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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 25 (xxv)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 25
Page 25

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 25


FIG. lS-An adequate dropped ceiling is obtained through hangers securely attached to the root members by means of special clamps and stove bolts. and to the runners by bolts through contrasting punched holes. Special care

should be exercised to be certain that these hangers are under tension

tation entails additional expense which will bring no return, and is not recommended.

Auditorium Lighting

Auditorium lighting is of two general types: intermission and projection period lighting. Lighting during the intermission period can be either of the direct, indirect or concealed type, and should be bright and cheerful. As it is used for only short periods, eiiiciency is not particularly important in this type of illumination; its purpose is mainly to create mood or atmosphere. An effective method of intermission lighting is the use of flood or spot lamps of the inside reflector type to bathe the screen end of the auditorium in a flood of light. When the stage or screen platform thus becomes the focal point of the house, it becomes more important that it be decorated in an especially attractive manner.

Projection period lighting should be only of the concealed or indirect type, With the former type preferred as indirect lighting consumes a great deal of current and presents a maintenance problem because of the accumulation of dust in the light coves. Highly adaptable for use during the projection period is the downlight fixture of the type which may be either completely or partially concealed in the ceiling or can be attached to the ceiling where necessary. The feature of the downlight is that the light source is not visible. EXposed light sources, regardless of Whether they are covered with diffusing materials, should be eliminated from the walls of the auditorium if they are lighted when the show is on. A common annoyance in many old theatres is the old-fashioned wall fixture which casts a distracting light into the auditorium all during the projection period.

Painting Auditorium Walls

Directly related to the lighting problem is the repainting of the auditorium. AS the screen light is the principal source of illumination during the pro 1952 THEATRE CATALOG

jcction period, the manner in which the walls reflect screen light is a critical factor.

What type of paint to use on the auditorium walls may be determined by a simple test. First, project a white light on the screen from one of the arc lamps, with all other light sources turned off. From a seat position about two-thirds back from the screen, observe the reflection of screen light from the various sections of the side walls, noting those sections which reflect the most screen light, those which reflect the least, and those which have intermediate'reflection qualities. Surfaces which reflect the least light should be painted the darkest shade or color; surfaces which reflect the most light should be painted the lightest color, and an intermediate shade should be used to paint the other surfaces.

It is desirable that all colors used produce a cumulative effect of a uniform neutral gray under illumination so as not to distract from the screen presentation. This is especially important because of the increasing use of color film. The lightest color can be almost white. When walls are painted in shades which compensate for varying amounts of light reflection, the result, when observed with white projection light on the screen, should be reflection of almost uniform density from all visible wall surfaces. Uniformity of reflected light is an important factor in cutting distraction to a minimum, and permitting the greatest possiblc concentration on the screen presentation.

Surfaces above the wainscot that come well within the audience area, at least two-thirds back from the front row, should be surfaced with a diffusive texture which will allow no more reflection than that given off by fine sandpaper.

The size of the auditorium will largely determine the choice of colors which will produce the best decorative effect and create the desired atmosphere. It is good practice to use stronger tones in larger interiors; lighter colors will be

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and carrying their portion of the load utter plastering has been completed. 12" on center across the main turring angles or channels. 3"" cold rolled channels are attached by approved wire clips. and the metal lath is

attached by wire ties.

more effective in areas where space is tight as they tend to create an illusion of spaciousness. Proper color selection will produce just about any mood desired. Red is cheerful and sitmulating, while blue is soothing and restful. Green gives the theatre a cool, inviting appearance. Yellow imparts a fresh, bright atmosphere. Purple is glamourous and dramatic, but should be used in limited quantity because it is dark. Deep blue, maroon and brown may appear depressing unless they are combined with bright, lively shades like orange, yellow or gold.

THE BALCONY Balcony Seating

Most remodeling experts work on the theory that every balcony seat can be occupied some time, at orchestra prices. To update inadequate seating facilities, they bring the sight lines of all seats in focus, reduce steep slopes and increase the space between rows. Of course, this often means a considerable loss in seats, but what is lost in capacity will more than be compensated for in good will, comfort and repeated patronage.

Before any remodeling work in the balcony is undertaken, the structural supports should be carefully examined for weakness, and repaired or replaced where necessary. If the theatre is es-, pccially old, it is probable that stairs, cross-overs and vomitories should be revamped for easy passage.


It is often found that balconies have been designed with a steep slope to increase seating capacity, and quite often it is possible to increase the width of steppings in order to increase the space between rows. If it is found feasible to reduce the height of stair risers, wide and easy stairs may be installed without grcat change in basic construction. With comfortable seats, comfortably spaced, and the climb to thcm made easier, balcony admission prices can justifiedlv be raised to the love] of orchestra prices.

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 25