Paul Kinsey, deputy director of operations at First Leisure has led a management buy-out of the Group's nightclub and bars division. The £210.5million asking price was reached with a little help from investment company Candover, also recently involved in the acquisition of Earls Court Exhibition Centre. The division includes just over 60 clubs and themed venues.
FX rentals recently helped producer Tristin Norwell (producer of Talvin Singh's Mercury Award-winning album 'OK') when he wanted to convert a Gloucestershire manor house into an impromptu recording facility. The company provided a rental package based around a Studer A827 analogue two-inch 24-track tape machine running with Dolby A, 32-channel and 24-channel Mackie mixing desks, Munro MA1 monitors and an extensive range of mixing equipment. The facility was used for the recording of Embrace's new album.
Early December will see the Clothes Show Live, in association with the British Heart Foundation, at the NEC in Birmingham. Lighting a whole host of the latest fashions from the world's top British and International fashion designers will be numerous Martin Macs (controlled by a WholeHog system) supplied and installed by Stage Electrics. The show has been organised by Barker Brown Ltd on behalf of the BBC Haymarket Exhibitions Ltd.
A tri-amped Martin Audio THX system has been specified for the feature cinema at the three-screen York City Screen cinema. Arranged in L-C-R configuration, the three-way system includes three Screen 5s and a pair of Screen Sub 2s, with 16 Effect 5s for the surround sound. Amplification is from QSC. The system is accompanied by the new THX-SG01 digital crossover, which is tailored to the speaker type as well as to the positions of the speakers in the auditorium. The system was installed by South London-based cinema specialist, Future Projections.
Gemini Sound Products has launched the CDJ-10 professional CD player, a small, top-loading, frame accurate CD player featuring a variable pitch control of +/- 16%, three time display modes, reverse and forward stutter, cue function and continuous play mode. Also new from Gemini is the Scoop series of loudspeaker enclosures, which include single 15", double 15" and sub-bass units.
Clever Group, the WPP Group's facilities and events company, has announced that David Pacy is returning to the company as chairman and chief executive officer with immediate effect. Pacy takes over from Stuart Appleton who will be leaving the company to pursue other interests. Pacy founded the original Clever Group (then called Metro Video) in 1980.The Clever Group includes Metro Broadcast, Metro Tyrell, Metro Staging, Metro East, Metro Ecosse and Clever Technology. From January 2000, the group will assume the Metro name once more. The creative production arm of the group, Clever Media, will be combined with Enterprise IG, WPP's global branding and identity company.
Stagetec has just completed the supply and installation of a complete new sound and lighting system for Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest. The sound system is to be used for everything from school assemblies to rock concerts and consists of two pairs of Martin Audio EM186 speakers for the main seating area and a pair of Martin Audio EM76 speakers for the balcony. Foldback was provided by a pair of Renkus-Heinz Qube 12s whilst the sound system is processed utilising a BSS Soundweb enabling the system to be fully commissioned and then left to run with no user controls. A complete new lighting installation was carried out including new lighting bars, socket outlet boxes and a cord patch unit incorporating six Light Processor Paradime dimmer packs controlled from a Compulite Photon lighting desk with riggers control. The existing luminaire stock was refurbished and additional units were supplied consisting of Selecon Pacific profile spots, CCT Freedom fresnels and ADB floods.
Blitz Vision and TP Sound Services, two divisions of the Blitz Communications Group, recently provided visual and audio support for the Marks & Spencer AGM at The Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, for production company HP:ICM. Two main screens with 9200 Reality Projectors and a four camera portable production unit. Full two-way audio links, along with back-up audio and communications links via telephone lines, were taken into three separate overflow areas to accommodate the 2,700 shareholders attending the event.
Following our recent news that John Adams is to leave High End Systems, Bob Schacherl, president of High End Systems, has told us: "John's departure from HES was a result of our transitioning his position as international sales and operations director over to our European headquarters in London. John was not able to relocate back to the UK due to his desire to remain in the United States."Adams, High End's international sales and operations director, has been with the Texas-based manufacturer for six years.
Vari-Lite has announced that it has sold off its stock of automated lighting equipment located in Australia to local distributor Jands Electronics, which will now become the exclusive distributor of Vari-Lite products for sale in Australia and New Zealand. Rusty Brutsche, chairman and CEO of Vari-Lite, called the move "a natural progression of our relationship with Jands."
