(In Effect March 30, 1915.)

Section 500 Plans.

501 Restrictions.

502 Construction.

503 Means of Egress.

504 Booth for Projecting-Machine and Film;

505 Application to Existing Theatres.

506 Open-Air Motion Picture Theatres.

500. Plans

Before the erection, construction or alteration of a building or part thereof, to be used as a motion picture theatre, as defined in paragraph 30 of chapter 3 of this ordinance, there must be filed with the appropriate superintendent of buildings complete plans and detailed statement of the specifications therefor, required by paragraph 3 of this chapter. The plans must show clearly and fully the location and width of all aisles, passageways, exits, stairways and fire escapes; the arrangement of seats; the size of floor beams, walls and supports; the location and construction of apparatus; a diagram of the lot or plot upon which the theatre is to be erected or constructed, showing the outlets from all exits, and also such other statements, plans and details as may be required by the superintendent of buildings having jurisdiction.

501. Restrictions

No motion picture theatre, as defined aforesaid, shall be constructed in a frame building within the fire limits, nor in a hotel, tenement house or lodging house, nor in a factory or workshop, except where the theatre is separated from the rest of the building by unpierced fire walls and floors, and in no case shall such a theatre be constructed or operated above or below the ground floor of any building.

502. Construction

In all motion picture theatres, as defined aforesaid, to be hereafter constructed, the following requirements shall be complied with, namely:

1. Ceilings

The ceilings of all theatres and of all rooms used in connection therewith shall be plastered with 3 coats of first-class plaster on wire mesh or metal lath, or covered with 1/2-inch plaster boards, and plastered or covered with metal. If there be a basement or cellar, the ceiling under the floor of the theatre must be plastered with 3 coats of first class plaster on wire mesh or expanded metal lath, or may be covered with metal on 1/2-inch plaster boards.

2. Floor-Loads

The flooring of that portion of the building devoted to the uses or accommodation of the public must be of sufficient strength to bear safely a live load of 90 pounds per square foot.

3. Galleries And Stairways

A gallery may be permitted except in a theatre constructed on a lot less than 20 feet in width, but it shall not include more than 25 per cent of the total seating capacity of the theatre. Entrance to and exit from the gallery shall in no case lead to the main floor of the theatre, and the gallery shall be provided with a stairway or stairways equipped with handrails on both sides. Stairways over 7 feet wide shall be provided with centre handrails. The risers of the stairways shall not exceed 7 3/4 inches, and the treads, excluding nosings, shall not be less than 9 1/2 inches. There shall be no circular or winding stairways. The total width of the stairways shall not be less than 8 feet in the clear where the gallery accommodated 150 people; for every 50 people less than 150, accommodated by the gallery, said width may be reduced 1 foot. Stairways shall be constructed of fireproof material, and such material and the bearing capacity of such stairways shall be approved by the bureau of buildings.

4. Gradients

To overcome any difference of level between corridors, lobbies and aisles in a theatre, gradients of not over 1 foot in 10 feet, or steps having a rise not over 8 inches and a width of not less than 10 inches shall be used.

5. Walls

If the walls of the theatre contain wooden studs they shall be covered either with expanded metal lath or wire mesh and plastered with three coats of first-class plaster, or with metal on 1/2-inch plaster boards, and all joints shall be properly filled with mortar.

503. Means Of Egress

1. Aisles

All aisles in a. motion picture theatre or in a gallery thereof must be at least 3 feet in the clear.

2. Chair Space

All chairs in such a theatre, except those contained in the boxes, must not be less than 32 inches from back to back and must be firmly secured to the floor; no seat shall have more than 7 seats intervening between it and an aisle, and the space occupied by each person shall he separated from the adjoining space by means of an arm or other suitable device.

3. Exits

A building to be erected or to be altered for use as a motion picture theatre must be provided, on the main floor thereof, with at least 2 separate exits, one of which shall be in the front and the other in the rear of the structure and both leading to unobstructed outlets to the street. Where the main floor of the theatre accommodates more than 300 people there shall be at least 3 such exits, the aggregate width in feet of which shall not be less than one-twentieth of the number of persons to be accommodated therein. No exit shall be less than 5 feet in width, and there shall be a main exit, not less than 10 feet in total width. All exit doors must be fireproof and made to open outwardly, and be so arranged as not to obstruct the required width of exit or court when opened. All doors leading to fire escapes must be , not less than 40 inches wide in the clear, and shall be located at the opposite side or end of the gallery from other exit doors.

4. Exit Passageway To Street

In any such building, if an unobstructed exit to a street cannot be provided at the rear thereof as herein specified, either an open court or a fireproof passageway or corridor must be provided, extending from the rear exit to the street front, at least 4 feet in the clear for theatres accommodating 100 persons or less; the width to be increased 8 inches for every additional 100 persons to be accommodated. Such passageway or corridor must be constructed of fireproof material and be at least 10 feet high in the clear. The walls forming such passageway or corridor must be at least 8 inches thick, and shall be constructed of brick or other approved fireproof material. If there be a basement, the wall on the auditorium side should either run 1 foot below the cellar bottom, or may be carried in the cellar on iron columns and girders properly fireproofed, according to paragraph 350 of this chapter. The ceiling of such passageway must be constructed as required by paragraph 352 of this chapter. If unobstructed rear exits or exits to a street are provided, they must be of the same total width required for court, passageway or corridor above mentioned. The level of the open court or passageway at the front of the building shall not be greater than 1 step above the level of the sidewalk, and the grade shall not be more than 1 foot in 10, with no perpendicular risers.