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TOPIC: Single screen nostalgia theatre

Single screen nostalgia theatre 17 Sep 2000 17:31 #700

  • Simfilms
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Since my last post, I have changed my
plans to putting in a single screen downtown
nostalgia theatre. Seating will be in the
150-200 range.
QUESTION: How have "flat floor" applications
fared in this type of small seating arrange-
ment? My thought was to stagger the seats
so that the center of a chair in one row
would be opposite the space between two
chairs in the next row.
I am converting an existing building
(per AVALON'S advice). Would appreciate any
input as well as suggestions for sources
of older films(we may go to digital projection)

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Re: Single screen nostalgia theatre 17 Sep 2000 21:12 #701

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Is there no possibility of sloping the floor?
Remember that stadium seating is the rage today. Moviegoers love those stadium auditoriums over sloped floors. So think how they will compare your flat floor to a stadium one.

If you have a low ceiling and are on the first there a basement? If so, maybe you can remove the floor in the auditorium section to build stadium (or sloped) seating down into that space.

Roxy Vaudeville
RCW - Theatre owner & Architect

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Re: Single screen nostalgia theatre 18 Sep 2000 11:50 #702

  • Mike
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Hi Sim;

It sounds like you're heading towards a storefront.

I would say that you can do what you're thinking about but I'd urge you to put in some risers even if they're only 6" inches.

Our Dreamland theatre has a flat floor section and we now wish we'd sloped it. For some plywood and 2 X 8's you add a lot of comfort.

The staggering is absolutely important as we had some seats even with a small riser on the back side and even still we had people who complained about visuals. We staggered the seats: end of problem.

I've got a plan of mine own for a small in town theatre and it uses a one person to run it format and some risers, etc. all in a small storefront.

Downtown associations really want and try to get theatres because they generate traffic.

Mike Hurley
Michael Hurley
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Re: Single screen nostalgia theatre 18 Sep 2000 18:22 #703

  • Simfilms
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Dear Mike,
Thanks for your thoughts on a storefront
concept. That's exactly what I have in mind.
You are absolutely correct about the
Downtown Association wanting an "old-time"
style theatre (although maybe with some
up-to-date technical advances).
We actually have one of our old theatres
intact a block away from the location I've
selected. My great-grandfather built it in
1913. It closed in 1961 and two rectangular
storefronts were shoehorned into the building for conventional rental office space.
The stage & curtains are still behind
the office fronts and the balcony still sits
above them, although with no seats left.
The walls, covered with a soft material
called Celotex are in pretty bad shape with
panels loose or falling. All in all, it
would cost a monstrous amount of money to
renovate and the ceiling is so tall that it
would be hard to heat. A shame because of the three theatres we ran, this one, The
Pickwick, was my favorite. I grew up there
watching all the terrific "B" schlock that
ran during the 50's. It was cozy and it was
my second home.
But this building a block away is much more modernized as far as utilities and
its excellent condition.
If I can get the building, I'll be flying on a wing and a prayer to complete
the rest. Used seating, etc. to keep costs
to a bare minimum.
I've been out of this business 14 years
and there hasn't been a day go by when I
haven't missed it. Once it's in your blood,
you're doomed! ...but happily so.
Thanks for your input Mike and for
administering this terrific website of
kindred souls.

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Re: Single screen nostalgia theatre 22 Sep 2000 19:30 #704

  • Avalon
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I installed a slopped floor in a building with 15' ceilings and it worked well. i wanted more slope, but ADA had different ideas. Risers are an easy way to go except that you'll have limited handicapped acess (new construction, even in an old building, must meet ADA) and cleaning becomes more difficult.

I put in 2x8 uprights on 18" centers and laid 1 1/8" plywood over them. be sure to put the fire breaks in or the inspectors will make you tear it up and do it. also, run your aisle lights before you lay the floor. i went low voltage to make life easier and avoid yet another electrical inspection. i put carpet on the aisles to reduce the thump and just painted the floor. easy clean and looks fine. i'm lucky in that i found reclining lodges in one of the many multis that went under the bulldozer blade. great seating forgives many auditorium sins.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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