Room size –
Not having a location yet myself, I'm planning all of my rooms in different sizes so that when I do land a location, I can kinda arrange and modify as necessry. One thing to keep in mind is what each room is all about. How much space does each prop take? How much space is needed for any theatrics by your actors? I think a basic rule of thumb, and I could be wrong on this, is about 9 sq. ft. per person. Figure a 3x3+/- area. You may be able to shave that down a little but keep in mind that you'll have people of varying sizes going through.
Another thing you'll want to do is have each actor do at least 2 scares each. If you plan carefully, you could even get a third scare out of some of them but may be spreading your staff a little too thin. It depends on your layout and throughput. You don't want to have each actor assigned to doing 2 scares and missing 3 out of every 5 groups that come through on one of their scares.
A few small static scenes or downsized pop-ups and animatronics along the way (work best in corners at turns) can help set the customers up for the next scare or at least give them a startle scare in between actors or show animatronics. This can also provide the much needed distraction before a really good scare.
Another way of getting the most out of small spaces is through forced depth perception. Paint mural type scenes (2-dimensional) on the wall and then add 3-D elements out from the wall. This 'projects' the mural scene off of the wall. The props and other 3-D elements in this case are a continuation of the painted scene into the floor space.
Last edited by Uptown Haunts; 01-15-2011 at 10:48 AM.