Crown’s The Palms doesn’t gamble when it involves lighting

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2012

With its stylish finish and fantastic stage views, The Palms at Crown is one of Melbourne’s great entertainment venues. This amazing theatre venue has just been given a technical facelift by Let There Be Light. Lightmoves supplied the equipment and naturally there are plenty of Show Technology products helping in the rejuvenation!

Kait Hall and Cam McKaige have been looking after the venue’s lighting requirements for the past fourteen years, taking time out to tour with a variety of artists.

Martin MAC700 fixtures have been part of the venue’s standard rig for some time but the recent overhaul has seen the numbers swell to nineteen Martin MAC700 spots and fifteen MAC700 washes.

“They’re such a reliable fixture and they are something that most touring lighting designers are happy to use,” commented Kait. “They work really well in the room and between the two models we pretty much get the bulk of our touring acts requests satisfied.”

After many years of faithful service the Clay Paky Stage Zooms at Crown’s The Palms have been replaced with seven Clay Paky 1500 HPE’s.

“We looked at lots of different models but have always liked Clay Paky’s range of gobos which is really important because we use them not just as front wash but also to project onto the cyc and other drapes,” remarked Cam. “We were impressed with the zoom range and output compared to some other similar products on the market.”

“We’ve always been very happy with the optics of the Clay Paky fixtures in general,” added Kait. “The Clay Paky 1500 HPE’s are very versatile as we can use them as a frosted wash or for projection. They really were head and shoulders above the other fixtures on the market in that size. They’re punchy, they have a lot of good gobos and the frost is superior to anything else on the market. That was very important to us.”

Eight StudioDue CS4 were chosen to replace the venue’s conventional ACL fixtures.

“They are a good, safe, OH&S-friendly option” said Kait. “Plus they’ve proven to be really flexible as far as how people use them. With the old ACLs there was a lot of labour involved changing bulbs and refocussing the ACLs so the CS4’s save a lot of time.”

The venue has had Pro Shop Tri Colour MultiPARs installed for a couple of years with the recent upgrade introducing thirty-two Pro Shop Quad Colour MultiPARs.

“The QuadPARs have replaced the entire traditional analogue PARs and they have been really well received by everyone who uses the room,” said Kait. “At the moment we use all of the QuadPARs for rear wash but I guess they’re more for eye candy than anything else. The Tri Colour MultiPARs are used for truss toning vertical truss and also for front wash.”

Having used a Robert Juliat 1200 follow spot for quite sometime, Kait was delighted to get two Robert Juliat Flo 1800 follow spots in the upgrade.

“They have probably been one of the best purchases,” she revealed. “We surveyed all of our follow spot operators beforehand and everyone put their hands up for Robert Juliat. They are far superior to the follow spots we used to have. I like that they have a frost that is easily usable without taking up the colour frame slot. The colour changing mechanism is really easy to use too. The dimmer is a really nice feature; the fact that you can dim whilst moving the spot without taking your hand off the fixture makes them really popular.”

A MA Lighting fullsize grandMA console has been installed for several years and as yet there are no plans to upgrade to the MA2.

“We’re still more than happy with our grandMA as its ultra reliable and easy to program,” said Kait.

Pictured are images from ‘Voices – Reaching Out’ with lighting designed by Rohan Thornton

Photographer : Gary Davey, Lighting Lab