General News

Barco's Group Turnover Increases by 8%
Thursday, 30 March 2000

The Barco Group is closing the 1999 financial year with a group turnover of 28.6 billion BEF, compared with 26.436 billion BEF for 1998. This represents an 8% increase. Within this, Barco Projection Systems saw its turnover increase by almost 5%. This was probably limited by only partial recuperation of the loss in market share, especially in the USA, after the fire in the projectors factory in Kuurne in February 1998. During the course of 1999 however, Barco started to catch up with the introduction of the ELM projector based on the DLP technology of Texas Instruments. The year was also marked by some important structural changes within Barco Projection Systems with the business structured into five divisions.

Brown and Fenwick leave Martin to Join G-E-T
Tuesday, 28 March 2000

Global Entertainment Technology Ltd has outgrown its existing office premises and is currently on the move to larger offices. The move coincides with the appointment of two new recruits to the business - Ian Brown and Stuart Fenwick both formerly of Martin Professional UK. The new contact details are as follows: 2nd Floor, Norman House, Beaver Industrial Estate, Ashford, Kent, TN23 7SH. Telephone: +44 (0) 1233 646 871 Fax: +44 (0) 1233 646 836.

Pink Floyd Reunite - Virtually
Monday, 27 March 2000

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and David Gilmour reunited on to promote the re-release of Is There Anybody Out There?: Pink Floyd The Wall. The two, who have barely spoken to each other in 20 years, paid tribute to each other in online chats with their fans around the world last week. In total, 75,000 people joined the chats live and over 1 million people have been back to the site to read the transcripts since. has become well known for its online chats and webcasts. In December, Paul McCartney's return to the Cavern was webcast live with a record-breaking audience logging on.

Gainsborough Prepares for Almeida Opening
Monday, 27 March 2000

The first week in April sees the opening of an ambitious new project by The Almeida Theatre Company who are in the process of converting the derelict Gainsborough Studios in North London. The Studios, home to many a famous Hitchcock movie, are due for total demolition later in the year, but not before the Almeida completes an exciting 22 week programme.The two storey high building has undergone radical internal restructuring to create a theatre- sized hall hosting as its first production, Shakespeare's Richard II, set to be performed from 30th March. This production will then be joined in repertoire, on June 1st , by Coriolanus, both plays starring Ralph Fiennes in the title roles. To accommodate three tiers of seating, the mid-floor of the Studios has been removed and, at the same time, a temporary lighting grid has been installed above the stage by Summit Steel. The show's design makes full use of the building, including a fissure that has been cut into the back wall from floor the ceiling. For this reason the lighting and all its rigging had to be fitted within the existing roof trusses, rather than hung from them in the conventional manner. Full coverage in the May issue of L&SI.

Pulsar Student Lighting Designers Award
Monday, 27 March 2000

Several heats have now taken place in the technical studios at Melton Mowbray College. So far 10 students have come forward to battle it out and win a place in the Finals. Heats will continue through April, May and June. Tony Anagnostopplos, a student from the Performing Arts Degree Course at De Montfort University, commented: "I soon picked up the capabilities of the Masterpiece 218 and was quickly applying theatre techniques of fading between scenes. I particularly like the colours variants of the Stagecolor 300, they create real atmosphere."The finals have been arranged to take place on Monday July 17th at 7.30pm. Professionals from the industry are currently being approached to form a panel of judges who will decide upon a winner - the student who most creatively uses a range of Pulsar Intelligent luminaires to light a piece of theatre.

AC Lighting Ltd Launch Revamped Website
Friday, 24 March 2000

AC Lighting Ltd has updated, re-vamped and re-launched its website. The new site introduces a new design and expands the wealth of information available for visitors.

White Light Ticketlinks
Friday, 24 March 2000

Tickets for West End and touring shows are now available from the White Light web site. In addition to information about the company and its products and services, the site can also be used to arrange tickets for shows currently running in the West End and on tour in the UK. The site has always listed the shows running in the West End and those listings now link to the ticket sales system run by Ticketlinks, a company formed by former Modelbox manager Peter Byard. Ticketlinks' system allows direct booking of practically any performing arts event in the UK (including theatre, cinema and concert productions), as well as a comprehensive database that includes information about the cast and creative teams of every show that can be searched by show name, show type, venue or area.

XtraMusic Launches new Website and Promo CD
Thursday, 23 March 2000

XtraMusic has launched a new website and a promotional CD, furthering its commitment to customer care and support. The new website features not only general company information, but also FAQs, satellite requirements and compatibility along with a news section. Additionally, customers can sign up to XtraMusic via the secure online ordering system. The promotional CD is available free of charge from XtraMusic's head office and features samples from all 80 channels of the company's 24-hour service.

