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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 14 (xiv)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 14
Page 14

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 14

In choosing a location for the neighborhood or small town motion picture theatre, Schlanger believes that the first consideration should be given to the convenience of the patron in reaching the theatre. Most desirable would be a location in the center of the population to be served.

While it is of some advantage to be located on the chief business street of the neighborhood or town, it is not most essential. Usually, a location immediately adjoining the more valuable property should be chosen, he feels. Where property is excessive in cost, it is quite common to find the more valuable part of the property devoted to shop, locating the theatre by means of an entrance from the important street, and having the bulk of the building in the less costly area to the rear.

Some 15. years ago Schlanger was conscious of the trend towards a building which may have in it, at the most, a few small shops to help reduce the rental of the theatre portion. Wherever possible, however, he advises the use of minimum cost land, thus eliminating the need for shops. This permits full architectural advertising value for the facade of the theatre building.

In selecting a site, a corner plot or an inside plot having a public street or alley immediately to the rear of the plot is most desirable for the arrangement of emergency exits, controlled by local ordinances. Schlanger also stresses the need for adequate parking area. In line with this, he recommends a secondary entrance to be used by persons coming from automobiles.

Concerning Schlangeris thinking on the size of a theatre knowing the magnification limitations of 35mm film, he believes that for ideal visual conditions it should not seat more than approximately 1,200, and a 800 seat capacity represents closer to the ideal arrangement. He is of the opinion that theatres with capacities of much over 1,200 seats do not, as a rule, function satisfactorily, and are comparatively


costly to erect. Longer spans, excessive circulation areas, and more elaborate mechanical equipment become necessary. Only the operator in congested city locations, depending on transients and controlling first-run film product, he feels, is justified in constructing houses over 1,200 seat capacity. .

In the construction of a theatre its shape is naturally an important thing to consider. Schlangerls thoughts on this subject are that twoedimensional screen images and electrically amplified sound are better accommodated in auditoriums of a proper rectangle in plan rather, than the more nearly square shapes of stage theatres. The shape is determined by fixing visual standards which enable each viewer to see the picture satisfactorily. The picture must appear undistorted and its details discernible. The quality of the reproduction of the picture depends on the planning of the theatre as well as the equipment used.

When the required land area is not large enough to obtain the desired number of seats Schlanger is in favor of constructing an upper level. One of the advantages he cites for this is that multi-level seating reduces excessive viewing distances, thereby minimizing magnification of the 35mm film.


In a majority of the theatres built in the past 25 years, little or no attention was given to the problem of acoustics while the theatre was in the planning stage. As a result of this, it was necessary to make use of absorbative materials, super-imposed on the existing decorative effects of the house, in what is refered to by many architects as corrective measures. This was another problem which came under Schlanger's critical eye. Working with a research engineer named C. C. Potwin, he developed his theories on how acoustics could

THE THALIA IN NEW YORK shows the start of functionalism. Note the reversed floor incline. staggered sealing and restraint in ornament.


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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 14