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1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 342 (329)

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition
1948-49 Theatre Catalog
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 342
Page 342

1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 342

Ellipsoidal reflector spotlights can be mounted on the front of the balcony or in ceiling ports in the ceiling. These units can be carefully matted or framed to deliver their entire light output to any part of the stage wihout spilling in the audience.

The basic layout depends upon the number of areas at the front of the stage to be lighted separated (generally three, with two spots from opposite

. diagonals on each). The number of units

depends largely upon the wattage, related distance of throw and the flexibility of color control desired. This may

vary between two lights on the center

area to light the conductor, soloist, or speaker to as many as 36 or more to give the proper intensity and flexibility of color.

Behind the curtain, mounted on the first pipe, may be an equal number of spots, generally of the Fresnel type, to light the upstage acting areas. Likewise, at this point three color borderlights to give toning and blending over the acting area space and three color footlights to give color tonality over the seating comprise the most important units used on the stage. Beyond this there may be a number of borderlights or large floods to light backdrops or cycloramas both from above and below and a certain number of special instruments to provide effects of tormentor or boom lighting in the form of spotlights or projectors from the side of the stage and special projection apparatus to give patterns of light on the backdrop or wherever desired.

This schedule of lighting equipment for a medium size stage is presented to indicate the number and types of instruments which comprise a satisfactory layout. This may be curtailed or extended depending upon the use of the space

and the wattage must be related to the distances involved.


As indicated previously, lighting equipment is useless without a certain number of dimmers to permit (1) color mix THE ELLIPSOIDAL REFLECTOR SPOTLIGHT has built-in shutters, permitting a round beam of high-intensity light to be shaped into any desired geometric figure tor the best possible effect.


FOR ILLUMINATING wide areas at close range. a small efficient tloodlight. such as this one, is suggested. Equipped with an easily-mounted stand, it is designed for a wide variety of uses.

ing and balancing to create a well modulated static picture and (2) individual or group dimming or brightening at some course of the action of the play, as for example, sunsets and dawns.

In theory, each circuit should be subject to separate dimming, but inasmuch as dimmer boards are relatively expensive, a compromise which permits the grouping of several circuits on one dimmer is a possible alternate. A necessary aspect of control with a limited number of dimmers is the ability to inter-plug any one or group of load circuits to any dimmer control.

Dimmers are built into switchboards which are equipped with switches, fuses, pockets, and such mechanical features as interlock and slow motion control for mass dimmer movement.

Resistance Dimmers

Resistance dimmers of the slide or non-interlocking plate type in small sizes are relatively inexpensive, but they operate effectively only when loaded to their rated capacity (in watts) and are

not useful for group dimming unless.

mastered by (fed through) a large dimmer.

For the medium theatre, the schedule would indicate that fifteen ECO-watt, six 1,500-watt, and six 2,000-watt dimmers will handle the minimum loads except for cyclorama lighting which requires at least three 4,500-watt and three 6,000watt dimmers. These are essential. The number permits no leeway if all the instruments are to be subject to dimming.

Now that the auto-transformer type of dimmer is available, it is no longer necessary to be concerned with matching the wattage of the load with the exact rating of the dimmer as long as it is not over-loaded. The auto-transformer type of dimmer will dim any load up to its rated capacity. This is not true of the resistance dimmer which must be loaded to at least one-half its capacity before it dims effectively.

Auto-Transformer Dimmers

As an alternate to the resistance (limmer, a basic schedule of auto-trans former dimmers would be twelve 4000watt and six GOOD-watt. Unfortunately, the standard theatre auto-transformer is not made in small sizes. However, it is available in 500- and 2,000-watt sizes in a form not specifically built for theatrical purposes. The 4000- and 6000watt types are standard for theatrical purposes.

It should be pointed out that the auto-transformer requires alternating current and that the number of dimmers listed are in addition to the dimmer or dimmers required for house (or auditorium) lighting control. Whether the auditorium is equipped for stage or merely as a lecture platform, it is desirable to have the downlights, the indirect and speaker lights controlled by separate dimmers.

Electronic Controls

Electronic controls with preset and fading facilities are desirable for experimental and the more elaborate type of auditorium but they are apt to be more expensive than practical for most theatres today.


Auditoriums are best lighted by downlights, indirect lights, and acting area lights.

If stage lighting is involved, it should be sufficiently flexible to meet the various conditions imposed by the vast variety of demands placed upon it by modern production methods.

A budget which includes only footlights and borderlights for the stage is a waste of money.

If the budget does not allow for a well-equipped stage, forget it and concentrate on the needs for a good auditorium with a concert or speakeris platform.

If the showing of slides or pictures is not involved, the shape of the auditorium can be that of an amphitheatre. Even a flat floor and high platform are acceptable.

A PROIECTOR with a parabolic reflector unit produces a narrow-angle beam of high-intensity light. The lamp is easily mounted and can be arranged so that it proiects at any desired obiect.
1948-49 Theatre Catalog, 7th Edition, Page 342