The Evolution of Theatre Lighting
Friday, 3 August 2001
The Gaiety Theatre on the Isle of Man has unveiled a permanent lighting exhibition covering the evolution of theatre lighting. Building on from a ten-year long restoration process to re-instate the theatre back to its former Victorian appearance and ambience, the management decided to convert the three old projection rooms into a permanent exhibit of the history of theatre lighting. The idea had been lying latent for a while and was brought to life at ABTT earlier this year, following a conversation with lighting designer Jim Laws.

Designed by the highly reputed Frank Matcham, the Gaiety Theatre was built in 1899 and opened in 1900. Located at the rear of the auditorium above the balcony, the exhibition houses lighting equipment from the early days of electrical theatre lighting. Most of the old lighting from the theatre has found a new home there, as has the 1960's control system from the Royal Albert Hall. Alongside the Pattern 23 and Pattern 123 (both industry standards in their day) you can now find the ETC Source Four, which the theatre’s production manager Séamus Shea, felt was a major evolution and an important part of the display. The Source Four was presented to the Gaiety last month by ETC’s Mark White.

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