It was announced yesterday that the Dome Europe bid has won the race to take over the Millennium Dome in the new year. The company plans to turn the beleagured venue into a high-tech leisure attraction - based on the theme of Europe. The bid, backed by Japanese finance house Nomura, was widely regarded as the front runner, and the company will assume control of the attraction when the current exhibition closes at the end of this year. The rival bid from the Legacy consortium aimed to turn the dome into a new technology park - create a British version of Silicon Valley. The new attraction will be built by Dome Europe's partners in the bid, Hyper Entertainment, whose credits to date include successful leisure attractions in San Francisco, Berlin and Tokyo. A key attraction of the new Dome will be virtual reality version of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine film, while the BBC has offered to provide other content, based on popular productions like Eastenders and Walking with Dinosaurs. Dome Europe has also promised to keep some of the existing Millennium attractions and will consider continuing the daily live show. Incredibly, Dome Europe has said it hopes to open the new attraction in time for school half-term holidays in February 2001 - leaving a very short space of time in which to turn around the Dome's fortunes.
York Barbican Centre is probably the first venue in the country to install a lifting beam in its auditorium to enable mechanical lifting of mixer control desks for shows. Prior to its installation, moving the desks into position often took 20 minutes and could use up to 12 crew. The venue now has a 20m runway beam with a 1 ton electric trolley and 1 ton electric chain hoist attached. A spreader beam can also be attached to spread the weight and these are all controlled by an infra red pendant. With the new equipment, the desks can now be moved in five minutes with just two staff. The equipment cost £12,000 and took just two days to install. Bootham Engineers of York manufactured the equipment specifically for the Barbican's needs.
Legendary Parisian restaurant Chez Maxim's, in the heart of Paris, has always represented the epitome of refinement and elegance. Steeped in tradition, it maintains its position by mixing old world sophistication with the best from today's modern life. To this end it has recently installed a number of Martin's MiniMAC luminaires (supplied by Martin France) in the legendary dining room. These are discreetly positioned around the restaurant and now enhance the atmosphere with subtle colour washes and delicate colour hues.
The Zetor Bar and restaurant is one of Helsinki's most distinctively-themed venues. Designed by Malto Valtonen (of Finnish band the Leningrad Cowboys), Zetor uses farm equipment for furniture - including tractors for tables, and old buckets and cheese-graters for lampshades. Since Zetor was first established in 1992, its unique style has guaranteed its place as one of the most popular nightclubs in Helsinki. When the time came to install a new sound system recently, restaurant manager Sakari Ellila put a number of systems to the test, but opted for Turbosound's punchy sound, good reputation and price-to-quality ratio. Finnish Turbosound distributor Noretron Audio designed and installed the PA specification, based around the Turbosound TCS and Impact series. Three TCS-59 mid/high cabinets, with two TCS-118 sub-bass units, powered by LabGruppen LAB 1600 and LAB 2000 amplifiers were placed around the dance floor. The rest of the space - two bar areas, two restaurant areas and the tractor tables - benefited from 24 Turbosound Impact cabinets.
Martin Audio's new three-way THX-approved sound reinforcement systems have been specified and installed in no fewer than 14 auditoria (including the main THX room and the three Gold Class VIP suites, served by their own bar and foyer) at Warner Village's massive Star City 30-screen multiplex - situated beneath Birmingham's Spaghetti Junction at Nechells. The multiplex is the largest in Europe and its 24 general-run mainstream houses, are complemented by six distinct screening rooms. Martin Audio Screen 5s have been used in triamp mode in the THX suite while in the other larger rooms the same enclosures are run biamped. Screen 4s have been sued in other smaller auditoria - again in LCR configurations stacked with Screen Sub 1 low frequency enclosures.
