Although its name might suggest comedy, Giggles in Glendale, CA, is actually a dance club which caters to a lively young crowd searching for the latest salsa, disco, and pop music. “We've been open for about nine years and have 15,000 sq. ft. divided into two separate dance floor levels,” says Giggles owner Garnik Galoostian. “It's really two clubs in one and we can often get up to 750 people on a busy weekend.”

In recent months, Giggles was refurbished with new paint and carpeting, and an extensive club lighting, audio, and effects equipment package provided and installed by American Music Center of San Gabriel, CA (also known on the web as www.djnow.com). “One initial goal was to replace a group of eight, older High End Systems Intellabeams® that were starting to fail with something that could do the job equally as well. We considered both High End and Martin fixtures, but the owner wanted something a bit more economical. We decided to use Joy 300s by Elation, and in retrospect they were a great bargain for the price,” according to Richard Rodriguez of American Music Center.

“They're about half the size of the Intellabeams and have similar cabling and power requirements, so the retrofit was extremely quick. We finished in about four or five hours. They're definitely not as bright, but at 40lb each they are quite lightweight and easier to handle than the Intellabeams,” adds Rodriguez.

“I think you have to own a club to know how much dust the speakers can pull up to the ceiling,” explains Galoostian with a laugh, “and people dancing create a lot of dust. So we have to clean the equipment all the time, and since the Joy 300s weigh a lot less, we've already found they're much easier to take down for cleaning. Plus, we've nearly doubled our value by replacing eight fixtures with 12 that offer the same level of technology. You can really feel the difference on the dance floor.”

“Although the Joy 300 has only been on the market a short time, we've already sold 800 to 900 pieces,” says Ron Ramirez, technical director and sales manager at Elation. “The Joy 300 can do things that a single scanner doesn't give you, such as combining main and secondary color wheels, rotating and indexing gobos, adding three- or five-facet prisms or 3200K/5600K color-correction filters. DMX addressing is digital, so we've eliminated the need for dip switches as well. As a rule, Elation's products are designed for bigger, more elaborate productions which need the brightness of discharge lamps and a broader range of features than the American DJ product line can offer.”

“To drive the Joy 300s, we also installed an American DJ ShowDesigner,” says Rodriguez. “Since most of the equipment, even the laser, accepts DMX512, the ShowDesigner system operates nearly all the lighting and effects equipment in the club from the DJ booth and offers 256 programmable chases at the touch of a button. Its capabilities are endless.”

In addition to the Elation automated fixtures, American Music Center also furnished and installed a wide variety of additional gear including a Mobolazer ML840RG laser scanner, High End Dataflash® strobes, Martin 218A RoboScans, Elation Opti Par Cans, JVC projectors, an American DJ 1,200W Terminator effects fixture, and a Jem Magnum Pro fogger. “As a final touch, a specially designed pattern of 16' neon sticks are also suspended across the dance floor to add color,” explains Rodriguez.

“In general, the entire renovation was relatively smooth and the owner seems to feel pretty good about the results,” he adds. Typical of the fast-moving nightclub and bar business, American Music Center is already looking to the future with two new California club projects: Ibiza in Whittier and Wings in West Covina. But those are another story.

Contact the author at citydesignp@earthlink.net.