Austin News


63 BR: Sealing in the Alamo, blocking out 6th street

As far as general progress at the Ritz is concerned, we're seeing lots of different stuff. The mezzanine level is getting some much needed attention as framing is going up for the back wall of Theater 1, the office, and the runner's station. Lots of drywall has gone up all over the theater, with theater walls getting double treatment. The kitchen/server/runner area downstairs and the service stairway have also seen a fair amount of drywall work. Also, there's been LOTS of cable and electrical work done. In fact, if you look closely at the theater walls in some of those photos, you can see where light fixtures will be installed.

Framing for the Theater 2 screen wall is almost complete. And the speed at which these drywall guys work, it will probably be completed by the end of the week. In fact, the next big deal in terms of construction will be the attention paid to that screen wall which will back up against Sixth street. Anyone who attended a late night screening at our old Downtown location is surely aware of the terrible bleedthrough problems we had with sound from both Cuba Libre and Speakeasy across the back alley. About this situation, Tim said "I'm simply not going to allow that to be an issue at the Ritz."

Since we are working with a building that was originally a theater as opposed to a parking lot (409B used to be a parking lot - in fact, if you looked closely on the floor of the entrance to the theater you could still see the parking stripes), the building itself is a lot more strong and thick. According to Tim, "What stops sound is heavy walls then air gaps and then more heavy walls." So the plan is to build a succession of walls so that sound insulation in theater 2 looks something like this:

A strong outside wall:
1. Air gap
2. Floor to ceiling triple layer sheetrock wall. "Each layer of the sheetrock is taped and floated," Tim explains, "and then the perimeter of the wall is filled with acoustic, sound blocking caulk."
A thick roof:
1. 12 inches of sound blocking insulation
2. Air cavity.
3. Thick, old stucco ceiling.

"We are going to get all of our heavy walls built, taped, floated and caulked," Tim told me, "and then we are going to go in on a busy Saturday 6th street night and listen. If we don't hear silence, we're going to build more walls."

New photos in the Flickr set.

News Categories: Austin


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