Banner
Home Forums Movie Theaters Cinema Design Anyone have an over/under theatre?
Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: Anyone have an over/under theatre?

Anyone have an over/under theatre? 03 Nov 2003 13:42 #28457

  • bemily29
  • bemily29's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: 0
I'm investigating the renovation of an historical movie theatre witih a private developer. The theatre that has a large balcony (balcony seats about 200 but i'd reduce that slightly to include some couches and tables - its a platform) and not sure what the bottom has. Someone at this forum suggested i could convert it into an over under to make it a twin screen. Has anyone done this? Anyone have pictures or comments?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 03 Nov 2003 14:06 #28458

  • outaframe
  • outaframe's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 672
  • Karma: 0
Your situation sounds a great deal like another I have seen... The Ohio Theater in Madison, Indiana was twinned as an over/under many years ago... It was nicely done, and you probably can find some pictures on one of the online historic theater sites...
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 03 Nov 2003 15:26 #28459

  • muviebuf
  • muviebuf's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 686
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
The Strand Theatre in Kutztown, Pennsylvania was twined in the 70's as an over/under. There are some pictures on their website at www.strandkutztown.com
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 03 Nov 2003 21:30 #28460

  • MovieGuy
  • MovieGuy's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 249
  • Karma: 0
Our theatre was split back in the 70s. The balcony is our large auditorium ( screen extends about 25 ft beyond the front row railing. The lower auditorium has now been split into 2 screens. Unfortunately, the lower auditoriums are like a shoebox....too narrow.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 03 Nov 2003 22:17 #28461

  • outaframe
  • outaframe's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 672
  • Karma: 0
That's a shame it was done that way: the smaller house (or houses) are normally in the converted balcony... But you can probably give BEMILY a lot of good advise as to what to do, and also what to avoid...
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 04 Nov 2003 12:00 #28462

  • bemily29
  • bemily29's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: 0
I want to sit down with my developer to negotiate the fit up, and he wants to know what I want to do with the place. I know i want to split the balcony (screen is about 25 feet from front row) from the bottom, but i don't know much more beyond that.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 04 Nov 2003 13:10 #28463

  • outaframe
  • outaframe's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 672
  • Karma: 0
Every situation is going to be different and present some unique problems... You ought to actually visit a theater, or several, in your area which have been split this way, look around and ask questions... Then take some scale overhead and side view elevations of your place and play a bit of "what if" in pencil... Kind of like drawing the floor plans for remodeling a house... Essentially what you will need to do is decide the screen height of the balcony theater, how far it needs to be from the existing balcony railing, if you want a slanting (or flat) floor up to the new screen, if that will then interfere with the projection throw for the lower theater, if the old booth is going to work for the balcony theater, where you will locate the booth for the lower theater, how this all affects the lobby and/or foyer of the downstairs theater, traffic patterns for both theaters, exits and code issues, heating, cooling, wiring, exhaust ducting, plumbing problems this may create, and ways to solve them, acoustical and lighting issues, whether existing restrooms will be sufficient, or need changes, etc, etc, etc... You need to work with your developer very closely on this and make compromises necessary to do it all so it will meet your criteria... Doing it on paper first is faster, cheaper, and easier, and will allow you to visualize the end results... Don't rush into any hasty decisions, mulling a problem over for a few days will sometimes produce a new and better way to solve it...
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 04 Nov 2003 13:23 #28464

  • tratcliff
  • tratcliff's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 169
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
I own the Ohio Theatre that "outaframe" referenced.

The previous owner twinned the theatre in 1978. The main house was kept in tact.
The Balcony was closed in to make one upstairs house.
To make the balcony house they put a steel I-beam out about 15 feet from the balcony and walled it all up.
This created a nice stage for the balcony house as well, which we use occasionally for small plays, etc.
Upstairs the original booth is still used.
A new booth was built under the balcony in the back for the main house.

They really did do a nice twinning job. It is extremely sturdy.

Main House: 302 seats
Balcony House: 138 seats

I can snap a few digital pictures if you would like.

