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2nd floor theatres? 23 Nov 2001 09:28 #27769

  • Mike
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Looking for a new theatre site I was recently touring a bunch of buildings with a cities eager economic development team and
one of the more interesting buildings had great 2nd and 3rd floor spaces. Solid concrete, excellent staircases, and a modern good sized elevator. Plenty of parking this is an inner small city location. My question is can a 2nd floor space work. This isn't like the Hancock Center Mall with escalators and stacks of elevators. The simple question is can you be on the 2nd floor? There is of course the life-safety code and if it says NO then it's NO. I'm more wondering about perception by the customer if it were legal. Would the customers perceive it as a flaky operation simply because they had to climb a short flight of stairs?

Mike Hurley
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 23 Nov 2001 10:13 #27770

  • mesbursmith
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Mike:

We have designed quite a few multi storey cinemas in the US, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and India. Just last week, our latest project (Cine Real) opened in Mexico City. It is a three level building with ground level retail spaces, four cinemas on the second level and four on the top level. The eight-plex accommodates approximately 2000 seats. We exhibited a scale model of the project at ShowEast, and the theatre opened the following week. The Paramount in Toronto (not one of our designs) is also a multi level complex. All the design issues such as emergency exits, handicapped seating, etc. have to be carefully worked out, but there is no Code problem that I am aware of. Most of these multi level cinemas are in large urban areas where land is expensive. There has been no adverse public reaction to any of the locations we've been involved in.
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 23 Nov 2001 17:00 #27771

FAMOUS PLAYERS just closed the Portage Place Cinemas here, which were very decent cinemas.

There was 3 screens, 1,200 seats and it was all on the third floor of the shopping centre... right across from our one and only IMAX.

One whole lobby wall was glass, looking down the 3 storeys to Portage Avenue.



Andy
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 24 Nov 2001 13:10 #27772

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Andy:

I don't know why Portage Place closed, but I'm not at all surprised. I'm sure that it had nothing to do with the fact it was on an upper level. I was born in Winnipeg, and every time I visit family there, I am shocked at how economically depressed downtown Winnipeg is. Of all the Canadian cities in which we have designed movie theatres, Winnipeg has never been a strong movie town. I imagine some of the suburban theatres, like Grant Park, are doing better.
The concept of multi-level theatres in vibrant urban centres is a viable one, as evidenced by the number of such complexes we are designing around the world.
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 12 Jan 2002 20:12 #27773

I love the Garrick. They're great! Big auditoriums, huge screens, proper projection and extremely nice people. I've noticed an increase in business lately.

This is David, right? David said something about born in Winnipeg. Drop me an e-mail the next time you're in town.



Enjoy The Show!

Andrew McCrea
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 14 Jan 2002 09:24 #27774

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Andrew

Since so many theatres have closed down in Toronto, I've noticed an increase in business at the remaining theatres too. I really think that the future bodes well for the industry. Overbuilding in the past and the failure to close obsolete theatres caused a lot of pain and suffering, but I believe a much healthier industry will emerge.
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 07 May 2002 01:12 #27775

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I went to San Francisco last week to see StarWars. The place was packed, so I didn't see you there, Ian. Glad you weren't sitting in front of me though! Anyway, StarWars played in Auditorium #7 of 15 and was on the fourth floor in the AMC theatre. I don't know how many floors there were. That got me to thinking maybe I could build UP! Just one more floor with two screens. Would that be possible? More or less costly than buying & remodeling the old buildings next door that really aren't tall & wide enough?
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 07 May 2002 06:00 #27776

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Our second screen is located upstairs in our theatre. The previous owner converted a space intended for a live in mamager into a small auditorium. We haven't had any complaints about the stairs. In regard to fire safety, we have a seconde exit leading directly to an outside staircase. That seems to satisfy everyone.
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 07 May 2002 07:59 #27777

  • BECKWITH1
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Ever hear of the ADA anyone? Those elevators required are not inexpensive.
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 07 May 2002 09:42 #27778

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elevators and much of the ada stuff usually does not apply in historic buildings. Our theatre is a 1912 vintage and we take theatre goers down 2 flights of stairs. then they walk under our two screeens and then bak up one flight and then another if they want to sit in the balcony! This was approved by the local ADA people. We have no bathroom that is ada as they are both downstairs so why would you put a wheelchair acces bathroom at the bottom of the stairs?

2nd or whatever floor theatres can work if the population is there.

If the entire theatre was on the 2nd floor I would include an elevator just to make sure I didn't leave anyone out!

Mike Hurley
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 07 May 2002 11:52 #27779

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ADA affects renovations of historic buildings as well as new construction. We recently renovated an old art deco theatre in Cleveland which we also split into six, all stadium theatres. The balcony was split in two, and the main level divided into four. The washrooms were in the basement. We added an ADA washroom on the main level, and provided wheelchair locations in all the main floor theatres. As it was not economical, or even possible to add an elevator to the balcony theatres, the owner agreed that any film playing upstairs would at some point play downstairs so that everyone could get to see it. This satisfied ADA and was approved. If you can make a reasonable case to ADA officials, you don't necessarily need to meet every single ADA requirement.
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 07 May 2002 17:16 #27780

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Regarding elevators , there is a reasonably priced alternative. We installed a Chaney platform lift for a client requiring access for mobility challenged individuals. It is installed in a framed and finished shaftway.
The unit has electric interlocking doors at both floors and has a key switch controlling access and use.The unit is driven by a electric motor powering an acme threaded shaft for lifting (similar to a vertical garage door opener on a larger scale). This unit had the capacity to carry a chairbound person, plus an attendant. At the time we installed it the unit alone cost 14,000.00 plus labor for installation and electrical work.
We have not had any issue with our second floor auditorium as we also state that any movie playing upstairs will also play downstairs. In our next phase of remodeling we are planning to upgrade our restrooms to ADA standards.Accesible restrooms need not be disproportionately expensive. The main issues are chair clearance,room for side transfer to the water closet and a compliant lavatory.
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Re: 2nd floor theatres? 07 May 2002 21:45 #27781

Well, LANDMARK CINEMAS is re-opening the PORTAGE PLACE CINEMAS next week on the 3rd floor of the shopping centre downtown!

It will be an art house, with each auditorium holding 300 seats each (1200 down to 900 during renovations).

BTW, David, Have you heard the whole arena deal thing?

"I don't want you playing with something that has such bizarre hair. Such awful, awful hair!"
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