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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 19 (xix)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 19
Page 19

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 19

walls, with the glazed type recommended for walls and the unglazed for floors. Usually because of limited budgets, wall tile is often installed only to the height of wainscoting or toilet stalls. As the cost of maintaining plaster surfaces is in the long run higher than floor-toceiling tile installation, this is not practical. Tile is much more sanitary, while plaster surfaces require continual scrubbing and painting. A recently developed type of adhesive permits new tile to be set on the old. Tile may be continued to the ceiling by using a bullnose at the top of the existing wainscoting.

Sanitary Facilities

Flush valve water closets are highly recommended over the old-fashioned tank types, provided water pressure in the area is sufficient. Toilet seats should be of the coverless, open front type. While the wall-hung water closet is more expensive than other types, it is the most highly recommended because it is the easiest to keep clean, and allows unimpeded floor space for mopping when used in conjunction with a hanging toilet stall.

Whether the wall type or floor type urinal is instatlled, both call for con

In old fashioned theatres, restroom Iacilities were provided for in the plan of the house as a sort of afterthought. Lavatories were sometimes situated in cellars; sometimes in out of the way corners, and little thought was given to standards of sanitation and good looks in planning them.

Today, the public iustifiedly insists

on high standards of comfort and cleans,

liness in the theatre restroom, and the job of remodeling often will call for bringing those outmoded facilities up to date. '

stant sanitary maintenance. The lips of the urinals should be set a bit below the level of the floor, and the floor should slope toward the urinals in order to prevent water from collecting on the floor and to permit the urinals to act as floor drains. The automatic valves for periodic flushing are preferred over hand or foot operated valves.


Where restrooms are situated over any kind of finished interior, membrane waterproofing is necessary, and must be installed under the fill for the entire area of the tile floor, and turned up in the walls for at least a foot. Flooding will occur in the best equipped washrooms, and membrane waterproofing Will pay for itself many times over in

protecting ceilings of rooms below when floods take place. Lavatory Equipment

Lavatories with built-in compart ments for liquid soap have been in use fOr Quite some time, and are considered the best type. Lavatories should measure about 18 inches in width, and have Self-Closing faucets to prevent water waste and flooding. If the stand does


not have a built-in soap compartment, it may be ordered with a cut out section for the insertion of a glass or metal soap dispenser.

Mirrors in metal frames and recessed in the tile wall should be installed over all washstands.

Many of the better theatres have installed newetype electric hand dryers, thus eliminating the need for expensive, messy paper towels. During remodeling, provision for electric outlets should be made if these hand dryers are to be installed. The dryers are available in wall types or in pedestal types for the central area of the room.


Entrances to mens and ladies, rooms must be separated and screened from each other. Preferably, these rooms should be located on opposite sides of the theatre, or one on the main floor and the other in the basement or mezzanine. If the theatre is so designed as to suggest that both rooms be on the level below the main floor, a common lounge between the two is a good idea, provided, of course, the budget can stand it. Such a lounge can be decorated in good taste, and can include facilities for the selling of candy, soft drinks and popcorn, and music or television for the entertainment of patrons waiting for friends or for the start of the feature film.

Ladies' Rooms

It is necessary that the ladies suite have a powder room, equipped with make-up mirrors and shelves, chairs and a sofa, and incidental pieces such as side tables and standing lamps. Walls of the powder room must be covered with a material which does not soil easily and from which lipstick can be removed easily. Glass or plastic fabrics are ideally suited to this purpose, and are available in a large variety of attractive colors and patterns. Any fabric considered should be carefully examined for absorption properties and for resistance to fire and cigarette burns.

There should be plenty of ash trays in the ladies room, and a sand urn should be placed immediately adjacent to the entrance for the deposit of unfinished cigarettes when the ladies leave. If table type ash trays are used, they should be bolted securely to stands or tables, or they will disappear with amazing rapidity. The same applies to small table lamps and small art objects.

The powder room should be well illuminated, but lighting should be of a type that is complimentary to the ladies, makeup. Tinted bulbs and properly colored lamp shades will accomplish the best effects.

Men's Rooms

The ante room or smoking room in the menls suite should serve only as a vestibule and screen for the toilet room, and, with the exception of sand urns, should be without furniture in order to discourage lounging or congregating. All too often, overly spacious and comfortable smoking rooms seem to suggest ideal locales for sociable craps games and other unseemly activities, especially if they cannot be supervised.

It is not a good idea to place public telephone booths in ante rooms; they should be in the main lounge or foyer, where they can be more carefully supervised. It has been the experience of several metropolitan theatres that the commodious menls lounge and its telephone booths soon become the private office of itsportsmen" who appropriate these public facilities to transact bookmaking activities.

It is recommended that any windows in the washroom, always a source of trouble, be eliminated, and the openings filled in with masonry. After this is done, a mechanical ventilating system which will change the air in the area every two minutes should be installed. An alternatitve to mechanical ventilation is the insertion of grilles in the doors between the toilet rooms and the theatre proper. Exhaust fans might be used to draw the conditioned air from the theatre through these grilles. As it is necessary to exhaust some air from the theatre while fresh air is being drawn into the house, the grille arrangement should not impose a load on the air-conditioning equipment which would be heavier than normal.


Good lighting in the toilet room will be more effective in gaining the favor of the patronage and in keeping these areas clean and sanitary than any other method that might be put into practice, even including the stationing of an attendant in the restroom at all times. The area outside the stalls should be lighted with a brightness of at least 35 foot-candles at the floor. A recessed fluorescent fixture with two 40-watt tubes for each two or three stalls is preferred. It will be found that when the stalls are brightly lighted, the job of keeping them clean is reduced amazingly. Not only does bright lighting cause porters to clean more thoroughly, but it works as a psychological effect on patrons that results in more tidy conditions.



If new seating is contemplated, it is very likely that the floors will have to be renewed, regardless of whether they are wood or concrete. It will usually be found that old concrete floors were drilled with holes for previous reseatings and, consequently, the floors will be chipped and cracked. Upon examination of old theatre floors it is often found that the floors were improperly constructed originally.

Row Spacing

Seat rows are usually too close together in old theatres, and where new upholstered seat backs are installed, additional space is required to conform to todayls high standards of comfort. Under no circumstances should seat rows on the main floor be installed with less than 32 inches from back to back, and less than 33 inches in the balcony or mezzanine. This sometimes results in sacrificing a considerable number of seats, but the improved comfort resulting will make the sacrifice pay off.

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 19