DWR Equips Whale Coast Theatre

The towns of Sandbaai and Hermanus on the coast of South-Africa now have an additional attraction to their wildlife: The Whale Coast Mall, which includes the multi-purpose Whale Coast Theatre. PJK Project Management commissioned DWR Distribution for the theatre installation.

The 200-seater Whale Coast Theatre will not stand empty for long periods of time. When the theatre is not being used for live shows, it becomes a cinema playing high definition movies with 7.2 Dolby surround sound.

Pieter-Jan Kapp from PJK Project Management oversees the project. Over the past 26 years he has worked in theatres, conference centres and has been at art festivals throughout the country, collecting knowledge in stage layouts, mechanics, lighting, sound, and acoustic design. Pieter-Jan is skilled in the practical layout required for a theatre complex and speaks the language of both production personnel and project managers.

“It was important to look at the purpose of the venue, the client’s requirements and adhere, as much as possible, to the budget,” said Pieter-Jan. “Installations require quality equipment, and very importantly, a team of professionals who support you and understand your vision in creating an end product that will stand the test of time. To me DWR were that partner.”

The Whale Coast Theatre is small enough to find a midway between the acoustic needs of a cinema and live performances. There are two cinemas: Cinema 1 for adults and Cinema 2 for children. For theatre productions a small flat stage floor has been built in front of the screen.

The lighting can be used for any scenario, including basic theatre lighting and for cinema use. The lighting fixtures are hidden behind the screen so they do not reflect while in use.

Johnny Scholtz from DWR Distribution has worked with Pieter-Jan timeously to ensure a great lighting solution and then trusted in his colleagues Bradley Bruchhausen, Robert Izzett and Andi Rodgers to oversee the actual installation.

The equipment consists of a hand winding stage curtain track, eight curtain leg border bars, three 10m 8-way lighting bars with DMX, Lighting fixtures including six Robin LEDBeam 150, eight Robe ParFect 150s, four Robe Robin DL4S Profiles, one Le Maitre MVS Hazer, two Nicolaudie Stick-DE3 DMX controllers connected to the houselights and a Philips Strand 500ML lighting control console.

Johnny Scholtz explained: “We needed to ensure that there was access to the foyers and also to the children’s cinema. These areas were linked together via a network. The consoles had to take triggers from the projectors – it also had to override the projector and the house lights.” The managers of the Whale Coast Theatre have asked Jonny’s colleague Bradley to tweak some of the settings on the Nicolaudie to create a more relaxed environment.

The Philips Strand 500ML shine at theatre events and need to take over from the Nicolaudie console. Jannie de Jager has worked late into the night programming to ensure the lighting effect meets the client’s requirements.

Johnny added: “To do this we had to include a Strand DMX Merge Controller, so that the operator could merge the Philips Strand 500ML desk which would take over the control when they have events other than the cinema.”