A Double Century for the Empire Theatre, Toowoomba

Posted on Monday, May 9th, 2011

The Empire Theatre in Toowoomba, which will be able to mark 100 years since it opened (originally as a motion picture theatre) in June this year, has taken receipt of no fewer than 104 Philips Selecon SPX fixtures for installation into a redeveloped intimate performance space and the main auditorium (pictured), supplied by The Production Shop in Brisbane.

“That another regional theatre in Queensland has gone with the SPX adds further credence to the fixture’s brilliance,” said Graeme Hicks of The Production Shop. “We’re very proud to have supplied the SPX, as well as the Rama Fresnel  to such an historic venue, especially given that they are being combined with Strand Lighting dimming and control.”

Included in the package were;
• 30 x Philips Selecon SPX 15-35 degree zoomspots
• 30 x Philips Selecon SPX 25-50 degree zoomspots
• 24 x Philips Selecon SPX 14 degree fixed beams
• 20 x Philips Selecon SPX 50 degree fixed beams
• 18 x Philips Selecon Rama High Performance 80V fresnels
• 1 x Strand Lighting 200+ series console
• 4 x Strand Lighting 12 channel  wall mount dimmers
• 3 x Strand Lighting 12 channel relay racks
• Power supplies and accessories to suit

The Philips Selecon and Strand solution was chosen by the Empire’s Kerry Saul and Tim Panitz who have, as ever, been instrumental in managing the project and getting the job done.

“Having considered the alternate options, we chose the SPX due to its impressive light output alongside the many subtle features that make it easy to use. The exceptional engineering of the units is clearly evident, oh and our crew love them.” said Tim Panitz. “The 80v Rama Fresnel and associated 80v Dimmer have a beautiful output from such a small package and will help reduce our power use as well.”

The project is jointly funded by  Arts Queensland and the Toowoomba Regional Council.

The Empire Theatre  originally opened in June 1911, operating as a flourishing silent movie house up until February 1933 when fire broke out and it was almost completely destroyed.

In November 1933 the theatre reopened with an art deco architectural style in keeping with the fashion of the 30s. The newly opened cinema and live performance theatre was equipped with the most up to date facilities and held 2,400 people making it the largest regional theatre in Australia.
Today the theatre is part of a stimulating complex and is heritage listed by the National Trust of Queensland.