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Document title: Person-environment conditions that inspired regulatory and other changes to occur in building design from the 19th into the middle 20th centuries. The case of theatre design. Author/s: Ross Thorne Summary / abstract: Fires and other catastrophes in theatres, where people were killed, initiated over time a number of official inquiries that resulted in improved regulations for the safety and comfort of patrons. These particularly occured in the second half of the 19th century, producing major regulatory and licensing changes in the 20th century. This paper starts with the horror of disasters in theatres internationally, and continues with a variety of evidence that produced change in design of theatres in Australia, and improved comfort of patrons. It particularly notes the influence of a Royal Commission into the topic in New South Wales in the 1880s. Many of these modifications have been tabulated to demonstrate the considerable change experienced by members of the audience from the late 19th century to the 1970s. Key words: Theatre design; Theatre history; Disasters in theatres, Building standards. Illustrations: Of fires and there aftermath in Britain and Australia. Original publication date: 2002 Original publication source: People and Physical Environment Research, 57, pp. 39-62 Complete / extract: Complete paper ISBN / ISSN: ISSN 1031-7465 Copyright owner: Ross Thorne 2002. Extracts according to Australian Copyright law may be used with acknowledgement to the owner. Copyright is waived upon death of the owner with the exception of acknowledgement. PaPER 57 FIGURE 1. Fire at the Duke of Edinburgh Theatre, Bourke Street, Melbourne, in 1871. Source: Illustrated Australian News, 9th October 1871. FIGURE 2. Fire that destoyed the Bijou Theatre, Bourke Street, Melbourne in 1889. Source: Australasian Sketcher, 16th May 1889. 38 39 PaPER 57 Person-Environment Conditions that Inspired Regulatory and other Changes to Building Design from the 19th into the middle 20th Centuries: The Case of Theatre Design. Ross Thorne Department of Performance Studies, School of Society, Culture and Performance, University of Sydney Introduction The history of buildings is, especially for the 19 and 20th centuries, one good source of evidence for social change and change in community expectations of safety and comfort in everyday life. It demonstrates the close relationship between people and the physical environment, and how either perceived faults in buildings have initiated change, or increasing expectations of the community have dictated change. For example, working class housing changed from being, in the 1850s, one or two rooms with neither services nor facilities, except for a fireplace, and no yard space, to being, by 1950, a multi-roomed detached cottage with a bathroom, kitchen, front and rear yard, together with reticulated water, electricity and maybe gas. th Most other building types cater for more specific sections of the community and may be determined by particular processes or behaviours, as for example, factories are determined by the product being manufactured. Some other types, like schools, have fallen short of the community expectations of comfort that is found in another building type, the office block which had air-conditioning as a standard since at least the 1960s, whereas teaching and office accommodation in schools and Universities have lagged decades behind. These various types of buildings, in their own way, and for their own segment of the community, can provide valuable information of change for that constituency. But there is one building type that, up until 1950, contained two particular characteristics that made it virtually universal to all members of society. First, all segments of society visited it at the one time; and second, it was built to a specific format that changed only marginally from one built example to another at any one time. This building type is the theatre (and later, the picture theatre) as constructed from the early years of the nineteenth century up until about 1950, after which stage production theory and practice would produce a variety of performer–audience relationships that, nevertheless, still retained some aspects of the established format of design. It is proposed that there are four facets to achieving (or impeding) the changes that have occurred in theatre buildings. (i) Events in theatres have prompted governments to take first investigatory, then regulatory action to hopefully prevent events occurring again; for example, disaster, loss of life through fire and/or panic. (ii) Community demand, explicit or implicit, for better or different facilities. This facet however, has largely depended upon the social mores of the time. For example, the serving of alcoholic beverages in theatre premises has traversed a complete circle, from being served, gradually prohibited, then served again. (iii) Technical changes unrelated to theatres as a specific building form. For example, oil lamps to gas to electric light; from earth closets to full sewerage systems; or timber and masonry construction to concrete and steel. 40 PaPER 57 (iv) Beliefs and behaviours, in particular of building owners or lessees, that resist or are ignorant of regulations or patrons' preferences. Three of these facets involve change of some kind over the period being investigated. However, individual and collective behaviours seem universal to human nature, the same types of behaviour occurring in relation to different theatre venues, and more generally in society at any one time. The paper proceeds with six sections. The first provides a rationale for the research sources used, demonstrating that there were events in other countries that influenced reaction in Australia. A few of these events are detailed in the second section. Safety and health were paramount in the developing changes in design parameters, and are detailed in the third. So often community expectations and ‘standards’ were gradual, being implied more than explicit, except for the pressure groups who often based their ‘standards’ on ideologies rather than reason. These will be seen in the fourth section while the fifth looks at the foreign (more US) influences that caused changes in design to produce improved comfort, particularly in the early 20th century. The sixth part is a little more difficult to be precise about because it concerns behaviours, often as a result of beliefs of people concerned with the operation of theatres The Rationale Sources for the Research The topic of the paper contains issues far from being unique to Australia; they were common to the Euro-centric world at the time. Therefore the development of the argument has relied largely on the cultural influences and collective colonial mentality of the period, in the assumption that examples from Britain, and to a lesser extent USA, are relevant to the Australian situation. The Australian states, over the whole 19th century, were still colonies of Great Britain and many of their populations felt that they ‘belonged’ to the “Mother Country”, even if born in Australia. When researching a topic, through reading Australian newspapers of the 19th century, one is struck by the anticipation expressed of the arrival of ships bringing mail and newspapers from, in particular, Britain. Columns in local newspapers present news from ‘home’ that is six or more weeks behind the event, but seems to be eagerly sought. It is through these sources that local colonial authorities became well aware of European and even American events. One recurring event was that of disaster in theatres. As will be seen fires destroyed Australian theatres but fortuitously not during performances. Overseas examples, however, possibly provided authorities with feelings of dread as to what could happen under other circumstances. Many of the British newspapers subscribed to by an Australian middle class would be the “weeklies”, fortnightlies and monthlies. One that was often seen in Australia right up until World War II was the Illustrated London News.1 Whereas it was published for some 100 years, its Australian equivalent, the Australasian Sketcher, published by the Melbourne Argus, commenced as a monthly in 1873, then in 1880 became a “fortnightly”. Like the Illustrated London News, and a few similar Australian publications, it produced wonderful wood-cut illustrations, often full tabloid page size. They were especially noteworthy for the portrayal of disastrous events – train crashes, sinking ships and fires, particularly those events where loss of life occurred, as in a number of theatres. If Victorian society was prurient about sex and bodily functions, referring to them publicly through vague euphemisms, disasters were loved to be described in lurid detail. A few of these are drawn upon as examples of what could and did happen in theatres. The detail of their description well illustrates aspects of architectural design and human behaviours that produced poor conditions for safety. Another “overseas influence” in the 19th and well into the 20th centuries, was the origin of the actor-managers and theatrical entrepreneurs. Most of the major ones such as George Coppin, Gustavus Brooke, George Rignold, Bland Holt, Alfred Dampier, and vaudevillian Harry Rickards, came from the British Isles, periodically returning to obtain plays and employ performers to tour. J. C. Williamson, who commenced the largest theatrical empire in Australasia, was from USA. His