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TOPIC: Wood V.S. Cement

Wood V.S. Cement 27 Mar 2002 10:13 #27734

  • poppajoe
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I would like to know what the advantages are when installing a sloping floor made of cement as to wood. Some of the older theaters still have the wooden floors. If I were to buy an older theater would it be wiser to take the wooden flooring out or leave it in.
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Re: Wood V.S. Cement 27 Mar 2002 11:25 #27735

  • mesbursmith
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Many older theatres have wooden floors. Today, fire regulations would not permit construction of a new theatre with a wood floor. Other than fire safety issues, the advantages of concrete floor are:
- more structurally sound
- much better to fasten seats to the floor
- quieter
- lower maintenance
- will last longer
Depending on how much work you are planning to do in an older theatre, you may not be able to keep the old wood floor. Most local building codes require that if your renovation is greater than a certain value, the entire building must be brought up to current standards. (This also applies to disabled access issues, so check with your local municipality before doing anything)
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Re: Wood V.S. Cement 05 Apr 2002 22:14 #27736

  • Avalon
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If you go wood, some areas require sprinklers under the floor. When I built mine five years ago, I went with wood. Had to put in fire breaks between the studs in the floor. What I like about it is ease of seat installation and rearranging. If you want to run low voltage aisle lights: flip up the carpet, run a router along the route, lay wire, fill with fix-all, reattach carpet. I hear there is a way to do concrete now that involves Styrofoam forms and blocks that makes it much easier and cheaper. I'm working on plans for a twin and that's the way I think I’ll go this time.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: Wood V.S. Cement 10 Apr 2002 09:46 #27737

  • mesbursmith
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When we did the restoration of the Pantages theatre in Toronto, we had to build up the existing balcony to improve the sightlines and increase the row spacing. We did this with steel studs and wood platforms, as the existing structure couldn't take the weight of new concrete. We had to provide sprinklers under the wood steps, and we used two layers of fire rated plywood for each platform. This gave us good fastening for the chairs.
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Re: Wood V.S. Cement 15 Apr 2002 23:12 #27738

  • MovieGuy
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I would think that cement would be alot easier to clean after patrons drop their snacks/sodas. Just speaking from experience. Our floors are concrete that we have painted.
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Re: Wood V.S. Cement 15 Apr 2002 23:23 #27739

  • BurneyFalls
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I have a wood floor in my auditorium that was painted dark brown. I had the floor refinished before I put in my new seats. It is now beautiful natural red fir. Cement may be far superior, but the beauty of wood adds a nostalgic warmth that cannot be beat.
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Re: Wood V.S. Cement 17 Apr 2002 08:19 #27740

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Roy Thomson Hall, our performing arts centre in Toronto, is currently undersoing a $20,000,000 renovation, mainly to improve the acoustics. They are laying a new hardwood floor through the whole auditorium, and removing the carpet. This will be applied over an acoustic layer (probably cork) over the existing concrete. I think this will improve the acoustics a lot, giving a much "brighter" orchestral sound, but will also greatly warm up the space.
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