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TOPIC: Funky, Low Budge, Drafthouse Design?

Funky, Low Budge, Drafthouse Design? 08 Nov 2009 19:38 #32746

  • mafunk
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I'm from Portland Oregon, home of the McMennamins theaters. I'm interested in doing something similar, but different in my area (not in oregon or washington). I've read many discussions here on cinema design that call for stadium seating, sloped floors, and costly build outs. I'm in a funky college town of 70K people. There is only one theater in a 30 mile radius, and it is a big 8-plex that plays your typical hollywood junk.

I think a funky, low budget, buildout of a mcmennamins style theater that caters to niche audiences and serves beer/wine, as well as interesting concessions would thrive in our area.

I'm writing to ask for ideas for low cost, yet effective theater design. A few thoughts and questions below:

I thought about doing a build out in a flat floor building with angled screen. And having 'funky' seating (cushions and beanbags front, low back chairs next, higher back chairs next, sofas next, bar stools last). Tables sprinkled throughout.

We will not deliver food to tables. Instead we will do as mcmennamins does. patrons order at concession stand, and carry into theater. Theater is 21 and over after a certain time and we card at door in order to avoid underage drinking issues.

QUESTIONS
1. Have you been in a set up like this? If so what was your experience?
2. Given this set up, how many square feet do you think I will need for one 100 seat theater and one 50 seat theater?
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Re:Funky, Low Budge, Drafthouse Design? 08 Nov 2009 23:35 #32757

  • Ken Layton
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First thing is check your local building and fire regulations for "Places of assembly" and "Theatres".

Your local regulations may state that where movies are shown you must have "fixed" (bolted to the floor) seating and they must have self-rising bottoms. Bean bag chairs and sofas don't count as "fixed" seating. In fact, anything with fabrics like wall drapes, curtains, seats, etc must be treated with fireproofing. Many fire departments will want to see the Certificate of Fireproofing of said seats, curtains, or drapes.

The fire department will dictate where and how many fire exits you must have which will limit seating. They take a dim view of bean bag chairs and sofas because those things can scoot around and block/trip people in an emergency. You will also need aisle lights to help direct people to and from their seats.

Now check with your liquor board and health departments for other requirements.
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Re:Funky, Low Budge, Drafthouse Design? 09 Nov 2009 10:00 #32766

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I visited a funky little theatre in Maine this summer. They served food and beer and you took it into the theatre. They used an old bingo board to let you know your food was ready. Their rows were fixed seats in the back with a small counter in front of them mounted on a wall. They also used old couches in the same manor in the front couple of rows. They too were dived by small walls so that there were clear isles an things could not be pushed around. It was a small town. I think the whole think was retro fitted in a slope floor theatre design.
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Re:Funky, Low Budge, Drafthouse Design? 09 Nov 2009 20:19 #32769

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

Do you recall the name of the theater in Maine?

As far as the city ordinances go.... how does one go about getting those details? I know about getting a liquor lisc., but not about finding out all the building codes... seems so specific.
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Re:Funky, Low Budge, Drafthouse Design? 10 Nov 2009 10:23 #32777

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It was Reel Pizza in Bar Harbor Maine. reelpizza.com/index.php

For codes just go to the city. Ask for the planning office or if they don't have one ask for the city inspectors office if they don't have that run your idea past the fire chief since he would be the only one to inspect. Oh you might want to ask your insurance inspector. Even if the town does not complain you will need to pass an insurance inspector.
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http://www.nationaldrapery.com​ 17 Nov 2009 23:43 #32825

  • shanewa01
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thanxs for such anice post
http://www.nationaldrapery.com
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