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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 24 (xxiv)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 24
Page 24

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 24

Ben Schlanger . . . Construction


The Jewel in Brooklyn, New York was one of the early theatres on which Ben

Schlanger was the architect. Although it was constructed in 1936, it is still a modern looking hO'uSe thanks to the work of its designer who put many of his then new ideas into operation in the construction of the Jewel.

The theatre was fashioned out of an existing theatre and a portion of a public market building. However, since only the walls and roofs of the previous buildings were allowed to remain intact, the Jewel was really a new theatre, and not just a remodeled one.

Following Schlanger's thoughts on theatre construction, the entire architectural scheme is functional, omitting ornamentation except for a simple stripe pattern of the fabric used along the side walls below the lighting coves.

The architectural lines were based on provisions for illumination and ventilation, for Schlanger long believed that audience comfort was one of the most important considerations in theatre construction.

The Jewel's auditorium side wall fabric was a delicate blend of rust, cream and gray. Wherever it was indicated, a layer of rock Wool was extended across the facia of the stadium for sound absorption purposes, and the entire facia was surfaced in an unpatterned coral-colored fabric. The plastered ceiling and walls were painted in warm grays shading from dark near the screen to light toward the auditorium.

The lobby enters upon the foyer area, which is continuous with the standee space, or promenade. The light sources were of the open louvre type concealed in the ceiling.

The fioor slope was of a modified reversed-incline type. With auditorium lighting up, the wall illumination is continuous from rear to the screen. The walls are vertically divided into sections each forming a shallow recess in a parabolic curve adjusting to reliect light from cove laniping at the rear edge, out and back into the auditorium. Cove lamping was in three colors with dimmer control, low-wattage lamps being used, spaced 10 inches on centers.

The main floor lounge immediately off the foyer, was in direct line with the auditorium and separated from the

standee area by only a low barrier. There being no glazed partition, the performance can be heard as well as seen from this lounge. This was one of the first theatres to adopt this type of lounge. The lighting was from concealed sources in plaster ceiling coves. The carpeting and furniture, in keeping with the entire mood of the theatre, is functional and modern in design and appearance.

There is another lounge located directly beneath in a sublevel reached by stairs from the main lounge, and giving access to menis and women's rooms.

The front of the theatre was finished with "California Stucco" limestone finish. A large marquee projects the full depth of the sidewalk. The marquee sofiit is illuminated with individual aluminum reHectors instead of the exposed bulb strip lighting that was commonly in use at the time of construction. The main entrance doors are aluminum with Alumilite plating.

A visitor to the Jewel would have difficulty in believing that the theatre was constructed in 1936, Schlangeris use of modern materials and modern thinking created a house that has retained its youthful appearance despite the passage of a number of years.

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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 24