General News

£15 Million Hampstead Rebuild
Wednesday, 25 October 2000

London is to have its first new producing theatre since the National Theatre opened in 1976. Hampstead Theatre has won a major £9.85 million capital grant from the Arts Council of England for a new landmark development, the total cost of which will reach £15million. The Theatre's currrent building, a portakabin erected in 1962 to last 10 years, is nearing collapse and work on the new venue, which will be sited close to the existing theatre, is about to commence. Designed by Bennetts Associates, the new theatre, which will open in late 2002, will be translucent, with an adaptable elliptical aditorium.

Dome Becomes Party Zone
Wednesday, 25 October 2000

The Ministry of Sound is to stage a 12-hour New Year's Eve Party at the Millennium Dome. The event will take place in the buildings around the Dome including the adjacent Skyscape structure dubbed by many the Baby Dome. Just under 40 DJs will be there on the night alongside chart act Artful Dodger. In preparation for the event, the Dome itself will close at 6pm on December 31 with a final performance of the Central Show.

 
 
Dome Contracts Come Under Closer Scrutiny
Monday, 23 October 2000

The industry rumour-mill has gone into overdrive following the news of the arrest of four individuals in connection with irregularities at the Dome. The arrests came part-way through Scotland Yard's investigation into fraud allegations at the Dome and followed scrutiny of the way in which contracts were awarded. According to a report on the Financial Times' website on October 14, the arrests were to do with the procurement of a contract by a south-east London lighting maintenance company, and focused on a number of individuals working at the Dome. PLASA Publishing contacted both Scotland Yard and the NMEC, but both refused to comment, the latter only willing to say that its internal control system had identified the irregularities and the matter was now in the hands of the police.

 
LDI Awards
Monday, 23 October 2000

The annual LDI Show has just finished its run at the Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas and early reports suggest that this was a busy and successful Show (more show news in the next few days). One of the highlights of the event is the annual awards presentation which took place on Saturday, October 21. The Wally Russell Award for lifetime contribution went to San Miller, chief executive officer and chairman of Rosco Laboratories. Miller is the only person ever to be named both a Fellow of the United States Institute for Theatre Technology and a member of the American Society of Cinematographers. Having graduated from Brown University in 1954, Miller served in the US Army until 1956, and acquired Rosco in 1958. The Best Widget Award went to American Harlequin for its new storage bag. In the design categories, the Lighting Designer of the Year Awards are divided into three areas. Dawn Hollingsworth picked up the architecture award, Tom Ruzika, collected the themed award and Patrick Woodroofe was honoured in the entertainment category.Coemar's CF7 was voted the Entertainment Lighting Product of the Year, whilst Martin Professional added to its raft of PLASA Awards by collecting the Architecture Lighting Product of the Year for its Exterior 300. On the audio front, Level Control Systems' Cue Console was recognised as the Sound Product of the Year, with Honourable Mention going to Wireworks Wirelux cables. Tony Meola was voted Sound Designer of the Year. Pathport picked up the Best Software Product Award for its Pathway Connectivity system and Dataton's Watchout was aw

 
 
G-E-T.com Get Together with Navigator Systems
Friday, 20 October 2000

G-E-T.com, the UK's trading portal for the entertainment industry, has formed a strategic alliance with Navigator Systems. The collaboration is seen as an opportunity for both companies to develop an integrated internet trading platform, utilising a combination of Navigator System's HireTrack Eclipse package and G-E-T's product-led internet search engine. G-E-T users sourcing equipment through the portal will benefit from faster, targeted product searches. Companies subscribing to G-E-T will be given the option to batch upload their equipment to G-E-T's search system via HireTrack with minimal inputting required. G-E-T will also benefit from the addition of Navigator's customers to its database. The ultimate aim of the alliance is to help companies market their rental equipment to the hire market by developing a fast, industry-targeted search and product request platform.

 
CEI Relocates
Friday, 20 October 2000

Current Events International, a technical production company offering lighting, audio and production management services, equipment rentals, and systems integration, has relocated and expanded its San Francisco facility. The company has moved to a larger facility in Oakland, occupying over 17,000sq.ft of office and warehouse space. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, Current Events International is an award-winning technical production company with full service facilities in San Francisco and Washington, DC.

