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1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 443 (419)

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition
1950-51 Theatre Catalog
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 443
Page 443

1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 443

the job, should be completed a week in advance of the actual opening date, so that it will be dry in time for any testing of the booth equipment deemed advisable.

The refreshment stand is another part of the theatre which requires particular consideration. The first step in readying it for operation is the unpacking and cleaning of all equipment, such as griddles, coffee urns, popcorn machines, etc., all of which are normally kept in the concession building throughout the winter. All exterior surfaces are generally coated with grease to protect against moisture, and this coating is removed. At least a week prior to reopening, this equipment should be thoroughly tested to make sure that it is in operating condition, and any trouble corrected well in advance of the actual opening date.

Simultaneously, the entire concession department is repainted, floors as well as counters and signs. In the meantime, the refreshment stand manager is engaged in contacting food suppliers and hiring personnel for the season. In the case of established drive-ins, these two operations are both fairly routine because staffing and foodstuff requirements may be readily calculated from experience gained in previous years.

Other physicalproblems which must be considered included: checking of all lavatory fixtures; ordering cleaning supplies; requisitioning tickets and a petty cash fund; ordering carbons, fiashlights, boxofiice statements, and other operating necessities; making arrangements with the local bank for night deposits, money wrappers, and deposit slips; landscaping the area neatly; and contacting the local police to provide assistance and protection. A final overall cleaning should be undertaken just before opening night, so that the theatre will present an immaculate appearance.


Just as a dress rehearsal is held for a dramatic presentation before opening night, so a drive-in theatre should be given a ttdry run" just prior to the seasons official commencement. A careful inspection of the entire area and testing of the mechanical equipment will serve to assure the management that everything is in good working order.

In addition, employees may be given a trial on their respective duties, so that any errors or misunderstandings may be rectified immediately. Cashiers, for example, may be subjected to practice tests to determine their degree of proficiency. Finally, each member of the staff should be personally inspected to make sure that his or her uniform fits correctly, for the prestige which a drivein is accorded by the public depends to a large extent upon the personal appearance of its personnel.

When everything is in readiness from the screen to the ramp boys, Shoelaces, the drive-in may throw 0an its gates, confident in the knowledge that it is a theatre which the American family will be. proud to honor with its patronage. An established tradition of the finest in outdoor entertainment year after year will make each reopening a festive occasion that will herald the advent of spring as much as the first leaves on the trees.


THE MAIN GATE with its boxoffice dominated entrance lanes should be made bright and aggressively modern. Particularly after dark, this is the last lighted area the entering patron Will closely observe.



Much of the satisfactory performance of the drive-in theatre depends upon the degree of care exercised in preparing the sound and projection equipment before the reopening after the winter shutdown. Climate, severeness of the weather, construction and location of the booth, and the shutdown procedures employed are factors contributing to the deterioration affecting the system between seasons. Present-day costs and possible scarcity of replacements makes it imperative that maximum precautions be taken to guard against equipment failure both at the beginning or during the operating season.

If the industry had been able to foresee the possibility of material shortages or restrictions and the curtailment of building in the amusement field at

the time the drive-ins closed for the 1950 season, infinitely more care would probably have been taken on the whole by all exhibitors to protect their equipment during the shutdown period. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and, as a result, some of the equipments were not given the best of attention prior to shutdown.

This fact alone makes it more important than ever that the reopening of drive-ins should be carefully superviSed by people thoroughly familiar with the equipment in order to prevent failures. Experience has proven that most dependable overall operation of an installation is obtained when equipment is installed, shut down, and reopened under the supervision and recommendations of an experienced service inspector.

Due to the number of types of equipment used and other factors mentioned above, only generalities can be considered here.\It must be appreciated that, even under the most expert care,

PAI'NT UP and clean up is the order of the day. Now is the appropriate time to banish rust and weather stains from the face of the screen and the balance of the screen tower through several coats of paint.
1950-51 Theatre Catalog, 9th Edition, Page 443