Brenden Theatres Has Its Own Website; Come See!

Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 17:21:26 -0800
From: Avery Ray Colter <>
[this is a past e-mail address; my current one is]

Included are OCR scans of FAX activity between myself and parties involved in the imminent construction of the new Brenden Theatre complex on Willow Pass Road and Concord Ave, in downtown Concord, CA - the home city of the editors of FAT: Fat And Terrific - starting with my own query to Bircher Construction Services, the contractor-on-site, and followed by replies by one of the contracting architects and the Theatre's manager of ops.


From: Avery Ray Colter Editor, FAT. Fat And Terrific FAX: (510) 671-6959 / Voice: (510) 671-8024

To: Bircher Construction Services FAX: (714) 475-5610

Re: Request for Information on Seating Style in New Concord Brenden Theatre Complex

I am a resident of Concord, and I recently saw your public notice sign at the construction site for the new Brenden Theatres complex on Willow Pass Road and Concord Avenue. Along with my wife, I publish a local newsletter called FAT: Fat And Terrific, which serves fat people and their close friends and significant others in the Bay Area. We are what is known as a "fat-acceptance" publication, emphasising empowerment and action against weightÐbased discrimination in its many forms. I write to you on one of those forms as it has manifested in theatres - the issue of seating design.

Some time ago, I went up to the Pittsburg Brenden Theatre and spoke to one of the managers of our concern about whether provisions would be made to make seating accessible to the larger viewer. He said he'd pass the question along to the architect, but so far I haven't heard any answers. The mention on the site sign that touted the ADA accessibility of the Concord complex may be relevant here, as some have argued that the ADA may cover the artificial disability imposed upon very large people by designs which don't take their measures into account.

The manager in Pittsburg did tell me he had heard of a style of seating called a "love seat". Built with the purpose of allowing couples to sit together without an armrest between them, the raisable armrests of this design would make moviegoing a far more comfortable prospect for a whole class of people - of whom there are significant numbers in this area - whose only uncramped option for movie viewing has been the rather stereotypical one of sitting at home watching them on their televisions. It would seem to be a win-win situation with a type of seating like this - for the theatre, which would open itself to a larger market for their services, and for fat moviegoers who would be more encouraged to make the movies an out-of-house activity.

I am concerned however that the standard choice may have been made, with fixed armrests in the seating design. My wife weighs over 300 pounds. Living as we do about 1.5 miles from the new theatre, we would be regular customers if we had assurances about seating being accessible to the fat viewer. If not, our patronage would likely be far less frequent.

Please reply and let me know what current state of seating design proposed for the site. If you possibly can, I would also appreciate it if you can relay contact information on the engineering or architectural professionals who are in charge of seating decisions.

Thanks in advance.


04/17/1997 15:31 8185910725 ROTHEISER ALONSO PAGE 01




DATE: 17 April 1997

TO: Avery Ray Colter

FAT: Fat and Terrific

Fax (510) 671-6959

FROM: Carlos R. Alonso, AIA, Architect

PROJECT-. BRENDEN THEATRES 14 plex movie theatre Conoord, California

JOB NO.: 2595


PAGES FAXED: 1 (Please contact us if do not receive all pages) _______________________________________________________________


I just got a copy of the Memo you sent to Bircher Construction Services. This is the first time I have been contacted regarding your newsletter. Please allow me a few days to prepare a response to your memo. After you have received my response, if you have any further questions, you are welcome to contact me via telephone and/or schedule a meeting. I visit job site on a regular basis.

I can address issues pertaining to design of facilities. I also recommend to contact Mr. John Brenden at Brenden Theatres for issues pertaining to theatre operations, services, facilities, etc... Their address is: 4085 Century Blvd., Pittsburg, CA 94565, Telephone number is (510) 754-2894. 1 sent a copy of your memo to Mr. Walter Eichinger, Operations Manager.

I am very interested in your organization and would like to know more about it. Please send me at your convenience your mailing address and one of your newsletters. Look forward hearing trom you soon.


22554 Ventura Blvd. Suite 114 - Woodland Hills - California - 91364 (818) 591 -0645 - (818) 591-0725 Fax


APR-22-97 TUE 03:36 PM BRENDEN THEATRES 5107062921 P.01


4085 Century Blvd Pittsburg Ca 94565 510-754-2894 510-706-2921

April 22, 1997

Avery Ray Colter Editor: FAT: Fat and Terrific Concord, Ca

Dear Mr. Colter,

Thank you very much for your letter to us dated 4-17. We appreciate hearing from our customers and look forward to opening in Concord.

Brenden Concord WILL feature the "Love Seat" style of seating. As you mentioned, this style of seating features a lift up armrest where two chairs become one.

I believe you will be very impressed with the Concord facility, Mr. Colter. Together with the stadium design theatres, high back, love seats chairs, THX &Digital Sound Systems and Giant Curved Screens, you will find an exciting movie going experience.

As we get closer to the opening of the theatre, I would be happy to give you a "Pre-opening" tour of the facility and you can test the chairs yourself, say around mid August.

Thanks Again and we appreciate your business.

Best Regards,

Walter Eichinger Director Operations Brenden Theatre Corp.


Dear Mr. Colter:

Thank you for your recent response dated 4-22-97. Again we appreciate hearing from our customers and appreciate your business. ALL the seats in Concord will feature the Love Seat Design, all rows, all sections.

The last armrest on the last seat of each row will not be removable for safety reasons (people usually use these for balance when entering the row).

There are basically two sections to each theatre in regards to seats. One would enter the theatre from the back, a small hallway will take you to the middle of the auditorium. You may go left and walk up stairs into the Rstadium seatS section or you may right and enter the "slope" floor section of seats- Again, both sections have the Love Seats.

The seat pans measure from 21" to 22" each. There is a gap of about 3"' between the next seat cushion that the armrest covers.

The idea of a preview showing seems almost impossible. Our schedule is so tight I believe we probably will be still painting and laying carpet up to the last minute. A theatre preview tour is still an option where we can walk around the workers.

Best Regards,

Walter Eichinger, Brenden Theatres

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