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TOPIC: exit requirements

exit requirements 07 Dec 2007 18:18 #29482

  • Mike
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We have the original stage in one of our theatres and we are looking at turning it into a small theatre. It has one large double door that exits directly outdoors. We'd use that as the entry and exit. How many exits are required? What are the exit requirements? Is there a magic number of seats that says you must have 2 exits? I thought I'd heard a number of 50 + and you have to add a 2nd floor. This is a room that is 52 x 20' with a 14' high ceiling. Thoughts?
Michael Hurley
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Re: exit requirements 07 Dec 2007 18:49 #29483

  • muviebuf
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The exact answers to your questions will be found in your local & state fire and panic codes. You should probably also run any plans by your insurance carrier.

In general in most public auditoriums there must be at least two means of exit to the outdoors. I have never heard of there being a seat limitation for this requirement.

In addition most state fire and panic codes also set forth a maximum distance that any patron has to travel (from any point inside) to reach an outside exit. Thus even two exits may not be enough to comply depending on the size and configuration of the space.

Also keep in the back of your mind that your insurance carrier may impose stricter requirements than your state and local codes.

[This message has been edited by muviebuf (edited December 07, 2007).]
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Re: exit requirements 07 Dec 2007 22:17 #29484

  • lionheart
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According to Mesbursmith in a previous thread, you are right Mike, the number for requiring a second exit is normally 50. Of course local codes and your experience may vary.
http://www.bigscreenbiz.com/ubb/Forum47/HTML/000053.html

If you can only provide the one exit, then you should easily be able to fit 49 people in a 52x20 space. The proportions are pretty good with length equal to about 2.5 times the width. I currently have architect plans in hand for an auditorium that is more like 28x13 (plus 3 feet behind the screen) and seats 31 plus 2 handicap spaces. Oh yeah, you are still required to provide ADA accessible seating, all the way down to rooms with a seating capacity of 4 people. Can you get a wheelchair into this space, in a manner consistent with building code?

I'm not sure how the 14 foot ceiling figures in, but I'm pretty sure that it shouldn't be too much of a problem with less than 50 seats. It seems to me Avalon built his 4-plex with similar ceiling heights and rooms that seated 49.

I'm just wondering how you are going to manage how people enter and exit. Are you going to station someone at that door just to watch it? It sounds like the space isn't connected to the rest of the building if people have to enter and exit only from the outside. That means people would be free to come and go as they please if there isn't someone watching.

Also, how are people going to have access to restrooms, concession stand, water fountain, etc? Will they be required to go around the outside of the building? I'm not sure if that satisfies building code, and it certainly doesn't sound convenient. Maybe you could build a corridor around the outside of the building to connect the space and create access control and make services more accessible , but then you will need to be careful about the distance people would have to travel to exit. And again, will the required services be ADA accessible?

Lastly, are you going to have to create a new projection booth to service this space? Is it going to be isolated from the rest of the complex as well? That makes it harder for your projectionist to handle it along with the other booth(s).


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Re: exit requirements 10 Dec 2007 19:10 #29485

  • Mike
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Lionheart: you hit the nails on th heads:

Separate booth. Yes.

We'll have a single bathroom, mini concession stand, phone, handicapped area, etc. A good thing is you enter it from 4' above the floor so it is an easy retro for stadium.

Yes: it will have a weird entrance which we'll try to address by some combination of marking a walkway, lighting, and thinking about an enclosed walkway... but that probably is not feasible.

It will be used primarily as our holdover house allowing us to get a 3rd and 4th print on screen without being shot!

We will have to add a person on flotation as we cannot leave people alone without supervision.

Not the best but we're stuck with it.

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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