News reaches us that the recent Dome auction turned into something of a bidding war and in so doing laid to rest fears that there would be a flood of cheap second-hand product hitting the market. Word has it that whilst there were some bargains to be had - top end lighting desks normally worth £15,000 upwards going for £7,000 - there were also numerous instances of bidders paying way over the list price for items. A 24-channel lighting control desk, for instance, which you can get for £525, was actually sold for £700, and this before the 10% premium buyers have to pay on all items. We also understand from our mole at the auction that numerous other items were attracting slightly higher or close to list price and one can only wonder at who out there has pockets so deep that price is not an issue. But not everything promised in the auction actually made it to the sale as the NMEC withdrew several items yesterday on the basis that it didn’t wish to prejudice the future use of the Dome - these included the Broadcast and Dome TV Suites and all associated equipment, together with plasma screens.By the time the auction ends at close of play today, more than 15,000 items from the Dome will have been sold and an anticipated £5 million will have been raised for an attraction that cost £800 million.
The Gearhouse Group plc and a large number of its subsidiary operations have been placed in administrative receivership. A legal notice posted on the company’s website states that AR Bloom & AJR Wollaston (Ernst & Young) were appointed joint administrative receivers on 23rd February 2001. Over recent years, the Group, a supplier of professional presentation and event production equipment, for both rental and sale, to the corporate presentation, TV, film and live entertainment industries worldwide, had followed an ambitious programme of growth, acquiring a number of complementary companies and rebranding them under the Group banner. It appears from the notice that most of the companies within the Group are now in receivership - these include all the Gearhouse subsidiaries across the UK, Gearhouse LED Screens, Gearhouse Lighting, Gearhouse Special Projects, Gearhouse Structures, Gearhouse XTC, Impact Rentals, PPL Event Services, Presentation Services, Proquip Gearhouse, Sceneset and Set 'N' Stage.
An institution is coming home, when Crossroads returns to our TV screens in the spring. The soap is planned to fill the gap following the departure of Home and Away. Filmed in Carlton TV’s studio in Nottingham, Crossroads will be the new centrepiece in ITV’s daytime schedule. Second time around, Crossroads has moved up-market, from the original motel to a modern hotel with a beauty salon, bar and restaurant and this time will be lit by a range of . To ensure the perfect lighting, Carlton bought 144 channels of ETC Sensor dimming, supplied by AC Lighting. The returning stars from the Crossroads hall of fame are Jane Rossington (no relation to L&SI’s editor sadly) as Jill Harvey, Kathy Staff, who hangs up the wrinkled stockings of Last of the Summer Wine's Nora Batty and dons the uniform of much-loved laundress Doris Luke and waiting in the wings for a return later in the series is Tony Adams as Adam Chance, Jill Harvey's ex-husband.
PRG company Fourth Phase supplied equipment, design engineering, project management and installation supervision for the entertainment lighting system in the newly constructed Potter’s House worship center, home of one of the fastest growing churches in the United States. This 26,000 member nondenominational church in Dallas, TX, led by Pentecostalist minister, author and entrepreneur T.D. Jakes, set out to build the country’s most technologically innovative church facility yet, dubbed a ‘Smart Church’. The new $32 million, 300 feet x 300 feet, 8,200 seat sanctuary creates a footprint larger than two football fields. Power and data terminals installed at 200 seats allow attendees to download sermon notes and power point presentations onto laptop computers. Altar attendants are equipped with handheld PDAs to allow immediate input of new member data and ‘prayer needs’. An associated language translation center features translation rooms with the capacity to simultaneously input and output up to six language translations. Dallas-based consultants Acoustic Dimensions designed state-of-the-art sound, lighting and MATV systems, whilst PRG company SPL installed the audio and video systems. The $600,000 entertainment lighting package is based around ETC Sensor and Unison dimming, an Expression 3 control console and a range of ETC, Altman, DeSisti and Lycian lighting fixtures.
TMB Associates has been appointed as exclusive worldwide stocking distributor for the DMX Data Lynx from Upstaging Inc. TMB is now stocking Data Lynx at all its locations. DMX Data Lynx is an all-in-one DMX router, tester, and disaster recovery unit. It allows instant switching between two lighting consoles with up to four DMX universes per console. It is capable of automatically switching from one console to the other in the event of DMX output failure from the current console. It can also test moving lights and cables, diagnose and display DMX data, plus store backup scenes from any DMX controller. Tommy Stephenson, TMB’s sales manager, said: "This is a very practical product, developed by one of the top rental companies. In addition to its main function of switching between a primary and backup console, it performs a variety of very useful tasks such as DMX diagnosis and fixture testing. We see it becoming standard equipment for the larger lighting rigs."
