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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 36 (16)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 36
Page 36

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 36

1950-51 Review of New Theatre Construction

A Pictorial Coverage of the Design and Structural Trends in Recently Opened, Award-Winning Theatres

Depicted on the following pages are a number of roofed theatres which, due to one or more outstanding features, have been selected by the Editors of THEATRE CATALOG for presentation in this 1950-51 Edition. Before discussing further the characteristics of these theatres, however, a few words should be said about a special badge of honor, first awarded to their 1949 predecessors, which will be bestowed on them also.

1949 Merit Awards

Shortly after the 1949-50 Edition of THEATRE CATALOG was published, the Editors decided that some sort of distinctive medal of achievement should be conferred upon those theatres which had merited pictorial treatment in the book. Accordingly, a large bronze plaque (see illustration on this page). was designed for presentation to each theatre for display in a prominent Place. The owners or operators concerned were notified that they had been awarded one of these ttOscars" and requested to designate the party and the address to which they wished it sent.

The award was made in the names of both THEATRE CATALOG and the PHYSICAL THEATRE Department of its sister publication EXHIBITOR, on the basis of functional plan, showmanship, design and construction excellence in relation to the patronage the particular theatre was designed to serve. Out of the 450 roofed theatres and 1,000 drive-ins built during 1949, 37 of the former type in the United States, plus 4 in Canada, and 7 drive-ins in the United States were selected for this mark of distinction. The domestic awards were made on a completely national basis with the winners covering 13 states.

It was the hope of the Editors that the recipients of these plaques would capitalize as much as possible on the exploitational possibilities of the awards, and this wish was, in the majority of cases, admirably fulfilled. Enthusiastic letters and telegrams poured in from the theatre executives expressing their pleasure in the fact that their houses had been so honored and related the arrangements they were making for formal presentations of the plaques at cocktail parties, special dinners, and ceremonies on theatre stages.

Some conception of the efforts typical merit award winners put forth in order to impress upon their communities the importance of the honor accorded their theatres may be gained from the following examples. In Baltimore, for instance, Harry Myerberg, president, Crest, rw ceived the award from Marylandis Governor Theodore R. McKeldin on a tele< vision show over Station WMAR-TV. Richard Lochry, manager, Arlington, Indianapolis, received the award for his theatre at special ceremonies on the

BRIEF: Long one of the most notable features of THEATRE CATALOG . . . and the particular favorite of theatre designers and builders . . the annual review of new theatre construction . . . presented on the following pages . . . now has added significance.

In short . . the 37 new structures pictorially treated in this volume will be the recipients of the some merit award . . . a handsome bronze plaque suitable for mounting on the facade or other important place . . . which was last year awarded to 41 roofed theatres and 7 drive-ins reviewed in the 1949-50 Edition.

This ftlndustry Seal of Approval,, . . . which has already become a coveted honor . . has brought invaluable publicity to the theatres so concerned . . . many of which held formal presentation ceremonies with important dignitaries and large crowds on hand to witness the occasion . . . It is a mark of distinction which the following best theatres of 1950 will also be proud to receive.

stage from Trueman T. Rembusch, president, Allied Theatre Owners of America. The set of 20th Century Foxis "Youire in the Navy Now" was the site of the presentation of the plaque won by the Whittier Drive-In, Los Angeles, to Charles Caballero, president, Pacific Drive-In Theatres. The award was made by EXHIBITOR representative Paul Manning while Gary Cooper, star of the picture, looked on.

In every instance, the awards were given excellent coverage in local news THE ANNUAL MERIT AWARD symbolizing the Theatre Industry's only "Seal of Approval."

papers, and considerable community interest was aroused in the event. It is expected that the same effective publicity will accompany the award of these plaques to the 37 (30 in 22 states, 1 in the District of Columbia, 1 in Canada, and 5 foreign) first-class theatres built during 1950 which have been selected for pictorial treatment on the pages which follow.

New Theatres of 1950

Long before NPA Order M-4 halting any further new theatre construction was issued, a number of fine houses were constructed which incorporate the best in architectural ingenuity and scientific planning. In keeping with the axiom that a misfortune is somehow tta blessing in disguise," slipping boxoffice receipts in the past two years or so have exercised a powerful and beneficial influence on theatre design and construction. 9

The theme of satisfaction to the patron which has dominated these 1950 theatres has also been carried out in ways other than the provision of exquisite surroundings for his relaxation and enjoyment. For example, many of them incorporate television lounges where theatregoers may enjoy their favorite video programs while waiting for the show on the screen to start or at other times. Not only are these television lounges a real service to the customer, they are also a shrewd theatre answer to the threat of this new visual medium. By offering television facilities themselves, theatres may recapture some of the ttlost audi-enceli that has stayed at home to watch their own sets.

Secondly, increasingly conscious of the parking problem, many new theatres are providing parking areas for their patrons so that there will be no inconvenience involved in coming to the movies by car. Parking facilities are particularly found at those theatres which are incorporated into regular community shopping centers.

Finally, a sizeable number of new theatres have provided such special services as checking facilities, hearing aids, cry rooms, art galleries, community rooms for civic functions, etc. These added facilities are specifically designed

to impress upon patrons the fact that ,

the management has their best interests at heart in furnishing these extra conveniences.

The extent of the above special features and the space allocated for them may be partially responsible for the fact that the new U. S. theatres presented on the following pages average only 9001,000 seats in size. Of course, wider spacing between aisles and more limited operating budgets also account for this general reduction in seating capacity from that of previous years.

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 36