Soho Theatre Opens
Friday, 17 March 2000

After more than three years in development, the new £10.6million 200-seat Soho Theatre and Writers' Centre has opened in Dean Street, London. It becomes the West End's first ever purpose-built theatre for new work. Until 1995, the Company had been resident at the Cockpit Theatre, premiering the work of over 35 writers. Homeless in the interim, it was not until 1997 that it was able to purchase, 21 Dean Street and appoint Paxton Locher as Architects to oversee the conversion. Work began soon after and was completed in January this year. The new building includes a comfortable, air-conditioned theatre, a studio, rehearsal room and also, uniquely, space for writers and facilities for seminars and workshops - alongside, on the ground floor, the award-winning bar and restaurant Cafe Lazeez.

Queen's Theatre Awarded £50,000 Grant
Friday, 17 March 2000

London Arts Board has awarded The Queen's Theatre £50,000 for core funding. The theatre plays as a producing venue for Outer East London and the £50,000 represents the entire allocation for 2000-2001 for LAB's new fund to develop Outer London Theatre. The Queen's is the only producing theatre in the country to regain funding from central arts sources after having been a victim of the national cuts in 1985 under the Arts Council of Great Britain's Glory of the Garden Review.

HW International Collects Shure 'International Distributor of the Year' Award
Monday, 13 March 2000

HW International, sole UK distributor for Shure, have been awarded the title of International Distributor of the Year. Each year Shure honours one international distribution centre for its contribution to the company's global sales and marketing efforts. This year the award was presented to HW's managing director Dennis Harburn at a Shure celebration dinner held during the recent Winter NAMM in Los Angeles.

ABTT Lectures in the North
Friday, 10 March 2000

The ABTT is launching a series of lectures by people who are known for their contribution to the technical aspects of the Entertainment Industry. Organised by the North Region Committee of the ABTT, the lectures will be held in major venues across the North. The first of the lectures, accompanied by lunch, will be held at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester on Thursday April 27th. The first speaker in the series will be lighting designer Howard Eaton. Eaton has worked on several large shows with David Hersey including Cats, Song and Dance, Starlight Express and Nicholas Nickleby. As a lighting designer, he lit the first tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, and went on to work on productions in the West End and at the National Theatre. He started making lighting equipment for shows like Phantom in New York and all the motor control gear for the fledgling Unusual Rigging. From this work he started Howard Eaton Lighting (HELL) which manufactures a range of standard equipment and specials for the entertainment industry worldwide.

Major Opening Planned for Lowry Centre
Friday, 10 March 2000

A weekend of celebrations will mark the opening of the new Lowry Centre, the first purpose-built centre in the UK to integrate the visual and performing arts. Based on Salford Quays, Greater Manchester, the stunning steel and glass building will receive its official opening on April 28 with a major programme of music, dance, theatre and fire. The Lowry, a national millennium project costing £98 million, will host a 1650 seat lyric theatre, a 400 seat flexible theatre, as well as a purpose-built gallery for the City's comprehensive Lowry collection. In partnership with the University of Salford, there will be an adjacent national industrial centre for virtual reality. At the heart of the opening weekend is a specially-created production - To You - which involves the local community and professional artists. The audience will then be drawn into the 1,728-seat Lyric Theatre, which boasts the biggest stage outside London, for the next part of the production before the finale - a fireworks display and water pageant by Walk The Plank Theatre Company.

Neil Riley Joins Stage One
Friday, 10 March 2000

Neil Riley has joined Stage One as systems manager. He will develop and maintain all the electronics and data information systems across the company’s two sites as well as offering assistance to clients, suppliers and freelancers with their IT requirements.

Theatrical London
Friday, 10 March 2000

Preparations are now well underway for this year's Theatrical London event which will run directly after the PLASA Show in London from Wednesday 13th September through to Friday 15th September. Although certain parts of the programme are still to be finalised, shows already booked include The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre and the Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. As with previous events, Theatrical London will include a number of backstage visits to venues of interest to this industry. Full details available shortly.

ExpoLatina 2000 Spanish-Language Training
Friday, 10 March 2000

Four days of professional design and technology workshops in lighting, production techniques and audio highlight the second annual ExpoLatina running from 22-25 May at the Miami Beach Convention Center, USA. A series of lighting and sound seminars will run alongside the show with Making the Music highlighting the audio seminar programme presented by a panel of top Latin record producers and engineers. Other audio sessions range from Dubbing Music for the Latin Market and Getting the Best Live Mix to explorations of applications for loudspeakers, microphones, mixing, sound system design and studio design. The 'Beyond the Light' programme represents three days of presentations for stage, screen and special events, showcasing lighting designers, technicians and consultants from around the world. Sessions include roundtables on industry standards from ESTA, film and television lighting techniques and moving lights for television. Lighting designer Sarah Sidman presents a look at new gobos, colours and lighting techniques, while Steve Hoffman and Chris Garcia from GAM lead a hands-on look at creating special lighting effects. The workshops will be taught in or simultaneously translated into Spanish.

