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State Theatre: projection booth

703 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90014  | map |

The State Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | projection booth | backstage | basement cafeteria |

A December 17, 1921 Exhibitors Trade Review article discussed the booth in detail:

"...Marcus Loew sure did spread himself on the projection room for his new State Theatre, Los Angeles, as the accompanying picture shows. He states that this theatre has the largest screen in the world. He should also have stated that it had one of the best projection rooms, from a standpoint of equipment and the general layout, which is splendid."

A look down the length of the booth in a photo from the Exhibitors Trade Review article.

"Three latest model Powers 6-B Cameragraphs, equipped with Type E lamps, constitute the projection machinery. Each machine is equipped with a speed control that is operated from a remote control panel board, by which speed the projectors can be regulated from seven different points in the projection room. This is a very unusual feature. There is also in the projection room two spot lights, a flood and a double stereoptican [sic], for use in lighting effects in vaudeville acts.

"Between each projector is telephone that is a talking and ringing station, by which you can talk to any one of the twenty telephone stations scattered through the theatre. A special feature to this telephone station, which makes it very complete, is that any one of the telephone stations in the projection booth can be connected to the Bell telephone on the house exchange, thereby enabling outside calls to be received or sent direct from the projection room. In case of an emergency this would be a tremendous advantage as it would eliminate the necessity of having to go wherever a Bell telephone was in the house, which is generally quite a distance from the projection room.   

"The fire shutters are all suspended by chains from a master cord running directly over the magazines of the machines. The chains are connected to the master cord by a fusible link, and should one of these fusible links melt, it would release all the fire shutters, closing every opening in the machine room except the vent flues. These shutters are absolutely noiseless in their operation, and should there be a fire in the projection room, the audience would never be aware of it, as they would not hear the shutters falling.

"Fresh air is supplied to the projection room from the outside through a large flue and the foul air is removed through a vent flue, to which are connected the vent flues from the lamp houses. Connecting the lamp house vent flues to the main vent flue creates a steady draft in the main flue, even when the fan is not running, which keeps the projection room supplied with fresh air. There are two special features in this connection: first it keeps the lamp house cool, which tends to lower condensor [sic] breakage, and second, if the ventilating fan would break down on a hot day, the draft in the flue goes a long way toward cooling the projection room.

"All rewinding is done in a separate room with an enclosed cabinet rewind, which has ten compartments for putting films in. There is also an open rewind for inspecting and repairing films that have been damaged. The work bench is heavy and strong enough to do any kind of repair work necessary.    

"The projection room has one feature that no other projection room in the world has--a shower bath, with hot and cold water, for the projectionist. Do you know of one?

"Summing it all up this projection room is undoubtedly one of the best designed and arranged in the country. The equipment is up to date in every respect, and what is more important, the comfort and convenience of the projectionist has been kept in mind along with other things. W. A. Cook, who will have charge of it, is certainly to be congratulated on having such a splendid 'outfit' with which to work." 

Thanks to Cezar Del Valle for the research. He has the article featured on a Theatre Talks blog post about the theatre on Blogspot. The page with the full article can be seen on Internet Archive.

Original screen size: "New House Has a Mammoth Screen," a December 3, 1921 article in Exhibitors Trade Review, had noted "The new Loew [sic] State Theatre, which opened in Los Angeles Nov. 12 has a screen 24 by 44 1/2 feet. It is twice the size of any other screen in use in that city and pictures are furnished for it by what is said to be the largest projection booth in the world."

Well, they obviously hadn't been in the booth. See the photo above. The one down the street at the Cameo was bigger. Thanks to Cezar Del Valle for the research. He has excerpts from this article in a Theatre Talks blog post on Wordpress. The page with the full article can be seen on Internet Archive.

Booth access: The booth can be accessed from a door at the top of the balcony or via a corridor in the office building.

Current equipment: None. The projectors were removed by Metropolitan Theatres when they ceased operations at the theatre in 1997.

The State Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | back to top - booth | backstage | basement cafeteria |

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