In 1996 the second edition of British Theatrical Patents 1801-1900 was published in demand to the runaway success of the first edition. Such was the interest and fascination with the subject, the authors Terence Rees and David Wilmore, embarked upon the mammoth task of consulting several million more patents to compile a database of theatrical patents for the first half of the twentieth century. As a result of some five years work the first release of the database is now available covering 1901-1950 and includes many fascinating technological developments relating to moving lights, projection, dimming and control as well as staging, illusions, and a myriad of other technical theatre subjects. The database is now available for purchase (£957+ Vat) and there are currently almost 1,000 patentee entries on the database. Purchasers will receive free updates as new entries are discovered - but beware - as the entries increase so does the price! - the earlier you buy it the cheaper it is! Further information can be obtained from Theatresearch on Tel:+44 (0) 1423 780497
TMB announced today that Warren Mays, the company’s long-serving technical sales manager, has left the company to join Moodie, Pincu & Associates. Colin Waters, TMB’s CEO told PLASA Media: “Warren has been a great asset to TMB over the years and he will be missed. Because of his understanding of the cooperative relationship between TMB and Moodie-Pincu, we believe this move will lead to many new opportunities for both companies. Moodie-Pincu & Associates is a manufacturer’s representatives in the greater Los Angeles area for Electronic Theatre Controls and other entertainment-based manufacturers of theatrical support equipment.
Pulsar picked up the ‘Excellence in Training’ award at this year’s LIVE! Awards. The award is recognition of their comprehensive range of both Clay Paky and Pulsar technical seminars hosted at their Cambridge HQ, the joint organisation with DI of both the UK and World Light Jockey Contests, and their latest collaboration with PLASA introducing the Student Lighting Designer Award aimed at colleges.
Coe-tech, UK distributors for the Coemar range of stage, effects and architectural lighting fixtures, have three new portfolio additions. The Coemar Supercyc 2.4 is the first ever cyc light offering 425 degrees pan and 212 degrees tilt movement. Making the most of Coemar’s patented Twin Lamp Technology (TLT), the Supercyc 2.4 utilises two powerful 1.2K MSR lightsources, giving an incredible 110,000 lumens output and a colour temperature of 5,900ºK. The Coemar Panorama Cyc Power is a highly flexible CYM cyc floodlight designed for exterior use, again taking advantage of Coemar’s Twin Lamp Technology (TLT), an optical system that multiplies the luminous output while minimising power consumption. The latest model of Coemar’s successful award-winning CF7 luminaire is the CF7 HEX. The HEX version features enhanced optics with a 30% brightness increase, 21 channel mode for even more precise movement and a glass front lens to filter incoming smoke, dust and other potentially troublesome environmental elements. All CF7 features can be made into the HEX model if required with new retrofit kit now available.
The recently-established Crystal Leisure is all set to launch its first major project. The company will unveil plans for a new multi-million pound superclub within the next few months. Summit, as the club will be known, will hold approximately 1500 clubbers and will be situated on Nene Parade in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The company is currently working with leading sound, lighting and design companies to create the look and feel of the club.
The Saint Lambert Cathedral was destroyed during the French Revolution 200 years ago, but in its day was one of the biggest Gothic buildings of its kind in the world, even bigger than Notre Dame in Paris. The city of Liège decided to honor its lost treasure by creating a replica of the church’s ‘heart’. This small piece of what was once an enormous construction is situated in exactly the same location as it was centuries ago. The temporary construction is 30 metres wide, 20 metres deep and 42 metres high. Belgian company Sonoflash was given the task of lighting the cathedral and worked with EVDV (Martin’s Belgian distributor) to spec 10 Martin Exterior 600s with control coming from the Martin ProScenium.
