MOTION PICTURE FILMS AND SPRINKLERS.
The question of the installation of automatic sprinkler systems in motion picture exchanges has become an issue between owners of such exchanges in Indianapolis, Ind., and fire insurance men. Early in July an ordinance was introduced in the City Council providing for regulations on the handling and storing of motion picture films, and the difference of opinion as to precautionary measures has resulted, the insurance men demanding that film exchanges should be equipped with automatic sprinklers, while the owners of exchanges declare that if such a provision is inserted in the ordinance they will be obliged to pay out money unnecessarily for fire protection. This difference of opinion has already been voiced before one meeting of the Council, and reports coming from Indianapolis state that a majority of the members of the City Welfare Committee, to which the ordinance was referred, seem to favor the elimination of the provision calling for automatic sprinklers, and it is further announced that Commissioner of Buildings Jacob H. Hilkene, who prepared the motion picture ordinance with the help of E. M. Sellers, manager of the Indiana Inspection Bureau, and State Fire Marshal H. H. Friedley, intend to visit the cities of Cincinnati and Chicago, at the expense of the motion picture interests, to ascertain just what is being done in those two cities by legislation to control the handling of motion picture films with respect to life and property, ordinances regulating the industry having recently been passed in both cities. This action, indicating the careful looking into the problem before definite and final action is taken by the Indianapolis authorities, is well advised, to the end that while ample fire protection may be provided, as it should, the owners of the film exchanges may not be required to go to the expense of the installation of automatic sprinkler systems should the authorities come to the conclusion that they are not indispensable for safety.