partners from 1920, the Tait brothers under the company J. & N. Tait Ltd, continued the firm until post-mid 20th century. They were born of a Scottish father and English mother, and one of 41 PaPER 57 FIGURE 3. Bijou Theatre, Bourke Street, Melbourne, after the fire on 22 April, 1889. Illustrated Australian News, 1st May 1889. their number, Nevin, remained in London as the company’s representative and managing director until 19612. All these theatre entrepreneurs would have had considerable knowledge of the design developments in British and American theatres. “Local” material drawn upon includes the proceedings of a New South Wales Royal Commission into theatres. The Government Architect, James Barnet, reported on existing theatres, and made recommendations for safety measures to the Commission. Barnet was a Scot who was educated, and had practiced as an architect-builder in London from 1843 to 1854, the year that he arrived in Sydney3. As with architects today he would have been well aware of British and European architectural “trends”. A 19th century source used that approaches “hard” research is a world survey of theatre fires and their causes, published in 1898. The 20th century saw a shift to the USA as the principal influence in Australian theatre (and picture theatre) design. By the 1920s US film distributors had achieved considerable influence in Australia, and in the design of the theatres that would show their product. Movie exhibitors and theatre architects in Australia subscribed to US exhibitors trade journals, such as Motion Picture News and Exhibitors Herald World, both of which contained regular supplements on theatre architecture with interviews of major theatre architects. These influences will be seen mainly in the section on design and comfort. Events in Theatres Resulted in Change. that have The worst kind of people-built-environment interaction is when a disaster in a part of the built environment causes loss of life. Earthquake destruction of buildings and engineered structures have prompted research into building techniques that will reduce death by such disaster. Fires in theatre buildings can risk the death of many people since there may be a considerable number in a confined space when such a fire commences. And it’s not as if such events were rare. Enough in Australia and reported in Britain occurred from the time of Australia’s first continuously licensed theatre (Theatre Royal, Sydney, 1833) to 1882 to cause the New South Wales Government to set up a “Royal Commission into the Construction of Theatres, Public Halls and Other Places of Public Amusement or Concourse” in that year4. Evidence from this commission of inquiry is illuminating PaPER 57 for the attitudes of people who are in some way concerned with theatres, but its recommendations did not become effective law until 1909 in New South Wales5 (later in other states of Australia) by which time even more spectacular fires had occurred in theatres. To provide a flavour of the tragedy that could be produced by fire and/or panic a number of examples are provided from Britain and two from 42 USA. A list of theatres that have been largely destroyed by fire in Australia is also set out (Table 1); fortunately, the fires in the Australian examples flared up outside of performance times. A magnificently dramatic fire destroyed all but fragments of the perimeter walls of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 18096. The New Royal Brunswick Theatre at Goodman’s Fields was destroyed by fire in 1826, rebuilt with supposedly FIGURE 4. Burning of the Adelphi Theatre, Glasgow. The Illustrated London News, 25th November 1848. 43 PaPER 57 FIGURE 5. Fire destroying the Theatre Royal, Exeter, England, Illustrated London News, 10th Sept 1887. all the then known safety provisions and termed “fire-proof ”, opening on 28 February 18287, but it “fell down” three days later8. In November 1848 the mainly timber Adelphi Theatre, Glasgow, was destroyed while only a rehearsal was on. All the actors escaped safely9. In 1849 the Olympic Theatre in London went up in flames10, then in 1856, it was the turn of the Pavilion Theatre, (Whitechapel) London, to be conflagrated11. Shortly after The (Melbourne) Argus extolled the fact that the just built Theatre Royal, Melbourne, was equal in dimensions to the Covent Garden Opera House12, the latter was destroyed by fire in March, 1856 – the fire commencing in the carpenters’ workshop, high in the building, during a masquerade. Fortunately, it was found by firemen attached to the theatre and all staff and masqueraders escaped, but only the principal walls remained standing13. In 1863 the monumental civic theatre complex in Plymouth had a fire in the theatre portion14. Two years later the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh, was destroyed with the loss of six lives15. In the same year (1865) the Surrey Theatre, Sheffield, had everything between the masonry walls destroyed. It had a capacity of 1500 people in the gallery alone16. At daybreak on a Sunday in October 1866, after a performance attended by 3000 people, a fire was discovered at the Standard Theatre (Shoreditch), London. It reduced the building to a ruin17. The Her Majesty’s Theatre (Haymarket), London, experienced conflagration twice – in 1789 and again in 186718, with the third theatre building having another fire in 1881, the damage though being repairable19. Edinburgh’s rebuilt Theatre Royal, suffered another fire in July 188420. The Exeter Theatre (Exeter, England) was built only a year prior to a tragic fire in September 188721. With few people in the more expensive stalls, dress circle and upper circle there were between 700 and 800, mainly in the pit (rear stalls bench seats) and gallery. During a soliloquy being presented on stage the drop scene (at the front of the stage) fell without warning. What was thought to be a humorous accident was soon to turn into horror. Smoke was seen coming from under the drop scene. The fright of the audience increased with the drop scene burning-up “which showed the stage filled with raging flames”. People in the pit, stalls and upper circle exited safely but in the most crowded part of the house, the gallery, PaPER 57 a fearful panic arose; women shrieked and swooned; men, half mad with excitement, rushed and stumbled over those lying prostrate. In descending the gallery staircase a block ensued; as people were unable to escape, a great number of deaths from burning and suffocation was the result. The space of time intervening between the fall of the actdrop and the theatre being in a complete blaze was very short…. Outside the theatre, the sight was a pitiable one. People appeared on the balcony over the front entrance, wringing their hands and crying for help. The scene near the gallery windows was most distressing. As soon as possible, ladders were brought; but the fire raged too fiercely for the help to be of much avail…. The struggle for life inside the theatre at one time must have been terrible. The rescuers state that bodies on the steps and in the passages to the gallery were crushed, charred, bleeding, and mingled in fearful confusion with the falling ruins. The throng in the [exterior] balconies increased in numbers, and in their terror some could not be restrained from leaping into the road, in which several were killed…. The bodies of the dead were during the night conveyed to the stable-yard at the back of the New London Hotel [opposite the theatre]….In the shed were arranged in three ghastly 44 rows the bodies which had been recovered from the gallery…. Many of the faces of the dead were terribly convulsed, and some were burnt; others presented the calm aspect suggestive of death from suffocation….In a number of cases the skin of the hand was so blackened and scorched up as almost to resemble a kid glove in the act of being taken off. In the shed nearly sixty bodies lay awaiting identification. Outside was a pile of bones and cinder…stated to contain the remains of some thirty human beings. Inside the stable were three other groups of nine men and women, not to mention a sickening heap of charred remains calculated to represent some twenty persons….The list of dead…and missing amount already to 166…22 In a second report on this fire one week later, and illustrated by wood-cuts based on photographs, the Illustrated London News mentions the lives lost in other recent fires in Europe – the Moscow Theatre (300 persons), the Ring Theatre, Vienna in 1881 when 794 perished, and the Paris Opera Comique in 1887 with 77 lives lost. The report notes 16 theatres having been burnt in eleven years, thus producing an average 193 people killed per year by theatre fires23. In USA, after the Brooklyn Theatre in New York was devastated on Tuesday, December 5, 1876, a FIGURE 6. Theatre Royal, Exeter, England. Identifying the bodies deposited in the stables of the hotel opposite the theatre, after the fire. The Illust London News 10th September1887. PaPER 57 report, published in London, noted that the 425 people in the gallery rushed to a narrow stair, broke the balustrade “and were precipitated in a heap to the cellar of the building, where most of them miserably perished of suffocation and fire. More than 200 bodies were found in one charred heap”24. In all, some 300 perished. In Chicago, the new theatre, the Iroquois, built with all the latest ideas in fire protection suffered a blaze on 30th December 1903. A fire commenced in the grid-iron rig high above the stage of the “fireproof ” theatre. The