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TOPIC: Alternate Ways To Help Keep Your Theatre Cool.

Alternate Ways To Help Keep Your Theatre Cool. 18 Jun 2004 09:49 #28642

  • take2
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I'm sitting here and it's around 80 degrees outside with the humidity is almost the same; wondering what other things I could be doing to keep my theatre cool, besides the air conditioners. I know that there must be other little things I could do, have any suggestions.
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Re: Alternate Ways To Help Keep Your Theatre Cool. 18 Jun 2004 11:23 #28643

  • muviebuf
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I have a historic single screen theatre and I have ceiling fans.
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Re: Alternate Ways To Help Keep Your Theatre Cool. 18 Jun 2004 12:05 #28644

  • John Pytlak
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Lighter color roofing and siding.

Active attic ventilation.

Better insulation.

Tinted windows, higher R-value windows and insulation.

Shade trees planted around the building.



John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Cell: +1 585-781-4036 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: Alternate Ways To Help Keep Your Theatre Cool. 18 Jun 2004 12:30 #28645

  • outaframe
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John already covered most of the bases, but under the right conditions in certain climates, a light water spray on the roof helps absorb the sun's heat, and the evaporation cools the roof, which also cools the building... Insulation and attic ventilation will probably give you the best cost/results and can make a huge difference in your AC load...
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Re: Alternate Ways To Help Keep Your Theatre Cool. 19 Jun 2004 08:07 #28646

  • jimor
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Many of the suggestions already given were excellent, but if you own the building and intend to keep it for years, there is another measure that you should consider. The sun is, of course, the major contributor of heat to the building, so it might be wise to plan on a long term 'sun shade' to be built atop the theatre. This would amount to an aluminum sheet and frame structure mounted to the tops of the steel columns inside the walls which usually rise to the tops of the walls hidden inside the brick and under the coping tiles. It is obviously not the cheapest alternative, but probably the best in the long term if you can afford to use PEFORATED aluminum sheets mounted on a suitable framework about seven feet or so above the present roof. This would be canted to let rain/snow slide off the roof into gutters (thus allowing little moisture to penetrate to the old flat, tar roof) and still allow enough head room for a man to walk under it to inspect for damage/repairs. Just how decorative this would be, is another matter, and you would have to get the approval of the municipality for such a remodeling.

Using the water spray/pond method mentioned above will cool the roof, especially if it is underpainted with a reflective white or aluminum, BUT this method (called a "swamp roof" in some areas) creates a BIG threat to your building as a whole! Flat roofs are notorious for leaking, and how does one find leaks indoors? By looking up at the unreachable ceiling and seeing gross damage to the painted walls/ceiling after the fact. Most exhibitors can't afford to just hop up there (especially in an old movie palace with lofty ceilings) and have the skills to reproduce the original ornament and paint, so Prevention is worth many pounds of cure!

The 'SUPER ROOF' idea here is quite ambitious for the average sole owner, but not unreachable, since it can be done quite simply, and if funds permit, be extended down the sides and rear of the building to act as additional sun shade. Yes, planting big trees to act as sun shades has its advantages, IF there is any real room for a mature tree to grow in just the right position relative to the building, but also disadvantages: 1) it would take decades for the trees to reach proper height and spread to do the job, 2) Trees die or are damaged by disease/accident of storm, etc., and all your years of waiting for what you planted to work may be for naught, and 3) your climate may not be agreeable for the trees with the most dense shade to grow and actually become high enough to shade the roof itself, and even if they would, can you withstand the leaves of the trees falling into the roof drains which you would have to faithfully clean out every couple of weeks? Could your roof withstand a falling limb during a storm or the entire tree falling upon the theatre? Such would at minimum create new leaks; at maximum it would create a fallen structure -- upon your patrons who would be happy to sue you? A 'SUPER ROOF' (a roof above a roof) is the best way of not having to constantly repair failed flat tar roofs where one learns of a leak by seeing the evidence indoors, since periodic inspections of the new SUPER ROOF will disclose any puddles of rain on the original roof during inspections, and corrective action can then be taken long before it becomes and indoor problem. If the sides of the new SUPER ROOF structure from the old roof line up to the new roofing sheets are themselves perforated, the wind will blow through and cool the underside of the new solid aluminum sheets which, of course, would have edge perforations on their down slope sides, or a continuous peak ventilator at the top to encourage natural covection of air in at the sides and out as it heats, at the top. A no-power-required turbine ventilator might even be installed to take advantage of any breeze to accelerate the movment of air out the top. The original tar roof may get still get soft in summertime, so it may be wise to place wood plank walks on the tar for a man to walk upon during inspections, but inspections will not be done unless you also install easy access to the roof by means of a staircase terminating there. If the new roof panels are made to be replacable from the underside, it will make such little maintenance as you might need that much faster and easier, and as well all know, that which is faster and easier is more likely to get done! Best Wishes, Jim
Jim R. (new E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) member: www.HistoricTheatres.org
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Re: Alternate Ways To Help Keep Your Theatre Cool. 24 Jun 2004 09:56 #28647

  • take2
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I will take them all under consideration. Getting good and straight to the point responses is what keeps me coming back to this site.
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