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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 180 (146)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 180
Page 180

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 180

Indoor Drive-In -An Idea for the Future

Part of a Community Shopping and Recreation Center,

. This Unique Showplace Could Fulfill a Definite Need

There was a movie I particularly wanted to see when I was visiting Montreal recently, but as I started out for the theatre the hotel doorman said the outside temperature was 28 degrees below zero. It didnit take me long to decide to stay indoors that evening. Then the idea for a roofed drive-in

theatre was born.

I thought how pleasant it would be to be able to drive from onels garage at home directly into a heated theatre, see a first-run picture in the comfort of the

# BRIEF: The strongest selling points of; the roofed theatre in a shopping center and the outdoor drive-in have been combined in a plan to integrate an indoor drive-in theatre into a single structure with a community shopping and recreation center . . . The potentialities of such a unit . . . with each component part operating to the advantage of the others . . . suggest a wide new field for future exploration. Estimated to cost from three to four million dollars, it is thought that such a project could be amortized in from 20 to 25 years. Since the center is planned on a huge scale, it would have to be located in cities with a large enough concentration of population to supply adequate patronage . . . and would be best suited to localities where winters are normally severe. Two alternate, scaled-down versions of the original plan are offered. More than a mere dream . . . the idea of an indoor drive-in in a community shopping and recreation center is well on the way toward realization.

car, and drive home-all without having to get out of the car at any time. Such an indoor drive-in would have obvious advantages in extremely cold weather, as well as when rain poses a threat to miladyls finery or that suit fresh from the cleaner, and would eliminate the parking problem, one of the big deters

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Vice-President in Charge of Sales Drive-In Theatre Manufacturing CDrnpany

rents to movie-going in the city. The more I considered the idea, the more it appealed to me.

That night I roughed out some sketches of how I thought an indoor drive-in theatre should look and worked out some preliminary cost estimates. As the idea took form, I at first visualized a large, one-story building housing the theatre and a childrenls playground; then the suggestion of a two-story structure, with the theatre on the top floor and a complete shopping center and recreation area on the ground Hoor, presented itself.

The potentialities of a shopping center, a recreation section, and an indoor drive-in theatre, all combined in one compact, efficiently planned unit, would be enormous. Each of the three would have separate but supplementary customer appeals. The shopping center could include grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, lioristsl shops, jewelry and appliance shops, clothing stores, bank branches, and even chain department store branches. Incorporated in the recreation area could be a swimming pool, tennis courts, an arena for spectator sports, a dance floor, and other features. Persons attracted by the shopping facilities or some feature of the recreation center would very likely attend the theatre as well. All general components of the unit would operate to the mutual advantage of each other, as has been repeatedly demonstrated across the country at large community shopping centers which include theatres (see ttA New Theatre in a Regional Shopping Center" in this volume-Ed).

An indoor drive-in theatre would combine the strongest selling points of the outdoor drive-in and the conventional shopping center theatre, while having several additional advantages over both.

Some Advantages

Unlike the outdoor theatre, the roofed drive-in could operate from noon to midnight, and in all weather. There would be no more waiting until dark to run the Show. There would be no need to end operations in early fall or cancel performances in unseasonably bad weather. There would be no annoyance from mosquitoes and other insects which plague drive-in patrons on hot summer nights.

Planned as a dual-screen operation, with a partition of metal lath and plaster dividing the theatre into two separate but identical parts (see accome panying sketches), two different films could be run simultaneously. The theatre, really two theatres in one, would have a capacity of 1,100 cars (550 to each side) and would have balconies to seat 1,000 walk-in patrons on each side. (If this big-scale planning seems too grandiose for practicality, think of how fantastic, say, Radio City Music Hall would seem to exhibitors in the nickelodeon era, or recall the scepticism which greeted the announcement of the first outdoor drive-in about 20 years ago.)

In front of each screen there would be a stage with all accessories necessary for vaudeville shows. Also, the theatre could be leased for Sunday morningchurch services for both car patrons and walk-ins.

A playground for smaller children, equipped with a merry-go-round, mechanical horses, swings, slides, and: everything known for their amusement, would be situated on the lower levelof the building so that it could be easily accessible to the children of shoppers as well as those of theatre patrons, and would be easily reached from the theatre by pedestrian inclines leading from

THE ROADSIDE VIEW is that 01 a large and attention directing lacude that can be lumber dramatized through flood and skip lighting. Commercial development follows the highway.


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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 180