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1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 43 (9)

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition
1953-54 Theatre Catalog
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 43
Page 43

1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 43

A Convertible Theatre

Englandvs First Post-War Theatre was so Constructed That it Can Easily he Converted into a Factory Site

BRIEF: It is rather interesting that the first motion picture theatre to be built in England since the end of the war is one that can be converted into a two story factory building when the need arises . . . Constructed in an industrial area . . . with an expanding population . . . the authorities recognized the need for film entertainment . . . The result is the Regal . . . a theatre with a dual personality . . . While the construction of such a house is proper . . . considering the vital need in Great Britain . . . the Editors of THEATRE CATALOG are sure that it will never become necessary for theatres in general to be constructed with the thought of converting them into something else.

The distinction of being the first theatre to be designed and built in England since the end of World War II falls to the Regal, Harlow New Town, Essex.

The most interesting feature of this British house is the fact that it was so designed and constructed that while it

can provide satisfactory facilities for the showing of films, it can also easily and quickly be converted into a factory when the need arises. Still bent under the heavy demands of her austerity program, and with the explosive global political and economic situation, it is not suprising that this countryls initial post-war attempt at theatre construcion should have a dual purpose.

Work on the Regal was completed last year and took less than five months to build. The building which was designed in the offices of the Harlow Development Corporation, was then acoustically treated, decorated, and the sound and projection apparatus, seating, carpeting and other necessary equipment installed.

To facilitate conversion of the building to a factory when required, the design basically consists of a production space with a single-span roof of corrugated asbestos-cement sheeting e now serving as the auditorium-fronted by a two story office block, of which the ground Hoor now forms the foyer, offices and lavatory accommodations. The first floor houses the projection facilities and staff restrooms. It follows the basic

design of two story factory buildings constructed in that particular area.

Construction is of loadbearing brick walls with precast concrete beam floors and roofs to the two story block, and steel trusses designed from stock steel sections forming the roof of the auditorium. The entrance front is of six-inch hollow clay blocks faced with iiuted asbestos-cement, and has a plaster ceiling on expanded steel lathing. This ceiling can be removed upon conversion and the roof sheeting and purlins are designed to facilitate the insertion of roof glazing. Windows may be inserted in the cavity brick panel walls.

Heating the two story block is by radiators with low-pressure hot water, and of the auditorium by warmed and washed air on a Plenum system. Full secondary lighting is installed.

Acoustic treatment consists of the introduction of Paxtile sound tiles built in panels around the auditorium. The Hoor has been treated with a plastic material containing wood fiber.

THE REGAL was designed as a temporary measure and therefore it was so constructed that the theatre may be quickly turned into a factory.
1953-54 Theatre Catalog, 11th Edition, Page 43