orchestra and dancers continued to play until glowing embers commenced falling on them. They fled the stage, then the hemp ropes holding “carloads of scenery in the loft above…gave way before the fire like so much paper and the great wooden batons fell like thunder bolts upon the now deserted stage”25. Only then was a call made for the fire curtain to be lowered. It shot down a way but then stopped, leaving a “yawning space” beneath. At the same time performers fleeing from backstage opened a door to the fresh air which created a draft from the stage up to the roof ventilator and exits at the gallery level. This new supply of air transformed the stage “into a seething volcano”, and with “a great puff the mass of flame swept out over the auditorium, a withering blast of death” instantly barbecuing patrons in the upper galleries. Of the almost 600 deaths and 400 other casualties26 many died from being jammed in doorways, on stairways and corridors “almost instantly so that no human power could make egress possible”27. The above provides a few examples of theatre fires; Edwin O. Sachs in a Supplement to his mammoth and definitive Modern Opera Houses and Theatres, (Volume III, 1898) provides a list of over 1100 fires in theatres from 1797 to 1897 in Europe, Russia, Britain, North and South America, Japan, and including six fires in Australia28. In Australia some 15 capital city theatres have experienced major fires, right up to 1984 (See Table One), with one being rebuilt and, in turn re-burnt (Prince of Wales, Sydney). A few country theatres have also been destroyed by fire, the most notable being at least three in Broken Hill29. Also, some picture theatres have either been consumed by fire or severely damaged. (For New South Wales, the Movie Theatre Heritage Register indicates destruction by fire in the table of all known cinema venues in the state30.) 45 What is noteworthy, with the list of theatres compiled by Sachs, is that 74 per cent of those fires that occurred from 1867 to 1897; and, in the decade from 1887 when electric illumination may have shown a reduction in fires, they actually increased in number – to 360 or 33 per cent of the total for the 100 year period31. Sachs was only to discover the time of fire for 769 cases; most were at night after the performance and before 7 A.M. (59.5%). However, 13.5 per cent began during the presence of an audience for the performance32 (See Table 2). Many people in fires, such as above, die from paniccaused crushes. Worse is when panic is created by false alarms, someone in the audience shouting “Fire!” as a lark. In 1878 the Colosseum [Music Hall] in Liverpool, England, contained about 4000 mostly young people when such a call occurred. Two women and 35 boys suffocated in the panicrush33. A similar cry in the Victoria Hall, Sunderland, caused 180 children to die in 188334, while less than 18 months later 14 adolescents perished at the Star Theatre of Varieties in Glasgow35. When police inspector George Waters was asked about crushes and panic in theatres at the NSW Royal Commission into Construction of Theatres, he noted two examples. One was at Sydney’s Royal Victoria Theatre at a time when circuses were occasionally presented on stage: a horse jumped down into the orchestra, “and that caused panic, although it was a tremendous rush”36. He had also heard of the [false] cry of fire being raised whereby there was a rush that blocked the entrances [to the auditorium]. He notes that he was in a theatre in Melbourne when a cry of fire was raised. There was a fearful rush. I was near one of the uprights and got my arms around it. Several people were trampled upon, and I saw them carried away fainting.37 There are two basic issues related to the above that concern the well-being of people. One is of fire, with the direct possible result of harming people. The second is of panic, whether or not it is caused by actual fire, and how the interaction of panic, or fear, and building design allows harm to come to people. With fire it is necessary to eliminate or at least reduce the causes of conflagration. If fires cannot be prevented methods of containment might reduce fire reaching areas containing groups PaPER 57 46 FIGURE 7. Theatre Royal, Exeter, England, after fire in 1887. Stairs where many bodies were found. The lower left illustrations show the third flight of stairs with obstructing pay-box. (I.L.News 10/9/87) PaPER 57 of people. Of the 328 instances found by Sachs that provided the location within the theatre buildings where conflagration commenced, only 20 fires or six per cent were ignited within the auditorium. Fifty-one per cent commenced on stages and the remaining 43 per cent in other parts of the building. Only 193 cases of stage and backstage fires showed clear causes of those fires38. Sachs’ numbers have been converted into percentages in the following table. On the 23rd June, 1882, at the Royal Commission into the Construction of Theatres, the architect for the Opera House (on the corner of King and York Streets), Sydney, and the Academy of Music, Ballarat, Benjamin Backhouse, was asked about fires caused from naked gas lights in the flies of the stage, for example, when canvas borders might flap into the flame. When it [a fire] does happen the gas is turned off and the auditorium is left in darkness. His next sentence indicates what today would be considered with some dismay: Often more is thought of the building than of the audience39 The later section on the behaviour by managers and employees appears to confirm a poor or neglectful regard for the audience. However, irrespective of the causes of fire and panic, many deaths occurred in the exit designs of theatres. They were caused neither from burning nor asphyxiation, but from the designs of escape systems that were not suitable for human behaviour when reacting to fire or panic. A more forensic 47 description of the staircases during the later stages of the fire at the Theatre Royal, Exeter, illustrate how some people may have been saved if they had not fallen on stairways, and stairways that acted as chimneys for smoke. A Mr. Harry Foot entered the building while the fire was still burning in the roof structure. He described the flights of stairs leading up to the gallery. On the first flight I saw a number of hats, coats, caps, jackets, and other wearing apparel, but no people. On the second flight, which approaches the ticket-keeper’s office, were several bodies. The staircase had been filled with a dense smoke, which had found its way there from other portions of the house, and the staircase, acting as a sort of flu, carried it up into the gallery. This smoke had suffocated those whom I saw lying dead in the second flight, because there was no sign of any crush there. On the landing at the top of the second flight, on a level with the ticket-keeper’s office, a large number of bodies were lying. But the most fearful sight met our eyes on the third flight, immediately preceding the short flight of four or five steps which led into the gallery itself. On both sides of the third flight are hand-rails, about 3 ft. 6 in. above the level of the steps. The bodies were lying in a heap piled above these rails. They were all head downwards and in nearly every instance the face was towards the floor. At the bottom of the third flight of steps were the bodies of three or four females. It occurred to me that the crowd, mainly strong men and boys, who were behind, must have overtaken them, possibly trodden on their dresses, and so caused them to fall. Or it may be that the ticket-box fell over the stairs, and they fell over that. The bodies were lying so thick that they quite occupied the entire width of the staircase; in some cases, they PaPER 57 48 FIGURE 8. Star Theatre, Glasgow, showing where 14 people died in the panic following a false fire alarm. The patrons exiting from the pit or stalls of the music hall came into sudden contact with the patrons falling down the stairway at left. Illustrated London News 8th Nov. 1884. were four or five rows deep. At the bottom of the stairs they lay thicker than at the top, almost as if shot down a shoot (sic). In the majority of cases the arms were outstretched beyond the head, as if they had struggled to the last to drag themselves forward; but their legs were rendered immovable by the bodies of those who had followed and partly fallen on them. Those lying on the top must have been overpowered by the smoke, then fallen forward on the others.40 The rescuer was then driven back by the flames in the gallery and molten lead dripping from the roof covering. It was after this that the bodies “were reduced to the charred remains” that were removed to the hotel yard. (See Figures 6 and 7.) At the Star Theatre of Varieties in Glasgow deaths occurred quite simply through the confluence of patrons from two exit-ways. The pit or stalls patrons rushed out through their door from the auditorium, along a short corridor, through a gateway to turn right to exit into the open air. The design characteristic that created a deathly crush, was that the short corridor had a stairway from the gallery entering at right angles. People coming down the stairs could not enter the corridor due to the crowd of other people exiting from the stalls. A jam occurred on the stairs with patrons on the lower steps losing their balance, falling and either being trodden on or simply suffocating to death. In this case it was panic from a false alarm – death with no fire. (See Figure 8.) Similar exit designs also