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The Reemergence of the Drive-in Movies

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With change comes adaptation.“It is not a failure to readjust my sails to fit the waters I find myself in.”

― Mackenzi Lee

Drive-in movie theaters were most popular in the 50s and 60s. Since then, they’ve become more nostalgic than anything, until now.

With social distancing in mind, drive-in theaters across the country have been booming. Coronavirus regulations have resulted in the shut down of local movie theaters, but Marcus Theatres wanted to find a way to keep showing movies to the community and keep staff employed.

A little closer to home, in Bellevue, Twin Creek Cinema is expected to open this weekend riding that wave. “They’ll be in their own cars, and their own environments, and be able to maintain distancing, and still enjoy a couple of films,” said Mark Gramz.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

― Bruce Lee

The outdoor cinema at 3909 Raynor Parkway will feature a 42-foot screen and appropriately distanced parking spots with a clear line of sight. On the night of the shows, staff will direct viewers where to go, with a designated area for big vehicles. There are enough spots for 120 cars.

Starting Friday night (May 22, 2020), the 42 by 20-foot screen will light up.
Marcus Twin Creeks Drive-in parking designations

Patrons can watch from inside their cars, from their truck beds or in chairs in front of their vehicles, and can tune into 89.1 FM to get audio for their silver screen showing.

Concessions will be offered as well, to try and normalize the movie-going experience and can be picked up at a table located by the theatre entrance vestibule. Restrooms can be accessed from within the cinema, but restroom capacity counts will be strictly enforced, some patrons may have to wait outside. hand sanitizers will be places outside the building for use and tickets are only $20 a carload and must be purchased online at marcustheatres.com or through the Marcus Theatres app.

While the Drive-in Movie experience is something that Marcus is offering due to the Covid-19 pandimict and are commited to entertaining their customers in a safe fashion, the Drive-in Movies could be something Marcus theatres keeps around as an attraction.

“Life is neither static nor unchanging. With no individuality, there can be no change, no adaptation, and in an inherently changing world, any species unable to adapt is also doomed.”

― Jean M. Auel

 

It’s a Brick (movie) House……

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Malco Powerhouse at Main St.

Sustainability is a common theme we hear repeatedly in the news and in our profession.  As an architectural engineering design firm, we enthusiastically promote the adaptive reuse of structures over a complete teardown and starting over.  For clients, it is a romantic endeavor to bring an existing structure back to its original glory.  We see this everywhere in the US including all around our office in downtown Kansas City, MO.  From experience, the romance can be oversimplified as the effort is a big investment in time, cost, and learning, as each project is original with its own set of unique challenges.

Located in the redeveloping South Main Historic District near downtown Memphis, the new Malco Powerhouse Cinema is a project that combines and incorporates a former 1914 railyard brick-clad power station into a unique gathering place that includes a premium 7 screen boutique cinema. The original power station was constructed by the Illinois Central railway to provide steam and electric power to the central station located across the tracks.  Restoration of key historical elements of the existing powerhouse was essential for the building’s historic preservation.  Strict oversight was provided by the State Historic Preservation Office to monitor and maintain the look of the building.  The old historic 60’ tall smokestack was preserved. Hundreds of small panes of glass were replaced in the existing steel windows. Tons of existing brick were salvaged and reused repeatedly throughout the existing building.  There were two different types of brick: an unfinished brick for interior use and a finished brick for the exterior. 

Undoubtedly the beauty of the powerhouse was the brick.  The brick was unique not just in color but also dimension and edge profile.  It had aged very well and the construction detailing 100 years ago was beautiful.  Malco wanted to keep or reuse as much of the brick as possible.  The Memphis Historic Preservation Committee also wanted as much of the existing brick and structure to remain to maintain the history and beauty of the past in the gentrifying area.  The challenge was that the structure and configuration of the old building was not capable of supporting a state-of-the-art auditorium-based layout.  However, with some creative thinking the old edifice was incorporated for ticketing, dining and as a gathering area.

TK worked with Malco to create an environment that would meet the requirements of the historical committee for preservation, while still fulfilling the needs of Malco as an operational space for the new theatre.  The decision was made to emphasize the beauty of the powerhouse and have it as the main entry point.  A “lean-to parts shed” existed on the south side of the building and was removed to expose the main structural wall.  This façade would become the new focal point for blending old and new as people entered the building.

The brick from this lean-to was salvaged to be reused at other locations in the project.  Each brick had to be removed by hand.  Every brick was going to be needed including the broken ones.  Approximately 1,500 finished exterior brick and 1,500 unfinished interior brick were reused throughout the project.  The new entrance to the lobby and the ticket booth reused the finished brick while the unfinished brick was used around the fireplace, entrances, and the transition space from the seating area to the concession area.

There are many unique and beautiful aspects to the renovated powerhouse, but if you ever happen to visit, be sure to take a special look at the rebuilt pilaster at the box office.  With the removal of the south wall, which was providing the load path in the event of a seismic event, a built-up steel portal frame was created to resist the loading while still being minimal in size.  This allowed the contractor to cover the frame with the painstakingly salvaged brick, creating a beautiful backdrop for the box office and entry to the lounge.  The new craftsmanship blends into the existing and you can’t tell where the original building transitions to new.

As with any renovation, there were many challenges; some expected and some not so much.  A lot of passionate people made this project happen.  Now you can enjoy the experience that you just can’t get except in a building that is more than a century old. 

TK Architects- One of Top Architectural/Engineering Firms in Building Design and Construction Giants 300 List 2018

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September 2018

Every year Building Design and Construction – Giants 300 Report publishes the annual findings of top architectural and engineering firms in the nation. This year TK Architects is featured in the Building Design and Construction Giants 300 List of 2018 as one of the top rated Architectural and Engineering Firms in the nation. It placed as #105 with its  7,291,334 in 2017 revenues. (more…)

TK Architects – Featured in Spanish Cinestel

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June 2018
by Irina Kobzeva-Pavlovic

TK Architects’ Sr. Principal Jack Muffoletto was interviewed at CineEurope tradeshow in Barcelona, Spain earlier this month. His interview then was featured in a June 22, 2018 article by Spanish publication Cinestel “TK Architects revoluciona el concepto de diseño de sala de cine” (TK Architects revolutionizes the design concept of cinema)… In it, Muffoletto explains the recliner seating  upgrades benefits for movie-theaters among other cinema-design specific topics.

For full article, please refer to the English transcript below and visit Cinestel: http://www.cinestel.com/tk-architects-el-concepto-de-diseno-de-sala-de-cine/

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TK Architects – Featured in Thinking Bigger Magazine

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TK Architects International and Sr. Principal Mike Cummings have been featured by the Thinking Bigger magazine on March 7, 2018 in the article by David Mitchell “Tracking Tinsel Town Trends” (Vol. 27, Issue 3, 2018). Cummings talks about setting the stage for the cinemas that have now grew to be an important social experience. He talks about latest national and local cinema trends and the industry future and cinema applications for the new generation of movie-goers.

For additional information and to read the full article, please visit Thinking Bigger magazine: http://ithinkbigger.com/tracking-tinsel-town-trends/
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