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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 157 (123)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 157
Page 157

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 157

Electrical characteristics: 500 watts, 208 volts, for operation on (SO-cycle alternating current. Plug is 3-contact polarized type.

Attractive yet durable finish: The final product is finished in scratch-resistant, sun-tan baked-on enamel.

On-ofT switch for ready control by car occupants.

Adequate line cord length to permit plug-in of heater on speaker post and placing heater on door in either front or rear of car as desired. Eleven feet was found to be a practical length.

Induction type motor for greatest efficiency plus quiet operation and no interference with speaker sound.

Oil-Lite bearings for life-time lubrication.

Nickel and element.

Two-blade aluminum fan.

Double fusing of each heater for complete protection and case-grounding of neutral line for safety and no shock hazard.

Three rubber feet to keep heater stable on irregular surface.

The heater with these features did not spring full-blown from our lab and factory. Instead, it grew slowly out of tests by trial and error in actual operation in these two big theatres in Cincinnati and Louisville over a period of nearly four years.


The first heaters went into USe in Cincinnati on a cold and snowy March 1, 1950. The theatre stayed open every remaining month that year-ten months of operationeand with more than twice the gross receipts of 1949. And in 1951, 1952 and 1953 the theatre operated 12 full months with a substantial increase in revenue and proflts each year over the preceding year. Although this theatre was already built and in operation and the ground had to be torn up for rewiring, the owner states that this installation paid for itself in two years. It seems reasonably evident that an in-car heater program will, in the slogan of the trade. "Keep the Habit-Going Public in the Habit 12 Months 21 Year."

chrome alloy heating

Experience In Louisville

The experience of the Louisville operator is equally encouraging for operators

WHEN THE hon: leave the drive-in the heaters mo roiumo to the boxes to be used once more.


who see heated cars as the answer to their seasonal problem. This llOO-car operation equipped 750 speaker posts for heaters and is now staying open 12 months with profitable business each month.

Cincinnati and Louisville are in a temperate weather zone in which in-car heaters may be expected to operate successfully to keep outdoor theatres open year-round. The success of such operations in any locations farther south is virtually assured. In December of 1953 an installation was made in a theatre near Gary, Indiana, in the extreme northern end of the state. At this writing the installation has been in operation only a few weeks, but early reports indicate that this theatre is open every night and enjoying heavy traffic during a normal winter.

Many questions, of course, occur to anyone who may be thinking of a wiring program. The cost of rewiring a theatre already built must be weighed against the added revenue to be gained from a longer season with greater patronage. In the case of new construction this cost is materially less. A simple, practical wiring diagram for a typical drive-in is available on request from any theatre operator.

What about temperature rise in the car? No statement can be made that will apply universally because of all the variables involved, such as age and weather-tightness of the car, wind

velocity, pre-heating of the car from its own heater, etc. But it may be said that under average or typical conditions the in-car heater will raise car temperatures

DISTRIBUTION of heaters is simplified through use of a flatbed truck that holds nesting metal boxes. each one containing eight in-car healers.

in sub-freezing weather to a comfortable level within a few minutes.

The question of frosting the windshield has been raised. Experience of several years indicates that this is no problem.

Heater Distribution

How are heaters distributed and recovered? A simple and practical method is to load the heaters about eight to a box in nesting metal boxes which are easily and cheaply fabricated, perhaps in. the theatres own maintenance department. Haul these boxes on a fiat-bed truck to the boxofiice and distribute heaters individually to cars as they drive in. Heaters are reloaded into the boxes as cars leave after the performance.

Experience at Cincinnati and Louisville over several years shows that loss of heaters and damage are negligible. At both these cities heaters are offered to patrons from about November 1 to May 1wsix months of daily use. They report that 99 per cent of patrons appreciate the service and take good care of the heaters. Of course, the heaters are so wired that they are useless for household installation.

One operator keeps tab on his heaters by placing a card or tag on any car that doesnit want a heater. Outgoing cars then must deliver either a heater or the card.


Proper advertising and promotion of the in-car heater service is, of course, highly important. Newspapers, programs, marquee announcement, screen slides and public address system announcements are all effectively used both to inform the public of the availability of heaters and to tell patrons how to handle and use them.

The entire idea of heated cars is so new that it is perhaps too early to assess accurately the future of this development. However, if the experiences of the operators who have tried this service are an indication, in-car heaters may well prove the key to keeping the marquees lighted on many drive-ins all-yeabround so that your patrons will love you in December as they did in May.
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 157