What is the approximate capacity for party attendance at Wayne Manor?
April 27, 2014 7:20 PM   Subscribe

What is the approximate capacity for party attendance at Wayne Manor (yes, from Batman)?

In Batman 1989, there seems there are 1,000 people at that party. In Batman Begins, there is a more intimate gathering. Some shots of Wayne Manor over the years/versions are immense, but I know nothing of the aristocracy. I'm looking for two possible estimates here - one, what it *would* probably be for a wealthy party at a mansion that size (I understand there may be a difference between types of events), and what might make sense for the Batman world?
posted by agregoli to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Bruce Wayne is canonically among the richest men in the world, and Wayne Manor has been built (and rebuilt) by his ridiculously wealthy ancestors fairly recently with such functions in mind. The capacity of Wayne Manor for parties is, therefore, "whatever the narrative demands it be," because the established history can justify it.
posted by Etrigan at 7:39 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Cheekwood, in Nashville, is a 30,000 square foot mansion that I imagine might be comparable in size to Wayne Manor. They say they can host receptions up to 500 people, but it's possible that in its original state it could accommodate more guests (it is now a museum). I would imagine when you're talking 500+ guests in a private home, traffic and parking become an issue.
posted by ghharr at 7:41 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

In terms of "what might make sense for the Batman world," the sky is really the limit. "Several hundred" is a reasonable top-end for a "realistic" huge mansion, but given the canonical mega-wealth of the Waynes, it seems entirely plausible that someone - even Bruce himself, or his parents - built outrageously huge ballrooms to host arbitrarily enormous crowds from Gotham, Metropolis, and beyond.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:53 PM on April 27, 2014

Would it possibly be helpful to know the actual buildings that have portrayed Wayne Manor, and the dimensions thereof? I was pretty impressed at what Wikipedia could tell me.

In terms of "official" in-universe answers as to the size of the building, I would say Etrigan is right that it changes according to who is writing the story and what the narrative requires—neither the 1989 Batman nor the Nolanverse Batman is wrong or right about the size; it's merely a different storyteller's take on it, which is considered permissible. There are some things about Batman that are canonically established, so that any deviation from the norm could be considered out of character or incorrect: no guns, no killing, dead parents, bat costume, that kind of thing. The rest is flexible and has been considerably flexed, given how many writers have created Batman stories.
posted by honey wheat at 7:53 PM on April 27, 2014

The exterior shots of Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises are actually of Wollaton Hall. The listed capacity of the Great Hall in Wollaton Hall is 150 standing, 100 seated.

posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:56 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

You can look up the buildings used for Wayne Manor in the films and investigate their party capacities, although any of those building in their original configurations would have had large, intact ballrooms (unlike the current Wollaton Hall.)
posted by DarlingBri at 7:57 PM on April 27, 2014

My guess would be 400, more in summer for a lawn party.
posted by vrakatar at 8:01 PM on April 27, 2014

Regrettably, this question is impossible to answer, because there is no single, canonical history of Batman, and therefore no single, canonical Wayne Manor. The best we can do is look at the real buildings that have portrayed Wayne Manor and extrapolate from there. Here's a blog post with links to some of them, as well as some fictional blueprints.

Since you mentioned Tim Burton's 1989 film, it's worth noting that the interiors were filmed at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, which boasts a party capacity of up to 300.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:01 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

The interior shots from the recent Nolan films are from Union Station in Chicago, which can hold, certainly, hundreds of people.
posted by professor plum with a rope at 1:13 AM on April 28, 2014

My gut and event planning experience say that even with a house set up for large public functions like anything called A Manor would be, you're at most in the low to mid hundreds. A thousand guests is getting into convention level stadium size.
posted by The Whelk at 3:13 PM on April 28, 2014

Gotta disagree with you, Whelk.

I've been part of a private catering held at a mansion. 800-odd people at the party's height, but then every room on the main floor and in the (goooooooooooooooorgeously finished) basement was open for the party. But it was all wine and nibbles and so forth, so everyone just sort of wandered around.

A thousand guests, seated, is like one major convention centre room. People take up less space than you'd think.

Really, capacity depends on what kind of party it is. If it's a sit down plated affair, you're limited by whatever you're using as your dining room. If it's a champagne and nibblies thing you are limited only by the actual physical dimensions of the house and which rooms you want to keep closed.

So really, your capacity varies really widely if you're having a dinner or a party.

I could very easily see the Nolanverse Wayne Manor being able to accommodate a party of well over a thousand if it's not seated. Even more if it's summer and being held partially or completely outside.

For comparison in size, the White House can, if memory serves, feed up to 1200 people in a single meal (buffet or passed apps; seated plated dinners are far lower of course).
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:02 AM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

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