading to exit doors at each side of the theatre. This permits all normal exiting to take place inside the auditorium and

AN INTERESTING PLOT PLAN shows the manner in which the five banks of entrance-exit doors are actually split to serve two separate and distinct

By W. H. LEE


BRIEF: One of the outstanding features of Philadelphiais new City Line Center

Theatre (pictorially reviewed on. pp. 86-89

of the 1949-50 edition of THEATRE CATALOG) . . . hub of an ultra-modern suburban shopping center . . . is its ingenious crowd control system.

Here is a terse description of the plan . . . put into effect by Architect W. H. Lee . . . toclear the house rapidly . . . and to stop the annoyance caused patrons watching the show by chatting standees . . . A simple installation of a h'foyer wallii solves the problem neatly.

# not through the standees in the foyer.

At one end of this rear cross-over, two sets of exit doors are provided opening directly into the lobby, thus affording the opportunity for all patrons to follow their natural inclination to leave the theatre rapidly by way of the entrance lobby. Under these conditions the standees are free to move about in the foyer. There are glass panels in the wall which permit a view of the picture with the sound being supplied by several

speakers concealed in the foyer walls. As no standing is permitted on the rear cross-over, the patrons in the rear seats enjoy the same freedom from extraneous distractions as those in the rest of the auditorium.

After over a year of operation, the management is still enthusiastic about the short time it takes to clear the house and the quiet, dignihed atmosphere it is possible to maintain, even under the most crowded conditions.

Closed Foyer Wall Scheme

The accompanying diagrammatic sketch clearly shows the closed foyer wall plan. While the position of the entrance lobby in the City Line Center was ideally located for exiting from the rear crossover, the general idea of the scheme can be applied, at least in modified form, to most theatre plans by providing a set of doors in the foyer wall as near as possible to the entrance lobby for exiting purposes.

Even though this exit arrangement in some instances could not be accomplished, the closed foyer wall can be used under any conditions, and this feature alone is a great contribution to the enjoyment of the show by patrons in the rear of the auditorium.

passages. Through this method: waiting standees ramain outside of the auditorium confines until all exxting patrons have completed their egress.

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 280