Tait Supplies Stage Lift to Tobin Center

by Jacob Coakley
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Tait and their sister companies—Stage Technologies and Delstar Engineering designed and supplied a custom stage lift for the H-E-B Performance HallTait supplied a custom scissor lift to the new H-E-B Performance Hall at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio. In the planning phase, technical director Stefan DeWilde specified a lift that was quiet and strong, with a final operating limit of 3890 kgs @ 300mm/s. Tait’s experts worked with sister companies Stage Technologies in Las Vegas and Delstar Engineering in the UK to engineer the lift. The custom scissor lift was built and shipped by Delstar Engineering, while the lift’s surround and access were provided by Stage Technologies. The lift’s frame was designed and built in Lititz. The system activating the lift utilizes BigTow winches from Stage Technologies, while the console is from Tait’s Constellation range, using its Navigator control technology.

TAIT supplies stage lift to repurposed Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

17 September 2014 - The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, which opened on September 5th in San Antonio, will provide the community with a permanent world-class live entertainment venue. The Tobin Center repurposes the city’s existing Municipal Auditorium, built in 1926, and includes the 1,759-seat H-E-B Performance Hall, the 250-seat Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater for smaller productions, rehearsals and community use, plus an outdoor performance plaza. The façade of the original building has been retained, but behind the scenes the Hall takes advantage of 21st century technology.

The Tobin Center’s Technical Director Stefan DeWilde’s designs for the new venue included a stage lift for the H-E-B Performance Hall, to be utilized for performer entrances and exits, reveals and scene changes. The lift will also be used for lifting grand pianos from their sub-stage storage, for resident and guest orchestras. “I called a number of suppliers for quotations of proposed automation system elements,” says Stefan DeWilde. “During the design phase, I investigated many options before confirming the final lift specs, such as the MDNA tower lifts, hydraulics and a sloat option. I needed a fast, quiet and strong system, with a final operating limit of 3890 kgs @ 300mm/s.”

An international TAIT team comprised of theatre engineering experts from its headquarters in Lititz, PA plus sister companies Stage Technologies in Las Vegas and Delstar Engineering in the UK supplied the winning solution. The custom scissor lift was built and shipped by Delstar Engineering, while the lift’s surround and access were provided by Stage Technologies). The final piece of the puzzle, the lift’s frame, was designed and built in Lititz. The system activating the lift utilises BigTow winches from Stage Technologies, while the console is from TAIT’s Constellation range, using its Navigator control technology. 

“I chose TAIT for the following reasons,” says DeWilde. “First, having merged with Stage Technologies, Delstar Engineering and FTSI, TAIT had the best portfolio of reliable and safe devices used in current facilities around the world and the price was commensurate. Secondly, having worked for both Disney and Cirque du Soleil, I am familiar with the use of Stage Technologies and FTSI products, and the operation of Nomad and Navigator, so the comfort factor was already in place for me. I view TAIT, Stage Technologies and FTSI products as industry leaders and the standard for automation.”

More information:

https://www.tobincenter.org/

www.taittowers.com

www.stagetech.com

www.delstar.co.uk