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                                                               YIDDISH THEATRE 101 > THE YIDDISH PLAYS > THE PLAY IN HISTORY  >  THE ROLLAND THEATRE

 

THE ROLLAND THEATRE

A descriptive analysis by its architect

HARRISON G. WISEMAN

 

The early efforts of those pioneers, Jacob P. Adler, David Kessler, Sigmund Mogulesko and others, have born fruit in the Renaissance of Jewish Art that is evident everywhere today, and this magnificent edifice stands as a monument to the efforts of those sturdy pioneers, as well as to those individuals who were willing and able to take up their work where they left off. Mr. William Rolland has been conspicuous and untiring in his efforts to uplift and to present Jewish Art in its finest form and on the basis comparative with the theatre art of other nationalities. It has been my esteemed privilege to contribute such ability as I have to Jewish Theatres, this edifice being the second, and in my estimation, my best contribution.

In the absence of any outstanding style of architecture, that is distinctly and traditionally Jewish as a whole, it was necessary to modify and develop a style of architecture which would represent at least in some degree the outstanding aims and spirit of Jewish art and tradition, and at the same time modernize the same in such form and in such degree as to make the same understandable to modern people and to comply with modern conditions in all respects.

The architecture and decorative treatment are largely oriental in its entirety but is interpreted broadly and in a modern spirit which in a way symbolizes the history and development of Jewish art and culture. It is unnecessary to describe this symbolism in detail as the architectural symbols employed, including the colors used are familiar enough to those who are acquainted with Jewish traditions.

In its planning and arrangement, the building represents the best possible in the way of modern conveniences, accommodation and scientific attainment. The stage is fully equipped with the latest and most modern apparatus for the presentation of modern theatrical productions, and in all respects is the equal to any theatre in this country. In some respects, the equipment is superior to any other theatre in the country.

The lighting equipment is the result of the careful study and the application of scientific principles to the problem of presenting Jewish attractions in the form and manner that lends itself best to their outstanding peculiarities.

The auditorium is constructed so that every seat affords an adequate and unobstructed view of the stage. The excellent acoustic properties are evident in all parts of the auditorium, which are the result also, of the latest research work in this field. They are such that every patron in the house can easily hear every word spoken from the stage, as well as get the full value of the musical features. In all of our efforts to embody the best in this magnificent structure those of the safety of its patrons have not been overlooked. The exits are not only more than is usual to be found in theatres of this size, but are so located and arranged that in the event of panic or danger the audience can quickly, easily, and in an orderly manner make their way to safety. In addition, a modern scientific fire-proof emergency curtain is installed in the proscenium opening which, in the case of fire, automatically falls into position, cutting the auditorium off from the stage. In addition to this, there is the usual fire-fighting equipment, consisting of chemical extinguishers, hose outlets attached to high pressure water supply, and other similar equipment required today for the protection of theatre patrons.

The comfort of the patrons is provided for with a large lounging space on the mezzanine floor and a common meeting and smoking room in the basement which will afford opportunities for social contact with your friends and acquaintances. Ample comfort rooms have been provided on all floors for the use of the patrons, which are modern, well-ventilated and sanitary in all respects.

The entire building is scientifically heated and ventilated in such a way that our patrons can be assured of comfort at all times and in all seasons with a plentiful supply of clean, pure air.



 

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