# Heating an Art Deco Theater

T

#### the Wiz

Jan 1, 1970
0
Baphomet said:
A bit of background. We have this 1929 Art Deco Theater in the Catskills.
The walls are made of ceramic blocks, the floor is wood and the ceilings are
high high high. It used to be run year round with two coal fired furnaces
providing the heat. In the winter, it gets cold cold cold in them thar
mountains.

Does anyone have any experience with under the floor or over the floor piped
hot water heating systems? Would they keep a patron sufficiently warm for a
period of several hours at say a 0 degree Fahrenheit ambient temperature,
and are they costly?

With today's energy costs, oil or gas forced air heating is out of the
question because of the size of the place. Did I forget to mention that the
theatre is uninsulated?

Currently, the place is only open in the summer but it sure would be nice to
run it year round without having to charge an unrealistic amount for a
ticket.

Since hot water systems are used to keep driveways clear of snow/ice, it seems
possible to heat a building. Whether it's economically feasible in an
uninsulated structure is another question.

Would it be possible to mount radiant heaters so that the people would be warmed

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B

#### Baphomet

Jan 1, 1970
0
A bit of background. We have this 1929 Art Deco Theater in the Catskills.
The walls are made of ceramic blocks, the floor is wood and the ceilings are
high high high. It used to be run year round with two coal fired furnaces
providing the heat. In the winter, it gets cold cold cold in them thar
mountains.

Does anyone have any experience with under the floor or over the floor piped
hot water heating systems? Would they keep a patron sufficiently warm for a
period of several hours at say a 0 degree Fahrenheit ambient temperature,
and are they costly?

With today's energy costs, oil or gas forced air heating is out of the
question because of the size of the place. Did I forget to mention that the
theatre is uninsulated?

Currently, the place is only open in the summer but it sure would be nice to
run it year round without having to charge an unrealistic amount for a
ticket.

A

Jan 1, 1970
0
Baphomet said:
A bit of background. We have this 1929 Art Deco Theater in the Catskills.
The walls are made of ceramic blocks, the floor is wood and the ceilings are
high high high.

So wheres the webpage, have a soft spot for Art Deco Theatres, movie theatre
or playhouse theatre?
It used to be run year round with two coal fired furnaces
providing the heat. In the winter, it gets cold cold cold in them thar
mountains.

How did the heating system usedc to work, warm air?
Does anyone have any experience with under the floor or over the floor piped
hot water heating systems? Would they keep a patron sufficiently warm for a
period of several hours at say a 0 degree Fahrenheit ambient temperature,
and are they costly?

Requires lot of small bore piping at high density to give sufficient surface
With today's energy costs, oil or gas forced air heating is out of the
question because of the size of the place. Did I forget to mention that the
theatre is uninsulated?

Warm Air heating is always ridiculous to run costwise. Would suggest quartz
IR radiant heating, as used for paint drying in body shops and churches with
similar heating problems.

Its heavy on juice while running but heats the patrons not the ceiling void

Currently, the place is only open in the summer but it sure would be nice to
run it year round without having to charge an unrealistic amount for a
ticket.

Suggest asking on as well, sympathetic ear
from people with similar problems

N

#### Neil

Jan 1, 1970
0
I hate to say it, but you are side-stepping the absolutely unavoidable. NO
ENCLOSED SPACE such as this can be totally uninsulated, and be at all
economical to heat, or keep cool. No matter what, spending money to insulate
first, will pay for itself a thousand times over. Attempting to heat such a
space in any way, without insulation, will be equivalent to shovelling your
money down the toilet.
Once you have insulated, even a very small amount of heating and cooling
will be extremely effective. Just gluing 3 inch thick insulation foam to the
exterior of the building, and wrapping it in insulating vapour barrier will
make a huge difference.
Believe me, I know, I spent 21 years living in Kapuskasing, Ontario,
Canada...look it up, and you'll know what I mean.
Good luck
Kim

B

#### Bob Masta

Jan 1, 1970
0
Believe me, I know, I spent 21 years living in Kapuskasing, Ontario,
Canada...look it up, and you'll know what I mean.

That name rings a bell! Back in the early 70s I worked for Cadillac
Motor Car engineering division, and every winter they sent teams of
engineers and cars to Kapuskasing to do cold-start tests in
real world "worst case" conditions.

Alas, I never got to go... Hee, hee!

Bob Masta

D A Q A R T A
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
www.daqarta.com

M

#### Michael A. Terrell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Bob said:
That name rings a bell! Back in the early 70s I worked for Cadillac
Motor Car engineering division, and every winter they sent teams of
engineers and cars to Kapuskasing to do cold-start tests in
real world "worst case" conditions.