existed in Australia; for example, at the Theatre Royal, Hobart. From 1856 until 1911, the 300 or so gallery patrons at the Hobart theatre only had one enclosed stone spiral stair for entry and exit. It descended through three levels to empty the gallery audience into PaPER 57 the basement near an exit door to a side lane. A full stairway of panicking people could well have become a solid mass of suffocation if an alarm had occurred41. Changes in “Standards” of Safety and Health: The effect on theatre design and audience comfort Establishing precisely what the comfort, safety and health standards were in early 19th century decades, as exhibited by theatre designs, is somewhat difficult even from inspection of the drawings of contemporary architects or builders. Unlike architects’ working drawings of today, which have a considerable number of large scale constructional details and quite precise, written specifications, the documentation in the 19th century was little more than a set of drawings at a scale of one eighth of an inch to a foot (approx 1:100). Certainly there is usually evident on these drawings the number and width of exits, windows in the side walls, ceiling ventilator(s), if any (usually over any “sunlight” gas jet clusters) and the type of construction of walls (either in masonry or timber frame). Some architects’ drawings may indicate seating, at least in bench form, although such indication may not have been adhered to by the entrepreneur/builder42. Seldom is it stated precisely how many patrons could be seated in the auditorium. Such number would provide the means of calculating the space (in square feet) per person, and the ability to compare it to today’s standards. The information that is mostly available is the amount of money taken for the sale of tickets for a performance. Ivor Brown has difficulty coming to terms with a calculation of about 400 persons squeezing into the Georgian Theatre at Richmond, Yorkshire, when he estimates forty pounds taken for a performance at an average price of two shillings per person43. According to these calculations the space per person would average about two and one half square feet, while the standard today is about five square feet. Capacity and space per person has been a problem with a number of authorities in trying to determine the size of audience in a number of Elizabethan theatres. Smith cites the various claimed capacities of the Fortune Theatre, London, by Wallace (1320 persons) Corbin (2138) and Harbage (2344), while 49 W.W. Greg estimated it on the basis of Henslowe’s Diary as 3000 persons44. John C. Adams viewed the capacity of the Globe Theatre, London, through his own early 20th century eyes and the space standards then in use after tip-up seats, with armrests dividing each person, had become commonplace: he allowed a width of 22 inches per seated spectator and four square feet per person in the pit45. It was an extraordinarily blinkered and inaccurate view. Extant Australian architects’ drawings of continuous benches in the pit and/or gallery for both the alterations for the Theatre Royal, Hobart, in 1856/7,46 and the new Academy of Music (now Her Majestys Theatre) Ballarat, Victoria47, show the distance from the back edge of one bench to the back edge of the next bench to be only two feet or very close to it. No divisions between the persons on the bench would mean that people would sit hip to hip (or be crammed to sit this way by “packers”). The width of individual hips seated on a bench will vary but most would occupy from about 12 inches to about 15 inches of the length of a bench48. Therefore an average of two and one half square feet per person in an auditorium is feasible, providing less space in the pit and gallery and a little more in the boxes and family circle. The fortuitous situation that exists in the State (formerly Colony) of New South Wales is that much of the written and visual evidence can be confirmed through the evidence taken at the Royal Commission into Construction of Theatres etc. It commenced in 1882, lapsed, then reconvened and reported in 188649. It was two years prior to the Royal Commission being set up that the Royal Victoria Theatre in Sydney was burnt to the ground50. The only other theatre in the city, the Prince of Wales, was also destroyed by fire in 186051, and again in 187252, while in Melbourne, the Theatre Royal was destroyed by fire in 187253, the Duke of Edinburgh or Haymarket Theatre in 187154, the Opera Comique (or Varieties) Theatre in 187055. Fortunately the fires ignited at night after performances or, in the case of the Prince of Wales (1860), in adjoining buildings. That fire started in a bakery but then ignited the pine timber framing in the roof of the theatre56. At the time there was little alternative to timber for roof trusses and framing -- steel was only just being “invented” although cast iron had PaPER 57 been used in structural framing (e.g. the Crystal Palace, London, 1851). As noted before, Australia still had strong ties to the “Mother Country”, England, at the time and disasters from fire (e.g. Theatre Royal, Covent Garden, 185657) would have been well-known from London newspapers that were regularly but belatedly read by many Australians. Between the Progress Report of the New South Wales Royal Commission and its resuming for a final report there occurred the fatal panic at the Star Theatre of Varieties, Glasgow, Scotland where fourteen persons were “stifled or crushed to death”58. This 1884 event highlighted the design of entries and exits from the most crowded parts of auditoria - the pit and gallery. The single passage, single staircase entrance to these parts of the theatre in Glasgow was very similar to entrances to many Australian theatres at the time. For example, although mostly built of stone and brickwork the Theatre Royal, Hobart, had, as the only access to and escape from the gallery, one fully enclosed spiral stair. Over 300 patrons would have to climb, from a door directly from a basement level lane through three stories, without any intermediate landings, before being spilled out at the rear of the gallery. With such a design one fall, in panic, would simply have left a spiral tube of suffocating humanity59. Similar single, narrow width exits also existed for the respective separated portions of the auditoria of 50 other theatres, such as the Royal Victoria, Sydney60. In fact, the author of a long letter in the daily Sydney Morning Herald, as early as 1st March 1860, warned of the calamity of a fire in a theatre and the “extreme narrowness of the entrances to all places of public concourse; and the difficulty of making one’s way out when the assembly is at once dismissed.” It can therefore be assumed that the citizenry was becoming aware of safety problems in theatres. The existence of lavatories (or more likely their non-existence) is also evident on drawings. In the Mansfield drawings of the Royal Victoria none are shown61. If they had existed, they would have been in the hotel portion of the building or in the yard. However the comprehensive plans of the Theatre Royal, Hobart, only show one toilet for males and one for females for dress circle and private box patrons only -- no others, except for one for each sex within the actors dressing room area in the basement. These are unventilated cubicles with earth closets62. The mingled odours from closet, grease paint and perspiration from these cellar compartments must have been ‘memorable’. The lack of lavatories for gallery patrons is implied in the requirement for theatres in Newcastle (UK) in 1837. Richard Southern notes how the picture of behaviour in theatres of the time “gains one touch of horrific relief when we learn that . . . it was 51 PaPER 57 ruled ‘that the floor between the front seats and the front of the gallery be covered with lead to prevent nuisances’”63 – a euphemistic term used in Victorian times in relation to urination. The lead would act as a gutter to at least reduce drips onto the dress circle patrons below. For the type of ventilation available, and its effectiveness, evidence at the Royal Commission provides some indication. The opening of windows was considered to cause draughts so one architect installed a few 18 inch diameter tubes through the wall above the pit and dress circle patrons, but he admitted that the gallery was the coolest part of the theatre64. This part of the house, being the highest, frequently had its ceiling tilted up above the remainder to provide headroom over the rear seats. A ventilator in the ceiling or rear wall allowed the hot air out but also, if there were a fire on the stage, this same ventilator would tend to draw the flames into the auditorium, particularly towards the gallery to instantly roast its patrons as occurred at the Iroquois Theatre, Chicago. The Commissioners conducting the Inquiry interviewed architects of theatres, police (concerning crush, panic and quelling fights in theatres), the superintendent of the Sydney Fire Brigades, a theatre mechanist and three theatre proprietors, including J.C. Williamson. They also commissioned detailed reports on capacity, the construction of and time taken to empty the theatres after a performance, from the Colonial (Government) Architect, James Barnet. Although theatres were licensed by the Public Exhibitions Acts of 1850 and 1873, and reports on safety were required65, there was “no restriction on the license as to the number he shall put in his theatre”66. After also investigating the safety of gas lighting