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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 147 (113)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 147
Page 147

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 147

The New Palads in Aarhus, Denmark

Stringth Government Controls Are No Obstacles to The Luxury and Comfort of This Neighborhood Theatre

To operate a theatre in Denmark, an exhibitor must first obtain from the government a license which allows him to run one theatre at a given location. Since an individual can operate only one theatre, no circuits can be established in the country. And since the license is for a theatre on a particular, limited site, physical expansion is not permissible without another license.

With the state regulating the number of licenses that may be issued, licenses are restricted to such an extent that a scarcity of theatres exists in Denmark, and attendance per theatre per show is accordingly much higher than in most other countries. 90 per cent occupancy is not unusual.

AdmiSSion prices are also set by the government, and range from 50 cents to one dollar. As all theatres must cater to a wide variety of public tastes, programs are highly diversified, and no one particular type of film can be shown as a regular policy. The art house, the foreign cinema, and the general audience type theatre must be combined into one with a balanced representation of films from each classification. In general, however, Danish pictures and American "A" pictures are the best boxoffice draws, with foreign films of

FIRST LEVEL compactly features the dropped foyer and patron service rooms under the stadium.

lllllll Ell-III I l I I I -'



Architect, Copenhagen, Denmark

artistic merit occasionally being well received.

As government regulation has sharply limited the scope of exhibition, it has reducted theatre operation to a comparatively simple enterprise. Danish theatremen, while unable to branch out into circuit operations or even OVVH another theatre, are not troubled'by such matters as competitive bidding. admission price wars, and independent-vs.circuit rivalry.


Government regulation has never seriously encroached upon the freedom of American theatre operation. The Federal admissions tax, temporary restrictions on theatre construction during periods of national emergency, and local building codes represent practically all of the government controls which affect theatres in this country, and while these may be a source of annoyance to exhibitors, they present a relatively minute limitation on the freedom of operation.

In many countries, however, government control manifests itself in many phases of theatre operation, a notable example being Denmark, where an extensive socialization of the countryis overall economy has produced some inwresting, if not enviable, developments in the field of exhibition. While the close control of the Danish government has had, from an American viewpoint, some adverse effects, it has also been advantageous in several ways.

In spite of state controls, or possibly because of them, Danish theatres rank with the best in functional excellence. Illustrative of the generally high stands ards which prevail in the country is Palads Teatret (Palace Theatre), opened by Oluf Nielsen in Aarhus, Denmarkls second largest city, with a population of 150,000, and considered to be one of the nations topflight showplaces.

The Palads

The Palads, seating 800, is located in a neighborhood shopping district of approximately 25,000. On the ground fioor of the same building which houses the theatre is the branch office of the local bank; the public library occupies the first and second fioors; business ofiices are on the third; and the fourth, fifth, and sixth doors of the building are given over to apartments.

Because the building lot measures only 100 feet by 200 feet, with no additional space obtainable, the Palads was designed in such a way that the foyer is located below a stadium type balcony,

and patrons enter the auditorium by way of a broad staircase leading from the foyer up to the auditorium. Such a plan permits a much larger and more impressive lounge area and allows more space for service rooms.


The front of the theatre is faced with dark, polished marble which offers pleasing contrast to a light-colored concrete canopy over the entrance, and the blue neon sign on the canopy. Below the canopy is space for painted attraction signs, indirectly lighted, which are used in place of changeable marquee letters.

On both sides of the entrance are four display frames. Glass entrance doors are mounted in teak frames.

Outer Lobby

The fioor of the outer lobby is in blackbeige Italian marble mosaic terrazzo, with the walls faced with beige polished marble. Glass covered display frames mounted into the walls are" indirectly lighted from the inside. Bright, even lighting ig:,achieved'l through the use of fiuorescent lamps concealed above a false ceiling of wooden gridwork. The actual ceiling above this is acoustically

SECOND LEVEL varies from a hall to a complete story above the street and is the theatre itself.

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 147