Tony R.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 04 Nov 2003 13:59 #28465

  • outaframe
  • outaframe's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 672
  • Karma: 0
HELLO TONY <> Yes, I'd bet your photos would give BEMILY some good ideas... I saw your theater in 1979, and thought the twinning was very well done, but as I recall, at that time the floor extended from the balcony rail slanting up to the bottom of the balcony screen (with no stage area)... I assumed that was done so as to not interfere with the projection throw in the lower house, and thought it was a somewhat unique and clever solution... That could well have been changed later to add the upstairs stage...
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 04 Nov 2003 14:00 #28466

  • bemily29
  • bemily29's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 13
  • Karma: 0
The Ohio Theatre looks amazing. What a beautiful spot. What's the total square footage of that place? I'd like to to make this functional and improve the aesthetic details over time with volunteers/student help. I think my space is 5,000 sqft on average. funding is going to be a major issue. I think the developer is underestimating the amount...
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 04 Nov 2003 18:30 #28467

  • Mike Spaeth
  • Mike Spaeth's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 481
  • Karma: 0
Wouldn't you have to install an elevator to over/under a theatre nowadays? Otherwise, the top theatre wouldn't be ADA compliant, right?
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 05 Nov 2003 00:28 #28468

  • outaframe
  • outaframe's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 672
  • Karma: 0
Well, you brought up an item that I hadn't even considered: an elevator for the upper theater... And to be perfectly honest, I don't know the answer... When I did my situation, I spent many hours wrestling with the ADA manual, and photocopied about 100 pages for reference, but I didn't have the upper theater to consider... I tend to lump the ADA requirements, health, building and fire codes into one catagory, as all their requirements need to be met to satisfy one, or more, of the required inspections... I guess you would need to research this question, but it also may be grandfathered to the extent that the balcony already exists... So, would you need an elevator for ANY theater with a balcony, in case a disabled person prefers the balcony to the lower floor?... I have every concern for the disabled, but common sense decrees that there will ALWAYS be some locations not suitable for them to gain access to without help, and others which just don't lend themselves to access regardless of what's done... I cared for my aged Mother, who became essentially disabled during her last years, and made many modifications to her home, but there were a few areas, even there, she couldn't use... I can tell you that I see daily examples of less than 100% compliance to ADA guidelines, even in new situations, not to mention prior existing ones... Until EVERY Federal, State, and local government building, park, monument, and entity is in 100% compliance with ADA requirements (and SOME will never be), it seems unlikely that these can be enforced in the private sector... However, if there is a COMPLAINT, you can expect repercussions... All in all, this is a very gray area!...
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 05 Nov 2003 10:58 #28469

  • RoxyVaudeville
  • RoxyVaudeville's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 889
  • Thank you received: 16
  • Karma: 3
The ADA does not allow grandfathering.
The balcony in an existing theatre is ok as there are still many different locations on the main floor where handicapped seating can be located.

Creating a new theatre out of the balcony would require ADA access. However, it sometimes has been approved by local inspectors if an agreement has been reached to play the same film in both auditoriums at different shows or days of the week, or during multiple week engagements showing the film some weeks downstairs and some weeks upstairs and advertising it thusly. Just because the local code people allow it to be done doesn't mean that it satisfies the ADA code, and if a complaint is made, you could be in for some big headaches later on down the road.

All new builds must be ADA compliant.
All remodelings must be ADA compliant.
All buildings built prior to the ADA must be made compliant unless: 1. it is not architecturally feasible, or: 2. It is not fiancially feasible. If a complaint is made against the owner of an existing building built before the ADA, it is the owners responsibility to prove in court that one or both of those conditions exist to exempt him from conformity.

Often the court costs to prove such would equal or exceed the cost of becoming compliant.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 05 Nov 2003 16:02 #28470

  • Mike
  • Mike's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 5026
  • Thank you received: 41
  • Karma: 15
We have an original large theatre that ended up being first shortened, abandoning the front of the house for storage, and then twinning the place. We developed the abandoned area by going down from the street side lobby into the basement and digging a long trench under our 2 screens to the back before coming up in the old abandoned high ceiling space. We built a balcony in #3 and show the films on the original stage.

There are many places with balconies made into 2nd screens.

Bottom line: you need more than one screen/ you need as many as you can get.

Michael Hurley
Impresario
Michael Hurley
Impresario
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Re: Anyone have an over/under theatre? 05 Nov 2003 16:50 #28471

  • tratcliff
  • tratcliff's Avatar
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 169
  • Thank you received: 1
  • Karma: 0
My theatre, the Ohio, is definitely NOT ADA compliant. The only way to the Balcony house is via stairs. The restrooms are in the basement - via stairs ( like a lot of old theatres were ).
Luckily I've never had an official complaint filed. But it would definitely fall under the "too costly" catagory.

Another point we made sure to check on BEFORE we bought the place was fire code.
Both local and state fire marshals ruled that the theatre was grandfathered from most newer than 1978 codes (i.e. no sprinklers).
But this was ONLY because the theatre had been closed less than five years ( it'd been 3 ) AND we were not altering the structure of the building AND we were not altering the specific use of the building.

I guess what I'm saying is that if this theatre you are looking at has been closed very long, needs structural improvements (like adding a balcony house ), etc,
then you'd probably have to comply with all of today's ADA and fire code requirements.

Tony

The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Time to create page: 0.358 seconds
attraction attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction
attraction