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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 18 (xviii)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 18
Page 18

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 18

light level was maintained without any csst for current consumption.

Following Schlangerls thinking, it then followed that the only secondary light sources which became necessary were those that would be used to provide very bright lighting for intermission periods, and such local lighting as required for aisles, promenades, etc., the latter being accomplished effectively by the use of the concealed recessed type of ttdown lighting."

One of his earliest examples of surface texture projected screen light control was in the United Artists Preview Theatre in New York City. Some more recent examples are the Pix, Rock Hill, S. C., the Island, Bermuda, and many others. One which Schlanger considers to be an outstanding example of surface texture lighting, is the Cinema, Framingham, Mass, in which the entire surface of the interior consists of a specially angulatized perforated metal by which is concealed all acoustical absorbing materials and recessed ligthing.

The problem of projected period lighting was not fully solved, in Schlangeris estimation, until the immediate invironment to the picture screen was considered. Examination of some of his early work shows that he was already working on this problem. The Sutton in New York, and Jewel, Brooklyn, were constructed with auditoriums where all of the surfaces, with the exception of a narrow black mashing around the screen, were of a very light and uniform color. The Crown, New Haven, was one of Schlanger's earliest experiments in which

the surfaces of the auditorium were allowed to continue and meet the edges of the projected picture, with the complete elimination of even the three inch black masking which he had used up until this time. It was Schlangeris work on this problem that led directly to the development of the RCA Synchro-Screen.



One of the very first things which Schlanger gave a great deal of time and study to, was the problem of seating and sight-lines for the motion picture theatres. As mentioned earlier, the first paper he ever prepared for the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, back in 1931, was concerned with this problem. In any consideration of Ben Schlangerls work and contributions to the industry, it is almost mandatory that his thoughts and deeds in this area of activity be given consideration.

When Schlanger made his entry into the motion picture theatre phase of design and architecture, most of the theatres constructed were patterned after legitimate stage auditoriums. He quickly realized that this approach was entirely wrong for the presentation of the then still new medium.

At that convention of motion picture engineers, Schlanger said that the motion picture theatre auditorium floor slopes did not have to follow the forms required for stage theatres. He introduced a type of fioor slope for orchestra seating which sloped upward toward the screen, instead of downward, thereby permitting much milder pitches in upper level seating. This was possible because the motion picture screen, a vertical element, could be raised or lowered to suit the scheme of th flooer slope. Stage theatres do not permit this hexibility because of the necessarily fixed position of the stage opening.

It can be clearly seen from these observations that Schlanger approached this problem after a great deal of study and thought, and was from the very beginning a champion of discarding outmoded and inefficient theatre designs. He saw immediately what many who had spent years in the industry failed to see; motion pictures were a medium all by themselves, and in order to properly

EARLY EXAMPLE OF ME. SCHLANGER'S CONSULTATION WORK is the Empire, Montreal, Canada. left, designed by Eliasoph and Greenspoon.

present them theatre auditoriums had to be constructed specifically with that purpose in mind. Placing a screen in an auditorium designed for live performances would not do the job.

At the time Schlanger introduced his thoughts on reversing the door slope, the orchestra floor of theatres pitched downward towards the stage, the total pitch varying from about three feet to 10 feet, in accordance with the depth of the seating.

These pitches created costly excavations, inabilities to locate exit doors in relation with outside grades, and very poor, steep balconies. Schlangefs studies indicated that the motion picture screen could be placed in any position, in a vertical sense, in a relation to the elevation of the seats of the auditorium.

"DUAL INCLINE" OF THE KENT. Montreal. Canada, shown below, was designed to slope seating downward as well as upward toward the screen.
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 18