Seating a respectable 967 people in Lyric mode, Townville’s hardworking Civic Theatre has been catering to touring companies and local groups since 1978. At the end of 2015, senior lighting technician Nate Leslie is busy with a full schedule of dance recitals, end-of-year presentations and Christmas concerts. Always a busy time of year, 2015 has been made a little easier by his lighting rigs recent expansion to include eight units of High End System’s SolaSpot Pro CMY.
The SolaSpot Pro CMY is the perfect LED fixture to integrate with an existing rig. Producing 13,000 lumens from a 320 watt LED source, the SolaSpot PRO CMY also includes Linear CTO, two gobo wheels, a fixed colour wheel, incredibly quick zoom and focus, a prism, iris and high quality frost. “What prompted me to look at the SolaSpot PRO CMY was how brilliant they are for theatre,” Nate explained. “So many other fixtures in the same range don’t offer nice variable colour correction and don’t have a quality frost. The Pro CMYs are stunning in their intensity. They can match to a conventional halogen rig and give us that quality we need in theatre lighting, even with an LED engine.”
Assisting Nate with his choice, facilitating the sale and providing local service was Graeme Hicks of Entertainment Production Supplies. “Nate had some existing fixtures that were starting to fail, and I thought the SolaSpot PRO CMY would suit the Civic Theatre well,” Graeme related. “It’s bright and punchy, running costs are minimal, and the LEDs and optics are very good. When used as a profile, you don’t get multi-coloured shadows. The whites are white and the colours are great.”
Matching whites and dimming curves with existing equipment was important to Nate, as it would be to any LD in theatre. “The SolaSpot PRO CMYs are matching against ETC Sources Fours and old Strand fresnels. We have an eclectic conventional rig, and the clean white has been amazing for texturing on stage and on cyc.” High End also hit their mark with another theatre must; quiet operation. “They are so quiet!” agreed Nate. “They’re quieter than my LED pars! I’ve had people stand next to them and ask to turn them on when they were already operating.”
Nate’s work involves quick decisions and fast creation of looks onstage. “The bulk of our shows are speed plotted, with a rehearsal in the morning and a show at night, or live busking, and the SolaSpot PRO CMYs have been fantastic for all of that,” he continued. “From band concerts to orchestras and school awards nights, they’ve outdone themselves. I’ve lit up a choir of forty with four PRO CMYs and created a look that I used to use 20 movers and conventionals to do. The efficiency is amazing. Also, an added bonus for us has been that, despite being a reasonably large and heavy fixture, their movement is quite smooth. We don’t get as much swing on a bar when they do a big sweep.”
Nate is confident in the back-up that he can rely on from both High End Systems distributor Lexair Entertainment and Entertainment Production Supplies. “Lexair are good, reliable and reputable,” recommended Nate. “They’re always quick to respond to requests, and they know their stuff. It’s always a pleasure to have Lexair and Entertainment Production Supplies visit us on their road trips, and they’re now helping us as we plan upgrades to our house lighting as well.”
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