Theater Renovation and Plywood

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By David R. Taylor, P.E.

February 2015

Picture 1

In 1904, the Iroquois Theater in Chicago had a devastating fire which was the deadliest theater fire in United States history. Its aftermath caused code officials to rethink many things including the presence of wood in a theater. Wood was quickly removed from most construction projects as the primary framing and relegated behind other building materials.  However over the course of the last decade and now into the 21st Century, our fire codes are quite complex and very well thought out.

Now in 2015, theater renovations are becoming more and more common place in the U.S. With R.S. Means (Ref.#1) reporting the national average (as of 2013) cost of a “new build” to be $165 per square foot, most theater owners are looking to upgrade existing theaters at much lower costs where the costs range from $65 to 85 per square foot. (Ref.#3) (more…)

ICTA Los Angeles Seminar Series Report

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Last week it was my pleasure to attend the International Cinema Technology Association’s annual seminar series in Los Angeles. It is one of my favorite events of the year – it always starts on Monday night with a crowd pleasing event – a cocktail party. Food and drinks with friends, it does not get much better than that.
The seminar series had a record number of attendees – 250 registrations. ICTA has grown to include 61 members from the international community and a total of over 200.

CineAsia and Interactivity Report

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By Mike Cummings, TK Architects International Principal

January 2015


This report is later than I would like it to be due to the holidays and first of the year activities.

International box office growth remains the fuel in the movie industry growing to $38 billion in 2014.  Asia had the largest growth in volume.  The overall mood at CineAsia was correspondingly very positive.

Like most trade shows, CineAsia centers around an exhibition of products and services.  There was a lot of activity and interest during the exhibition; as always it was a great opportunity to see friends and meet some new people as well.  This photo captures our booth at the exhibition and provides a glimpse down the walkway at the number of people who were there.

Booth (more…)

Observations from the Middle East

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By Mike Cummings, TK Architects International Principal

October 2014


As I have just finished my first trip to the Middle East, I want to share observations – about the place, the people and the architecture.  Tamra Knapp and I are attending the first ISBE expo in Abu Dhabi.  The United Arab Emirates is likely the most international location in the Middle East and the most comfortable for a westerner. (more…)

Future of Movie Theatres

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By Mike Cummings, TK Architects Principal

All of us have seen reports that movie theatres are a struggling business or even that their future is in doubt. In fact, famed director Quentin Tarantino’s proclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival in May that digital projection is the death of cinema. That “death” has been predicted since the advent of television. Yet, the business is growing worldwide.

My perspective of the future of movies is that movies are an integral part of our lives, and will never go away. As Bob Iger of Disney said in July: (more…)