Diamonds, a gentlemen's club in South Dayton, OH, has thrived in the face of adversity. According to Paul Noah, the club's director of operations, “Diamonds opened six years ago, with a full liquor license, as a topless-only club. The local residents were upset; they didn't know that we were the good guys, that we do everything aboveboard. In fact, the sheriff says crime has gone down in our area since we opened.” Thanks to community efforts, Diamonds lost its liquor license two years ago, so, says Noah, “The alternative was to become a private club, with a BYOB system. We make a profit by charging a service fee when a drink is served to the customer. If a customer brings gin, we supply the tonic.” Thanks to Diamonds' new private-club status, it now also features totally nude dancing; Noah says that, as a result, the club is so successful that the owners mandated a complete lighting retrofit, using Martin Professional equipment.

Speaking of the layout in the club, Noah says, “There are four stages. We feature one entertainer per stage in each show, dancing for three songs at a time. The runway [in the middle of the room] is the predominant stage but not necessarily the main focus. Upstage, on the balcony, there are two areas where the floor is made of glass — its dimensions are 6'×6'×9', with a Plexiglas base on top, giving the look of a solid piece of glass. At showtime, each entertainer enters clothed — the mainstage entertainer is in a sequined gown, but the others wear different costumes. They do the first number dressed, the second topless, and the third nude.”

Dave Chesal, entertainment and leisure segment manager of Martin Professional, designed the lighting for Diamonds (equipment was supplied by Sound Ideas, based in Columbus, OH, with the installation supervised by Carl Wake, of Martin technical sales support). Martin got the gig because Luke Liakos, Diamonds' main principal, saw the company's booth at the Gentlemen's Club Expo in Las Vegas. “Our booth was an interactive display,” says Chesal, “a full-size stage setup to show what you could do to your stage, if you have a very good budget. Luke told us, ‘I want the best lighting rig in the country.’”

At the very least, Liakos got a king-sized rig, with a wide variety of units fulfilling different tasks. Chesal notes that Diamonds originally had PAR-38 floods providing ambient downlight. “We replaced them with [Martin] CX-4 color changers, with DMX control, 77 colors, and beam-reducing gobos,” he says. “Working with Total Structures, I came up with a custom football-shaped truss placed in the middle of the room, and at house right and house left, a big E-shaped truss. The top, middle, and bottom parts of the E are controlled by Skjonberg Controls.” Martin MAC 250+s and RoboColor IIIs are placed on the trusses, as well as Jem Club Smoke heads and Trilite police beacons in certain end positions. Also, he says, “We had Showbiz Enterprises produce custom scrims, made of stretch fabric, to fill in the football truss, along with some existing trussing, which is racetrack-shaped and located between the two E-shaped units. The scrim provides a cutout for the mirror ball, which is also motor-controlled.” The truss is movable, courtesy of 10 Columbus McKinnon Lodestar motors, with DMX encoders installed in them.

This is just the beginning, Chesal says. “Built into the stage floor are rows, stage left and stage right, of eight RoboScan 812s, which act as ground lights for the runway. Just above that, at stages left and right, are rows of five [Martin] MX-4 scanners. The side stages have four CX-2s each and a Punisher,” one of Martin's intelligent effects units. “Behind the runway, near the doorway, there are two Punishers countersunk into the walls, and two SynchroZaps [another effects unit, with a variable strobe] bolted together to create a double SynchroZap just above the door.” Just to top things off, “On an island at the end of the runway, we have eight [Martin] MiniMAC washes and eight MiniMAC profiles, with four additional MiniMAC washes — two on each side of the runway.”

The reason for all the gear, says Chesal, is, “We wanted to create a lot of layers, a feeling of animation in the room, and to use different groups of units for different effects. The MiniMAC washes and profiles provide projections on the scrim, they move around the stage, giving you aerial effects. Then they drop out and you get aerials from the MAC 250+s around the room with MAC 300s providing a very even front wash. Side-emitting fiber outlines the stage floor and compliments the sweeping banks of floor- and ceiling-mounted scanners; the entire room is brought to life when all the fixtures create a random strobe chase, as the trusses are lowered within inches of the customers' reach.”

Lighting for the club is controlled by a Martin LightJockey system, which includes two 17" flat-screen monitors and one 17" CRT touch-screen monitor for the virtual 2532 direct access. Programming was done by Peter Moore, of Lightspeed Productions, a designer in his own right. Other pieces of the equipment list include 10 Diversitronics Strobe Domes and three Jem Club Smoke Systems. (“As the truss comes down,” says Chesal, “the police beacons are flashing; then when the truss goes up, the Jem Club Smoke fires, and it's like a rocket blasting off.”) There's also a custom-designed laser system, provided by Jay “Woody” Markland. It's enough to take your eyes off the nude dancers, although Noah says that adult film star Jenna Jameson calls Diamonds “my favorite club ever.” At any rate, Diamonds now has a lighting rig to match its world-class ambitions.

Contact the author at dbarbour@intertec.com.

DIAMONDS

8

Martin Professional MiniMAC profiles

12

Martin MiniMAC washes

22

Martin MAC 250+ profiles

2

Martin MAC 300 washes

10

Martin MX-4 scanners

16

Martin RoboScan 812s

16

Martin CX-4 color/gobo changers

8

Martin CX-2 color/gobo changers

12

Martin RoboColor IIIs

2

Martin SynchroZap QX250s

4

Martin Punishers

2

Martin DMX 6-way switch packs

2

Martin 2510 Playback controllers

3

Martin 4-channel opto-isolated RS-485 splitters

2

Martin RoboColor Pro 400 fiber-optic illuminators

100'

solid-core side light fiber cable

10

Diversitronics Dome Cannon strobes

6

Trilite MK XII red police beacons

2

10'×12"×12" heavy-duty truss

6

6'×12"×12" heavy-duty truss

6

heavy-duty bookend hinges

1

14'×7' elliptical custom 12"×12" truss

10

Columbus McKinnon Lodestar 1-ton hoists

1

Skjonberg Controls 10-way DMX hoist control

1

Martin LightJockey controller Club version