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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 36 (2)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 36
Page 36

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 36

World Theatres Continue to Improve

With Brazilis Building Boom Setting a Fast Pace, Progress Goes on Abroad Despite Various Setbacks

While the demands of defense production have diverted supplies of strategic materialsfrom theatre construction in the United States and Canada, virtually halting the building of new showcases and sharply limiting the remodeling of old ones in both countries, and while serious economic difficulties have curtailed theatre construction in England, France, and elsewhere, the worlds theatres nonetheless continue to improve in every respect.

In countries such as Britain, France, Germany, and Italy, where varying degrees of economic instability and the still unhealed scars of war pose serious obstacles to progress, the development of the physical theatre is measured in terms of quality rather than quantity. While relatively few new theatres have been erected in these countries in the past year, there has been considerable progress in facelifting outmoded and war damaged houses during 1951 with the advancement in this direction most impressive in Italy, France and Germany.

Theatre designers of Italy, France, Belgium, and Denmark appeared to be' the pace-setters in Europe in the past year, and the plans to come from their drafting boards have been realized into some truly remarkable examples of theatre luxury in combination with modern functionalism.

Political unrest in the Near East has not been a serious deterrent to theatre progress, apparently, for movie palaces of Arabian Nights splendor are still being built in sizable number throughout the area. Focal point of theatre progress in the Near East is Egypt, where some of the worlds most lavish showcases have been built to accommodate an enthusiastic movie-going population.

In Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and throughout South America, an extensive boom in theatre construction is producing the most significant advances, both in quality and quantity of new showcases. While the Caribbean area and South America are becoming increasingly theatre conscious, the most notable developments in construction during the year were evidenced in Brazil in general, and $50 Paulo, Brazills rapidly expanding industrial center, in particular.


The boom roars on in Brazil, and the theatre industry, nurtured by the vast industrial expansion, swelling population increase, and fabulous prosperity which have made the country "the land of tomorrow," is keeping pace with the forward surge.

As one of the most rapidly developing areas of the world, andas the largest country in South America, Brazil

ranks with the most important motion picture markets. Its population, which was 48,000,000 in 1945, today numbers 51,000,000, with the increase due in large part to the heavy How of European immigration to the country after the War.

Sao Paulo, center of Brazilian industry and the worlds fastest-growing city, has 120 theatres and 40 more under construction to accommodate its 2,250,000 population. Rio de Janeiro, with a population of 2,300,000, has 150 theatres and 20 projected ones. Before the war,


BRIEF: If the past year has been characterized by international tensions, economic instability, and uncertainty throughout the world . . . it has also been marked . . . paradoxically . . . by some impressive advances in theatre construction almost everywhere. Progress in the war-crippled nations of Europe has been remarkable . . . in view of the obstacles to be overcome. Asia and the Near East have made tremendous strides in the development of their theatres . . . despite turbulent political and economic conditions. But the most phenomenal advances in theatre building were evidenced in Latin America in general . . . and in Brazilis fabulous Slio Paulo . . . in particular. Far from the centers of international conflict and crises . . . and enjoying unprecedented prosperity . . . Latin America is witnessing a period of dynamic expansion . . . and the theatre industry is flourishing with the boom.

While it would be impossible to present a detailed survey of theatre progress in every country of the world . . . within the confines of these few pages . . . the following article is an attempt to present some of the most notable, representative advances of the past year . . . and the world theatres pictured and described here are but typical examples of how the latest ideas in design and construction are being translated into form around the globe.

Brazills theatres numbered 1,500; today there are more than 2,000.

From 1945 to 1952, an average of 470 films were distributed in Brazil each year, with 9.4 per cent of them Brazilianmade features; 74.7 per cent from the United States, 8.3 per cent from France, England, and Italy; 3.7 per cent from Mexico and Argentina, and 3.9 per cent from other countries.

In 1951, President Getulio Vargas issued a decree compelling all theatres to show one Brazilian feature for each eight foreign films. Exhibitors protested bitterly, arguing that Brazilian production of full-length features was not sufficient to supply the market satisfactorily, since small town and neighbor hood theatres change their programs almost daily, However, the government stood firm on its decision, and when 19 theatres in Rio de Janeiro refused to obey the law they were closed by the police. With their business thus threat" ened, and in consideration of proof submitted by the Syndicate of Motion Picture Producers to show that a large stock of unreleased Brazilian pictures existed, the exhibitors finally agreed to comply with the ruling, which is now being carefully obeyed throughout the country. .

With the demand for domestic features thus stimulated, Brazilian film production is on the upswing, and Cia. Vera Cruz, a budding Hollywood on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, is becoming the center of production activity. Producers there have signed contracts with Columbia Pictures for world-wide distribution of their films. One Brazilian producer, Multifilmes, is making the first domestic picture to be filmed in Technicolor. An indication of the increased activity in production is the fact that studios in Sic Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have turned out 35 feature films in the first four months of this year.

The new theatres springing up in Rio and S510 Paulo are impressive for their palatial grandeur, the luxury of their appointments, and the excellence of their equipment. .

The term timovie palace" was never more literally applicable than it is in these two cities, for the extensive use of marble-in graceful staircases, sweeping colonnades, doors, and wallseand the distinctive use of mirrors and crystal lighting fixtures in lobbies and lounges, gives a characteristic statelimess to the new crop of showcases. With few exceptions, the new theatres have a formal appearance, combining many features of auditorium design and lobby decoration which were popular in American theatres about 15 years ago with the latest ideas in functional planning. The effect is luxurious, formal modernity without severity or pretentiousness, and is a dominant theme in Brazilian design, although there are several notable examples of departures from the typical influences.

Almost all of the countryis theatres are equipped with sound and projection systems, and other projection room supplies, of such American brands as Simplex, RCA, and Century-Westrex, and while equipment of French, Italian, British, and even Brazilian make has appeared on the market since 1945, Brazilian exhibitors still give preference to American brands. The projection rooms of Brazilian theatres are especially noteworthy for their roominess and the tiled fioors and walls which give them a neat, clean, maintenance ease, appear THEATRE CATALOG 1952
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 36