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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 39 (5)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 39
Page 39

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 39

material; and since the Kentile is greaseproof, neither wall nor floor surfaces can be damaged by lipstick, cosmetics, soap and other substances. Also important to management is the fact that re-decorating costs are eliminated, because this wall and floor finish is permanent and will never have to be replaced.

The Beekman

An intimate theatre possessing many features of unusual interest is the Beckman, located on New Yorka upper East Side in a high-rental residential neighborhood. Its keynote is sophistication.

The unusual is first encountered in the foyer, where, in the absence of a conventional boxofiice, tickets are sold across a five foot desk of Macassar ebony, flanked by marble boxes containing handsome green growing plants. The young lady who dispenses tickets sits out in the open and acts the role of hostess. The foyer is lighted from a white domed ceiling with a red lip and recessed fluorescent panels. Foyer walls are of bleached oak and Italian marble, floor is black terrazzo. Three pairs of brushed stainless steel doors lead into the theatre proper.

Extra Comfort for Patrons

Inside, a gentle ramp leads to the auditorium with its 538 red mohair rocking-chair seats. Here again the Beekman impresses patrons with its extra thoughtfulness for their comfort. Seats are mounted to provide three and a half feet of space between rows. The shell-shaped auditorium is of the stadium type. Gold draperies surround the screen, Walls are of serpentine construction to prevent sound vibrations from the screen. The pastel green walls never require redecoration, because the color has been mixed into the plaster itself. There are cove lights over the main auditorium and vertical cove lights on each side of the screen.

The 26 by 50 foot lounge is reached by descending shallow steps leading down from the foyer entrance. Immediately to the right, at a kidney-shaped Macassar ebony table, a hostess serves coffee or tea. Soft cove lighting, wood paneling of bleached oak and walls paneled with fabric wallpaper invite patrons to relax here. They need not miss any part of the picture, as a 25 by three-andaa-half foot Window overlooks the orchestra section (if the auditorium permitting a View of the screen and, incidentally, permitting patrons on the cross-over to look down into the lounge.

A fountain of red Lorenzo marble is the focal point of the rear wall of the lounge. It is flanked by plant-boxes, also 0f marble. The room is floored in green and furnishings include sofas, benches and chairs in various shades of upholstery to harmonize with walls and draperies.

The powder room has turquoise glass fibre draperies, builtein make-up table, green plaster walls on three Sides and one wall of mirror.


Color usage and interior planning of the theatres described here exemplify the


new changing theatre design and the gradual passing of the era of supercolossal structures of garish decorations.

Appropriate lighting for marquee, foyer, lobby, auditorium, lounge, powder room and stage are the province of an expert on lighting, for problems are vastly different in various areas of the theatre. Illumination must not only provide safety for patrons, and clear visibility of the screen, but must dramatize and effectively bring out fabrics, draperies and furnishings.

Skillful acoustical treatment of walls and ceilings is essential. Walls that reflect light from the screen are disturbing to the audience. Walls covered with fabrics selected because they kill reHections present a problem in maintenance, for they soil easily.

Choice of suitable flooring is largely dependent upon the activity in any given area of the theatre. Under a marquee and in the outer lobby, terrazzo is an excellent choice. In areas of heavy traflic such an inner lobby, corridor and foyer, asphalt tile provides beauty and utility, with low initial cost and low-cost upkeep. Kencork is another resilient tile notable for its non-slip qualities and excellent acoustical properties. It gives an air of underfoot

luxury to a lounge and the rich natural cork coloring blends well with any color scheme. Rubber tile is valued for its high resiliency, its sound-absorbent quality, and its clean, crisp colors.

Of the many types of seating available, the trend in theatres being built today leans toward the push-back or rocking-chair type. Choice of upholstery materials and drapery and curtain fabriCS is influenced by the color and style of the theatres architecture and decor. In a small theatre where one objective is to achieve a spacious look, solidtcolor hangings in light tones will effect this look best; in the ultra-modern theatre where ornate decoration is absent, a boldpatterned fabric may be used for dramatic contrast with the simplicity of the other elements.

Managements problem, whether concerned with new construction or with modernizing an old theatre, is considerably simplified by entrusting a single authority with over-all planning. Through him can clear design, furnishings, color, lighting and projection. It is his job to correlate and to create a perfect whole. Otherwise lighting may destroy color, decoration ruin projection, and operation have cause to complain of design.

REALIZING THAT first impressions are extremely important. the designers of the Beekmun produced a front that is colorful and modem in design. It tells passersby that fine film entertainment is msxde.
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 39