Earls Court Hotel Planned
Friday, 10 March 2000

Earls Court and Olympia is working with Land securities, one of the UK's largest property companies, to develop an on-site hotel at Earls Court, home to the PLASA Show. Planning permission has been approved for a 513 room, four-star hotel in the Empress State building, adjacent to Earls Court 2. The two companies are now working closely to select an operator to develop the hotel, with a decision due in the next three months. The hotel will then be operational by spring 2002.

STLD Annual Sponsors Dinner
Thursday, 9 March 2000

The STLD recently held its annual Sponsors Dinner at the RAF Museum in Hendon. The Society has some 65 active sponsors and there was an excellent turn-out from many of these, most notably Strand Lighting, DHA, Rosco, Vari-Lite, ARRI and Le Mark. Guests had the opportunity to view in private the aircraft displays at the Museum and not surprisingly, a great deal of interest was shown in the flight simulator, with a steady stream of enthusiasts queuing on one side and a not-so-steady stream of green faces exiting at the other side.

LIW e-leisure
Thursday, 9 March 2000

LIW 2000 (International Leisure Industry Week, 26-28 Seprtember, NEC, Birmingham) has announced details of a new internet feature, called e-leisure world, which will form part of its Leisure Facilities Management show. The area will be dedicated to helping leisure businesses exploit the benefits of the Internet for marketing and e-commerce. Several companies have confirmed their participation in e-leisure world include web designers and e-commerce solution providers.

AES Audio Conference
Thursday, 9 March 2000

The AES UK conference will take place from 8-9 May at Church House, Westminster, London. Mark Yonge will chair the conference which will address the way networks are used to transmit streams of digital audio and will include sessions on audio quality in network design, fibre channel technology, audio file transfers, ethernet networks and digital audio interfaces. The conference will be of interest to technical managers as well as the operators and technicians responsible for developing and using new audio systems for radio, TV and music recording.The registration fee is £298 + VAT for AES members and £348 + VAT for non-members.

Fulcrum is Launched
Wednesday, 8 March 2000

A new company, set up to provide lighting and power solutions for design agencies, production companies, event organisers and theming specialists, has started operating from Bristol, London and a dedicated internet site. The company has been established by Richard Cross, Mike Matthews and Elise Tregaskis - all former SLX employees - who bring to the company a combined 40 years experience in the theatre, entertainment and conference industries. Fulcrum will provide creative design, development and project management, including equipment sourcing, co-ordination of equipment hire and sales, transport, personnel, travel and accommodation for both permanent and temporary projects.

Amina Announce First NXT Practical Installation Seminar
Wednesday, 8 March 2000

To coincide with this year's Frankfurt Music Messe [12-16 April 2000], Amina Technologies, in conjunction with NXT plc, will run a seminar presenting an overview of NXT- the new Acoustic Flat Panel Loudspeaker Technology - and its practical application and benefits within professional installations. The seminar will take place on Thursday 13 April at 11am at the Marriott Hotel, Frankfurt. The seminar will feature presentations from members of NXT - the developers of the actual technology itself, as well as Peter Mapp - one of the UK's leading audio consultants - who will give his expert advice on the application and installation of NXT-based products, whilst offering comparisons with conventional methods.

Lighting Technology Newcastle Open Day
Tuesday, 7 March 2000

Lighting Technology Newcastle, growing dynamically out of the newly-merged but long-established company Sound Electronics, launched itself into the new Millennium with a major Open Day event at its premises on Tyneside on Friday 3rd March. The occasion celebrated the formal launch of Lighting Technology Group's Newcastle offices, which will act as a centre for expansion for sales in the region. It will also provide the base for the resources of the Northern region of LTP, the Group's project business.Over 30 major manufacturers lined up to support the mini-expo which included a special architectural lighting area, the presence of Strand Lighting's 45' exhibition trailer, Pioneer's mobile DJ display truck and the launch of a new-style entertainment lamp catalogue. For pictures of the Open Day follow this link . . .

PCM Completes First Rigging School of 2000
Tuesday, 7 March 2000

PCM has completed its first five-day intense Rigging School of two planned for 2000. This was attended by 54 individuals from all sectors of the professional rigging and entertainment industry. Vertigo Rigging's Ken Mehmed (Live Rigger of the Year 2000), Ian Lamb and John Teahan ran the rigging section of the course which covered all areas of rigging, rope access, truss walking, working at height, bridling, flying, motor husbandry, etc. Aluminium trussing specialists James Thomas Engineering conducted a section on trussing and ground support systems led by John 'Jig' Higginbotham. MAN Flying Systems' redoubtable Mick Nash de Villiers and Tony Mathews taught the basics of the very precise business of PA rigging. Rope Assemblies provided a selection of equipment for inspection, while health and safety expert Mike Curtis hacked away the official verbiage of the LOLER regulations. Also Integral to the course was a standard Lodestar Motor School, tutored by Tony Dickson of PCM and Wally Blount from Columbus McKinnon.PCM's next rigging school is scheduled for July 2000.


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