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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 52 (18)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 52
Page 52

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 52

by 20th Century-Fox Import Corporation, the Amir was designed to have multiple appeals, and the fact that Alexandria has somewhat oriental aspects coupled with the various influences of a large European population, plus the fact that the city is the summer headquarters for the Egyptian government, Were prime considerations in its planning.

It cannot be truly said that Egypt prefers its historical architectural modes over contemporary Continental or American design, but there is nonetheless an oriental feeling for luxury in architecture and decoration, as reflected in most of the big theatres of the country, and as achieved at the Amir.

The reserved-seat policy of all theatres operating in the Near East, together with the multi-lingual situation in Egypt, have had a marked bearing upon the design of the Amirls splendid facade. Two boxoffices, one on each side of the entrance were included to handle advance booking and current ticket sales.

Since it is required by law that any foreign language used in advertising be duplicated in Arabic of comparable size and elevation, the name of the theatre is spelled out in two signs, identical except for the difference in language, and which provide a striking effect. The forms of letter display common to the United States meet with unfavorable criticism in Egypt, and in the few instances where overly brilliant, garish lighting effects have been tried, the results were invariably poor. Great masses of light, unless subdued and ffprettyfl are considered offensive to Egyptian taste, and this has been taken into account in planning the lighting display of the Amir. Changeable Arabic plastic letters over the marquee give a lacy cresting to the simple canopy, and similar European plastic letters are installed at each change of the show over the display frames and boxofiices. All changeable letters are back-lighted by neon tubing. The facade is faced with a base of German granite of a reddish brown tint, side units of richly figured Belgian marble, and a center unit of Italian artificial stone. Four pairs of tempered glass doors, over which concealed neon tubing lights a plain expanse of blue glass mosaic tile, constitute the entrance. The marquee soffit is lighted by coves and downlights, creating ample light at the entrance without being too obvious or producing any glare. The marble facade between the signature signs is floodlighted from the roof of the marquee by multiple rows of neon reflectors, which also serve to illuminate a 24*sheet placed over the marquee to advertise the current attraction, in deference to the fact that in the multi-lingual city of Alexandria pictures form a universal language.

After passing through the glass entrance doors, the patron necd not pass through any other doors to reach his seat, for access to the auditorium and the grand staircaSe which opens on the rear of a two-row loge section in the balcony is by means of curtained light locks. The coloring of the walls and the lighting of various portions of the building contribute to the effectiveness of the continuous, forward means of access.

ALSO IN EGYPT. the Metro, Alexandria, is a modern theatre complete with Adler letters and frames amplified by Egyptian characters.

Mirrors, water gardens, elaborate plaster scrollwork in the arched ceiling, and rich inlaid marble floors contribute to the rich appearanCe of the lobby and foyer. Four lounges, all lavishly appointed, have been provided, and four groups of public toilet rooms were installed. The main lounge is designed as a swank cafe, complete with cocktail bar, tables, and booths. The usual complement of offices, lounges and toilets for the staff, kitchens, bar services and storage rooms have been provide for, and special entrances for the office, service, and personnel have been arranged. There are also candy and soft drink bars in the lobby.

The auditorium, having 612 seats in the orchestra, 578 seats in the balcony and 62 seats in the loge section, shows the oriental love of luxury in its ornate decorative treatment and an appreciation of modern standards of comfort in its furnishings. Each seat has double arm rests, and rows are spaced 431/2 inches back to back in the loge and 39 inches back to back elsewhere. The walls


The Editors of THEATRE CATALOG are deeply appreciative of the efforts of Mrs. Rose Ekerman, National Theatre Supply distributor in Brazil, in the preparation of the section of this survey relating to Brazil. Much of the data on the current status of the theatre industry in Brazil and most of the photographs of theatres in that country were generously supplier] by Mrs. Ekerman.

Acknowledgment is also mode of the

valuable assistance and cooperation of E. H. McFarland, 20H; Century-Fox Corporation, in the preparation of the section on Egypt.

The Editors also express thanks to the Adler Silhouette Leuer Company,

Kroehler Manufacturing Company, Radio Corporation of America International Division, National Theatre Supply Export, and W'eslrex Corporation. for their generous contributions

of factual data and photographs for the survey.

have been paneled with blocked leatherette, which provides a quiet contrast with the elaborate plaster coves which run vertically across the ceiling from rear wall to proscenium.

No detail has been Spared to bring the new Amir into the ranks of the worlds best theatres and it refiects credit upon the Egyptian industry as well as upon its architects, E. H. McFarland, of 20th Century-Fox Export Corporation, in association with the New York firm of John and Drew Eberson.

The Amir is equipped with Simplex sound and projection systems, Peerless Magnarc lamps, and Hertner transverters.


Seriously beset by political and economic problems, the countries of Asia have had little opportunity to encourage the development of their theatre industries, but some progress has been reported in the past year.


In India, several outdoor theatres have been built, there has been some remodeling of outmoded indoor theatres, and a new theatre, the Motilal Talkies, was erected in Mysore. Seating 600, the Motilal Talkies is located in the center of Mysore, capital of Mysore State, in southern India. Construction began in December, 1950, and was completed in August, 1951. Equipped with Simplex projection and sound, it is now the finest theatre in the city.

French lndo-Chinu

Another new theatre, the Olympic, was recently opened in Saigon, French Indo-China. Main features of the Olympic, which seats about 500, are its reserved-seat enclosures-boxes on both sides of the entrance at the rear of the auditorium-and the interesting effect which has been achieved with decorative gridwork over conventional square lighting fixtures which have been recessed in the auditorium ceiling to form a symmetrical pattern. The familiar five interlocking circles of the Olympics is the only decorative motif, and the symbol is used repeatedly throughout the house and on the facade. The Olympic is equipped with 35mm. and 16mm. sound and projection equipment of Italian manufacture.


Australia currently has 1,650 motion picture theatres, the quality of which has been maintained at an exceptionally high level, generally speaking. While there are undeniably many sub-standard houses throughout the country, quality abounds in the metropolitan centers and the suburbs in scores of theatres which are as advanced as any in the world.

Although there has been no theatre construction in the country for the past 13 years, because of a government ban on amusement construction due to a shortage of building materials, the standards of the management, maintenance, projection and sound reproduction range from good tocexcellent throughout most of the industry. It is expected that the ban will be removed this year.

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 52