Located in the heart of the historic Colony District of Anaheim and opened this past June, Club Ember is a dazzling homage to 1930s glamour conjured out of a derelict building. The 6,000sq-ft., two-story structure is home to a restaurant on the second floor, multiple VIP lounges, three full bars, and a DJ/dancing area. The club's owners — Bill Taormina, a local developer; his son-in-law Steve Elkins; and managing partner Steve Norman, a 10-year veteran club proprietor — took an old dilapidated building that was “like a shell,” according to lighting designer Richard Rutherford, and turned it into a “dramatic but not overdone” showplace.

Charles Doell, the club's project designer, says that Ember started out with a “clean mid-century feel that morphed into something a bit more theatrical. The design became more glamorized, with a Golden Age of Hollywood aura — huge ball chandeliers reminiscent of Grand Central Station, over-scaled theatrical backdrops of European châteauxs and Hollywood mansion interiors, all set in a building that feels a bit like a sound stage at Paramount Pictures.”

Doell notes that getting maximum bang for the buck was a major goal during the renovations, and updating the building itself, as well as the addition of the restaurant upstairs, consumed most of the budget. How did the team get the glamorous results they wanted without going broke? “We had to be creative in order to flesh out the interior so as not to look unfinished in any way,” Doell says. To achieve this, the designers took advantage of the ceiling height and created 11'-tall cabana structures surrounding the dance floor. Curved wooden beams on the original ceiling were also salvaged and incorporated into the club's design, now sporting retro-inspired decorative globes.

The first floor room comprises Ember's main club area, and large carved rings embellish the open grillwork of the cabanas lining the walls around the dance floor. Each cabana is outfitted with a silvery-colored sofa, backed by different printed theatrical fabrics that give each one its own unique look. Acclaim Lighting X-Bar RGB LED tubes downlight the cabanas, varying the moods as they change colors. “You see things in the fabric murals that you didn't see before; they have this dimensional morphing,” says Rutherford. The sofas' reflective silver also changes colors with the RGBs.

Ember's main service bar is in full view from the cabanas, located in front of the club's outdoor smoking patio, where three Sanyo PLC-XU74 LCD video projectors are situated. The back wall of the bar is triple-frosted glass and appears to be all video and is visible both inside and outside. “This is a pretty simple arrangement with SAT receivers and DVD players on a matrix switcher,” Rutherford explains. “We opted not to do HD because the resolution on frosted glass would not improve much, and the concept was for adaptable eye candy — not a sports bar environment. Conceptually, we wanted to provide simple operation and flexibility.” There is also prewiring for CCTV cameras, video recoding, large projection screens, and more 50" plasma displays. Additionally, there is also a VIP alcove with two 32" LCD monitors that can display any of the desired inputs at any time.

The upper level video utilizes a Sanyo 5,000-lumen projector to provide a visual backdrop for the entire room. A 20" diagonal picture splashes across a series of motorized Lutron window shades. Continuing to keep flexibility in mind, there are also two 50" LCD monitors that can display from an HD SAT receiver, local DVD, or video sent from the lower level.

A second bar near the club's entrance features a fabric and glass color-changing effect. Sheer fabric was installed inside a 6" glass wall and is uplit with Acclaim's X-Bar HP RGB tubes for what Rutherford describes as a “very rich, dynamic, saturated effect.” Six Elation Power Spot 250 moving heads emanate out of the club's far wall near the DJ booth. In addition to downlighting the dance floor, they can change the look of the room when their rotating effects shoot upward through the wooden beams. Elation's Show Designer 2 console and DR-512 DMX recorder are used to program and control the lighting.

The overall goal was to create a feel with the video and lighting that enhances the look of the club without taking away from it, something Doell believes was achieved. “They aren't just a story in themselves,” he says. Rutherford agrees, saying, “We hope the end result is an environment that provides visual sensuality, intellectual interest, and lends appropriate focal points to high-function locations like the back bars.”



1 Sanyo 5,000-Lumen Video Projector PLC-XU101

3 Sanyo PLC-XU74 LCD Projector

1 Kramer VS88V Composite 8×8 Matrix Switcher

2 32" Display

1 Numark Triple LCD Monitor Assembly

1 Sony Progressive Scan VHS/DVD Player/Tuner

1 Panasonic DVR/DVD Recorder


1 Elation Show Designer SD2CF DMX Console

2 Elation DR-512 DMX Recorder

1 Elation 1×6 DMX Optic Isolator

6 Elation Power Spot 250 Fixture

90 Acclaim X-Tube 500 RGB

12 Acclaim X-Tube 500

9 Acclaim X-Bar HP RGB

18 Elation Design Bricks LED RGB Fixture

18 Custom Barn Door

25 LED Effects Custom RGB LED

625' Amber LED Rope Lighting, Custom Cut

1 Acclaim CLG-100-24VDC Power Supply


4 QSC MD-15 90 × 40 DEG 15" Two-Way Speaker

4 QSC MD-15 120 × 40 DEG 15" Two-Way Speaker

4 QSC MD-S218 Dual 18" Subwoofer

1 QSC CX 204V 4-Channel 70V Amplifier

2 QSC RMX 5050 Amplifier

4 QSC CX902 900W Amplifier

4 QSC AD-S52T Surface Mount Speaker

4 QSC AD YM-5 Yoke Mount

2 QSC AD-S82 8" Two-Way 70V High Powered

2 QSC AD-YM8T Mount with 70V Xformer

2 QSC AD-C152T Recessed Ceiling Speaker 70V

1 QSC CX 204V 4-Channel 70V Amplifier

4 QSC AD-C152T 70V

1 DBX 4820 4×8 DSP

1 DBX Master Preset Remote Assembly/Lower ZC-3

1 DBX Remote Volume Control Assembly ZC-1

1 DBX ZC-3 Remote Master Volume/Upper Level

1 DBX ZC-1 Remote Volume Control Assembly

1 DBX Zone Pro 640 Preamp

4 Pioneer CDJ1000-MK3

2 Pioneer DJM-600 Mixer

2 Technics Turntables

1 Shure DJ Mic Assembly

2 8" Two-Way Powered DJ Monitor

8 6" Two-Way 70V

1 15" Powered Subwoofer

2 Sony DVD Player

2 Littlelite 12" Desk Light

1 Lyntec MSLC-326-12 Remote On/Off Sub-Assembly

3 Lyntec MB-20 Motorized Breaker


Andy Bacon

Ron Ross

Lisa Tanner