and availability of methods of fire control, the Commissions recommended that nineteen conditions be included in the then current licenses until legislation could be prepared. That was in the 1882 Progress Report. In 1886 a report by the Colonial Architect detailing recommended dimensions of corridors, aisles, stairs etc., lighting, types of doors, materials of construction, ventilators, water closets and their ventilation, emergency fire water tanks and hoses, fireproof staircases, proscenium fire-wall and safety curtain, “fire-proof ” rooms for carpenters’ shops etc., was incorporated in the recommendations of the final Report by the Commissioners67. Although the legislation in New South Wales, the Theatres and Public Halls Act, was not passed by the Parliament until 1906, the provision of its more stringent system of licensing did not come into operation until 1909. This is a case where the citizens’ representatives perceived community concern for safety in theatres, and as a result set up an inquiry from which the relatively sweeping recommendations were accepted. Notwithstanding similar changes occurring overseas, it was this Commission and the legislation that followed that caused, in historical terms, considerable changes to the design of theatres in Australia, and produced benefits for the patrons. Community Expectation or Vociferous Minority Ideology If the Royal Commission into the construction of theatres is considered to have benefited the patrons through the actions of their elected representatives, one might wonder about the same representatives’ approach to the serving of liquor within the theatre building (in rooms adjacent to the auditorium). Australian theatres were often fit-ups in a large hall or saloon at the rear or side of a hotel. Purposebuilt regular theatres usually had the name “hotel” gracing the front although, as with the Royal Victoria, Sydney, it was no more than one bar at ground level (level one) and a saloon across the front on level two. Male patrons from the dress circle boxes had access to the saloon at intervals68. Hotel opening times seemed almost unrestricted, being from 6.00 am till midnight or after. There were no other places for theatre patrons to lounge or partake of refreshment. The plans of the Theatre Royal, Hobart, show a small bar adjacent to the narrow entrance to the pit at basement level, in the side lane; and a bar in the refreshment saloon at ground level (level two), adjacent to the front street entrance to all the private boxes and dress circle69. Apart from a small ladies saloon for dress circle patrons on level three, these spaces comprised the only refreshment and/or foyer or lounging space (except the narrow corridors). PaPER 57 From plans of Sydney theatres, drawn by the Colonial Architect and included in the Report of the Royal Commission into theatre construction70, it becomes clear that if patrons wished to have some respite from sitting in the auditorium they may have nowhere to go except out onto the street (for gallery patrons), or adjourn to the saloon or bar within the hotel section of the building. Temperance (anti-alcohol consumption) societies, it seems, were instituted in the USA in 1826, then spread to Britain in 1829 and then Australia71. In 1834 the Temperance Society of New South Wales complained that intemperance debased social habits and corrupted the morals of the community, and that drink leads to robbery, prostitution, degradation and misery for spouse and children72. There are two parallel indications of the development of the Temperance movement in the period with which this paper is concerned. First, there are the number of books or pamphlets indexed in the State Library of New South Wales. There is a small number for the 1870s, larger number in the 1890s and almost an avalanche dated from 1910 to into the 1920s. This parallels a tightening of the liquor laws, restricting trading hours from about eighteen hours a day to eight hours (with no night-time trading) until 1919, when there was a referendum on total prohibition. It seems, from deduction of the meaning of various liquor and theatre licensing Acts of Parliaments, that theatres were only licensed for where the performance was performed and observed (i.e. stage and auditorium). This allowed other parts of the same building to have a liquor license, but the two could not be brought together because, in the period from 1842 to 1856, there became a prohibition of music and dancing in premises licensed for serving alcoholic liquor73. The premises licensed were virtually only the rooms in which liquor was served. This allowed access from the auditorium (that had one type of license) to the bar (that had another type of license). In the State of Victoria, in 1876, hotels had to have a limited number of rooms for public accommodation, which disallowed the “hotel” with only a couple of bars (such as attached to some theatres in NSW), and local option (referendum) was introduced to see whether a liquor license should continue, or be newly granted. Also, 52 licensed premises were banned from being “in the vicinity of a place of public worship, hospital or school”74. The State of New South Wales did not implement some of these proposals such as local option (referenda) until 1882. The new Liquor Act of that year also brought in “early” closing at 11.00 pm, thus reducing the hours of trading to 17, but some people appearing before another Commission of Inquiry (on Intoxicating Liquor) said they felt that the closing time should be 11.30 pm near theatres75. The difference between this Commission and the Royal Commission into the Construction of Theatres is the type of evidence that was, and could be produced. The only pressure group, one might say for theatres, were the few managers. At the same time so much of the evidence is “hard” physical evidence of safety of materials, narrow doorways and stairs, sagging roof trusses wrongfully loaded with stage scenery, etc. But at the Intoxicating Liquor Inquiry most of the evidence was personal, often emotive opinion (like today’s pro- and antiabortion debate) from individuals and groups who claimed they represented a sizeable segment of the public, perhaps the 19th century equivalent of the silent majority. The silent majority certainly remained silent, even in the referenda to allow or disallow licenses to he granted for hotels. The Registrar General for the state of Queensland complained that the voter turn-out for such referenda ranged from one and one half per cent to ten per cent76. The State of South Australia also had a Royal Commission into Liquor in 1879: on the subject of Sunday closing of hotels two polls were held in the Port Adelaide district, one by Temperance and one by the brewing trade. Both came up with majorities but each majority was for the side organising the poll77. The liquor question seems to have been one of little interest to the general public but maintained at a high level of publicity by some religious groups and ideologically driven pressure groups, such as Temperance societies. Interestingly, the Theatres and Public Halls Act completely forced a disassociation of hotel and theatre because the license for the theatre (and its safety) was now to cover the whole site, all rooms, all entrances and exits. And the Amendment Regulation 107 53 PaPER 57 stated clearly that “No person shall take spirituous or other alcoholic liquors or beverages into any licensed theatre or public hall whilst open to the public”78. This regulation was virtually the mirror image of not allowing entertainment, music or dancing in premises licensed for the sale of liquor. During the time of the First World War the emotive Temperance argument was one of sacrifice -- the families “at home” helping the war effort, and our boys overseas, by restricting the sale of liquor. In 1916, through a referendum the hotel trading hours were reduced to eight hours, from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm as a wartime measure79. This lasted through an abortive prohibition referendum in 1919 until 1946 when hours were gradually increased. In 1966 the restriction of the sale of liquor in theatres was lifted and bars could be built and licensed to sell liquor again adjacent to the theatre auditorium. Whereas the issue of safety and health had a logic about the outcome with benefits to the patrons through their parliamentary representatives working for them, the issue of serving liquor (from the various papers, transcripts of evidence etc.) seems unrelated to any power the patron might have but more one of the power of vociferous minority groups and individuals who use emotive arguments and give the impression they represent more people than they actually do. In relation to historical change in theatre the sale of liquor and the use of bars as foyers or today, foyers as bars, has come full circle. Foreign Influences in Changing 54 PaPER 57 Design for Community Comfort When the small bars could no longer be places for patrons to adjourn, theatres were constructed with still the minimal space for patrons to ambulate during interval. Two theatres constructed within the time frame of this paper, and which were still in existence within the memory of the author, were the Adelphi/Grand Opera House/Tivoli Theatre, Sydney of 1911 and the Majestic/Elizabethan Theatre, Newtown, Sydney of 1917. Both being three level theatres, they had a level-one entrance crush space which was small, virtually forcing the stalls patrons to their seats upon arrival; and a quite