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There's no place like Home

Image by Paul KaraliusThe fruit of a merger of two of Manchester's primary arts organisations - Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company - HOME is a new venue which includes two theatres, five cinema screens, a gallery/exhibition space, bar, café bar, cinema bar, bookshop and digital production/broadcast facilities.

The technical infrastructure was supplied and installed by Stage Electrics, working closely with the client and the main contractor, Wates Construction. Chosen because of the company's knowledge and professionalism, borne of many years of delivering complex projects at the highest level of the entertainment industry, Stage Electrics was involved with the project from its inception.

Image by Paul KaraliusDenis O'Neill, construction manager at Wates commented on the collaboration. "We worked closely with Stage Electrics for 18 months and they were both professional and approachable throughout the process. The result is an excellent quality venue which fully meets the client's brief,"

When it came to equipment choice, the company hosted several workshops to establish the operational and functional requirements for the sound, AV and stage lighting. The final specification was agreed between all technical parties from the venue and the Stage Electrics engineers, the result of which is an extremely flexible system.

Stage Electrics supplied full audio, stage lighting and stage engineering systems. An EM Acoustics EMS series audio system comprises proscenium mounted L-R loudspeakers, centre cluster, infills and removable front fills. Managed by BSS London Blu audio processing, it gives the theatre a very natural sound. Lighting includes ETC Unison Paradigm control and ARCSystem LED house lights , ETC Sensor dimmers and an ETC Gio lighting console.

The five cinemas are spread over the upper two floors of the building, the largest having 250 seats and the smallest 46. All are equipped with digital projection, with Cinema 1 also having 35mm capability. The two largest cinemas can also be used for live performances with an extensive patching network and LED profile lighting.

Image by Paul KaraliusKey to the building's technical flexibility is a site-wide AV distribution system, which allows multiple format audio and video signals to travel from and to anywhere in the building. This can be from any venue(s) to any other venue(s), or allowing (for example) a jazz band to set up in the open foyer space. The system is designed to adapt to any requirement.

"As we have brought the building to life over the last couple of months, the extensive networking infrastructure has allowed us to use the building in a number of different ways," says Jasper Gilbert, HOME's Technical Director. "The patching of live music across all three foyer spaces has worked really well and there is plenty of scope and options we have yet to try out; the flexibility is really useful.

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