Opening its doors back in 1935, Stockton Globe in Stockton-on-Tees, UK, played host to some of the biggest names in British music. From rival pioneering poster boys, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, to Liverpool’s leading lady, Cilla Black, the venue was bustling with fans from across the North East of England eager for an evening of unmatched entertainment.
After years of leading the live scene in Stockton, the iconic, Grade II listed art deco Globe closed as an entertainment venue in 1974, and after a small stint as a bingo hall, finally shut its doors for good in 1997. But back in 2010 it was announced that a revamp was in order for the rundown venue, with Stockton Council approving plans to redevelop the site and retain most of the building’s stunning features. Fast forward to 2021, and the 3,000-capacity venue is finally complete and ready to start welcoming guests back after one of the most difficult years for the industry.
“The past year has been heart-breaking for all of us, but what I think is exciting is that there’s a real appetite for people to get back out and enjoying live events again,” said Jo Ager, Stockton Globe’s General Manager. “Stockton Globe hasn’t been open as a live events destination for over 40 years and I would say this is one of the most extreme refurbishment projects I have ever seen. Opening our doors again is definitely giving people in Stockton, and further afield, a glimmer of hope for things to come.”
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2021’s version of Stockton Globe is now packed with brand-new features including the flexible standing and seated configuration, new purpose-built bars, VIP areas, dressing room suites, orchestra pits and, of course, the additional 200-capacity gig venue and cafe bar, The Link.
The Globe will be run by the world’s leading operator of live entertainment venues, Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) and has been designed with a modern audience in mind, with exceptional customer and artist experience, a £1.8million technical infrastructure and digital ticketing system. It has also benefitted from a new, state-of-the-art audiovisual system, designed and installed by specialist systems integrator, Stage Electrics.
“We initially carried out some design work on the project back in 2018, assisting an independent theatre consultant in developing a specification and concept drawings,” explained Mike Percy, Technical Project Manager at Stage Electrics. “Willmott Dixon Construction, the firm behind the restoration work, then contacted us to assist with further design and development work before awarding us the contract for the final supply and installation of the systems.”
Mike worked closely with ATG’s Head of Technical, Stuart Graham and Stockton Globe’s Technical and Buildings Manager, Mark Waters, to shape the system and meet the needs of the venue’s planned operations. One thing that was imperative throughout the design process was that the FOH audiovisual package would not interfere with the venue’s glorious auditorium décor, something that Mike had factored in from the beginning. “We had to make sure that the rigging systems did not obscure any of the venue’s iconic interior. The system also needed to be installed so that when a touring system was required, the installation of the temporary system could happen without coordination issues. It had to be a recognised, tried and tested system for a theatre-style auditorium that engineers would feel comfortable plugging in to deliver their production needs.”
Read the full article in issue 31.5 of MONDO-DR –