NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – It’s an all too familiar story: a beloved historic theatre slowly falls into disrepair, and where music and dancing used to reverberate off its rafters, cobwebs now hang in silence. And while it may be the end for some theatres across the nation, The Civic Theatre in New Orleans was given a second chance and revitalization, thanks to the Solomon Group and Bandit Lites, in an effort that was recognized with the Seventh Annual Excellence in Live Design Awards for Venue - Theatre.
In what is being hailed as “the first modern historic theatre,” The Civic Theatre received an entire overhaul, while still maintaining the historic characteristics that make it so unique. The Solomon Group took painstaking care to ensure that no detail, down to the plaster on the balcony, kept the architectural integrity remained intact.
The execution of the design for every aspect of the theatre, including the floor, the lighting and the sound, was to keep the space as versatile as possible. Today, the space can have a completely flat open floor space from front to back for standing room only concerts, or wall to wall tables and the audience level raised to stage height for weddings and conferences, or classic tiered seating for those who are watching the latest TED talk or stage play.
John Jenkinson of Bandit Lites was invited to work with the Solomon Group to design and install a lighting system that would allow for the broad range of events that will utilize space.
“In the lighting system, we wanted the flexibility to input or output DMX wherever you needed in the theatre,” said Jenkinson. “Steve Fink (of Solomon Group) and I sat down in his office and put pen to paper on what the system needed to be, where we needed to have connectivity, and basically what all needed to be in the building.”
The ETC Paradigm and ETC network and DMX distribution systems allow the theatre to support whatever touring or rental system someone might bring in for a specific event, and with acts such as Passion Pit and Black Crowes already scheduled to perform, it was definitely a wise decision.
Other equipment includes 96 Channel ETC Sensor Dimmers, ETC Ion control console, 40 Source 4 Lekos, 40 Chauvet Colorado 2 Zoom LED Wash Fixture and 90 Iluminarc Ilumipod Logic Tri-4 RGB Fixture.
Solomon Group also installed a small of group of fixtures to be the architectural features for the building.
"All house lighting in the theatre is made up of either RBG or variable white fixtures to break down the fourth wall of the theatre,” explained Fink. “We wanted for the LD to be able to envelope the audience with the color and the feel of the stage. This color changing abilities also allow easy customization for corporate and event clients."
“I wish to thank the Solomon Group and the highly talented Bandit sales team for making this award possible, and for delivering with such excellence. Chris Barbee, John Jenkinson and the entire sales team always deliver quality at such a high level that they continually raise the bar,” says Bandit Chair, Michael T. Strickland. “Winning this very prestigious award from our peers is an amazing feat, one of which we are very proud!”
Bandit Lites is thrilled to be one part of a team that works to keep these historical treasures around for future generations to enjoy. Hopefully for the Civic Theatre in New Orleans, the music will never again cease.
About Bandit Lites, Inc.
Bandit Lites is a global leader in the entertainment lighting marketplace. From touring productions to fixed installations, Bandit Lites has a full staff of highly trained professionals to deal with all types of lighting needs. Bandit’s global presence will insure seamless transitions no matter where your next show takes you.