The "Prophecy Speaks" Tabernacle in Los Angeles was developed because of the increasing pressure of officials to eliminate ordinary tabernacles and large tents in some of the city areas. Many of the smaller cities have adopted a uniform code which also excludes tabernacles of the usual type of construction. Our tabernacle has been structurally analyzed by State engineers and meets the requirements of the State laws for wind and earthquake strain.
The ribs are made of eight 2 X 4's, laminated* and put together under great pressure and heat with soybean glue in clamps that pull it to the curve desired. The bottom end is hinged and rests on an assembly of timbers set in the ground. At the top the trusses go together with a bolt through four metal plates. The walls, or roof, are of five-ply boards treated under great pressure and heat and set with soybean glue. They also have a special treatment of paint like that used on airplanes. The panels are guaranteed for life.
Each panel has two 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" stiffeners running full length. These stiffeners are progressively beveled at the ends so that when they are laid on the curve of the trusses, the bevels take the place of bending. When they are taken off for moving, they are practically flat as they were when put on. The panels are secured by two 32-inch screws at each end of the stiffeners, and have a 6-inch overlap on the lower side. The seam that runs down each rib is sealed with mastic, and over that is placed a 2-inch strip of galvanized iron, also put on with screws that go into the seam between the ends of the panels. When this is properly done, the building is rainproof.
The timber footings at the bottom of each arch have a Y8-inch tie rod running across underground to the corresponding timber footing. (This is an added precaution.) The floor is first covered with black tar building paper to cut off the moisture, and then a burlap floor is spiked over the top of that. Experience teaches us that a building without windows is probably more practical. However, the panels can be placed with the window openings all on one side, or distributed as desired.
The dimensions of the building are 55 x 133 feet, and it comfortably seats a thousand people. You will notice that on the front end there is a flat-roofed projection with angle walls from the main doors, which give it a rather modern, streamlined effect. By adding this feature, we were able to put the rest rooms outside the main building wall, to the rear of the audience. This adds to the looks of the building.
Just inside as you enter, in the center against the wall or against the rest rooms, we have an x 8 foot bookstand, built with a platform overhead, and a ladder up to the manhole of the same. Up here we have our stereopticon and projection equipment. The distance is too great in some instances for colored motion pictures; however, to show them we move the equipment up into the center aisle.
Our platform is built across the entire width of the building, 40 inches from the floor. In the corner, on each side of the platform, there is a room about 10' x 12', with a hall connecting the two rooms against the back wall of the building. Between these two rooms are the three risers, or ascending platforms, for the choir. To the right of the choir is the piano; to the left of the screen, the pulpit.
On the left side of the platform, opposite the piano, we place our model cooking range and refrigerator for the cooking school. Inside the room just back of this, we have our second stove for auxiliary purposes, and also our supplies in niouseproof cupboards. We have a regular demonstration table, built with porcelain top and casters. On Thursday nights we replace the pulpit with this demonstration table, but our loud-speaker equipment remains hooked up as usual. We have extra tables for use, besides the demonstration table. With the help of our twelve to sixteen ushers and servers, we conduct our cooking school.
The two rooms to the rear of the platform have curtains hung on wires stretched both ways, making four dressing rooms on each side for use during baptisms. Over these rooms on each side, by order of the heating and ventilating department, we have 2" x 8" ceiling joists floored over. Here at the outer corner of each of these rooms, we have a large blower heater with grills that can be elevated or lowered to deflect the stream of warm air up or down, as the occasion may demand. The automatic water heater is in the back hall. The baptistry is set level with the top riser of the choir, to the left as one enters the center door at the rear of the choir.
At the time we secured this building we were not in the war, and the manufacturing cost, including an engineer and a crew to put the building together, was $3,600. Including all the necessary plumbing, heating, and electrical fixtures, plus the platform facilities—which are large items—the initial cost was $5,200.
The tabernacle can be used over and over again for many years. It is true that the cost of taking it down and moving it is rather high, but the protection from all kinds of weather makes it worth the cost. It is a unique, attractive building, and certainly serves its purpose in a marvelous way.