New Architecture and City Planning: A Symposium

By Paul Zucker | Go to book overview

THEATERS AND PLACES OF ENTERTAINMENT Some speculative notes on what might cause their change . . .

By OSKAR STONOROV

"Where action ceases thought's impertinent." John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester.

In writing of future theaters and places of, entertainment I am referring to buildings that do not exist but in architect's sketches and studies.

The modern theater has not yet been built.

What is built hardly betrays the pent-up ideas that a new orientation of public interest could release.

Broadway houses are thrown up for ephemeral productions planned to create income on a square foot or seat basis.

Rockefeller's Music Hall wishes by sheer size to "épater les bourgeois" of the U. S. provinces and Brooklyn.

The spectacle of spectators, the great staircase of the Paris Opera giving background to conversations of the intermission, the comfortable provision for gentle social exchange is non-income producing as far as mass distribution of Hollywood's movies or Broadway's eternally artificial "pieces" are concerned and therefore architecturally dispensed with in the windy lobbies of minimal public areas.

Ever so often and particularly in time of profound social and spiritual upheaval "the spectacle" becomes all important and the mode of production calls for new mechanical and architectural solution.

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