Following extensive architectural renovations of the Centre Court complex at Roland Garros Paris, an L-Acoustics dV-Dosc system has been installed for the International French Open Tennis Championship of this year, reinforcing the position of L-Acoustics within the high performance permanent installation market. As part of the project to renovate the Centre Court at Roland Garros, the French Tennis Federation's architect Didier Girardet, from ACD Girardet & Associates, contacted Mas Conseil, a PA consultancy headed by Jean-Pierre Mas, to specify the PA system. After the system requirements were defined, the concept proposed by L-Acoustics was chosen.
Canadian company Scéno Plus has won awards in Britain for its role in the design and build of the Dream Factory, the new head office of the British Playbox Theatre. The Dream Factory received three prestigious awards at the Quality in Construction Awards 2000: the Supreme Winner Award, the Small Project of the Year Award, and the Marketing and Image Award. The Dream Factory is a unique venue for aspiring actors to learn about stage acting. The first of its kind in England, the theatre is located at the Aylesford School in Warwick and boasts a 280-capacity flexible theatre space, rehearsal studios, a boutique and cafe.
Surrey-based installation company, Audioplan, has recently taken delivery of a total of 21 PS-8 cabinets and seven LS-400 subs. Indeed, the demand for these loudspeakers has been so intense that the very first shipment to arrive at UK distributor, Fuzion, went straight out to Audioplan who installed them within 36 hours of arriving in the country. The first recipient of the PS-8 was St John's Church in Ealing who took delivery of four PS-8s and two PS-15s. Other interesting applications from Audioplan's initial delivery include a sale to Surrey-based BallRacing Developments who develop high-end motor sport simulators for PC and Playstation.
One of the UK's best known live music venues, the Leeds Town and Country Club, has closed its doors. Formerly the Coliseum, the 1,800-capacity venue first opened its doors in October 1992 and has since played host to many high-profile acts including INXS, Blur, Mark Knopfler and The Stone Roses. It's not clear what will become of the venue, but there have been suggestions that First Leisure plan to re-open it as a theme bar and nightclub. Live music is taking something of a bashing in Leeds at the moment. In March came the announcement that the Duchess, a stalwart of the national gig circuit, was closing. It has been confirmed this week that it will reopen as a Karen Millen fashion outlet.
The Danish Design Centre, in the heart of Copenhagen, opened its doors to the public in January of this year. The centre aims to be a hothouse for ideas and development in Danish industry, as well as providing, amongst other things, an international exhibition venue for industrial design, public exhibition areas, a shop and café, conference rooms and office space. For the Conference Hall, which will play host to a number of different types of events and will hold up to 200 people, lighting and AV consultants 1001 Watt.dk specified ETC Source Four Jr Zooms which were supplied by ETC's local distributor, Bico Professionel. In addition, 24 ETC Irideon AR6, launched at PLASA last year, were supplied by SFL of Sweden.
One of London's best-known nightclubs - Tramp - has recently received a new sound system as part of a major refurbishment. Watford-based Stage Two designed the system, based around RCF's ART Series, in conjunction with RCF UK's Andy Austin-Brown. Stage Two's Terry Douris explained that the brief presented difficulties in terms of the small size of the building and the high power required from the system. Four ART 300 cabinets are used, with two situated over the dancefloor and two on the perimeter of the room. In addition, two MSW 8 sub-woofers provide the heavy bass required on the dance floor. The system is controlled by an XTA DP200 digital sound processor, with amplification from InterM M1000 and M700 amps. Meanwhile, four RCF Monitor 5s and four Monitor 4Ts cover the restaurant and reception areas respectively.
Marquee Audio has announced the formation of a new division, which will operate under the supervision of co-director Mark Brown. Marquee Installations aims to respond to increasing retail sector requirements. Brown's roster of licensed-trade contractor clients, which included many of the UK's leading breweries, restaurants and independents, had previously been homogenised into Marquee's general work portfolio, but he now believes he can give greater focus to expanding the business. Marquee Installations will offer a complete turnkey service, combining audio, lighting and visual display integration.
