Jands Lighting Products Installed Into Albany Entertainment Centre

Posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011


In 2009 Stagecraft was engaged as Theatre Equipment Contractor for the $70m Albany Entertainment Centre. In December 2010, the commencement of operations of this regional arts and conference venue on the shores of Princess Royal Harbor was finally realised after a lengthy gestation period that saw local and State governments come and go, and the commissioning of many reports and studies – most of which appear to have been forgotten or ignored.

The Albany Entertainment Centre is by far the most ambitious regional venue to be built in Western Australia. Cutting edge architecture which, as one wit put it, ‘looks like a morph between Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim Museum and Utzon’s Sydney Opera House’ encases a 600 seat orthodox-format theatre and a multi-functional studio which is in effect two large rooms dividable by an operable wall.

As Western Australia’s largest and most experienced entertainment engineering company, Stagecraft was well placed to undertake the comprehensive design, supply and installation of theatre equipment for this challenging project. Nevertheless, Albany is five hours by road from Stagecraft’s new purpose-built premises in Perth, so many logistical challenges presented themselves during the twelve month installation period.

The specification in many cases matched Jands products including a large proportion of the stage lighting kit. Lighting fixtures included ten Vari*Lite VL1000 which Technical Manager John Metski describes as a nice theatrical light that caters well to the venue’s needs.

“They’re incandescent and have a good shutter facility,” he added. “As well as a remaining stock of ETC Source Four Juniors that came from the Town Hall when it closed, we now also have sixty-four ETC Source Fours PARs which really are industry standard and much better than any of the imitations on the market.”

The main room uses an ETC Ion chosen for its’ popularity in the theatre domain with many of the shows that come through the venue specifying one.

“It’s a very good theatrical console and is brilliant for conventional lights,” said John. “In the multi-function Studio we have an ETC Element which covers what we need it for with ease.”

A total of sixteen HPC and 2HP6 dimmer racks (204 dimmers total) were installed in the main theatre with data communication via Pathport nodes. The Studio utlises two Jands HPC racks.

“The Pathport works well and does what it needs to do,” said John. “The dimmers work fine and also just do what they’re supposed too!”

Stagecraft chose to use Jands products in other areas as well. Jands field plates and wall and stage boxes proved to be particularly handy in organising the multitude of audio, video and comms systems called for in the specs. Jands Ezicom intercom systems were installed in both venues.