At the recent LDI Show in Orlando, the awards ceremony held on the morning of the last day of the show recognised the achievements of individuals and companies within this industry.Two industry veterans stepped up to collect awards for their long-time contributions to the industry. The Wally Russell Award went to Don Stern, whilst the Light in Life Award was awarded to Sonny Sonnenfield. On the lighting design front, the work of three lighting designers was recognised. In the architectural category, Pat Gallegos' picked up the award; in the entertainment category this went to Don Holder, whose many recent credits include the design for Disney's Lion King and in the themed project category, Anne Militello was honoured for her lighting designs for theme parks, notably the recently opened Spiderman ride at Universal's new Islands of Adventure. Just one award was offered on the sound designer front and this went to John Micelli of Soundelux Showorks.On the product front, the awards were as follows:Sound Product: VRAS (Variable Room Acoustics System) from Level Control Systems.Software Product: Horizon and WYSIWYGScenic Effect: 180 Degree Lens from Hardware XenonRigging and Hardware: The LinkLift from ProtecProduct of the Year/Architecture: Mini Mac Profile/ Wash from Martin professionalProduct of the Year/Entertainment: Cyrano from Robert JuliatPlus there was a special award for product development given to LSD/PRG for its Icon M.Laserlite FX collected an award for the Laser Show of the Year.As part of the LDI Awards, ESTA also presented their own range of awards. The Extendabl
Vari-Lite unveiled its first-ever line of direct sales products at the recent LDI show in Orlando. The new products are the VL2400 series wash luminaire and the VL2201 spot luminaire, which will be available in the New Year. These products are aimed specifically at permanent installations, and focuses for the first time on entertainment venues - such as community arts venues, theatres, places of worship and theme parks - which were not served by the company's traditional rental-only operations.The VL2400 is based on the Emmy Award-winning VL5 family; the 2400 series will six configurations of the 2400 wash luminaire, each with either collimated beam or beam spreader options. Sources include 1200W and 1000W incandescent or 1200W and 625W arc versions. The compact and lightweight VL2201 meanwhile, is based on the VL6B spot luminaire, with 3:1 zoom optics, rotating gobos and a centre beam intensity greater than competing 575W fixtures. Both series are operable through standard DMX-512 standard control consoles, as well as the company's own Virtuoso desk.
Mike Lowe has confirmed that he is closing down Teatro srl after 12 years in the business. He has contacted all the company's distributors and is currently engaged in the process of selling off the company's stock at near cost price.The company was established in February 1987 when Bruno Dedoro of club lighting effects manufacturer Coemar was looking to develop a new range of products aimed specifically at theatre. Mike Lowe had recently resigned as managing director of Strand Lighting and so the two formed a partnership with Teatro taking up residence next door to the main Coemar HQ in Castel Goffredo. Over the years the company developed a complete range of professional theatre lighting, which began with the 1k Tratto and 2k Acuto and grew to embrace a full range of profiles, PCs, fresnels, floods, cyclorama, followspots, parlights, colour changers and accessories.
Boston-based digital lighting manufacturer Color Kinetics has served a cease and desist writ on UK company Artistic Licence. The order relates to Artistic's Colour-Fill LED technology which Color Kinetics believes is trade-dressed to look like its own line of digital colour-changing lights. The order, which is not related to patent infringement, was served on the first day of the LDI Show in Orlando.
At the start of the final day of LDI '99 in Orlando, Florida, attendance had reached 11,800 - a substantial increase over last year's final attendance figures, making Orlando '99 the best-attended LDI Show in history. Over 180 companies took to the show floor in Orlando to launch a range of new products and services. A full show report will appear in the December issue of Lighting & Sound International.
Martin Professional luminaires have been making a big impact on the UK touring scene recently. Currently in the middle of a busy UK tour, Welsh band the Super Furry Animals are touring with a rig supplied by Prism Lighting. LD Nick Jevons spec'd 12 MAC 500s for the whole of the tour, along with six newly-acquired MAC 300 moving head luminaires for the closing dates, all controlled by an Avolites' Pearl desk.Rental company Eurolites supplied eight Martin MAC 500s for the recent UK tour by The Stranglers, and eight MAC 500s for Elkie Brooks, who tours through to April 2000 with lighting design by Ian Bintlift. Control for both the Stranglers and Elkie Brooks is again from an Avo' Pearl.