Over 40 Tannoy speakers have been used in a popular city town bar and nightclub in Burnley, Lancashire after a recent refurbishment by Liverpool-based Orritt Electronic Services Ltd. Bass-owned bar Sidewalk 53 and nightclub City 53 have benefited from extensive remodelling in line with Bass Leisure Retail Channel policy, and as a result, Sidewalk 53 was recently ranked in the top 10 UK CTB's according to FHM. The bar features eight Tannoy i12 Dual Concentric speakers, four B400 bass cabinets and a couple of TX2 controllers in conjunction with Ecler amplification, and a Cloud CX335 compressor limiter and mixer. The larger roomfeatures eight Tannoy i12 Dual Concentric speakers with two B400 bass and two B950 sub-bass units. Ecler amplification and Cloud crossovers complete the larger room. The smaller room uses 10 T12 full-range speakers; two B950s with Tannoy TX2 controllers are also installed along with Ecler amplification, Cloud Cx and Citronic graphics.
Just opened in Central London, the Dali Universe is the world's first permanent commercial exhibition of Salvador Dali's work. More than 500 works of art are on display, complemented by an extensive Celestion sound system throughout all four galleries. Dali Universe is equipped with a multi-zoned audio system featuring 48 Celestion KR2 and 4 SR1 cabinets, installed by Metropolis of West London. "In true Dali style, the exhibition is a fusion of cutting-edge technology and modern art," explains David Allan of Metropolis, "with the walls covered in blackened steel and all the KR2s are mounted above the ceiling. At the entrance, the designer asked for them to be mounted above steel plates to achieve a big, boomy and decidedly surreal effect." There are five different audio sources, including DVD, CD and MPEG, and the system is powered throughout by Metropolis' proprietary-design amplifiers.
Millennium Multi Media.com, a new internet-oriented digital and traditional entertainment, technology and communications company, is to build the Millennium Entertainment Center, a $20 million, 60,000 square feet, two-level dome housing a revolutionary entertainment venue situated on five and a half acres of Las Vegas' famed strip. The MEC, will accommodate 2,000 customers, and unlike other Vegas venues will have no gaming elements. The main elements of the venue will be a range of conference facilities and a nightclub - the key attraction of which will be a computerised light and laser projection show featuring interior fireworks, falling snow, lightning, twisters, and a host of other computer graphic and holographic effects. World-renowned supper club impresario, Mark Fleischman, former owner of Studio 54 and creator of the well-known Tatou dinner clubs, will head the project.
Stage Electrics is to install a new sound and lighting system at Winchester's Theatre Royal. The installation is part of a major remodelling of the theatre and will involve completely removing the roof of the building so the lighting bridge can be installed. The company has also designed enhanced FOH lighting positions in the auditorium and, in conjunction with MRP, a new counterweight flying system. The theatre is owned by The Winchester Theatre Fund, a charitable trust and funding for the project, which is due for completion in early 2001, has been raised by the charity and a grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain.
Newquay-based PSD Electronics has completed a sound and lighting installation as part of a £500,000 makeover at the Twilight Zone nightclub in Redruth. The new lighting rig features four of Sagitter's compact Infinity MSZ1200 (Multi Step Zoom) units, which project down onto the minimalist ground floor dance area, as well as onto the sailcloth surrounding the eight moving arms of the flown mechanism. Sagitter Digiflash Pro strobes also feature in the rig. All of the Sagitter lighting was supplied by Multifom Technology. PSD's Dave Charman said that the fittings were "incredibly bright and powerful - they look amazing in this installation."
A large TOA paging and sound reinforcement system has been specified to provide the public address throughout the new Weald Sports Centre in Cranbrook, Kent. TOA's commission came from engineering company, Consulting engineers MVM M&E have designed the system around TOA's V-Series equipment, working with E-1231 graphic equalisers and AC-120 loudspeaker controllers. The feature clusters of TOA CS speakers are suspended over the swimming pool and the sports hall, while a pool aerobics system utilises the F-500 Series speakers. In the creche and aerobics room, a portable flight-cased rack system houses TOA WT870 diversity radio mics, a mixer, CD and tape player, which are all on jacks linked back to the amplifiers.
