> > > >

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 282 (260)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 282
Page 282

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 282

The Role of Rubber Mats in Theatres

Several Types of These Protective Floor Coverings

Are Studied With Regard to Their F unctional Worth

The problem of how to reduce operating costs without lowering the quality of his physical facilities is one which has confronted every theatreman from the earliest days of film business. Since the expense of upkeep is one of the biggest items in the exhibitors operating budget, it is obvious that any measures which can be taken to hold down this figure will make the overhead dollar stretch further. Of course, these expedients must not detract from the general attractiveness or functional efficiency of the house.

First among the practical solutions to the problem of obtaining lowered costs, without sacrificing the quality of a theatrels appointments, stand rubber mats. Durable, safe, and eye-appealing, this type of door and stair covering is an ideal answer to the question of how economical, yet ei'licient, theatre operation may be effected.


One of the cardinal reasons why rubber mats occupy a front position in the rank of aids to less expensive and smoother iilm house management lies in their unique versatility. Although they are particularly valuable in the field of maintenance, the advantages of rubber mats are by no means restricted to this sphere alone.

Decorative Ettects

There is no reason why rubber mats in a theatre need be purely functional without a touch of the esthetic, for it is possible to have them inlaid with a wide

By D. W. Moon, JR.

President. American Mat Corporation

BRIEF: A doormat . . . usually placed directly in front of the threshold . . . is a traditional fixture on the porches of American dwellings . . . Every home owner knows how his rugs can suffer from muck trampled in from the outside . . . so he wisely provides a handy mat on which feet may be wiped conveniently.

The theatre operator likewise must protect his costly carpets . . . against the punishment inflicted on them by the filth tracked in constantly on the shoes of patrons . . . Rubber mats which trap dirt and water . . . in the transition areas between outside and inside . . . are extremely effective for this purpose . . . They may also be used to good advantage in heavy traffic areas inside the theatre . . . Aside from their protective merits, mats are also useful in decorative . safety . . . and traffic directional respects.

Discussed in the following article are: the multiple applications of mats . . . the various types . . . installation . . . and maintenance.

variety of decorative patterns. For example, mats have been made with palm trees worked into them for use in Florida, some laid in New England theatres feature mountain scenes, and the cost of putting the name of any house into any rubber mat is quite nominal.

A GRAPHIC THEATRE EXAMPLE oi the value of rubber lobby mats is this unposed View taken in a busy theatre. One third'oi the matting is rolled down in operating position, trapping the dirt out of Sight and beyond poSSibility oi being blown or trucked into the carpets and aisles. One third is rolled back to show how the dirt passes through the holes. The last third has been removed and the dirt swept into a concentrated pile in order to realize its volume.

One of the most practical uses of decorative treatments in mats is, of course, traffic direction. Through a series of arrows or other directional indicators entering or exiting patrons may be led right from the Sidewalk into the theatre and out again.

Accident Prevention

Since one fall by a patron on a slippery door can be ruinous to a theatre from a financial point of view and result in the loss of valuable goodwill (even if insurance coverage is carried), many rubber mats are purchased for safety reasons, especially where they are used on concrete or terrazzo floors that have a downward slope. The safeguard which they provide against slipping hazards in wet or sloppy weather is alone worth many times the purchase price.

By the same token, rubber treads and nosings may be used on stairs to guard against serious falls at these well-known danger spots. White rubber is particularly recommended for stair tread nosings used in conjunction with carpeting in balcony areas because of its greater visibility; steps to lounge rooms do not necessarily require a white nosing as light is usually more plentiful here.

Protective Housekeeping Aid

When all is said and done, however, rubber mats find their most important use in the protection of the theatre against the ravages of foreign matter brought in from the outside. Dirt, sand, mud, water, and tar are constantly being tracked into the theatre by patrons, and the first two are blown in Whenever the doors are opened. This destructive material must be trapped and kept outside the main part of the theatre insofar as possible. for, if it is permitted to get inside, it will be ground into expensive carpeting and oftentimes blown into the air by heating and ventilating systems to settle on walls, furnishings. and equipment.

The ability of correct mats to scrape the dust, dirt, wet, and other filth from the feet of incoming patrons, thereby safeguarding against heavy abrasive wear, is particularly noteworthy in the case of carpets. Many theatre operators have found to their dismay that a frightful mess can be made of their carpets during bad weather without adequate mat protection, but, on the other hand, exhaustive studies have shown that the dry, hard particles carried in during the best of weather can inflict equally terrible damage on carpeting. These fine bits of dirt literally cut the nap of the carpet to shreds and slash the life of even the iinest carpets in half. It should be noted that even the most up-to-dutc carpet cleaning equipment will not remove these grit particles thoroughly.

Since dirt which does not get into carpets cannot damage them, a proper

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 282