A cutting-edge club sound and lighting system have been detailed and installed by Marquee Audio into the new 2,300-capacity concert and dance venue, The Academy, in Birmingham. Opened in Dale End by the McKenzie Group - owners of the Brixton Academy and Shepherds Bush Empire - some £600,000 has been spent on converting the former Rank-owned Hummingbird, which had been closed for six years before being sold to the London-based entertainment company, into a premier mid-sized concert venues. The brief was to deliver a quality club system into both the major auditorium and 400-capacity auxiliary room. As a result, Marquee spec’d a computer-controlled Turbosound sound system, driven by a combination of 15 MC2 MC-1259 and three MC-750 amplifiers, and digitally distributed through a pair of BSS 9088LL audio matrix devices, with a Soundweb 9010 ‘Jellyfish’ remote providing local access.
As for lighting, Marquee supplied eight Optikinetics Solar 250 projectors, four Deathstar strobes, four Martin MAC 500, eight Martin Destroyer X250 multi-rotating beam effects, 12 Martin PRO 918s and two MAC 250s on the rig - working with a four-head Martin Techno Haze smoke machine - all run from an Avolites Azure 2000 desk. In the secondary room a further four Opti Solar 250s, eight Martin Destroyer X250s and four Martin MX4 intelligent light projectors form the rig, controlled from from a Light Processor QCommander.
DHA has appointed its first distributors in France - Dimatec, La Boutique du Spectacle and Lighting Technology Durango. In addition to an already extensive range of DHA gobos, Dimatec has expanded its stock of products to include DHA's moving effects range and the Gecko image projector. La Boutique du Spectacle is now a stockist of DHA catalogue gobos, moving effects and the DHA Gecko, a compact, low voltage image projector, which can be used as a framing spot or to project images and textured light. Lighting Technology Durango, meanwhile, is now a stockist of DHA gobos and moving effects.
TiLE will be the official European Show of The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). TiLE is aimed at those who have an interest in the future of location-based leisure attractions, whilst TEA is an international alliance of the world's most talented and experienced professionals in the themed attractions industry. The decision coincides perfectly with the 10th anniversaries of both TiLE and TEA and recognises the close relationship that has built up between the two; the European Chapter of TEA (now TEA Europe) was launched at TiLE 1998 in Strasbourg, France, and has become one of the fastest growing chapters of TEA.
Lee Filters is continuing apace with the production of more Designer colours for its 700 Series. Leading lighting designers have been invited by the company to create a colour or colours of their choice. One of the first designers to make the trip to Andover, was David Whitehead, owner of Stage Electrics. He is pictured holding one of his finished creations with Paul Topliss of Lee Filters looking on. Over the coming weeks, several lighting designers will be spending time with the company on the creation of the new range which will officially launched at the PLASA Show in September.
Following the announcement of the new administration and management set-up of the PSA, a substantial package of new benefits for members has been unveiled. A new membership pack has been produced which includes a personal membership identity card, pre-paid subscriptions to appropriate magazines, training information and course dates, training booking forms, a diary section, book list and contacts, plus a new, truly interactive web site which is updated daily. Birmingham-based Business Media Services Ltd (BMS) recently took over the role of administrative and membership operations of the PSA office. Bob Fox, the head of BSM, told PLASA Media: "It is our aim to ensure that members of the PSA get the maximum possible from their association with us. We have put together this new package to increase the benefits that membership brings."
Corporate and industrial event lighting specialists Rainmaker injected drama into the launch of the new BMW engine plant at Hams Hall in Birmingham. Rainmaker’s Paul O’Brien produced a dazzling lighting design for a stage set based on the new BMW engine block. The pistons formed four platforms at different levels, the stage right of which was also a revolve which revealed the new engine. The whole on the interior of the high-tech plant’s parts storage area was also lit by Rainmaker, with electric blue MBI and HQI architectural luminaires. Natural building features like ducting, electricity supplies, pipework, air vents and columns were spectacularly highlighted with ETC Source Four profiles. For stage lighting, O’Brien utilised Studio Spot 250s and a variety of MAC automated lights, Source Four PARs, Source Four 26 degree profiles and cyc floods. The show was programmed and operated by John Harris using an Avolites Pearl 2000 console.
