On October 1, 2007, China’s Suzhou kicked off a yearlong celebration to mark the opening of a new world-class facility: the Suzhou Science and Cultural Arts Center (SSCAC). The 150,000-square-meter structure houses the Grand Theatre with an 18x18-meter multipurpose proscenium stage, a dinner theatre, seven movie theatres, an IMAX theatre, cafes, multifunction halls, an art gallery, a science and technology exhibition, a shopping center, and gardens. The $220 million SSCAC is also home to Suzhou’s largest entertainment lighting system, including a vast array of equipment from ETC (Electronic Theatre Controls).

Designed by architect Paul Andreu and located on the shores of the Jin Ji Lake, the SSCAC consists of two buildings, one in the shape of a crescent moon and the other built to resemble a pearl. Construction began in May 2005 and was completed in 2007, just in time for China’s National Day. Some of the production highlights of SSCAC’s inaugural season were Carmen, The Silk Road, This Night, a special exhibit from Madam Tussaud’s wax museum, the Golden Rooster Film Awards, and performances by the Budapest Orchestra.

SSCAC’s 1,200-seat Grand Theatre and the 500-seat dinner theatre host concerts, plays, operas, ballets, international touring groups and more, and benefit from the flexible power provided by an extensive ETC lighting system. Each theatre uses three ETC Congo™ consoles to control the lighting and dimming is done by an ETC Sensor®+ system for entertainment lighting and an ETC Unison® architectural system for the houselights. The theatres also have a large networking system, including 80 ETC Two-Port Nodes and 15 ETC Net3™ Gateways. A large number of ETC fixtures shine brightly in the Grand Theatre: 650 Source Four® spotlights, 120 Source Four PARNels®, 130 Source Four PARs, and 90 Source Four Revolution® moving lights.