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1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 373 (335)

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition
1954-55 Theatre Catalog
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 373
Page 373

1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 373

Theatre Air Conditioning

A Review of Basic Air Conditioning Systems and A Summary of the Latest Advances Made in Equipment

Air conditioning has long been established as a basic ingredient of the successful theatre operation, dating from the early history of comfort cooling when theatres were its principal users.

The problem, then, is not whether to air condition but how to air condition.

BRIEF ; The past few years have seen tremendous strides made in the general field of air conditioning . . . In this overall improvement of equipment and methods . . . it is only natural that the systems designed for use in motion picture theatres should also be increased in eficiency.

The purpose of this article is to furnish the reader with a refresher course on basic theatre air conditioning requirements . . . and a report on the improvements that have been made . . . There are sections devoted to tips on the selection of basic air conditioning equipment . . . what can he expected from the various systems . . . and how to get the greatest degree of ediciency from the cooling equipment . . . There is also an interesting and practical example of how these principles have been applied to an actual theatre installation.

* Whot the System Should Accomplish

Certain goals of the air conditioning system should be established before selection of specific equipment to do the job.

1. The principal function of the air conditioning system, of course, is to maintain comfortable conditions through out the theatre regardless of weather and occupancy. To be satisfactory, a system must maintain a 70-80 degree temperature and relative humidity no greater than 55 per cent. These conditions should prevail uniformly through the theatre-tho front of the orchestra should not be cooler than the rear of the balcony.

2. For maximum comfort, air should be moved gently from the front to the rear of the theatre, preferably about four feet above the floor level. Enough separate supply air sources and air returns must be provided to prevent excessive air movement. Supply air should total 15 to 25 cubic feet per minute per occupant.

3. Enough fresh air should be provided to eliminate odors and enough air must be exhausted to remove smoke, if smoking is permitted. No less than six

THIS IN TON usMHco evaporative condenser tecriculates up to 95 per cent of condensing water in the Strand Theatre. Albany, New York.



Manager, Central Packaged Div" United States Air Conditioning Corp.

cfm of outside air per occupant should be introduced, and more should be provided where smoke or other conditions require it. Provision should also be made for use of 100 per cent outside air in moderate weather. This will reduce operating costs and provide entirely satisfactory comfort conditions.

4. The noise level of the operating air conditioning machinery should be low enough not to disturb theatre patrons. Where placement or characteristics of the equipment so dictate, soundproofing treatment should be employed.

5. Controls should be simple and automatic, maintaining design conditions under all circumstances of weather and occupancy. It is particularly important that overcooling and excessive humidity be avoided.

Air Distribution Systems

The actual system to be adopted will, of course, be determined by the physical character of the individual theatre. The shape and size of the building, seating capacity, ceiling height and balcony arrangement will influence the choice of equipment and the air distribution system, In any event, an architect or consulting engineer should be consulted to ascertain the most effective and economical means for attaining the desired objectives.

Four basic systems are used to distribute air in theatres: overhead, front, rear and side diifusion.

In the overhead system, a single supply duct is ordinarily run through the attic area with a series of diffusers distributing air from the ceiling. Where there are balconies, branch ducts lead to diffusers serving the areas under the balconies. Return air is taken through the door or at a low level. With this
1954-55 Theatre Catalog, 12th Edition, Page 373