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Warner Hollywood: other basement areas

6433 Hollywood Blvd.  Los Angeles, CA 90028  | map |

Pages about the Warner Hollywood: an overview | street views 1927 to 1954 | street views 1955 to present | main lobby | basement lounge | upper lobby areas | recent auditorium views | vintage auditorium views | stage | stage basement | other basement areas | booth and attic |

We're on the stage left (east) side of the basement looking in toward the main service switchboard of the Warner Hollywood building. After you come down the stairs on the stage left side of the stage and head toward the lobby, the switchboard room is the first thing you run into.

Note the far left 3 phase section of the board has been dismantled. Through the arch beyond the caution tape is a newer 240V Delta 3 phase switchboard section. 30Kw and 70Kw DC generators for stage and booth used to sit to the right of the center column in the photo above.

The stage left passage continues forward with access to the plenum under the seats off to the corridor's right with a door exiting into the basement lounge area straight ahead. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

 Another view of the main switchboard. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

The Frank Adam Electric Co.'s publication "Electrical Data on Three Major Theatres" noted that the supply to the vault was 4400 volts. A lighting transformer bank of three 200 KVA stepped the voltage down to 110-220 volts single phase. The power transformer bank consisted of three 150 KVA transformers to produce 220 3 phase. The original cooling compressor was 150 tons. A chilled drinking water system was also supplied.

The publication notes: "The main switchboard is of the "Fuslock" type, 44 feet long and 9 feet 10 inches high. The switchboard is of the dead face type, and all switches are brush contact, safety type, with an interlocking door over the fuses. The face of the switchboard including the steel covers for all of the switches and the slate bases for the circuit breakers is finished in maroon lacquer. The total electrical energy for light and power is 1150 KVA, all of which is controlled from this switchboard. 

"The switchboard is divided into three sections, single phase lighting section, three phase section and the direct current section. The direct current section controls and distributes current supplied from three motor generator sets, two gasoline engine driven emergency generators and the storage battery system. The motor generator sets are located in the main switchboard room. This section is equipped with automatic switching apparatus to handle the emergency lighting and other control equipment in the building.

"The circuit breakers are of the ITE Circuit Breaker Company manufacture. The various automatic throw-over switches are of Sundh Electric Company manufacture. A Western Electric Company three unit 75 KW machine supplies current for the various direct current outlets on the stage such as heavy duty stage pockets. Another 30 KW Western Electric Company machine supplies the direct current used in the projection booth. A second 30 KW machine of the same type supplies the current for the storage batteries of the emergency lighting system. These machines are remote controlled from the stage switchboard. A small motor generator set is also installed to supply direct current for the reactance type dimmers of the stage switchboard.

 "Emergency Lighting Service - The elaborate emergency lighting system is of particular interest. This system consists of a bank of storage batteries which float on the line from the 30 KW charging generators. The capacity of these batteries is such that the entire building emergency lighting load can be carries for a period of one and one-half hours. In addition to this emergency lighting load, provision is made to supply the projection room machines for a period of ten minutes.

 "The limited time provision for the projection room load has been made to prevent too great a drain on the batteries which would result in lack of sufficient current for the lighting load. The ten minute period also allows the engineer to start up the gasoline driven generators and as soon as these generators are up to voltage the projection room loaf is automatically taken off the batteries. The projection room load will be automatically transferred to the emergency battery system upon failure of the outside supply.  

"As a further precaution in case of emergency, a service connection box is provided on the outside of the building. Thus a portable generator from the studio may be tied into the building lighting system upon failure of all the generating equipment and outside service. The service box has another possible use and that is to supply direct current from the theatre generators for searchlights outside the building."

 The Frank Adam publication also dealt with the Mosque in Richmond and the Stanley Theatre in Jersey City. It was in the collection of Lyman Brenneman and reprinted by the Theatre Historical Society in 1973. Thanks to Bob Foreman for making it available. His Vintage Theatre Catalogs site has a number of interesting items including a post of a Frank Adam/Major catalog from 1922 and a post of a 1952 Frank Adam catalog along with photos of earlier installations.

A look behind the main switchboard. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012 

Beyond the switchboard room on the stage left (east) side of the basement. A corridor with storage and shop space then a door exiting into the downstairs lounge area. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Down the east corridor -- an exit up to Hollywood Blvd. -- or into the basement lounge area. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

On the stage right (west) side of the basement -- the corridor leading to dressing rooms. Here we've just exited the trap room and are looking toward the lobby and Hollywood Blvd.Down this west corridor there's access to the plenum under the seats and a supply fan area south of the plenum. Further on toward the lobby, you run into the main mechanical room for the building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

A look into one of the dressing rooms along the stage right corridor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Another dressing room -- and more seats. Photo: Gary Simon - 2010. Thanks, Gary! His Warner photos originally appeared on the LAHTF Facebook page.

No shortage of dressing rooms. In addition to the basement dressing rooms along the stage right corridor, there are several levels of rooms above stage level offstage right. Photo: Gary Simon - 2010

In another basement room -- more seat parts. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Part way along the west corridor -- a look into the plenum space under the main floor seats. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

From the west corridor plenum access door, a look toward the rear (lobby end) of the plenum space. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

A look up at the holes in the slab for supply air - there are mushrooms on top. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

A peek from the west corridor into the fan room -- the boiler room is just off to the right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

 A deeper look into the fan room -- just off the west corridor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012 

At the fan room entrance looking down and to the left at the main supply fan air washer area. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

 In the fan room-- looking back toward the west corridor. The entrance to the boiler room is a doorway to the left at the top of the stairs. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

In the fan room -- a look at the balcony supply fan. The maroon panel on the room's east wall is the electrical switchboard for the mechanical rooms. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

Looking south from the fan room into the boiler room.  We're looking at the end of the house vacuum turbine. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

On the boiler room west wall -- a sidewalk elevator. The elevator pops up on the Wilcox sidewalk. The boiler room is at the Hollywood Blvd. end of the building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

In the boiler room looking toward at the house vac (right) on the room's west wall. That's the storage container at the center. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

In the boiler room looking east -- a look at the boilers. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

A look east in from the boiler room at the newer chillers. Head in through the doors of the chiller room and at the far left corner of the room is a ramp up a few feet to the corridor behind the basement space beneath the east Hollywood Blvd. storefronts. The corridor then continues around along the east side of the basement. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

In the chiller room we see the remains of the original ammonia based air conditioning system with its synchronous motor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

From the chiller room looking west back at the main boilers -- plus a smaller unit and water heaters. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

A look east from the chiller room out into the corridor. We're looking down the corridor near the front of the building parallel to Hollywood Blvd. Off to the right of the corridor are spaces under the east Hollywood Blvd. storefronts. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

At the top of the ramp, looking west back into the chiller room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

In the front corridor. An office building elevator is around to the left. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

In the space under the east storefronts along Hollywood Blvd. Tenant improvements? Plans to use the basement? Perhaps an abandoned project. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

The layout across the front of the Hollywood Blvd. end of the basement:

east << | under east storefronts | chillers | boiler room | >> west

The fan room is just north of the boiler room with access off the west corridor that heads backstage.

A corridor view along the east side of the basement under the office building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2012

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