 
 
Students Required!
Wednesday, 18 October 2000

Are you a lighting student eager to visit the only International Colloquium on Entertainment Lighting? If so, Showlight 2001 may be able to offer you the opportunity of a lifetime! Exhibitors at Showlight have the option to sponsor one entertainment lighting student, to enable people at all levels of the profession to attend and participate. The essence of Showlight is to encourage attendees to talk, discuss ideas and mix with some of the top names from theatre, television, film and architectural and themed lighting, and the list of exhibitors encompasses some of the top names in the industry, including DHA Lighting, ETC Europe, Strand, White Light and Wybron, with confirmed speakers from the worlds of themed entertainment, television and outdoor events. For further details contact Ruth Rossington, Showlight 2001, telephone +44 (0) 1323 418401.

 
PSA Launches Stolen Equipment List On-Line
Wednesday, 18 October 2000

The PSA (Production Services Association) has launched a new service to help companies in the industry trace stolen equipment. The site is intended for use by the whole industry and is not restricted to just PSA members. To have stolen equipment added to this list, the following details should be emailed to Marco Van Beek at mvanbeek@supporting-role.co.uk: 1) Manufacturer. 2) Description. 3) Model Number/type. 4) Serial Number. 5) Date Stolen. 6) Area Stolen. 7) Contact Name. 8) Contact Number. 9) Crime reference number (this will not be shown on the website). The PSA is also happy to add links to specific web pages that deal with stolen equipment, if this information is submitted elsewhere.

 
 
Barbizon Announces Employee Stock Plan
Monday, 16 October 2000

Barbizon Lighting Company, which has 11 offices in the United States, has announce the formation of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for the benefit of its employees, a plan unique in the entertainment lighting industry. Under the plan, Barbizon will become employee-owned, with employees acquiring shares of privately-held stock. Jonathan Resnick, president of Barbizon, says the ESOP recognizes the invaluable role Barbzion employees have played in the company's consistent annual growth. "It is our belief that our greatest asset has always been our employees. And it is their talent and dedication that will enable Barbizon to sustain its growth and innovation in this fast-changing business environment," he said. "The Board of Directors and I believe that they should be rewarded for their contributions."Founded in 1947, Barbizon, serving the domestic and export markets as one of the largest and most innovative providers of lighting products, rigging systems, installation services and show control solutions.

 
CP Sound Expands and Moves
Monday, 16 October 2000

CP Sound, creative audio, lighting and AV designer and installer, is moving to a newly-acquired, hugely expanded premises in central Staines. CP Sound's operation has expanded so rapidly in the last two years that it has outgrown the site in Chertsey that has contained it for the last three years. The new building, workshops, warehouse space and offices are part of a purpose-built industrial unit. The extra space and rationalisation of resources will allow CP Sound's hectic production schedules to be managed even faster and more efficiently. It will also enhance its already well-established quality of service.As from today the company's new contact, the new contact details are Unit 3 Tim's Boat Yard, Timsway, Staines, Middlesex, TW18 3JZ. Tel: +44 1784 461614.

 
 
Four Arrested Over Dome Irregularities
Friday, 13 October 2000

As we reported on 19 September, the police are in the throes of a major investigation into fraud allegations at the Millennium Dome. At the time it was made clear that these centred around 'irregularities' in connection with the procurement of contracts. As a result of these investigations, four people have now been arrested. A 30-year old man and 20-year old woman have been arrested in Liverpool and taken to a London police station, whilst a woman in her sixties has been arrested in West Yorkshire. The final arrest was of a man in his thirties at a business address in south-east London. All four have been bailed until February next year to allow for further enquiries to take place. PLASA Publishing has learnt that the police investigation involves the awarding of a lighting contract.

 
New Technicians Take to the Stage
Tuesday, 10 October 2000

To help prepare them for a wide variety of careers in theatre, film, television, exhibition and coporate event markets, third-year students taking Lighting Design, Directing and Stage Management degrees at Rose Bruford College put together various productions of a non-theatre nature. This year, these have included 'Club Night', 'Audio-Visual', 'Sone et Lumiere' and 'Dance' productions. Performed at the College's Barn Theatre on the Sidcup campus, just outside London, these productions will enable students to show an audience of technical theatre professionals just what they can do. The College receives much help in this in the form of the loan of equipment from leading companies within the lighting industry, with around £200,000 worth of equipment being loaned this year for the duration of the productions. Help has been received from Martin Professional, Lightfactor, Avolites, Flying Pig Systems, Vari-Lite and White Light.

