19 Jan 2023

Show Technology Aids the Revival of Northcote Theatre

Melbourne’s oldest cinema has been transformed into the city’s newest live music venue.

The heritage-listed Northcote Theatre, built on High Street in 1912, reopened in July with its Baroque-style auditorium ready to host up to 1500 punters. Its original facade and interior remain mostly intact, including a grand, high-vaulted ceiling decorated with ornate plaster work. A mezzanine area overlooking the auditorium that had been boarded up since the 1960s has been crafted into a glamorous cocktail bar, in addition to an Italian trattoria and a wine bar on the ground floor. A rooftop bar will soon top off the venue.

New operator Andrew Mansfield, who also co-founded the Northcote Social Club, worked closely with Show Technology to ensure the venue could offer the best in entertainment lighting technology.


“Show Technology has been amazing,” he commented. “It was imperative to have a good lighting rig to ensure shows at this level.”

Beyond the capacity that entices the promotor, it’s often the technical specifications that decide whether or not a venue is suitable for an act. So it was important to get that right but also to consider how the lighting could highlight the magnificence of the building.”

Along with Andrew, the crew from Show Technology worked out a rig that was comparable to similar venues such as The Forum.


“We didn’t go into this knowing what we wanted in terms of gear, which is the beauty of working with professionals such as Show Technology, who could advise as to the sort of lighting that would be most effective in the space,” said Andrew. “While we were going through the build, they would come out and rig lighting to show us what it could do in the space. I’ve worked in live music for thirty years but I’m not a lighting expert however, I can certainly see the value in what has been done.”

Experience and requirements led to eight Ayrton Mistral S Spot being chosen as the main spot luminaire along with sixteen ShowPRO R3 Wash and sixteen ShowPRO Pluto Beam.

Static lighting comprises eight ShowPRO LED Profile HP, eight ShowPRO LED Profile 19 Degree Lens, eight ShowPRO LED Blinder II IP and ten ShowPRO LED FusionBAR Q XII.

Control is an MA Lighting grandMA3 Compact XT with an ELC dmXLAN nodeGBx 8 stand- alone and a Theatrelight DB-Panel Distro RCBO with Rackmount.

“Show Technology has been amazing, we have been very lucky to have them on board,” said Andrew. “A project of this size and scope requires a huge amount of passion, commitment and money, and the best way you can deliver projects like this is in consultation, and very much partnership, with professionals whose opinions you can trust and whose passion for their business is comparable to your own.”

Andrew reports that the final lighting rig looks good, operates well and meets the expectation of clients.


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