You’ve carefully designed your theatre layout; your acoustics and lighting are perfect; and you’ve planned your theatre seating. You’ve even chosen a fantastic main drape that’s just right for your venue – so you’re all set for opening night, right?
Actually, you’re not. You can quickly run into problems if you don’t have the right theatre accessories. The devil is in the details, and the right tracks, runners, pile winches and motors are all essential ingredients for a perfect performance.
Theatre curtain tracks. Theatre curtains need to run on track systems, or else they’re not going anywhere! It’s usually best to go for the highest quality track system you can afford, because it’s likely to have a longer life span. A reputable company should be able to advise you on the most suitable product but, as a general rule, a heavy duty curtain needs a heavy duty track system.
Stage tracking is generally available in two profiles: heavy duty and medium. The STS075 heavy duty track is excellent quality and it’s a good place to start because it’s hard wearing and durable. The STS117 Medium profile has all the benefits of the STS075 track, but it is quieter, lasts a lifetime and requires minimal maintenance.
Theatre curtain track runners. You’ll also need stage-grade curtain track runners, which are made with nylon re-enforced with glass for a long maintenance-free life.
Theatre motors. These are used for moving stage curtains and can be operated by remote control, but they can also fulfil other on-stage automation requirements and adjust cinema masking systems.
Pile winches. These can be operated by remote control and they are used for lifting some of the bulkier and heavier stage apparatus. Winches are generally robust pieces of equipment, but they do have their limitations.
When you’re planning to carry out an installation or refit, consider what kind of tracks, motors and winches you’re likely to need. These pieces of theatre equipment may be small, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a huge part to play in the smooth running of your theatre and productions. In fact, they make everyone’s lives easier because performers and technicians can relax and concentrate on doing what they do best: putting on a great show for your audience.