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Boxoffice-January.03.1953

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION

DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION The boxoffice at the Lona Theatre, Mancelona, Mich., is located Inside the lobby because of the severe northern liitui^. winters, "^^B^r»^ and the large rubber-link rug which may be seen in front of it is recessed into the lobby between the boxoffice and the doors to the foyer. A center drain is in the floor recess which allows water from melted snow to drain away— a maintenance help. The boxoffice is notable for the fact that it combines the ticket sales with the popcorn department, and con be handled by one person. A SMALL-TOWNER WITH BIG-TOWN ECONOMY IDEAS Electric Cables in the Sidewalk And an Inside Boxoffice Meet Northern Winter Conditions by HAVILAND F. REVES Construction of a small theatre to serve a central northern Michigan area that is mixed rural and resort country has been scheduled on a minimum budget by R. Curtis Guthrie, owner of the Lona at Mancelona. There was an old 220-seat house in this town which he operated, bearing the same name, but business conditions justified a larger house, and during the past year he has built a new 470-seat theatre. Probably the most unusual feature of the theatre is that it was constructed at all points at a minimum of cost under Guthrie's direction. Despite the various restrictions placed on construction, it has been possible to open a new and larger house with some unusual features, indicating the ingenuity and enterprise of one exhibitor when he decided that his community justified and deserved his own business expansion. OLD BUILDING TO BE CONVERTED The old theatre building is to be converted into a store. Construction is not complete as yet, with the front of the new building not to be finished until next summer, but the theatre is now operating. Approach to the house is facilitated in the cold months by the installation of electric heater cables inserted in the new cement sidewalk in front. This makes snow removal easy—an important factor in the cold weather and deep snow often encountered in northern Michigan. The boxoffice is located in the lobby rather than on the street—a location selected at least in part to meet climatic conditions as well. A large rubber-link rug is recessed into the floor in the outer lobby, directly between the doors and the boxoffice The floor recess in I see picture > . which the rug is sunk has a center drain, which allows water from melteu snow The auditorium of the 470seat Lona is well illuminated, with all light directed to the floor and seats, and the fixtures so placed that no stray light reaches the screen. The owner of the theatre has found that it is less expensive to operate a well lighted house from the personnel standpoint, and it is also easier to maintain a quieter and more orderly theatre when the illumination is kept at a good level. |[||l|llll— K^lllllllllll The building itself is 48x99 feet, built of cinder blocks. The roof is of the wood-truss type, a simple and relatively inexpensive construction, but very adequate for the small town house. 16 The MODERN THEATRE SECTION

ought in on the clothes and shoes of customers to drain away—and helps interior housekeeping very importantly in this northern theatre. The boxoffice has an unusual combination—in that it is built into a single unit with the popcorn department. The entire unit can be handled by one person after the first show, resulting in a substantial increase in popcorn sales, according to Guthrie, and incidentally a reduction in operating costs. The house has a toddle or cry room, which is an absolute essential, well worth its cost for the small-town theatre, in Guthrie's opinion. This one has the unusual facility of rocl^ing chairs for mothers or others, and a sponge rubber floor covering. SPECIAL COMFORT SEATING Seating by Heywood-Wakefield is a special point of pride with the owner, who refers to it as a "cactus fiber" type. This is, according to R. G. Christensen of the sales department of Heywood-Wakefield, a texlite pad. made by the Sponge Rubber Products Co., placed over the spring unit to give added patron comfort. It is 88 per cent rubberized, curled hair with 12 per cent rubberized wool, forming a topper on the pad about a quarter-inch thick. The texlite used has a rubberized cottonette backing vulcanized to the material to create a built-in insulator. The entire pad is one inch thick, and is said not to bunch, shift, sag or cup. It is both moth-proof and vermin-proof, and its marked resiliency is expected to give a much longer period of maximum comfort. Five seats have been specially equipped with head phones and appropriate connecting equipment to accommodate hard-ofhearing customers. These sets have been welcomed and given unexpectedly heavy use in the small town—population of Mancelona is 1,000. A WELL-LIGHTED HOUSE The lighting system is a very modern design, from the ceiling, with all light directed to the floor and seats, and so placed that there is no stray light reaching the screen. This enables patrons to reach their seats without the aid of an usher. It is definitely found, according to Guthrie, that a light house not only is less expensive to operate from the personnel standpoint, but it is a quieter and more orderly house. The projection room is equipped with Motiograph projectors and sound system, using the new F1.9 super Snaplite lens. Projection is on a Cycloramic screen, which Guthrie considers a very fine combination. This equipment, carpeting and other equipment, except seating, were installed by Ringold Theatre Equipment Co. An unusual feature is a homemade, electric elevator, designed to handle films and supplies, operating from the ground floor up to the projection room and store rooms, which are on the second floor level, eliminating much heavy lifting. / H-^- 'CHOSEN Out of one ... the one that is many comes head and shoulders above the rest . . . the one and only HIGH INTENSITY SCREEN CHOSEN for Natural Vision "BWANA DEVIL" the three-dimensional feature that's breaking box office records , . . but you must see Walker screens to believe your eyes ... to believe that Walker is the one screen that has absolute crystal clarity, snow-white brilliance, long-lasting economy. NATIONAL THEATRE SUPPLY has everything for your special "3rd dimension" needs: mechanical and electrical projector interlocks, 5000 ft. magazines, 5000 ft. reels and 5000 ft. rewinds. And remember, 27 years of National Theatre Supply experience and know-how can help you with all your projection problems. ATIONAL THEATRE SUPPLY Divitien of Natlonol * Sir I BOXOFFICE January 3, 1953 17