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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 381 (343)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 381
Page 381

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 381

capitalize on that potential. At the present time, 75 per cent of the conventional houses in this country feature clean, modern attractive operations handling a wide variety of consumer items. A total of 95 per cent operate some kind of concession stand, with only five per cent of the houses continuing their holdout.

In addition to regular refreshment stands, 18 per cent of the houses also boast supplemental equipment: coinoperated machines for vending beverages, candy and cigarettes. These machines are strategically placed to add important additional income.

The road to these extra profits; these extra customer dollarsehas not always been easy. Modern theatre architects incorporate room for refreshment service in their basic planning, in many cases building the lobby design around a handsome stand and its necessary storage space. This is the easy way. Where the theatre is already designed and constructed without allowance for a snack stand, the job is more difficult. Even so, the impressive percentage of owners and operators who have rebuilt and remodeled to make way for the concession business indicates the importance they attach to it. Even at the considerable cost of redoing the lobby, an attractive refreshment stand is apparently well worth the trouble and investment.

In realizing the vital importance of the concession business to his overall profit picture, there is a danger that the house owner may lean too far, become too absorbed in promoting snack sales at the expense of doing a good job with his program. After all, the theatre industry is, still basically a theatre industry. It should not become a business of sandwich stands and beverage booths. The concession business is an important supplemental partebut still only a. pari- of the operation of a modern theatre.

Properly regarded as a service to his patrons and a source of profit to his business, the refreshment stand has a major role to play in the thinking and planning of the house operator.

The purpose of this article is to help you in that thinking and planning. We will offer some ideas and some suggestions, some proofs and some projects, some theories and some techniques that may find a place in your operation. These ideas and suggestions are not the thoughts of any one man in the theatre busineSS. Rather, they represent the distilled experience gained in profitable house management from New England to California, from the inidWcst to the deep south. They are authoritativa only in that they have all been tried somewhere, and they have all 'zcorkcd somewhere.

For the purpose of simplification, we have arbitrarily set up certain headings. The entire first section of this article is flt'Voted to the conventional theatre, and we have attempted to give a picture of the problems (and their solutions where possible) involved in placement of the snack stand, merchandising of the stand, personnel, stock, equipment, stor' age, cleaning, and management. The same general headings serve for the


REFRESHMENT stands should blend with theatre decor, wherever possible, and usually this is the case. Note facing on open-lop candy counlers. Ushaped stand offers double facilities. easy access.

second half of the piece, which is concerned with the drive-in.

One word of caution is necessary. Figures quoted as results of industry surveys are authoritative within limits. They should be followed as general guides, not as specific facts. We have gratefully accepted access to surveys undertaken by people vitally interested in the concessions business. Since the surveys were done by different people, with different people, and with different motives, their composite answers are valuable as trend-indicators. They should

PERFECT placement of the concession slandfacing the customer as he comes past the tickettaker into the lobby. Stand should also be close to rest rooms. stairs to balcony, for best results.

not be taken, as quoted in this article, as hard-rock fact.


In planning construction of a concession stand, or the addition of one in a theatre already operating, first regard should be given to the relationship of the stand to the rest of the theatre, both as to design and decor and as to placement.

The attractive refreshment stand is an integral part of the lobby it graces. Most authorities agree that it should blend with the coloring, the styling, and the architecture of the building. If the house is elaborate and traditional, as many downtown, first-run houses are, the snack bar should reflect the same kind of styling. On the other hand, more modern decor calls for a streamlined
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 381