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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 174 (140)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 174
Page 174

Drive-ins Mentioned

Compton Drive-In Theater, Compton, CA

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 174

Review of the Use of Signs and Letters

Pictorial Presentations

of Installations

Showing the Trend in Modern Front Design

Motion pictures are a branch of showmanship. This is a simple statement that no one could justly dispute. Being a branch of show business, it is important that the theatres SHOW the public what they have to offer. The most direct method of achieving this is by the use of marquees.

The motion picture theatres today are in a highly competitive situation. As perhaps in no other period in the industryis history, the public is being \Vom-(l on all sides for its entertainment time and entertainment dollar. Of course 3-1), wide screens, and stereophonic sound are arousing a renewed interest. However, exhibitors must still get the public into their theatres . . . and this still takes old fashioned selling.

Successful showmen have indicated an awareness of the fact that they have to sell hard every day. More and more of them are spending their advertising dolA lars in point-of-purchase promotion, which means fronts and well-lighted attraction panels which are large enough to carry powerful sales Copy in the most attractive manner.

THE TOWER, Houston. Texas


All the major manufacturers of marquees and letters report that theatres are installing larger and larger panels. One of the most requested features is panels which can be serviced through open windows, so that lamps can be replaced as easily as though they were exposed.

In addition to being practical and easy to maintain, the marquees on many of the nation's theatres reflect the imagination and ingenuity of their designers. This refers in particular to the drive-in.

The imaginatively designed attraction boards and novel lighting displays of the outdoor theatres have transplanted bits of Times Square glamour along highways winding from the historic New England countryside, through the waving Kansas wheatfields, to the Pacific.

The showmanls touch in dressing up the front of the outdoor theatre in an inviting manner, is a factor of considerable import in the phenomenal growth of the drive-in from a roadside curiosity to a vital component of the entertainment industry in the span of two decades.

Just as the magical glitter of lights

has played a key role in the physical transformation of the nickelodeon into the magnificent movie palaces representing the best of today,s showhouses, the imaginative uSe of lighting has been an equally important factor in the coming of the age of the drive-in.

Presented here are a few examples of how signs and marquees can serve as effective drawing cards. Bucks of screen towers, painted with murals or trimmed with bright swirls of neon and mazdas, are converted into imposing facades. Maquee-like structures, towers, panels, and all sorts of ingeniously designed lighting mounts serve as attention-getters and distinctive signatures.

The unusual applications of front lighting depicted here, are but a few of the various types in use today, and suggest countless other possibilities. Developed with taste and imagination, the front of the indoor and outdoor theatre can exert a surprising power of attraction, and will bring continued dividends in increased patronage.

Most of the photographs used were supplied by Wagner Sign Service! Inc.

THE COMPTON DRIVE-IN. Compton, California

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 174