Refurbished Universal re-opens with Prolights
Tuesday, 27 August 2019
australiaUniversal is ‘an evolution of the Midnight Shift’
Australia - After its closure in 2017, Darlinghurst’s Midnight Shift club has been resurrected by Universal Hotels using Prolights fixtures.
Universal Hotels, a Sydney-based hospitality group owned and operated by the Kospetas family, picked up the 1000sq.m building last June for a reported $12m and have relaunched it as Universal, a rebranded music venue and LGBTIQA+ safe place.
“Universal is an evolution of the Midnight Shift, rather than a revolution,” explains owner Jim Kospetas, who plans to respect the special role that the venue has played for the LGBTIQA+ community and continue its long-held legacy of inclusivity.
Kospetas contacted Show Technology with a brief requiring “masses of beams and good sight lines throughout the venue”.
Tim Macfie of TDM Productions was chosen to design the lighting system. “They wanted someone who could meet the needs of all markets,” he explains. “As it’s a really tough time in Sydney for nightlife, we needed to look at ways to multifunction the space. Consequently, it was crucial to bring the lighting up to a world class level from a production point of view.”
Macfie was keen to create lines of symmetry in the room whilst keeping the three circular trusses that the Midnight Shift was known for. Hence the initial refurb saw the entire roof stripped out and a new mothergrid installed. The truss circles were relocated within the venue and a new stage truss established.
At either end of the room are four Prolights Starkbar1000 powerful and zoomable LED moving battens which can be used as a light curtain, CYC light or wash light. Each of the LED pixels are individually controllable for a host of impressive effects.
“I wasn’t sure about them at first, but they can completely change the architecture of the room,” Macfie says. “They marry really well with the mirror design and if you point them straight out, they’re a good events blinder.”
Four Prolights Air6PIX LED moving battens are located on four dropper bars either side of the DJ to frame LED screen with Tim saying they provide nice geometric elements. Again, each of the LED pixels are individually controllable, and both sides pivot to create classic ACL looks. With infinite rotation of both pan and tilt, they certainly add a wow factor to the lighting rig.
Having recently re-opened the doors, the venue has hosted acts including Return to Rio, Hernan Cattano, James Ziebela, Marco Faraone and Solarstone.
(Jim Evans)

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