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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 17 (xvii)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 17
Page 17

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 17

research into the problem of acoustics, was that upper level seating was a desirable feature. They felt that such a plan offered the most efficient solution to the control of horizontal proportions, ceiling height, and volume per seat, assuming that the requirements for correct vision are properly incorporated in fundamental planning. This form of design would also introduce a structural break-up at the rear of the auditorium that is initially helpful in controlling sound reHections.

COLONIAL DESIGN OF THE WALDO, Waldoboro. Maine, shown here, conforms to the character of the location. The open boxoffice was new.

Schlanger did not stop at just developing theories and then do nothing with them. Some of his earliest efforts at creating a theatre with the problem of acoustics well in mind were the Whitney and Westville in Connecticut. In both houses the so shaped the. surfaces as to completely eliminate absorbative materials.


Like many of the other aspects of motion picture theatre design, the auditorium lighting, in the great majority 0f cases, followed the pattern of stage lighting, A large number of existing theatres still show glaring examples of


exposed light sources lit during the picture projection period. These sources are particularly annoying to the viewer when seen within his normal field of vision. This was another problem of theatre design which Schlanger felt should be improved upon.

Some of his earliest attempts at solving this problem involved the use of indirect lighting coves. However, he soon found that they were costly to install and very difficult to maintain, and he discarded its further use.

A later development, which today is commonly known as ttdown lighting" came into use, and he encouraged the adoption of this system immediately,

because the source of light is concealed. It also allowed the. projected picture light to predominate without competition from other light sources. In the beginning Schlanger found it necessary to have these lighting fiixtures, which were concealed above the ceiling, custom made. Today this type of fixture can be found in almost any lighting fixture sales room.

In the opinion of Schlanger, the development of down lighting and the reevaluation of the nature of the surfaces of the auditorium as it reflects or absorbs projected screen light, are the two outstanding developments which have made lighting of a motion picture thea

tre, during the projection period, of a most comfortable quality.

He found that the ceiling and wall surfaces of the motion picture theatre auditorium had to be designed to control the manner in which they would receive the light from the projected picture for three reasons.

First, arbitrary decorative forms and textures resulted in disorganized and annoying patterns of light refiections from the projected screen. Also bold projections would cast shadows which in turn would be highly contrasted to an adjoining surface which would Show a high light refiection. This spotty reflection surface became as annoying as exposed lighting fixtures. Most of the interior surfaces in the auditorium were usually dark colors and for the most part absorbed light reflections from the screen, and therefore, did not contribute towards increasing the general light level of the room necessary for circulation of the patrons.

In order to increase the general light level of the auditorium, Schlanger decided that all arbitrary forms of decoration had to be eliminated, and the surfaces had to be designed so as to eliminate highlights and shadows. The effect he was after was to have a texture which would in an all over manner, refiect an undisturbed pattern of light redection from the projection screen.

This was a worthwhile development because it not only created a suitable atmosphere to View a picture in, but it also made it easier to get about in the auditorium. Another important factor

was that after the job was finished the
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 17