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1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 9 (ix)

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition
1952 Theatre Catalog
1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 9
Page 9

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 9

Allurrent liuide tn . ..


The kickoff of any modernization program should be a careful examination; of the communityis building codes. These outline the legal requirements for aisles, ample exits, steppings, passage illumination and structural safety. Often present day safety measures were never complied with when the theatre was built, nor have they been taken since for the reason that the codes were drawn up after erection of the theatre, and few codes are retroactive. Enforcement officers cannot compel compliance in such cases, but they can demand that the provisions of the building codes be strictly adhered to when the owner applies for a permit to remodel.


The widening of exit courts, fireproof construction, and increased spacing between seats, resulting in major expense and a possible lowering of seating capacity, quite possibly may be demanded by local law. It is well to bear in mind these considerations before the project is started, so that the owner is financially prepared to comply with the law in cases where modern safety precautions were not embodied in the erection of the theatre.


In order to estimate the cost of bringing a theatre up to date, it is necessary to inspect the building completely with a competent engineer. Moreover, provision in the remodeling budget must be made for items not considered in preliminary estimates, as such unforeseezible contingencies are almost certain to arise.

A logical start of the inspection is a thorough examination of the roof. In many old theatre structures, the roof is Supported by wooden trusses. Since the theatres roof is generally supported entirely on the outer wall construction, either on steel columns or masonry piers, the trusses require especially careful



New technical advances, new trends in architecture, and the ravages of everyday wear join to effect a slate of gradual obsolescence on all theatres, and remodeling, often tantamount to erecting a new structure, is a periodic necessity. But since erecting a wholly new structure is seldom required to bring a theatre up to date, and as such rebuilding is often econolnically Int/easible, the owner will naturally be interested in refurbishing

what he has in the best possible way and with minimum cost. This can be accomplished to best advantage when he acquaints himself fully with the necessary inspections, replacements, and renovations which any remodeling project entails.

---u:-I study. It may be found that some parts of these old Wooden trusses are no longer offering support, especially at their points of bearing on the wall. When leaks develop in parapet Walls, deterioration of the bearing points of the wooden members comprising the trusses will proceed to a point of dangerous rotting. To determine the extent of such decay, surrounding masonry should be removed.

Exterior Inspections

In the overall inspection of the build ingts exterior, certain key points should be carefully checked to determine what deterioration has resulted from erosion, rust and moisture seepage, and to plan remedial work. Roof coping should be checked for open joints and cracked, loose or missing units. Parapets will have to be eXamined for defective flashing or unprotected mortar joints. Other matters that call for immediate attention include improper sealing of cornices, sills and projecting elements; absence of drip-grooves or lips on projecting trim members causing an increase

in the Volume of waterflow down the sides of the walls; defective or inadequate conductor heads, drains or leaders, which may cause an overflow of water down the surface of the wall; moisture drawn up by capillary action from the earth to the foundation of the building; moisture from cooling towers or air washers on or within the building? porous or poorly glazed brick surfaces, and the corroding effects of sulphur dioxide on the facing of the building.

Mass concrete, even when saturated with moisture, shows little deterioration due to water alone, but if water is present when severe cold weather occurs, the freezing of the water will cause expansion within the concrete, resulting in chipping and cracking; If freezing penetrates the thin covering at the reinforcing rod so as to expose it to the air and subsequent wetting and drying, corrosion of the steel and iron builds up particles of rust and causes more concrete to chip away, and deterioration to progress at a rapid rate if not immediately repaired. To remedy such an occurrence, sufficient concrete must be cut away to provide a key anchoring, and the exposed steel must be thoroughly cleaned before fresh concrete is put in place. A bonding agent should be used on the old concrete to secure the new mortar.

Defective concrete will "dust" or pow. (lcr on the surface, and when the powder is brushed off the surface is revealed to be roughened. After a few years, hairline cracks occur, making the concrete more vulnerable to the ravages of weather and moisture. A coating of cement paint usually suffices to seal up these cracks.

If there is a considerable amount of moisture in the walls when the temperature drops below freezing, expansion within the wall will sometimes be of great enough degree to cause cracks in the mortar joints and weaken large masses of masonry. Alternate freezes and thaws will hasten disintegration by washing away particles of fractured

1952 Theatre Catalog, 10th Edition, Page 9