Alas, I never got to go... Hee, hee!

Bob Masta

D A Q A R T A
Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
www.daqarta.com

The US Army used Ft Greely Alaska for the same thing. I spent a year
in "The land of the square tire" I think I still have the certificate
for "The benevolent brotherhood of buffalo busters" somewhere in my
military records. the place got so could we were not allowed to give the
temperature on the radio or TV station I worked at. All we were allowed
to do was warn everyone to remember their cold weather survival
training, and to be prepared.

J

#### JeffM

Jan 1, 1970
0
...costly to install...

Think about a local patron / angel / befactor / theatre enthusiast

There is a large amount of labor involved, but a lot of it is unskilled.
If you can get a lot of folks to pitch in,
the investment in time by the pro will be minimal.

N

#### Neil

Jan 1, 1970
0
My parents decided to move from Kapuskasing to a warmer climate......North
Bay. Last Christmas in North Bay the police were warning people not to go
outdoors as it was so cold. Car battery sales were brisk as batteries
ruptured from being frozen. I remember watching the Christmas lights strung
along the fence each exploding shortly after being turned on, as they went
from frozen to hot. It sounded like machine gun fire, and looked like the
forth of July.
Kim

B

#### Baphomet

Jan 1, 1970
0
Neil said:
My parents decided to move from Kapuskasing to a warmer climate......North
Bay. Last Christmas in North Bay the police were warning people not to go
outdoors as it was so cold. Car battery sales were brisk as batteries
ruptured from being frozen. I remember watching the Christmas lights strung
along the fence each exploding shortly after being turned on, as they went
from frozen to hot. It sounded like machine gun fire, and looked like the
forth of July.
Kim

Hmmm. I'm feeling warmer already thinking about how cold it gets where you
guys are Never underestimate the power of positive (no puns intended)
thinking!

J

#### John Fortier

Jan 1, 1970
0
Baphomet said:
A bit of background. We have this 1929 Art Deco Theater in the Catskills.
The walls are made of ceramic blocks, the floor is wood and the ceilings are
high high high. It used to be run year round with two coal fired furnaces
providing the heat. In the winter, it gets cold cold cold in them thar
mountains.

Does anyone have any experience with under the floor or over the floor piped
hot water heating systems? Would they keep a patron sufficiently warm for a
period of several hours at say a 0 degree Fahrenheit ambient temperature,
and are they costly?

With today's energy costs, oil or gas forced air heating is out of the
question because of the size of the place. Did I forget to mention that the
theatre is uninsulated?

Currently, the place is only open in the summer but it sure would be nice to
run it year round without having to charge an unrealistic amount for a
ticket.

Bloody hell, Baph!

I've put in a heated floor system in the UK, but that was part of the
refurbishment of a 400 year old farmhouse, and we put in 3" of insulation on
the insides of the walls before dry lining.

Generally, in Europe, forced hot air heating is unheard of. Everything is
done using hot water radiators. However, the trouble is that modern
radiators aren't. They're convectors, so with a cavernous, uninsulated
building, you will wind up with the same problem.

I think you need to step back from your problem and start afresh. The main
problems seem to be that the place is, as you said, cavernous and
uninsulated. That means that any heat will rise to the top of the space and
there escape through the uninsulated roof. So the first step might be to
insulate the roof and to develop a means of returning the warmer air to the
floor level. Some fans with quiet, aerodynamic blades would serve here.

As far as the installation of the underfloor heating goes, yes, I could
help, but I'd need to get a look at the place first. Can you e-mail me with
a map?

John

J

#### John Fortier

Jan 1, 1970
0
Baphomet said:
Hmmm. I'm feeling warmer already thinking about how cold it gets where you
guys are Never underestimate the power of positive (no puns intended)
thinking!

As a young and silly person I spent some time working on the DEW line,
installing line of sight antennas. Nowadays I wear a beard to hide the
scars!

John

T

#### Terry

Jan 1, 1970
0
John said:
Bloody hell, Baph!

I've put in a heated floor system in the UK, but that was part of the
refurbishment of a 400 year old farmhouse, and we put in 3" of insulation on
the insides of the walls before dry lining.

Generally, in Europe, forced hot air heating is unheard of. Everything is
done using hot water radiators. However, the trouble is that modern
radiators aren't. They're convectors, so with a cavernous, uninsulated
building, you will wind up with the same problem.

I think you need to step back from your problem and start afresh. The main
problems seem to be that the place is, as you said, cavernous and
uninsulated. That means that any heat will rise to the top of the space and
there escape through the uninsulated roof. So the first step might be to
insulate the roof and to develop a means of returning the warmer air to the
floor level. Some fans with quiet, aerodynamic blades would serve here.

