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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 16 (xvi)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 16
Page 16

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 16

The glass above. the counter, for about 12 inches, should be etched in a design that will obliterate from public view the money on the counter.

The lady patrons will especially appreciate a small shelf or handbag rest about 14 inches below the change shelf, and projecting from the front of the boxoffice.

The boxofiice exterior may be imished in marble, granite, glass blocks, stainless steel, wood or brick facing, depending on the design and decorative motif of the entrance. It may be advantageous to use the space below the counter as a display frame, provided proper protection against glass breakage is afforded.

For the convenience of patrons, rather than for the cashier, the height of the deal plate should be three feet, six inches above the sidewalk level. Adjustable chairs are available to seat the cashier at the proper level.

Five feet above the sidewalk level, a speakhole, measuring four inches in diameter, and equipped with a standard or specially designed closure, should be provided.

Other considerations in planning the boxoffice interior are storage space, telephones, heating and air cooling, and a push button signal to summon the manager. To insure good circulation of air, an adjustable grille should be fitted into the door of the boxoflice, and another in the ceiling. If an island boxoflice is used, some difficulty may result in supplying heat and air conditioning from the theatre systems. In this case, include a fan outlet and an outlet for an electric heater in addition to the louvered door and ceiling grilles.

Price signs and lighting outlets also must be included in equipping the boxoiiice. The cash drawer should be within easy reach of the cashier, and should have compartments of sufficient size and number.

In localities Where boxofiice robberies are frequent, it is advisable to install a floor safe for the deposit of money as fast as it is collected. The safe is a good safeguard against holdups, since it can be opened only by the manager or some other authorized person.

In remodeling the front, the boxoffice, entrance doors and display frames should be integrated into a pleasing, efficiently functional scheme. Should the theatres entrance be narrow, and plans for widening it not be included in the project, serious consideration should be given to the building and location of the standard size display frames.

Display Frames

No more than four outside display frames are needed to accommodate the standard 40 by 60 inch posters, at medium sized theatres. These may be a pair of corner frames, with one double frame on the corner at either side of the entrance, or a single frame on either of the entrances facing the street, in addition to tw0 single frames on either side of the vestibule between the building line and the front entrance doors.

Depending, naturally, on the design of the front, the exterior frames can be combined with smaller frames on the I return pilasters or can be in the same


plane. The smaller frames should accommodate still measuring either 10 by 12 inches or 12 by 15 inches. If the entrance is especially narrow, frames on the returns are not advised, as they reduce the Width of the entrance. A solution in cases of narrow entrances might be curved frames, each holding a 40 by 60 inch poster, set diagonally at the corners.

Since the marquee soffit lighting gene erally will be sufficient, exterior frames do not necessarily require additional illumination. However, a special circuit may be provided with outlets in the soffit to accommodate reflector type spot or flood lights to give additional light to the display frames, if desired.

It is not always good practice to plan a large quantity of advertising space, which must be kept filled at all times if the front is to present a good appearance. Posters, stills or art work required to fill display spaces call for a major entry in the weekly budget, and the space for displays should be determined by budget limitations. Individual theatres will have particular problems as regards outside display advertising, and it is well to disauss these problems with the manager or department head in charge of advertising before planning the display frames.

Entrance Doors

Replacement, and possibly relocation, of the front entrance doors is frequently part of the remodeling job. Except for a few unusual circumstances, the doors should have as large glass panels as can be obtained in order to permit an inviting view of the lobby from the street. All-glass doors are also highly recommended.

Many smaller theatres are so constructed that no lobby is possible, and the seats are close to the front entrance. In such cases, solid panel doors will be required. If at all possible, the theatre front should be rebuilt to include a lobby or, at least, another set of doors between the last row of seats and the outside door.

The pair of doors immediately adjacent to the boxofiice should be equipped with outside pull bars, while all other doors should have only inside push bars or plate so that they can be opened only from the inside. This will aid in the conu trol of incoming and outgoing patron traiiic during rush periods. The entrance doors must also be equipped with butts, top and bottom locking bolts, door closers, locks, and hold-open devices. The space over the doors may be simply a glass transom with a fixed sash, or may be used as a double-faced display frame, depending on the entrance design.

A recess of at least two feet, six inches, from the building line to the first set of entrance doors will have to be provided so that the doors will not swing out over the public right-of-way, and, if space is available, an open vestibule approximately 10 feet in depth from the building line to the doors is of advantage. This allows the designer to extend the marquee soffit and lighting over this area, thus creating an aid in handling rush period traffic.

Some material which will hold up well in all types of weather and require the

least amount of maintenance should be used to cover the vestibule. Marble, structural glass, porcelain, enamel, or a high grade of brick facing are well suited for the job.

Entrance Floors

In most cases, the floor of the Vestibule will have a slight ramp to join the levels of the lobby floor and the sidewalk, and it should be of some non-slip material such as terrazzzo, with an abrasive added, or tinted cement. The floor also can be recessed for perforated rubber mats which are effective decoratively and in removing mud and dirt from patronsy shoes. If it is decided to use rubber matting, the sections should be no larger than three feet by five feet for easy handling. Between the mats provide metal dividing strips with the floor recessed between the strips to equal the thickness of the mats. TheSe rubber mats are available in three-eighths of an inch and one-half inch thicknesses, and come in a wide variety of colors, patterns and designs. It should be noted that the primary function of rubber mats is to collect dirt, and it will be necessary to take the mats up every day to clean them and the floor underneath. In smaller theatres they should be used sparingly because of the additional labor required to keep them clean.

THE LOBBY Lobby Lighting

Many theatre operators seem to forget that the seating areas of their houses are viewed by patrons under very subdued light, normally. In continuous policy houses, the only patrons who see the auditorium fully lighted are those who are seated before the beginning of the first show, and the few who remain until the end of the last reel in the evening. It follows logically that it is a good idea to spend more money for highly decorative treatment in the lobby and foyer than in the auditorium. This does not mean that the auditorium is not to be decorated but is meant to emphasize restraint in using decorative effects which cannot be fully appreciated under subdued lighting.

All remodeling projects should embody some rejuvenation of the lobby area, even if the work amounts only to painting and general cleanup. As the lobby, and perhaps an adjoining fovor, connect with the outside vestibule and with. the auditorium, they are the first locations encountered by the patron, and should present a pleasant impression. As these areas also are the most brightly lighted, they readily lend themselves to interesting decorative treatment. Incidentally, modern lighting is the most important requisite for the theatre lobby.


Installation of a new lobby ceiling, fabrics or mirrors may be sufficient to give the lobby the new look desired. The ceiling, usually of plaster, affords the designer an opportunity to use his

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 16