London-based rental company, Entec Sound & Light has invested in several pieces of equipment from Klark Teknik to complete the inventory for the last leg of a European tour by British band Skunk Anansie. The equipment includes a complete Klark Teknik DN3600 programmable graphic EQ system supplied by Shuttlesound, and Midas XL-4 and Heritage 3000 mixing desks courtesy of LMC Audio.
High End Systems has launched a new automated luminaire - the Studio Beam - which adds a third type of automated light, the Pebble Convex automated fixture, to the designer's tool kit. The Pebble Convex (PC) optical train produces a unique quality of light, distinct from a fresnel wash or ellipsoidal spot. Variable soft-edge and extremely high output blending distribution, coupled with a large zoom range and intense beam shaping give the Studio Beam PC a unique niche in lighting design and application. Using a new short-arc lamp and a patented combination elliptical/spherical reflector and aspheric lens system, the Studio Beam PC produces output levels one would previously only expect from much larger units.With its wide zoom range, intense output and compact size, Studio Beam PC is ideal for soft-edge key and long-throw highlighting, as well as providing aerial effects. Other features include full CYM colour-mixing, three additional discrete dichroic colors, an internal preset system, and 540 degree by 287 degree movement.An Adobe Acrobat version of the Studio Beam PC brochure can be downloaded from the High End website.
Busch Creative Services designed and produced the main exhibit displays at the 50,000sq.ft Spirit of Ford Tour Center, which opened in Dearborn, Missouri, earlier this year. One of the requirements was to create a large-scale animated display for the centre atrium of the building, which would be effective in high ambient light. The company opted for a 53ft by 8ft Electrosonic videowall, fed by DVD players, and consisting of 80 40-inch projection cubes. The Electrosonic videowall was chosen for its bright output and flexible programming options.
The recent AES Convention in New York saw the first Stateside sales of the new BSS FDS-366 Omnidrive Compact Plus, with the first six units being sold to On Stage Audio of Chicago, through Mike Flynn of Sound Marketing.Thomas Nicks of On Stage Audio commented on the purchase: "We have worked with BSS products for the last few years, and when Mike Flynn and Paul Freudenberg (of BSS USA) showed us the specification for the new FDS-366 earlier this year we instantly decided to place an order. The huge advantages of the system are the 96kHz sampling rate, the addition of a third auxiliary input and the ability to use the unit with the BSS Soundbench PC control software."Several further sales announced at the AES Convention included the sale of four units to the Hit Factory in Florida.
The rapidly-expanding Fiddlers Pub Company has recently installed Xtra Music satellite systems into six of its premises in North London. Fiddlers' John Tann said: "We are a very cosmopolitan chain, and the music we play in our venues needs to match that feel. Having 80 channels of uninterrupted digital music allows us to change the mood of our outlets quickly and seamlessly, and offers incredible value for money when compared to alternative systems."Xtra Music's system provides 80 channels of continuous CD quality stereo music, with the benefits of no commercials, no DJs, no interruptions, no moving parts and no playback media.
In another important announcement, automated lighting manufacturer High End Systems is introducing a major upgrade to the its Cyberlight automated luminaire, which they claim will double the light output of the unit. The enhanced fixture will be known as the Cyberlight Turbo, and benefits from improvements in short arc source technology and High End's expertise in optical design have yielded substantial improvements in several areas. Photonic output has been dramatically increased - Cyberlight Turbo offers up to 100% increased light output with no increase in power consumption. Additionally, a new twin achromatic lens system results in an improved focus quality.
Gearhouse Australia, will be supplying turnkey operational facilities for major German broadcaster ARD/ZDF at the Sydney Olympics next year. Stephen Chadwick, general manager of the company's Broadcast division, said of the project: "Each day, the Gearhouse facilities will produce more than 30 hours of programmes that will be screened in Germany through two free-to-air stations and one paid service. We are obviously delighted to be supporting one of the world's lading broadcasters." This latest deal brings the total value of Gearhouse Australia's Olympics contracts to more than $10m.
Industry veteran Paul Sonnleitner has joined High End Systems as Director of Special Projects - East Coast, to be based in the new East Coast sales, support and training facility opening early next year in New York City. Sonnleitner is a well-respected lighting programmer who entered the lighting industry as a technician on the touring production of Sesame Street in the early 90s. In 1995 he moved to New York and debuted on Broadway working with Paul Gallo on Big, programming the Wholehog II. He has since worked on countless Broadway shows including Titanic, Civil War, Scarlet Pimpernel, and others. He also has gained significant exposure lighting mammoth corporate displays at events including Comdex and E3.