In the preparation of this volume on "Modern Theatre Construction" no claim is made that this is a wholly original work. The book is more a compilation of the best obtainable data on the subject, interspersed with original ideas. Nor has any attempt been made to produce a technical treatise on the subject. This is rather a hand-book of practical suggestions intended primarily for the general reader, which may serve as a guide and reference for prospective owners, managers, architects or builders in search of reliable information on this type of structure.
The collection of the necessary matter for proper presentation has entailed a considerable amount of painstaking labor, and the author has often found it desirable to adopt the matured thought and in some instances even the very expression of thought of competent writers. To these authorities grateful and appreciative thanks are extended.
The absence of any serious or exhaustive published treatment of this important topic within the past quarter of a century, coupled with the present general tendency toward architectural uplift throughout this country, which aims at a simpler and truer form of art, renders the occasion opportune for the publication of such a volume as this.
In illustrating or citing the work of other architects the writer disclaims any malicious intention in pointing out faulty features. He simply offers them as examples of defective construction to be avoided.
Edward Bernard Kinsila. April, 1917.
THE publishers are pleased to announce that they have concluded arrangements with the author for a continuation of his interesting articles on theatre construction, more especially motion picture theatre building, in the Moving Picture World. Mr. Kinsila will have charge of the Theatre Construction Department, and will gladly answer in its columns any inquiry addressed to him pertaining to this publication or the subject of theatre construction.
Roman Theatre in First Century A. D.
Greek Theatre in Sixth Century B. C.
Evolution of Theatre - Comparative Plana of Two Ancient Types.
The writer of this book, a widely traveled and experienced theatre specialist, is a member of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers and a firm believer in the essential doctrine advocated by that body, that the advancement of motion picture engineering and its allied arts and sciences requires for complete efficiency and economy a standardization of the mechanism and practices employed therein, such as safer machine booths, flatter projection and the remedying of similar technical defects that exist as the result of blind imitation in the absence of expert knowledge.
The writer also believes that architectural elegance and structural economy in theater construction depend upon the individuality and simplicity of design; and that the safety of the structure and its inmates are secured at a minor increase in the cost of construction by the entire employment of cheap, recognized fire-resisting materials and sane regulations.
In a humble effort for artistic and practical improvement the writer volunteers to prepare and execute for prospective patrons who contemplate the erection of a photoplay house a complete set of one-eighth scale preliminary plans of individual and characteristic design for one hundred dollars (barely the cost of production) with a carefully tabulated list of necessary building materials, said drawings to comprise six distinct plans: a front elevation or facade, a side elevation and facade, if the building be located on a corner; a longitudinal section of the entire structure, a combination transverse section presenting a stage and balcony view of the auditorium, a main floor plan and a balcony plan indicating the seating arrangement.
This sum of one hundred dollars is to be payable in two payments, half, or fifty dollars, in advance as a retainer, and the balance of fifty dollars upon delivery of the drawings. Where the proposed house is of the smaller type without balcony, requiring two plans less, the charge will be but seventy-five dollars, half payable in advance and the remaining half upon delivery. A general description and a topographical survey of the site will be necessary before plans can be drawn.
These plans will clearly show the size and character of the proposed building, and are amply sufficient with the building material list furnished with them for securing accurate estimates for builders' bids.
Sincerely, Edward Bernard Kinsila, 39-41 West Twenty-Seventh Street, New York City.