As far as the installation of the underfloor heating goes, yes, I could
help, but I'd need to get a look at the place first. Can you e-mail me with
a map?

John

Right on! There is no 'magic' answer to heating any space with
tremendous heat losses.
Doesn't matter what energy source you use there will be costs
involved whether that source be wood, coal, electricity, propane
of piped in gas, or fuel oil etc. No matter how you burn
(convert) the fuel/energy supply into heat and convey it into the
used space, it will, one way and another, vanish through the
structure to the outside.
Granted some sources of heat will 'feel' warmer to the customers
due to the radiant effect. Same as standing out in the sun on a
freezing cold day compared to standing out in the same freezing
cold at night! same temperature but something warm is shining on
you.
Sounds like the old fashioned design of the building is maybe a
limitation here?
Might have been 'normal' and acceptable back in the days when
people wore heavy clothing and boots etc. Then they travelled in
open horse drawn wagons or sleds during the winter, woke up to a
cold house and cold wood stove and so on. But today when even
some car seats are heated, Mr and Mrs Urbanite, possibly dressed
up for an entertaining night out are not, I suspect, equipped for
or hardy enough to tolerate cold/cool temperatures?
Cheers. Terry.

T

#### Terry

Jan 1, 1970
0
Baphomet said:
Hmmm. I'm feeling warmer already thinking about how cold it gets where you
guys are Never underestimate the power of positive (no puns intended)
thinking!

Nice dry cold. No mosquitoes! At least at this time of the year!
Black flies?
In this particular part of Canada it doesn't (usually) get as
cold as that but is often damp and windy and next to the North
Atlantic.
Not good conditions for electronics btw, especially outside,
basic or otherwise. Even galvanized fittings and electronic
equipment cabinets have been known here to rust through in just a
few years due to the salty 'maritime' climate.
The power distribution company is now, I notice, using pole
mounted distribution transformers with stainless steel casings!
Also local cable TV and telecom companies have developed and use
electronic equipment huts made of fibreglass; these are half set
into the ground to obtain more even temperatures.
Currently though we are averaging higher temperatures than around
Boston!
I imagine electronics have a completely different set of
parameters to endure in hot steamy, never below freezing
climates?
Cheers.

M

#### Michael A. Terrell

Jan 1, 1970
0
Neil said:
My parents decided to move from Kapuskasing to a warmer climate......North
Bay. Last Christmas in North Bay the police were warning people not to go
outdoors as it was so cold. Car battery sales were brisk as batteries
ruptured from being frozen. I remember watching the Christmas lights strung
along the fence each exploding shortly after being turned on, as they went
from frozen to hot. It sounded like machine gun fire, and looked like the
forth of July.
Kim

Each vehicle was "Allocated" a single 15 amp, 120 volt circuit to
power a battery blanket, a dipstick heater, and a lower radiator hose
heater. The engine oil was changed to straight 20 or 30 weight, and the
90 weight grease was drained from the transmission and the rear end, and
replaced with 10 weight oil. It usually took five miles or more for the
old nylon corded tires to warm up enough to get rid of the slight
flattened spot that had sat on the ground, so it was "Thump! Thump!
Thump!" till they warmed up. You were required (by law) to carry extra
fuel, spare headlights, food for several days, and survival gear just to
drive the Alcan highway in winter time. People were required to pick up
anyone who broke down to keep them from freezing to death. The railroad
was required to pick anyone up if they were outside of a town, and drop
them at the next town, even if they didn't have a penny on them.

It was fun taking cold weather survival training. The trees were
frozen so an ax was useless for gathering firewood. You picked a sapling
less than 3" in diameter, turned you back to it, and kicked it with the
heavy arctic survival boots. It snapped off, then you dragged it to the
fire and threw the whole tree into the fire. You could have a roaring
fire with flames shooting 50 feet into the air, and five minutes later
it would be out and the ashes were already cold. There was always some
idiot who thought they would stay warm by drinking alcohol, but one swig
of booze, and their stomach and lungs could freeze, and they died, on
the spot.

A

Jan 1, 1970
0
Neil said:
Once you have insulated, even a very small amount of heating and cooling
will be extremely effective. Just gluing 3 inch thick insulation foam to the
exterior of the building, and wrapping it in insulating vapour barrier will
make a huge difference.