 
 
PCM Wraps 2000 with Motor School
Friday, 6 October 2000

PCM has announced its end-of-year CM Lodestar Motor Schools for the 28th and 29th November, to be held at PCM's HQ in Prenton, Wirral, wrapping up a busy training year for PCM. The two-day Motor School course has been modified to include an operational session on the use of the Lodestar Motor, in addition to the usual hands-on assembly, disassembly and troubleshooting. Once again, the event is broadened by trussing and ground support specialists James Thomas Engineering, who will present a half-day course on truss usage and its interaction with motors. The two-day course is free of charge to all participants - all they need to do is travel to The Wirral and cover their hotel costs.PCM's Motor School is fully compliant with the new LOLER regulations, and on completion, attendees are issued with a certificate to prove that they have been properly trained on the equipment. PCM has now trained over 900 owners, specifiers and users of Lodestar Motors, and courses are always in heavy demand, so early booking is advisable. PCM expanded its Motor School programme in 2000 and also took it to Europe. The company's fully-comprehensive, intensive five-day Rigging School, launched in 1999, is next scheduled to run in February 2001. For further details on all PCM Training initiatives please contact John Jones or Claire Williams at PCM on +44 151 609 0101 or check out the PCM website.

 
AC Lighting North Moves To Larger Premises
Thursday, 5 October 2000

AC Lighting North, based in Leeds, completed a move to new, purpose designed, larger premises mid way through July. The new 6,300sq.ft premises feature custom-built offices, showroom with full flying height and extensive warehouse facilities. AC Lighting North's sales manager, Jonathan Walters commented: "The need for these new premises has been brought about by our continued increase in sales since the office was established in 1996."AC Lighting North's new address is: Hawksworth Commercial Centre, Elder Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS13 4AT. The company's telephone and fax numbers remain the same, as 0113 255 7666 and 0113 255 7676 respectively.

 
 
Excess and Success at the UK Midas Owners Dinner
Wednesday, 4 October 2000

During this year's PLASA Show, the third consecutive UK Midas Dinner was held at the exclusive Teatro Club & Restaurant in Soho. Organised by LMC Audio Systems Limited, the UK's exclusive Midas dealer, the dinner was as usual an extravagant affair with all UK Midas owners invited, and attendance exceeded any other year. Teatro is owned by celebrity couple Lee Chapman and Lesley Ash and was chosen as the venue for the dinner due to it's discreet service and outstanding food along with a modern 'gentleman's club' atmosphere. This year special attention was given to the many New Midas Owners, which included The Lemon Tree, Orbital, Rambert Dance Company and Dicker Sound.

 
Stage Electrics Opens London Office
Tuesday, 3 October 2000

Stage Electrics, the Bristol-based supplier of lighting, sound and technical equipment, officially unveiled its new London office during PLASA. The new branch, at 284-302 Waterloo Road, offers a trade counter selling consumables and also hosts a Virtual Lighting Studio housing a full WYSIWYG software programme and other WYSIWYG facilities. Also available at the new branch is a demonstration suite, displaying lighting and special effects from major industry manufacturers, giving clients and designers the opportunity to review all the latest technology. Finally to complete the facility, there is a cafe area suitable for informal meetings.

 
 
New Identity for PRG Lighting Group
Monday, 2 October 2000

The Production Resource Group is to relaunch and rebrand its lighting division. With effect from October 20, the companies in the PRG Lighting Group - Cinema Services, Light & Sound Design (LSD), Production Arts, Production Lighting Systems and Vanco Lighting Services - will come together under the name Fourth Phase. All of the companies except LSD will assume the name Fourth Phase, whilst LSD will be called LSD/Fourth Phase. The new identity coincides with new operational changes within the company. A national sales team has been established, under the direction of Bill Gallinghouse, senior vice president of sales and marketing. Jeff Senkovich, meanwhile, has moved from his operational responsibilities with the PRG Audio Group to assume the newly created role of COO of the Lighting/Audio Group. As COO of PRG, John Hovis oversees the operational aspects of the organisation. Full story October L&SI.

 
South Bank Show Behind the Scenes of The Beautiful Game
Friday, 29 September 2000

Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical The Beautiful Game, with book and lyrics by Ben Elton, is to be the subject of a South Bank Show this coming Sunday (October 1). The programme will look at the musical from its initial concept through to rehearsals.

