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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Stadium Seating--1915

Author Topic: Stadium Seating--1915
Bill Enos
Film God

Posts: 2081
From: Richmond, Virginia, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 03-24-2001 12:54 AM      Profile for Bill Enos   Email Bill Enos   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
From "Motion Picture Handbook for Managers and Operators" by F. H. Richardson. In describing auditorium design and slope of the auditorium floor--"Above all things avoid steps in either the aisles or entering the theatre. Steps in an aisle are absolutely not to be considered under any circumstances.
In a panic they would be highly dangerous. Steps for the seat rows very considerably increase the cost of cleaning." They seem to have been a a lot smarter about auditorium design in 1915 than we are today.

John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000

 - posted 03-24-2001 12:08 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A well designed conventionally sloped floor theatre can offer all the advantages of stadium seating, without the many disadvantages (steps in the dark, tripping hazards, handicapped access concerns, poor acoustics, steep projection angles that cause keystone distortion and poor illumination uniformity).

IMHO, comfortable high-back seats with cupholders, lots of legroom, and good sightlines can just as easily be done in a conventional sloped floor theatre.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services, Entertainment Imaging
Eastman Kodak Company
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7419
Rochester, New York, 14650-1922 USA
Tel: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243
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Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

 - posted 03-24-2001 12:13 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree John, I think a lot of money has been spent on a dangerouse thing. Walking up and down steps in the dark is not fun. I don't even sit up in the stadium part if I can help it.

Don't forget the poor position of the projection port causing peoples heads and hands to get in the picture when they stand up in the back.

Also the noise of the projection booth leaking thru the port window can be anoying in the back row.

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12108
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-24-2001 01:31 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I read somewhere (Film Journal, I think) that developers are starting to think away from stadium seating now because of all the problems with it.

They are also beginning to plan what to do with reclaimed booth space after digital cinema takes over. In some places, they're talking about installing a balcony where the booth was!

Well, my theatre (built in 1930) has a conventional sloped floor AND a balcony, so it's the theatre of the future, here today!

Darryl Spicer
Film God

Posts: 3250
From: Lexington, KY, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

 - posted 03-24-2001 01:37 PM      Profile for Darryl Spicer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I would like to know where they are going to get the reclaimed booth space. Lamphouse consoles are not going to shrink over night.

In our state there is a new building code that prohibits the building of a balcony in new theater complexes.

You should have seen the crap that they had to go thru just to get the stadium seating approved.

Andrew McCrea
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 645
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 03-24-2001 02:18 PM      Profile for Andrew McCrea   Author's Homepage   Email Andrew McCrea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I hate sloped seating. I have to hold on to my chair to stay seated or I'll fall out. Another disadvantage is that if someone spills a drink at the back of the theatre, it's going to roll down to the front of the auditorium.

I like stadium seating. Although, with all the new branded theatres using them, it seems like a new standard.

You can always hear the projectors and booth noises and you get use to people blocking the image during the show.

Stadium Seating, though, turns up images of freezing at the stadium or ball park, in uncomfortable, plastic seats.

In my opinion, the perfect auditorium seating would be Airplane Seating.

Airplane Seating would have staggerred rows, with incredibly comfy seats on not so steep steps, cupholder armrests and plenty of leg room (48 inches back-2-back) with better aisle lighting. It would also have railings up the stairs to the very back and front of the auditorium.

Andrew McCrea

"I'm Not Bad, I'm Just Drawn That Way!" - Jessica Rabbit

Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7868
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-24-2001 02:25 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Andrew -- I'm not sure that you've ever seen a well-designed sloped-floor theatre. Remember that stepped seating was common in the silent era, before being replaced by "modern" sloped floors in the mid- to late-1920s.

I don't understand why anyone thinks that electronic cinema will obviate the need for a projection booth. The equipment itself is larger (due to the decreased light efficiency) than a standard film projector and lamphouse. The sound equipment will not shrink, either. Although it is true tha there will not likely be the need for a second projector or platter, the Qubit (or other disk-playback device) and associated equipment will take up an extra rack. And let's not forget that most of these yet-to-be-built theatres will want to have film capability as well for the forseeable future. I really don't see the idea of a "booth" (as a sound-isolated space for mechanical equipment) going away at all.

Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5242
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 03-24-2001 03:14 PM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John, you're absolutely right. There was nothing wrong with conventional sloped floors. This stadium fad is just that... a fad. It's rise to prominence, I believe, is simply due to its "wow" factor and nothing else.

Better Projection Pays!

Jerry Chase
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1068
From: Margate, FL, USA
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 03-24-2001 05:01 PM      Profile for Jerry Chase   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
"Airplane Seating would have staggered rows, with incredibly comfy seats..."

LOL Now there is an oxymoron if I ever saw one. I think there used to be comfortable airline seats in DC-3s until about 1960.

Sloped floors can have breaks or channels to keep spills from going all the way to the front. Dirt roads have something similar called "water bars" to keep streams from following ruts and washing out the road.

Slipping out of a seat is caused by the cant being set improperly. Seat standards are designed for a particular slope. If the installer doesn't use the correct standard for the slope, or old seats are recycled to a different auditorium, customers can slip out of the seats or be jammed into the back.

Of course, using armour-all on the vinyl seat cushions, like one janitor did for me, doesn't help.

Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12108
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-24-2001 05:08 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Andrew, what airplanes you been riding on?

One thing about Airplane Seating, we'd never be sold-out; if we use the sizes and spacing they do on planes, we could easily fit at least 600 airplane seats into our now-214 seat house.

Paul G. Thompson
The Weenie Man

Posts: 4718
From: Mount Vernon WA USA
Registered: Nov 2000

 - posted 03-24-2001 05:22 PM      Profile for Paul G. Thompson   Email Paul G. Thompson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As I have been told, there are codes in this state that dictate the slope vs. floor footage. Unfortunately, it makes the slope too shallow.

Result? One crappy sight line that make the back rows practically useless unless the sreen up in God's Country, which in turn makes the front rows practically useless.

With the codes in this state, striking a happy medium is almost (if not) impossible.

Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9391
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-24-2001 06:19 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sloped floors in essence are limited to the slope allowed for a wheel chair ramp
I always like the methode of half the seating on a slope and then a stadium section at the back
In the 1920's the Allen Tivoli in toronto was constructed as a 2800 seat stadium theatre
In the fifties it was the home of TODD AO for Oklahoma

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