Palmetto Pointe Church

USA - It started in 1994 as the Gatlin Brothers Theatre, and later the Crook and Chase Theatre, before housing Christ United Methodist Church; ultimately, it would become the home of Palmetto Pointe Church. But the building on Fantasy Way in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was always home to some combination of faith and music, and in its current form, its 2,000-seat auditorium hosts Sunday services by Pastor Jamie Barfield and occasional concerts by artists including Tauren Wells and Danny Gokey.

What all of these events now share is a venue with a lighting rig that as of early this year features 30 newly installed elektraLite Stingray Profile Cast RGBW 350-watt ellipsoidal fixtures. The elektraLite fixture arrays were designed and installed by Paul D. Sweetman of Sweetman Designs, who worked with audio specialists MC Sound Consultants to completely renovate the venue’s audio and lighting, a project that began last summer.

“This was an old lighting design that was installed in late 1990s and everything really needed to be updated,” explains Sweetman. “The previous ellipsoidals were worn out and a lot of the moving lights were shot; they just needed to do a refresh. They needed to enhance the production values there, since this is also their broadcast location. Plus, they also host a lot of concerts these days.”

Sweetman hung 16 of the elektraLite Stingray Profile Cast RGBW fixtures at a 19-degree angle from the main catwalk and 14 more at 10 degrees from a second catwalk. “The 19-degree fixtures were only about a 30-35ft throw, but the second catwalk was probably closer to an almost 60ft throw and needed a lot more horsepower and a much tighter beam,” he says. “The Stingray was the perfect choice for all of that.”

Sweetman cites the Stingray’s power efficiency as especially important for cost-conscious churches. “We were able to exchange 1,000-watt ellipsoidals for the Stingray’s 350 watts without losing any illumination and while saving a ton of energy,” he says. “Also, they do television production there, so we needed to do some colour matching for their cameras. They were all using Blackmagic Designs studio cameras and they need a little more horsepower than some of the broadcast-level video cameras, so we needed to get that up.

“And then we also wanted to be able to create even colour washes when there were no key lights needed. The Stingray was the perfect situation for all of that. We had the flexibility to light everybody in white light or in colour - a full stage wash of colour, if necessary. They wanted the ability to be able to go to any colour. In fact, I originally lit the stage for 30 2K fixtures and then realized later on that all of their cameras were colour-temperatured to 56K. So we were immediately able to adjust the colour temperature and bring everything up to 56K. The Stingray really checked a lot of boxes here.”

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