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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 29 (9)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 29
Page 29

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 29

comes from the curved footlighting trough at the edge of the platform in front of the screen. Light is projected upward to the ceiling, as well as upon the curtain, from this point.

All lighting sources in this theatre are concealed with downlights recessed and the best possible cut-0E3 obtained by the proper equipment. Equal care is also taken to furnish upward lighting from concealed sources with similarly satisfactory cut-oifs. As far as the footlights are concerned, proper precautions were taken to prevent a glare when the desired illumination is thrown on the ceiling. Lighting engineers achieved this end by plotting the sight lines from various points in the balcony to the footlight trough, thus assuring a proper cut-off.

The combination of downlights and uplights in the Paris auditorium has resulted in a luminous atmosphere which helps to create a feeling of space and repose.


The actual selection of materials for theatre design cannot be treated in general terms, as it grows naturally from the broad design plan under development. The range offered is wide, and application is a matter of imagination and personal expression. The broad underlying principle is that good materials should combine interesting colors. Most people entering the auditorium have their eyes primarily on the Screen, not on the walls. The greatest problem centers, therefore, in the lobby and interior rooms, rather than in the main auditorium.

In the Loconia

A shrewd choice of building and decorative materials, in cases where it is desirable, can help to make a small lobby appear much larger, as in the moderne ized Laconia, Bronx, N. Y. Architect Seymour Joseph installed glass doors and a transom the full width of the lobby (fully visible from the street), thus making it appear much deeper. A dramatic lighting elTect was created by cold cathode tubing from the ceiling to the marquee, an arrangement which also

COLD CATHODE TUBE LIGHTING has been installed on the plastic ceiling under the marquee of the remodeled Luconiu, Bronx, N. Y. C. All-glass

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adds to the illusion of greater space.

The interior was completely repainted in a paste] green and the auditorium walls covered with a pink and green fabric furred out over the old absorptive material. A further touch of color was added to the exterior by wall-facing material of forest green structural glass with horizontal aluminum members for support and design.

In the Victoria

An ingenious use of materials was made at the Victoria, New York, by Architect Edward S. Stone. This shoddy old legitimate playhouse with 713 seats was remodeled and 335 seats added. A chief feature in an aluminum-mesh curtain for the Walls of the auditorium, balcony, and gallery. This is a fabric formed of pear-shaped scrap-aluminum stampings from film-reel holders, threaded and clipped onto narrow, flexible metal tape, and applied to wood blocking. Monotony is broken up by sculptures along the side walls and candelabra at the rear of the auditorium.

Advantages of this novel treatment are: (1) economy in saving expenses of scaffolding, plastering, and painting by leaving an unfinished aluminum mesh wall. The architect was able to use bare cinder blocks for new wall areas and ignore the old grill openings and minor breaks; (2) good acoustical properties, since the material is porous; (3) unique decorative effect; (4) improved lighting. A satiny aluminum wall fabric picks up reflections from screen, and in the case of Technicolor films, color is redected back from the walls to bring the action into the theatre more.

Predominant color for the interior is an opera red appearing in the carpeting and the seat coverings. The ceilings of the foyer and marquee are continuous and covered with closely-spaced lowwatt bulbs. A distinctive feature of the foyer wall is a full-length mural which is changed to conform to the current film offering.

In the Central

Economy without compromising quality is exemplified in the new GOO-seat Central, Central Islip, Long Island, N. Y. The

problem of Architect Maurice D. Sornik was chiefly that of physical shape. The theatre narrows down from a 60' front to 40' at the screen end. Sornikls solution was to reduce the width of the screen instead of projecting parallel walls.

He thus accomplished two objections: (1) good acoustics without use of expensive sound-absorbing materials on the sidewalls; and (2) proper reflection on the screen and elimination of aisle lights on the chairs (an even intensity of light throughout the house because of the narrowing walls obviates the need for them).

The facade is of concrete blocks in stone ashlar design, while a colorful California redwood Hagstone lobby floor further contributes to the rustic atmosphere appropriate to the location. The foyer areas are of Philippine mahogany.

Gray and Chartreuse are the basic colors used throughout the house. Walls are of flameproof damask in these tones, while the carpets are red and gray. The lavatories have glazed ceramic tile walls, vitreous tile doors, and acoustical ceilings.

Miscellaneous Types

Other types of modern materials enable the theatre operator to plan construction of a new theatre with economical expenditures for ornamentation. A new interior finish wallboard has a new tone-on-tone color treatment (devised by Ketcham) which gives depth to the colors, reduces reflections, creates a note of luxury, and introduces a material of acoustical value.

Similarly asphalt tile, a popular floor covering, can be applied with equal effectiveness to walls or wainscoting. Such wall treatments as these provide definite economy in the elimination of painting, decorative wall designs, and draperies.

Finally, modern fluorescent dye colors, used for upholstery on the rims of aisle seats, will aid the progress of those who enter the theatre while it is darkened.


When a suitable floor covering for any one area of the theatre is considered, the activity which is to be carried on in

doors and box-office add to visual impression. Candy bar has a? peppermint-striped lacing on a lined oak and enameled wood showcase with glass.
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 29