Metropolis AV and FX has recently completed the design, supply, and install of an entire lighting, sound, and AV system at the new Sports Café in Manchester, England. The £1.2 million project converted a utilitarian 1960s office block in central Manchester into a modern sports-themed environment on two levels with a total capacity of 1,600 persons.

The venue's overall visual ambience is open, inviting, and action-packed. Facilities include bar and dining areas with a large dance floor, a mezzanine chill-out/games area with 16 pool tables, a team room for private functions, and, behind a laminated glass wall visible from the street, a basketball practice area.

The client specifically wanted one design and supply company to fulfill the complete technical brief. The Sports Café's technical infrastructure was designed by Metropolis' Simon Harris. Project manager was Stuart Clowes. The interior designers/architects were Sutherland Smith, and shop fitting was by WFS.

For lighting, the brief was to make the dance floor area lighting colorful and stimulating. Simon Harris chose 12 of the versatile new Robe Colour Spot 160 fixtures, used for all the projection and beam effects. In addition there are two internally-wired bars, each containing 18 1kW PAR cans for concentrated bursts of color and light. The general environmental lighting in the dance floor area is enhanced with 12 Martin Professional Alien color-changing fixtures used to wash the long curved wall running the length of the dance floor. All lighting is controlled via a Pulsar Masterpiece desk.

Metropolis specified 50 Thompson 25"-wide TV screens, installed throughout the venue, plus two dozen 28" screens, and six 42" plasmas behind the bars. A total of 18 15" TFT screens were specified--eight in the men's restroom, two in the women's, six in the restaurant booths, and two on the drink stands in the pool area.

There are two Sanyo PLCXP 40 projectors installed, one at either end of the dance floor, plus a Sanyo SU33 in the team room on the ground floor. All AV and satellite outputs can be patched to any screen destination via a Kramer video matrix system, picked for its flexibility and easy setup and maintenance.