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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 28 (xxviii)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 28
Page 28

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 28


Teaming up with fellow architects Hoffberg, Reisner and Urbahn, Schlanger put many of his pet theories into practice during the construction of the Island, in Bermuda.

A number 01 problems faced the designers. One of theSe was the fact that the lot upon which the theatre was to be constructed was cramped. It demanded complete utilization of every inch. The shape of the lot was shch that there was not one right angle drawn in the entire plan.

The builders also insisted that the theatre conform to the coral-rock and pink-stucco architectural mood of the rest of the island of Bermuda.

Entering the theatre through a neat, clean pair of plexiglass doors flanked by a marble wall, and by reeded wooden screens, the patrons finds himself in a house that has an air of culture and quiet charm.

The 650 seat theatre has an upper mezzanine lounge which affords an open view to the entrance. One of the purposes of this type of design was to permit patrons an ideal location to meet friends.


Since water and space are both precious items in Bermuda, both the mezzanine lounge and the lower lounge are served by toilets carefully stacked to conserve piping and water.

The walls in the auditorium are gray in the corrugated palster section near the screen, and cream color elsewhere. The ceiling is sand-finished plaster painted gray-green. The chairs in the auditorium are upholstered in blue-green coated fabric on the seats, and mohair on the back. The mezzaine parapet fascia is hard plaster painted gray, and angled to reflect sound downward. Recessed downlights are used to illuminate the aisles and the house.

Instead of a marquee, the theatre has an open vestibule or portico, tied to the foyer by a flagstone floor which is continued as far as the auditorium doors.

The plate glass entrance doors have bronze hand and kick plates, and the freestanding display case is also bronze. Foyer walls are green marble on the auditorium side, and natural finish oak boards opposite. The vestibule walls are white marble.

it is in the auditorium, the screen area speeitically, that Ben Schlanger's work can be seen. He designed the front of the house so that the screen itiloated"

in mid-air, and the black masking was completely eliminated. Since this theatre was constructed in 1946, it can be seen that this elimination of the screen border

was done before the Screen was developed.

At the Island, the arrangement of screen and surround give synchronous lighting of the surround by light spilled from the picture, thus destroying the sharp contrast which has been proven irritating to the eye muscles. During short features this surround is softly lighted by bulbs from behind.

As can be seen in the accompanying photographs, the interior is free of any irrelevant decoration which might tend to compete with the audience for its attention. As in all the theatres in which Schlanger was one of the designers, the lslandls auditorium is given an almost clinical decorative treatment, For it has always been Schlangerk very strong belief that everything should be subordinated so that attention is focused upon the screen.

The upper level of the island, which seats 200, is also an example of the ilat type of balcony which Schlanger helped make possible by his research on floor slopes.

RCA Synchros

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 28