Need More Ladies Restrooms? by Stewart Jones

The NY Times reported that London Theatres are in the mist of many renovations to add loo’s

 It is usually the first comment from theater operators when a project begins.

 Virtually all buildings prior to any restorations or new construction in the 80’s, were short on restroom fixture counts. Very particularly the ladies count. Building codes didn’t address this issue until later.

 One of the interesting analysis is the ratio of men to woman at performances. We typically find a 60/40 ladies to men average attendance. This is important in generating more fixtures for the ladies. In general, it is now expected that the ladies have twice as many fixtures as the men.

 I have a little history here. All these projects increased their toilet count:

 Ohio Theatre, Columbus Ohio

By adding a sidecar addition which included more lobby space and concessions

The New Victory Theater, NYC

            By adding or returning the front stoop / stair which provided space below for restrooms connected to new lobby

New Amsterdam Theatre, NYC

            By utilizing the neck of the building (the theater fronts 41st street, and the neck extends the entrance to 42nd street)                    

Hawaii Theatre, Honolulu HI

            By squeezing space out of the existing to get a few more stalls

France Merrick Performing Arts Center, Baltimore MD

            By adding public space to both sides of the original theatre

Kings Theatre, Brooklyn NY

            By adding public space in the basement below the orchestra

Hudson Theatre, NYC

By adding public space in former mechanical / office space above lobby neck, and expanding the ladies room in the basement serving the orchestra level.


David H Koch Theater

Paper Mill Playhouse is Transformed in 90 days by Stewart Jones

Nothing beats the challenge of an fixed budget and SCHEDULE! The Paper Mill had a window of 90 days to redo it’s auditorium. New seats, carpet, balcony fascia decorative treatment, lighting, railings, lighting positions, sound and lighting concealed cabling, new wood column covers, etc, were all part of the scope.

The contractor - Frankoski Construction - got all in order before the doors closed so work could begin immediately. Fisher Dachs Associates and Akustiks were the theater and acoustical consultants respectively. Ducharme supplied the new luxurious seats.

Enjoy the timelapse video!

A New Era of Theater by James Akers

In order to survive our current culture of streaming entertainment and instant satisfaction, the role of theaters—like libraries before them—has quietly morphed into something new and as yet indeterminate. Like frogs in slow boiling water, few have been prescient enough to see the change in time to address it, but all have felt it by now. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that through experimentation, leadership, and sometimes dumb luck, a range of vibrant options has evolved over time for putting these historic houses back to work, making live performance and real-time community more central to our culture than ever.

Jones Architecture has been in the vanguard on the reinvention of the classic American theater house, contributing to new knowledge about renovating them for an unpredictable future and a dynamic cultural present.

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