small dress circle foyer above. The gallery patrons, as for the whole of the 19th century, were still required to enter by a different door that took them directly to the gallery with neither crush space nor foyer. (Unlike the 19th century examples they did, however, experience the addition of lavatories.) The tradition of the separation of classes was holding on in theatre design in Australia but in USA it was changing. As early as 1902 architects, George and C.W. Rapp conducted an elementary building evaluation study through “unobtrusive observation” after they received a commission to design a new theatre for 2000 people. The owner wanted each patron to “feel content” in his/her seat80. They stood night after night in the principal playhouses, watching the expressions and listening to the comments of the theatre patrons, concluding that each member of the audience wanted a “clear direct view of the stage”. It must be remembered that the vast majority of theatres in existence in 1902 had an almost ‘forest’ of posts supporting the tiers above the pit or stalls level. For example, Wade’s Opera House, San Francisco, the theatre in the Second Boston Museum81 and the Princess Theatre, Melbourne82, all had eight columns rising from the stalls floor to support the fronts of the tiers above. The patrons, through this evaluation study, influenced the Rapp brothers to change their designs. But they did not leave it there; they continued to monitor the designs of both “live” and movie theatres, obtaining much anecdotal data. In commenting about the design of movie theatres in particular, they noted that the “purchaser of the cheapest ticket (for the gallery) dislikes the feeling that he is isolated from the rest of the auditorium. And so there has been introduced broad and gradually ascending staircases leading up from lofty and impressive lobbies making the way to the upper levels of the theatre attractive and inviting”83. This description of the new design for stairs to the gallery is markedly different from the mean flights of the 19th century that emptied patrons directly onto the sidewalk. Not only were these architects responsive to the patrons in this way but they considered the large movie theatre (with its flytower stage for variety) to be “a shrine to democracy where there are no privileged patrons. The wealthy rub elbows with the poor ... and are better for this contact”84. Not only did architects pursue a more radical social approach to design of movie palace theatres but, unlike the live theatre entrepreneurs of the late 19th and early 20th century, the movie exhibitor entrepreneurs supported their architects in this design improvement85. Picture palace theatres commenced to be built in Australia in the early years of the 1920s, obviously following the architectural trends of the USA86. However, the architect who designed both “live” and movie theatres in the second and third decades of the 20th century in Australia, Henry White, designed (to open in 1926) a live theatre that followed the ideas formulated by the Rapp brothers. It was the St James Theatre, Sydney, which, like its picture palace counterparts, had marble foyers and expensive fittings, its auditorium being tastefully rich in the Adam style of classical decoration87. Very few, if any, other “live” theatres were built in Australia during the 1920s and 1930s until 1939 (although there were a few auditoria remodelled)88. The Minerva Theatre, completed in Sydney in 193989, is the final example in Australia to completely exorcise the articulation of theatre design into social class divisions of differing environmental quality. From memory and contemporary photographs the two levels of the auditorium had common foyer spaces, and all seats were identical in their design as armed lounge chairs with the same thick wool upholstery. All patrons experienced the one quality of luxurious environment. This has continued into the 1970s and 1980s in the construction PaPER 57 of the large number of capital city and regional performing arts centres90. Behaviours by (and Beliefs of) Those Concerned with Operating Theatres The attitudes towards patrons by, to some extent the architects, but moreso two managers, J.C. Williamson and W. Dind, demonstrate a rather cavalier approach to audience comfort. J.C. Williamson was an American actor-manager who settled in Australia in the early 1880s and built up a theatrical entrepreneural empire – a chain of theatres in Australia and New Zealand – that lasted for a century. W. Dind was a small-time theatre lessee and manager who conducted one theatre at a time. The two managers seemed to make no attempt to provide either comfort or safety for pit and gallery patrons. Even in the front stalls – a few rows of chairs in front of the benches of the pit – the proprietors would fill up the aisles with people by putting planks of wood across from seat to seat so as to squeeze in an additional three people per row of seats91. J.C. Williamson said that four square feet per person could not be allowed in the pit because the “pit people like to crowd; they do not enjoy themselves unless they are well packed in . . . they are not comfortable unless they 55 are uncomfortable”92. Williamson’s argument was that if the pit was only two-thirds full (i.e. the capacity number at four square feet per person) it would be more dangerous than if it was crammed full of people standing at the doors. His logic was that when crammed no one could move except those closest to the doors, but with more space per person there was the opportunity of making a rush thereby risking people being trampled upon93. W. Dind told the Royal Commission that he did not want arm rest divisions on seats as they take up too much room, and “the people do not pay enough for you to make them too comfortable94”. He also thought people liked to sit close together when he defended the traditional pit and gallery seating of long benches without backs95. E. F. Hilly, an architect who had worked on Sydney’s Theatre Royal, somewhat reinforced these views on seating in the pit. My idea, he told the Royal Commission on 16th June 1882, is that it [the Theatre Royal pit] would seat 1500 because in the pit their idea of comfort is very limited . . . . As a rule, people sit very close in that part of the house96. In behaviours that ‘resist’ or show ignorance of regulations, poor storage of materials is possibly the worst example. William Douglas Bear of the Fire Brigade gave evidence at the Royal Commission PaPER 57 56 FIGURE 9. The Royal Victoria Theatre, Sydney, after a fire in1880 (looking from where the gallery was to the stage and throughto the back-stage area. This fire possibly set off the final pressure to initiate the Royal Commission into fires and construction of theatres in New South Wales. into Construction of Theatres on 31st July 1884. He was asked whether exits at the Opera House (York and King Streets) were sufficient. He replied in the affirmative then added: The objection is that there are old properties lying about all over the [public access] staircases and on different parts of the stage and the flies, and they have a lot of old timber on the top of the roof of the auditorium and stage ready to floor it. They keep the properties on top of the auditorium97. A perusal of license files in this and other states and NSW Board of Fire Commission files shows periodic problems with lessees or managers of live theatres and cinemas using emergency exit ways as storage spaces. E. F. Hilly, architect, had previously given his opinion on the causes of fire to the Commission in 1882: Except for the chemicals used in the scenery, and the neglect of the men in using them. They use very combustible materials, and they do not mix the proper things in the chemicals to prevent them taking fire. . . . If competent and careful men were employed it would lessen the risk . . . the last fire at this theatre was caused by coloured fire, which was not put into a proper tin.98 Another architect, D. W. Ryan, was more explicit: [Fires] generally take place in the scene dock behind the proscenium. They are principally caused by smoking and carelessness, and sometimes by drunken actors, and men in charge of the property rooms.99 The above shows not only the attitudes and beliefs of the private enterprise managers but the lack of management of theatre employees. Both exhibit a laissez-faire non-regulated society and a lack of real concern for the patrons, who actually kept the actor-managers in business and the backstage workmen and actors in jobs. 57 PaPER 57 Conclusion The data used in this paper demonstrate how traditional theatre managers of the 19th and early 20th century were not particularly interested in encouraging the safety or comfort of their patrons. Licensing of theatres in Australia had followed the British model of at first licensing a place of public assembly to view only “approved” plays; that is, ones that had been approved by a censorship authority such as the British Lord Chamberlain. As with most building of the time there was little in the way of legislative regulation to effectively produce a particular standard of construction and safety. During the 19th century regulations to do with these matters were gradually attached to the licensing requirements, but from the files of the licensing authorities, inspectors would make reports on the inadequacy of particular theatres, but the reports rarely seemed to be acted upon100. The inspectors, it seemed, were largely operating on their