Vertigo Rigging provided 12 motors and a Thomas 30.5 cm box truss to accommodate the lighting equipment and Delta Sound’s audio equipment, as well as building scaffolding platforms for Creative Technology’s projection apparatus. A cross spur from the truss provided rigging points for the house lighting. Vertigo also supplied two cherry pickers used as access for rigging and focussing, and the project was managed and crew-chiefed for them by Paddy Burnside. The production company was ACT Live and the show was production managed by Gary Wilson.http://www.rainmaker.co.ukhttp://www.vertigo-rigging.co.uk
Bill Gallinghouse is rejoining ETC in the newly created role of vice-president of business development. In this position, he will be responsible for special projects and will initially be concentrating on the coordination of international sales efforts. Gallinghouse originally joined ETC in 1990 as vice-president of sales and subsequently served as managing director of ETC Europe between 1996 and 1998. For the last three years he was senior vice-president of sales for Fourth Phase (previously PRG), one of ETC’s key clients.
White Light’s popular ‘Training Initiative’ training and education programme continues to offer opportunities for those involved with theatre lighting to expand their knowledge of new products and techniques - this week with two seminars on the Great American Market GAM range of products, held in association with the Le Mark Group. Products on show will include the GAM colour range, GamChroics coloured glass, GAM gobos, effects such as the GAM TwinSpin gobo rotators, the GAMCommand DMX controllers and BlackWrap. The seminars will take place at White Light’s Filmer Road, London base on Wednesday 21st February. Anyone wishing to attend should E-mail lemark@WhiteLightGroup.co.uk
Police have arrested two more people in connection with allegations of fraud at the Millennium Dome. A man and a woman in their 30s were detained in Liverpool, bringing to six the number of arrests over suspected fraud at the Dome. Property was also seized from two homes and a business in the city's Wavertree area in a joint operation between Merseyside Police and Scotland Yard. The two people were later released on bail, and ordered to return in June. It is believed that the latest arrests are linked to the arrest of four people in autumn last year, related to the investigation of alleged fraud involving a lighting contract at the Millennium Dome. They included a man and a woman, also from Wavertree, a woman in her 60s from West Yorkshire and a man in his 30s from south-east London. There are now four separate enquiries being conducted by the fraud squad involving into Millennium Dome contracts totalling tens of millions of pounds.
Elissa Getto has joined Theatre Projects Consultants as senior theatre consultant in the Norwalk, Connecticut office. She will be a principal member of the team conducting performing arts feasibility studies and advising on a wide range of administration issues. Currently she is working on major studies for the Lincoln Centers in both New York and Dallas. Prior to joining TPC, Getto served as CEO and President of the Westport Country Playhouse, Connecticut and was also president of the Cincinnati Arts Association and an executive director of PACT Inc.
To meet the demand from television and theatre designers for a lower colour temperature version of the Studio Color, High End Systems has introduced the Indy 575, a patented incandescent lamp that gives designers the ability to match the colour temperature and colour rendering of a conventional lighting rig. At a lower colour temperature of 3200K, the new lamp source allows designers to create deeper reds and warmer ambers with color mixing. These colors are more difficult to achieve with the higher colour temperature of the MSR 575/2 discharge lamp normally used in Studio Color. Users of the Studio Color S or Studio Color 575 unit (with electronic ballast - it does not work with the Studio Color M version with a magnetic ballast) can simply remove the MSR575/2 discharge lamp from the unit and plug in the Indy 575. No adjustments or modifications to the fixture are needed, not even for the voltage. The fixture will recognize the lamp and operate it correctly - completely automatically. Indy 575 uses a patented filament design constructed to maximize efficiency with the reflectors in the Studio Color 575 fixture. Dimming is currently mechanical and will also be electronic in future fixture software versions. John Wiseman, VP of worldwide sales, told us: "We listened to designers and we're happy to say we've met their demands. This extends the use of and expands the market for Studio Color 575s in giving designers an arc or incandescent source, while allowing rental houses and production companies the chance to broaden their business."
The Unique Flame Light Co, original manufacturer of silk flame effect units, has gone into liquidation. The company, formed in 1997, had won Awards for its flame effects, notably at The Lighting Show at the NEC in Birmingham, and at Entech 2000 in Sydney, and counted among its clients MTV, BBC, Ministry of Sound, Royal Opera House, New York Metropolitan Opera, the Cannes Film Festival and Celebrity Cruises. Crawley-based Baker Tilly is the appointed liquidator.
International Leisure Industry Week (LIW - 2-4 October 2001, NEC, Birmingham) has appointed Neil Felton as show director. Felton, previously manager for fitness, health and sport at LIW, is now responsible for overseeing the entire exhibition, as well as dealing with the show’s sponsorships and liaising closely with trade associations.