 
 
PLASA Signs Up First Associate Member
Thursday, 28 September 2000

Following a recent review of its membership categories, PLASA has welcomed its first Associate Member. Lesley Harmer, who runs the highly successful Harmer PR public relations company, which counts several PLASA members amongst its client list, becomes the first person to take advantage of the revised membership structure. PLASA introduced the Associate Membership category in the summer to encourage universities, colleges, charities, individuals and consultants, together with those businesses that operate on the periphery of the industry, to play an active role in the future of the industry. Lesley Harmer is pictured here with PLASA MD Matthew Griffiths.

 
Rank Hands Butlins to Bourne
Wednesday, 27 September 2000

The Rank Group is to sell its holiday camp division, which includes Butlins, to a group led by Bourne Leisure in a deal that could be worth £700 million. Bourne has backing from both Candover Investments and Legal & General Ventures, who will take a percentage share of the business. For Rank, the deal allows it to continue its programme of restructuring and to use the income from the sale to offset some of its debts.

 
 
Music in the Classroom
Monday, 25 September 2000

Music Education Consultants of Guildford has again been busy working with schools in order to bring music facilities up to current specifications for teaching KS2 and KS3 curriculum music and GCSE, A Level and HE Music Technology Courses. One of the most challenging projects for the company was designing the functionality of the new Recording and Music ICT facilities at The Academy of Contemporary Music's new centre, The Rodboro Buildings, which opened on September 22. The new ACM building incorporates a dedicated Music ICT suite based on PCs running Cubase VST 5, Wavelab 3.0, Recycle and Rebirth, Roland Keyboards and Yamaha Samplers all connected to a flexible monitoring and recording system. Five highly-specified studios were designed, ranging from small post rooms to a large 30-seat capacity teaching studio. A control-room based on twin Yamaha 02Rs and a host of other state-of-the-art digital equipment faces the main teaching control room. In-between the teaching control room and the 02R are four live rooms that can be accessed from either studio allowing maximum flexibility.

 
A Double First for Sennheiser at LIPA
Friday, 22 September 2000

At this year's graduation ceremony for The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Professor Dr Jorg Sennheiser, presented the inaugural Sennheiser Student Achievement Awards. The ceremony, held in the art-deco splendour of the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, saw Professor Sennheiser share the stage with lead patron Sir Paul McCartney, principal and chief executive Mark Featherstone-Witty and almost 200 graduating LIPA students. Professor Sennheiser presented the three achievement awards to a total of five students for work of outstanding merit in both recording production and theatrical sound design. Among the graduating students was Adam Fulton, who was awarded a first class Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Sound technology; the second Sennheiser scholarship student to graduate and achieve a first.

 
 
Pulsar Presents Awards
Friday, 22 September 2000

Pulsar presented two awards during PLASA, demonstrating the company's continuing commitment to training. The already established Disco International UK Light Jockey contest was won by Colin Walker, with Stuart Wardale second and Peter Ramdine third. The winner was presented with the coveted trophy - a unique Gold Masterpiece 216 and the title of UK Light Jockey Champion. Following on from the success of the Light Jockey contest, and a pilot scheme last year, the Student Lighting Designer Award was launched. The heats took place at Melton Mowbray College and this year's winner was Matt Randle who received £2,000 worth of Pulsar products, presented as part of the PLASA awards. The success of the award has generated huge interest and the intention for next year is that the concept will become a PLASA/L&SI endorsed project, inviting other colleges to take part.

 
ISCE AGM
Thursday, 21 September 2000

Over 30 members attended the AGM of the Institute of Sound & Communications Engineers (ISCE), held during the PLASA Show. Outgoing president Doug Edworthy welcomed PLASA's Matthew Griffiths and Ruth Rossington as guests before handing over the role of president to Michael Leaver of Adastra Electronics. Doug Edworthy was presented with a Certificate of Merit, to express the gratitude of all members for the devoted way he had guided the Institute for the past six years. It was agreed that the Institute would work more closely with PLASA to set up training and seminar programmes, and from 2001members will receive complimentary PLASA Show tickets. During the meeting, several members were elected to council including Alan Bond, Phil Brown and Nigel Williams, with Tony Clayden, David Tyas and Jon Rapier being co-opted.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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