personal experience and belief about what they thought was safe without having legislated specifications to which they could refer in order to show actual contravention. The NSW Royal Commission took the eminent Colonial [Government] Architect, James Barnet’s advice and recommendations on what should comprise a safe building, in the way of aisle widths, exit widths, seat spacing, safety fire curtain and construction, etc., in its final report of 1886. However it took another twenty years for the NSW legislative body to produce an Act of Parliament that, through regulations, incorporated these specifications. The Theatres and Public Halls Act No 13, 1908, came into effect on 1st January 1909. The Act was administered by the Chief Secretary’s Department. If a building was “within easy reach” an annual inspection was made by the Departmental Architect or his Assistants; otherwise it was by a local police officer (at level of sergeant or above) and, if in a Fire Brigade Area, an officer of the Board of Fire Commissioners with, if necessary, assistance from the building officer of the local municipal or shire council101. Table 3 provides a few of the changes dictated by the new law; however some of the changes that occurred were dictated by other events, such as assumed “public opinion”, as in the case of temperance, or entrepreneurs following the USA in creating theatre environments that people wanted to visit because they felt good in them. These are mostly outlined in Tables 4 and 5. Through most of the century the theatre symbolised the social class structure in its divisions -- keeping the classes apart through separate entrances and access-ways to the separate parts of the auditorium. These parts were fitted out from being very austere to moderately luxurious depending upon the classes of people that would use them. The patrons, in a forerunner of a type of evaluation study, influenced the design of theatres to allow all of the audience to see the action on stage. Both the continued monitoring of theatre patrons and a new breed of entrepreneurs who wanted to provide environments in which the audience could maximally enjoy the (movie picture) product, caused the egalitarian theatre to be produced. Ironically, now that all classes of people entered together they were kept separate when they exited by emergency exits. This had the functional intent of enabling a constant flow of people from any one part of the auditorium without others entering the flow from other parts of the house (this intermingling having caused so many of the crushes during panic – as, for example, at the Star Theatre of Varieties, Glasgow). The environmental-behavioural conditions of 19th century theatre buildings produced, from their deficiencies (and resultant tragedies), pressure for reform. Added to this was a rising expectation of comfort from society, and the general progress in development of building materials and engineering possibilities. The resultant outcome was an improved person-environment relationship for theatre and movie picture buildings in the 20th century Endnotes 1 The Illustrated London News was frequently seen by this writer in waiting rooms of dental and doctors’ surgeries, and was available, together with monthlies such as Punch, Country Life and English comic papers as Rainbow and Film Fun, at the newsagent in the Sydney North Shore suburb of Turramurra up and into the early years of World War II. 2 “Tait brothers”. Entry in Parsons, P., ed., Companion to Theatre in Australia, Sydney: Currency Press, 1995, pp.575-576. 58 PaPER 57 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 P. Bridges and D. McDonald, James Barnet, Colonial Architect, Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988, pp. 2025. New South Wales – Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, 1887: Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Construction of Theatres, Public Halls, and Other Places of Public Amusement or Concourse, 1886: Report (including a Progress Report of 1882). The Parliament of New South Wales, Theatres and Public Halls Act, No 13, 1908. Description and two illustrations of the fire of 24th February 1809 were published by R. Wilkinson, 58 Cornhill, London, 7th August, 1811 Report on its architecture etc in The Mirror of Literature, Amusements and Instruction No. 302, 8th March 1828, cover(illustration), pp. 162,163 Mentioned in an article on the Pavilion Theatre, Whitechapel, London. The Illustrated London News, 23rd February 1856, p.206. The Illustrated London News, 25th November, 1848, p. 333. An unannotated newspaper illustration cutting dated 31st March 1849, in possession of the author. The date of the fire, 29th March 1849, is from Howard, D. London Theatres and Music Halls, 1850-1950, London: The Library Association, 1970, entry number 549, p.165. 11 The fire was on the Wednesday week before 23 February 1856, the day that the report was published in The Illustrated London News, p. 206. 12 The Theatre Royal, Bourke Street, Melbourne was opened in 1855. The Argus, 10th July 1855, supplied an extremely long and comprehensive article comparing the dimensions of the theatres in Melbourne, Drury Lane and Covent Garden in London. 13 Adelphi Theatre which was destroyed by fire in May 1855. 16 The fire occurred on Saturday before publication in The Illustrated London News, 1st April 1865, pp. 309, 310. 17 The fire was on the Sunday before 27th October 1866, the day of publication in The Illustrated London News, 419,420. 18 A history of the theatre from 1705 is provided in The [Adelaide] Express and Telegraph, 11th February 1868. Two illustrations are in The Illustrated London News, 14th December 1867, pp. 644,657. 19 Noted in Howard, D. London Theatres and Music Halls, 1850-1950, London: The Library Association, item 375, p. 112, citing The Standard, 21st January 1881. 20 Fire on Monday before publication in The Illustrated London News, 5th July 1884, cover illustration and caption. 21 The Illustrated London News, 10th September 1887, cover, p. 300. 22 The Illustrated London News, 10th September 1887, p. 300. 23 The Illustrated London News, 17th September 1887, pp. 338-340. 24 The Illustrated London News, 6th January 1877, p. 4. 25 A valuable account of this fire is titled “Lest We Forget” Chicago’s Awful Theater Horror By The Survivors and Rescuers, with introduction by Bishop Fallows. No place of publication or publisher is given, simply ‘Copyright, 1904, by D. B. McCurdy’. Quotations are taken from pages 35, 36. 26 Guenzel, L. Retrospects: “The Iroquois Theater Fire” republished edition, Elmhurst, Illinois: Theatre Historical Society of America, 1993, p. 3. 27 “Lest We Forget” Chicago’s Awful Theater Horror by the Survivors and Rescuers, 1904, p.36 28 Sachs, E. O., Modern Opera Houses and Theatres, Volume III, London: Batsford, 1898, Supplement II, “Theatre Fires”, Record of Eleven Hundred Fires from 1797 to 1897, pp. 87-119; List of Fires Arranged According to Locality, pp. 120-126. 29 Thorne, R. Theatre Buildings in Australia to 1905: From the time of the First Settlement to arrival of cinema, Sydney: rd The fire occurred on the Sunday before publication in The Illustrated London News 15th March 1856, p.275, with illustrations, p. 276 and 22nd March 1856, p.300. 14 The fire occurred on 6th January. The Illustrated London News, 17th January 1863, p.60. 15 The fire occurred on Friday week before publication in The Illustrated London News, 21st January 1865. The theatre opened “nine years ago” on the site of the 59 PaPER 57 Architectural Research Foundation, University of Sydney, 1971, pp. 175,176. This work mentions the Theatre Royal on 11th January 1894, the Tivoli Theatre on 15th December 1952, and the Crystal Theatre in 1958. 30 Thorne, R., Tod, L. and Cork, K. Movie Theatre Heritage Register for New South Wales, 1896 to1996 Sydney: Department of Architecture, University of Sydney, 1996, pp.67-181; and the second amended edition, titled, Cultural Heritage of Movie Theatres in New South Wales 1896-1996, Sydney: Department of Architecture, University of Sydney, 1997, pp. 67187. 31 Sachs, E. O., Modern Opera Houses and Theatres Volume III, Supplement II, London: Batsford, 1898, p.129. 32 Ibid., p.128. 33 The Illustrated London News, 19th October 1878, p. 374. 34 The date of 16th June 1883 is noteded in an article on the Star Theatre, Glasgow, The Illustrated London News, 8th November 1884, p. 446. 35 The Illustrated London News, 8th November 1884, p.446. 36 New South Wales - Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, 1887: Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Construction of Theatres, Public Halls, and Other Places of Public Amusement or Concourse, 1886: Report (including a Progress Report of 1882).Appendix A, p.26. 37 38 39 43 R. Southern and I. Brown. The Georgian Theatre Richmon4 Yorkshire: The Story of the Theatre. Richmond, Yorkshire: The Georgian Theatre (Richmond) Trust Ltd, 1962, p. 25. 44 I. Smith. Shakcspeare’s Globe Playhouse: A modern reconstruction in text and scale drawings based upon the reconstruction of the Globe by John Crawford Adams,. London: Peter Owen, 1963, p. 64. 45 46 Working drawings by Coote and Andrews for the Theatre Royal, Hobart, 1856 published in R. Thorne, 1971, op.cit. as the eight end-paper pages of the two volumes, and in redrawn composite form on plates 19, 20. 47 Working drawings by George Brown. In the University of Melbourne, Faculty of Architecture. Collection in the Latrobe Library of the State Library of Victoria. 