London's Royal Albert Hall is undergoing its first comprehensive building development since it opened in 1871. Scheduled to complete in 2003, the £66.3m programme originally began in 1995. AC Lighting's Special Projects division has completed the upgrade of part of the lighting cabling and control system at the venue. The RAH's deputy technical show manager, Mark Jones, designed and specified the system. AC has upgraded the circle rail with new power and control wiring for the front of house circuits. All existing trunking panels were replaced with customised 2m front panel sections, each containing 12 16Amp sockets for six dimming channels, along with two independent power circuits for moving lights and colour scrollers. 12 DMX connectors, covering two DMX 512 universes, were also installed around the circle rail for additional DMX fixtures. On stage, AC installed three six-way stage boxes, and continued the new DMX wiring with a series of outlets at ground level. These then extended out to FOH, where more ground-level DMX connection points were also installed. AC was assisted on site by Scott Nielson, the RAH's assistant technical show manager.
After many months of merger talks, the Boards of Luminar and Northern Leisure have made a recommended offer of one new Luminar share for every four Northern Leisure shares, it was announced yesterday. The acquisition of Northern Leisure will make Luminar the leading operator in the theme bar, restaurant and discotheque markets, with 237 venues serving around 600,000 customers each week. Luminar is the owner of the world-famous Camden Palace and London Hippodrome nightclubs, as well as the Chicago Rock Cafe, Rhythm Room, Liquid and Jumpin' Jaks brands. The group will be valued at £585m.Five Northern Leisure executive directors will be appointed to the Luminar Board. Luminar chairman Michael Arnold commented: "There is an excellent strategic fit between the two businesses, and I am convinced that the Luminar management team, strengthened by our new colleagues, will ensure the success of this exciting opportunity to enhance shareholder value."
South Korea's LG Corporation recently built a state-of-the-art performing arts centre to enhance its corporate headquarters in Seoul, based around ETC lighting, dimming and control equipment. The Centre is run by the non-profit arm of the $73b LG Business Group, which makes and sells almost everything, from electronics to fashions and financial services. Inside the high rise glass walls of the Centre is a 1,100-seat auditorium, a large rehearsal space and three exhibition halls, as well as dressing rooms and office space. LG Arts installed an Obsession II 1500 Double Processor console, 10 Sensor dimmer racks with a total of 831 dimmers, a custom Unison architectural lighting system and over 400 Source Four and Source Four Zoom spotlights.
As part of a £24million restoration programme to improve parliamentary procedures, the Houses of Parliament at Westminster have been equipped with the latest digital conference technology from Philips Communication, Security & Imaging. In use three days a week, MPs in the new chamber use the world's first entirely digital congress system which consists of 35 table-top Delegate Discussion Units using Philips Digital Congress Network. The system was installed by Westminster Sound Systems.
It seems that the replica of the Rose Theatre - built for the award-winning film Shakespeare In Love - is to find a new home on the site of the former Collins Music Hall in Islington Green, North London. Like most film props, the set was to have been scrapped after the completion of filming, but Dame Judi Dench, who starred in the film, felt it too good to demolish and wanted to find it a permanent home so that others could act on it. If all goes to plan, the theatre will be reassembled and ready to open by Midsummer's Eve 2002.
Supplied via its German dealer Amptown SC, Avenger's show control systems - Conductor and miniConductor - will be used in the corporate pavilions of Bertelsmann and Siemens, as well as the 'Planet of Visions' theme pavilion at the forthcoming World Expo in Hannover. These pavilions require a large amount of flexibility for their show control, as the shows include video-servers, lighting equipment and customised AV applications. In addition, the country pavilions of Lithuania, Austria and the UK will also employ Conductor systems.