Gluing 3" of insulation foam to an Art Deco Theatre sounds like a terible
idea. The great US Movie Palace architects like Rapp and Rapp and the
legendary John Eberson would surely spin in their graves....
The vapour seal sounds like something Christo would do ;-)

Admittedly the boom times of the late 20s and early 30s meant some
buildings were assembled in a hurry. In Glasgow what became the Apollo, now
demolished, was built as Greens Playhouse a cinema with 3000 seats and a
4000 capacity ballroom on the roof, built in 4 months by Greens own
building crew.
Believe me, I know, I spent 21 years living in Kapuskasing, Ontario,
Canada...look it up, and you'll know what I mean.
Good luck
Kim
Catskills.

Google seem only points to mention of one in Fleichmanns, is this it?

B

#### Baphomet

Jan 1, 1970
0
Gluing 3" of insulation foam to an Art Deco Theatre sounds like a terible
idea. The great US Movie Palace architects like Rapp and Rapp and the
legendary John Eberson would surely spin in their graves....
The vapour seal sounds like something Christo would do ;-)

Admittedly the boom times of the late 20s and early 30s meant some
buildings were assembled in a hurry. In Glasgow what became the Apollo, now
demolished, was built as Greens Playhouse a cinema with 3000 seats and a
4000 capacity ballroom on the roof, built in 4 months by Greens own
building crew.

Catskills.

Google seem only points to mention of one in Fleichmanns, is this it?

J

#### John Fortier

Jan 1, 1970
0
Michael A. Terrell said:
Each vehicle was "Allocated" a single 15 amp, 120 volt circuit to
power a battery blanket, a dipstick heater, and a lower radiator hose
heater. The engine oil was changed to straight 20 or 30 weight, and the
90 weight grease was drained from the transmission and the rear end, and
replaced with 10 weight oil. It usually took five miles or more for the
old nylon corded tires to warm up enough to get rid of the slight
flattened spot that had sat on the ground, so it was "Thump! Thump!
Thump!" till they warmed up. You were required (by law) to carry extra
fuel, spare headlights, food for several days, and survival gear just to
drive the Alcan highway in winter time. People were required to pick up
anyone who broke down to keep them from freezing to death. The railroad
was required to pick anyone up if they were outside of a town, and drop
them at the next town, even if they didn't have a penny on them.

It was fun taking cold weather survival training. The trees were
frozen so an ax was useless for gathering firewood. You picked a sapling
less than 3" in diameter, turned you back to it, and kicked it with the
heavy arctic survival boots. It snapped off, then you dragged it to the
fire and threw the whole tree into the fire. You could have a roaring
fire with flames shooting 50 feet into the air, and five minutes later
it would be out and the ashes were already cold. There was always some
idiot who thought they would stay warm by drinking alcohol, but one swig
of booze, and their stomach and lungs could freeze, and they died, on
the spot.

--

Michael A. Terrell
Central Florida

I remember an incident in Rivers, Manitoba, where a pilot landed his
aircraft and, since he wasn't wearing suitable clothing, sprinted for the
control tower. It was close to 40 below (the temperature where it doesn't
matter if it's measured in Farenheit of Celcius), and he was hospitalised
with pneumonia from having panted the air. He made it, but he was very
lucky that the local doctors were familiar with cold induced pulminary
problems.

And yes, there were those who thought that booze was the answer. A very

I'm not surprised you live in Florida now - no problems except lightening
storms and hurricanes.

Every time I contemplate the Upstate New York winter, I'm tempted!

John

M

#### Michael A. Terrell

Jan 1, 1970
0
John said:
I remember an incident in Rivers, Manitoba, where a pilot landed his
aircraft and, since he wasn't wearing suitable clothing, sprinted for the
control tower. It was close to 40 below (the temperature where it doesn't
matter if it's measured in Farenheit of Celcius), and he was hospitalised
with pneumonia from having panted the air. He made it, but he was very
lucky that the local doctors were familiar with cold induced pulminary
problems.

And yes, there were those who thought that booze was the answer. A very

I'm not surprised you live in Florida now - no problems except lightening
storms and hurricanes.

Every time I contemplate the Upstate New York winter, I'm tempted!

John

The longer I live here, the more problems I have with the heat, and
I've been here 16 years. When I first moved to Florida I watched people
bundled up for sub zero weather when it was near freezing, and I got a
lot of strange looks because I was usually in a tee shirt, or if it was
windy, I would wear a long sleeve flannel shirt. I still don't wear any
heavy clothes during the short cold spells, but over the last couple
years I have become heat intolerant. I can break out in a heavy sweat in
a 70° Fahrenheit room while wearing a tee shirt and shorts. The humidity
is usually quite high, and summer days hit the 90 degree range.

BTW, there were a couple streakers in a bar off base from Ft Greely,
Ak. in the dead of winter. At least they were smart enough to jump out
of a warm car, run through the building, and out the back door into the
warm car.

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