48 A male person seated, with a 40 inches (1 metre) perimeter hip measurement was found to occupy 14 inches of seat width. Many males have smaller hips; perhaps more females have larger hips. At two feet back to back and 15 inch across hips the floor space taken up is two and one half square feet. 49 New South Wales - Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly 1887, op.cit. 50 Town and Country Journal, 31 July 1880. 51 The Sydney Morning Herald, 4 October, 1860. 52 The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 January 1872. 53 Illustrated Sydney News, April 1872, p. 521. 54 IllustratedAustralian News, 9th October 1871, p. 186. Ibid. Sachs, E. O., Modern Opera Houses and Theatres, Vol. III, Supplement II, London: Batsford, 1898, p.128. NSW Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, 1887: Royal Commission into Construction of Theatres etc. Appendix A, p. 22. 40 The Illustrated London News, 17th September 1887, p.340. 41 See endpapers for the building working drawings by Coote and Andrews in R. Thorne, 1971, op.cit. and plates 19, 20. .Ibid., See Appendix A for evidence by architect E.F. Hilly stating that the “Managers generally like to put in the seats themselves” and “put in as many as they could” irrespective of the architects drawings (paragraphs 13, 14). Ibid., p. 64. 55 !hid., 1st August 1890, p. 10. 56 The Sydney Morning Herald, 4th October 1860. 57 D. Howard. London Theatres and Music halls 1850-1950. London: Library’ Association, 1970, entry number 182, pp. 54-56. 58 The Illustrated London News, 8th November 1884, p. 44. 59 See architects drawings in R. Thorne, op.cit. end-papers and plates 19, 20. 42 60 PaPER 57 60 61 As indicated on drawings by John Mansfield, Architect, for alterations carried out in 1865, deposited at the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. Ibid. 62 R. Thorne, 1971, op.cit., end-papers and plates 19, 20. 63 R. Southern, The Georgian Playhouse, London: Pleiades, 1948, p. 61. 64 NSW Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, 1887, op.cit., Appendix A, paragraphs 54 to 67. 78 Amendments Incorporation Act, 1906 (of New South Wales), assented 8th December 1908, commencement 1 January 1909, Regulation 107. 79 J. Webster, op.cit., pp. 57, 61. 80 G. and C.W. Rapp (interview in) Exhibitors Herald , Vol. 16, 16 May 1923, “Better Theatres Section”, p. xi. 81 W.C. Young. Documents of American Theater History, Vol. 1; Famous American Playhouses, 1716-1899. Chicago: American Library Association, 1973, illust. opp. p. 258; illust. opp. p. 266. 82 R. Thorne, 1971, op.cit., stalls plan, plate 83. 65 Ibid., paragraphs 128 to 154. 83 G. and C.W. Rapp, 1923, op.cit. 66 Ibid., paragraph 72. 84 67 Ibid., pp. 10-12. 68 Sydney Gazette, 2nd March 1838. C. Morrison. “From Nickelodeon to Picture Palace and Back”, Design Quarterly, No. 93, 1974, pp. 6-17, cited in C.K. Hcrzog, The Motion Picture Theater and Film Exhibition; 1896-1932. Ph.D. Thesis, Northwestern University, 1980; Xerography facsimile copy, Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1982. 69 R. Thorne, 1971, op.cit., plates 19, 20. 85 For a full discussion see R. Thorne, “The environmental psychology of theatres and movie palaces”, in Environmental Perspectives; Ethnoscapes: Vol. 1. Aldershot, UK: Avebury imprint (Gower Publishing), 1988, pp. 165-187. 86 See R. Thorne, 1981, op.cit., Introduction, pp. 1-63 and Prince Edward Theatre, pp. 275-278. 87 See R. Thorne, 1971, op.cit., plate 109, p. 217, and photographs in private collection. 88 For example, Theatre Royal, Sydney, and Princess, Melbourne, see R. Thorne, 1971, op. cit., Chapter 14. 70 New South Wales Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, 1887, op.cit. drawings appended to the report tabled in Parliament. 71 “Half an hours reading from the Temperance Society of New South Wales”, 1834, pamphlet in the Mitchell Library of the State Library of NSW, p. 6. 72 73 74 Ibid., pp. 3, 5. J. Webster. “History and Licensing Legislation in Australia from 1788 to 1930.” Unpublished typescript in the Mitchell Library of the State Library of New South Wales, p. 37. W.J. Gilchrist. The Licensing Act of 18 76 (Victoria), 1877, pp. iv, vii. The number of rooms required for accommodation was six whereas the Act of 1862/25 Victoria No. 14 required only two bedrooms. 75 NSW Commissions: “Intoxicating Drink Inquiry” Report, 1887, pp. 133-136. 76 Papers regarding the Present Working of the “Liquor Laws in Canada, the Australian Colonies and New Zealand”, presented to both houses of Parliament in Great Britain, February 1891, London: HMSO, 1891, p. 8. 77 Ibid., p.44. 89 The Sydney Morning Herald, 19th May 1939. 90 See R. Thorne. “Performing Arts Centres: The Phenomenon and What Has Influenced Their Being”, In K. Spinks (ed.) Australian Theatre Design. Paddington, NSW (Sydney): Australian Production Designers Association NSW Inc., 1992, pp. 1-67. 91 , NSW Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, 1887,op. cit., Appendix A, paragraph 72. 92 ,Ibid., paragraphs 249 and 258. 93 Ibid., paragraph 253. 94 Ibid., paragraph 271. 61 PaPER 57 95 96 Ibid., paragraph 283. 100 R. Thorne, 1971, op.cit. pp. 160, 192, 204, and Appendix J, vol. 2, pp. 28, 29. 101 Circular printed by spirit duplicator commencing with the sub-heading “Purposes of the Act”, issued circa 1967 by the NSW Chief Secretary’s Department. Accompanying the circular are a number of forms in relation to applications for licenses. Ibid., p. 19. 97 Ibid., p. 37. 98 Ibid., p. 20. 99 Ibid., p. 25. FIGURE 10. From the long article in The Illustrated London News, 17th September 1887, pp. 338-340; burying the dead at Exeter after the theatre fire. The engravings are more accurate than usual in this article since a local cameraman was soon on the scene and the engravings have been copied from his prints (rather than from rough on-site sketches or nothing at all). Reference works used Argus, The (Melbourne) 10th July, 1855. Bridges, P. and McDonald, D., James Barnet, Colonial Architect, Sydney: Hale and Iremonger, 1988. Chief Secretary’s Department of NSW. 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Southern, R., The Georgian Playhouse, London: Pleiades, 1948. Standard, The 21st January 1881. Sydney Gazette, 2nd March 1838. Morrison, C., “From Nickelodeon to Picture Palace and Back”, Design Quarterly, No. 93, 1974, pp. 6-17, cited in C.K. Herzog, The Motion Picture Theater and Film Exhibition; 1896-1932. Ph.D. Thesis, Northwestern University, 1980; Xerography facsimile copy, Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, 1982. Sydney Morning Herald, The (various issues). New South Wales Commissions: “Intoxicating Drink Inquiry” Report, 1887. Thorne, R. Theatre Buildings in Australia to 1905: From the time of the First Settlement to arrival of cinema, Sydney: Architectural Research Foundation, University of Sydney, 1971. Parliament of Great Britain, Papers regarding the Present Working of the “Liquor Laws in Canada, the Australian Colonies and New Zealand”, presented to both houses of Parliament, February 1891, London: HMSO, 1891. Parliament of New South Wales – Votes and Proceedings of the Legislative Assembly, 1887: Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Construction of Theatres, Public Halls, and Other Places of Public Amusement or Concourse, 1886: Report (including a Progress Report of 1882). Parliament of New South Wales, Theatres and Public Halls Act, No 13, 1908. Parliament of NSW, Amendments Incorporation Act, 1906, assented 8th December 1908, commencement 1 January 1909, Regulation 107. Parsons, P., ed., Companion to Theatre in Australia, Sydney: Currency Press, 1996. Rapp, G. and C. W. (interview in) Exhibitors Herald , Vol. 16, 16 May 1923, “Better Theatres Section”. Sachs, E. O., Modern Opera Houses and Theatres, Volume III, London: Batsford, 1898, Supplement II, “Theatre Fires”. Smith, I., Shakcspeare’s Globe Playhouse: A modern reconstruction in text and scale drawings based upon the reconstruction of the Globe by John Crawford Adams,. London: Peter Owen, 1963. Southern, R. and Brown, I., The Georgian Theatre Richmon4 Yorkshire: The Story of the Theatre. Richmond, Yorkshire: The Georgian Theatre (Richmond) Temperance Society of NSW, “Half an hours reading from the Temperance Society of New South Wales”, 1834, pamphlet in the Mitchell Library of the State Library of NSW. Thorne, R., “Performing Arts Centres: The Phenomenon and What Has Influenced Their Being”, In K. Spinks (ed.) Australian Theatre Design. Paddington, NSW (Sydney): Australian Production Designers Association NSW Inc., 1992. Thorne, R., “The environmental psychology of theatres and movie palaces”, in Environmental Perspectives; Ethnoscapes: Vol. 1. Aldershot, UK: Avebury imprint (Gower Publishing), 1988. Thorne, R., Tod, L. and Cork, K. Movie Theatre Heritage Register for New South Wales, 1896 to1996 Sydney: Department of Architecture, University of Sydney, 1996, and the second amended edition, titled, Cultural Heritage of Movie Theatres in New South Wales 1896-1996, Sydney: Department of Architecture, University of Sydney, 1997. Town and Country Journal, 31 July 1880. Webster, J., “History and Licensing Legislation in Australia from 1788 to 1930.” Unpublished typescript in the Mitchell Library of the State Library of New South Wales. Wilkinson, R., publisher of individual engravings and descriptions of theatres in London, 58 Cornhill, London, circa 1805-1825.. Young, W. C., Documents of American Theater History, Vol. 1; Famous American Playhouses, 1716-1899. Chicago: American Library Association, 1973.