How to Run a Picture Theatre – part 2

More from How to Run a Picture Theatre, the guide to setting up your own cinema, published in 1910 [correction – probably 1912]. Having chosen our site, we now have to consider the building:

The Building and its Fittings. If your venture is to be a “converted” building, either shop premises, a public hall, or a chapel, make certain that the alterations planned are practicable before you sign a lease …

… In the early days of the picture theatre, the mistake was frequently made by those who should have known better, of thinking that anything was good enough for such a place, with the result that ofttimes endless expense had to be incurred after it was opened, to the dislocation of business and irreparable financial loss to the proprietors.

Strange to say, from the very start a certain type of construction has been adopted and has been followed by nearly everyone; a white exterior, a long hall with very little light, bad ventilation and no gallery, a waste of space for a lobby, open to the winds and decorated with a profusion of plaster reliefs and white and gold paints.

The “converted” is now almost a thing of the past. The successful picture theatre of to-day must not only be especially arranged for the purpose, but it must present as pleasing an architectural and decorative aspect as it is possible to make …

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