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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 382 (344)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 382
Page 382

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 382

WHERE. HEAD-ON POSITIONS is not possible. concession stand running length-wise in long lobby can do a )ob. Staggennq counter area provides maximum display. makes for tempting appearance.

candy counter, svelte of line, and functional in design. In the friendly, homey atmosphere of the neighborhood or small town theatre, the more casual construction-the simpler lineeis desirable.

The wide choices of materials available to the modern builder make achievement of this ideal a simple matter if proper thought and planning are given to it. For best possible effect, however, the designing of the concession stand should be undertaken by a professional in the business, either an architect or an interior designer, or both.


In planning the placement of his stand, the theatre owner has many factors to take into consideration. First of these is traffic. The ideal position from this viewpoint is headon in the lobby, where the stand will be seen by patrons immediately after they have passed the ticket-taker.

There is a definite psychological reason for this. Until patrons have surrendered their tickets at the door, their minds are occupied primarily With

thoughts of getting inside. They do not want to be, and actually may not be, distracted by secondary purchases. Once past the ticket-taker, however, the patron is fair game for attractively displayed refreshment. He has just opened his pocketbook to buy his ticket, and is in a spending mood, He has not as yet turned his attention to the business of getting a seat. If he is immediately attracted by the sights, sounds, and aromas of a snack stand, chances are good that he will buy something.

On the basis of past experience, he is most likely to buy popcorn and candy at this particular point. He will return to the booth during the show, or between shows, for cold beverages, ice-cream items and other merchandise. For that reason, the stand should be placed adjacent to, but just of, the main trailic lane into the theatre. It is unwise to arrange things so that concessions customers jam the entrance channels or so that people with money to spend are hurried in their selection by pressing crowds behind.

IN OLDER THEATRE-ES, placement ot concession stand is sometimes a problem. Many houses have had to close in Side of narrow lobby. Profit picture indicates stand is well worth this expense.

It is even more unwise, of course, to clutter exit lanes. For this reason, the most desirable position is in the broadest lobby location where all tramc has freedom of movement.

It is also good merchandising, where possible, to have the stand located where patrons headed for the balcony stairs or the rest rooms must pass it.

One additional factor arguing for the headon lobby position between the tickettaker and the auditorium, the factor of control. If a seated patron must pass through the ticket-taker to reach the refreshment stand, control is necessary in the form of handout checks or some other device. In addition to creating a problem for management, this passout system creates a mental and psychological block in the minds of many patrons, who will do without the refreshment they desire rather than approach the ticket-taker for permission to leave the house and return.

Obviously, it is not always possible to find such ideal locations in theatres that are already in operation. As mentioned earlier, remodeling may be necessary in many cases to take full advantage of the profit opportunities of this "second boxoffice inside your theatre." Where that is the case, many operators have knocked out two or three rows of seats in the back of the auditorium to accommodate a lobby-facing snack bar. As one exhibitor put it, tta few seats more or less are not a major concern of the house owner these days. The extra profits possible from a well-placed refreshment stand are."

Even in the most crowded houses, it is usually possible to find room for an adequate concession stand. A vacant corner may be converted to use, an offlobby room may be opened up, or a deadend may be facedvin. Highly successful stands have been built with long counters along the length of narrow lobbies-as complete islands in the middle of the more spacious lobby. Space and location are not obstacles where ingenuity and forethought are used.

One circuit in the New England states experimented with placing the snack stand inside the auditorium itself, walling it off with glass so that its light and sound do not disturb people watching the movie. Although it reports success with the scheme, it is not given much acceptability by veteran operators for one principal reason-refreshment buying is impulse buying. Place a stand at the patron's back, where he cant see it, and the impulse to buy is to a large extent removed, they say.

Wherever the refreshment stand is placed, extreme care should always be taken that it does not disturb the seated customers. Violation of this sound rule of good management is frequent, and never fails to cause resentment on the part of the customers who hear more sound from the refreshment stand than from the speaker system. In many cases, the use of sound-proode walls for the concession stand will eliminate this problem.


The standard refreshment unit in the modern theatre has several component parts, all of which must be allowed for

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 382