be deprecated, for it only raises and scatters the dust, but it does not remove it. Dusting of the furniture should be done with a dampened dust cloth. The cleaning should include the hot-air registers, where a large amount of dust collects, which can only be removed by occasionally opening up the register faces and wiping out the pipe surfaces; also the baseboards and all cornice projections on which dust constantly settles. While dusting and sweeping, the windows should be opened; an occasional admission of sunlight, where practicable, would likewise be of the greatest benefit.
The writer believes that a sanitary inspection of theater buildings should be instituted once a year when they are closed up in summer. He would also suggest that the granting of the annual license should be made dependent not only, as at present, upon the condition of safety of the building against fire and panic, but also upon its sanitary condition. In connection with the sanitary inspection, a thorough disinfection by sulphur, or better with formaldehyde gas, should be carried out by the health authorities. If necessary, the disinfection of the building should be repeated several times a year, particularly during general epidemics of influenza or pneumonia.
Safety measures against outbreaks of fire, dangers from panic, accidents, etc., are in a certain sense also sanitary improvements, but can not be discussed here.
In order to anticipate captious criticisms, the writer would state that in this paper he has not attempted to set forth new theories, nor to advocate any special system of theater ventilation. His aim was to describe existing defects and to point out well-known remedies. The question of efficient theater sanitation belongs quite as much to the province of the sanitary engineer as to that of the architect. It is one of paramount importance—certainly more so than the purely architectural features of exterior and interior decoration.
- See the author's work, Theater Fires and Panics, 1895.