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Vertical Lift Moves Stage Props

4 Post Mechanical Freightlift moves stage props at the historic St. George Theatre in Staten Island.

The Challenge

The St. George Historic Theatre located in Staten Island serves as a cultural arts center for a myriad of activities including outreach educational programs, architectural tours, television and film shoots, concerts, comedy, Broadway touring companies, children's shows and many local community events and performances.  The theatre which was originally built in 1925 recently went through a renovation to save the historic theatre and was reopened in 2004.   Part of the renovation overhaul meant getting the theatre up and running with modern day technology and equipment that it had not had before such as electric power, plumbing, stage lighting and a sound system.  All the essentials were added for the opening in 2004, but as the theatre grew in popularity and more events were being booked, they found one more antiquated obstacle to overcome. They needed to do away with the physical labor of moving stage props and scenery to stage level.  However, the goal was to come up with a vertical lift that would not jeopardize the structure of the theatre building, or destroy any of the recent renovation efforts.  Therefore, this meant the lift equipment would need to be installed outside, adjacent of the theatre building. 

The Autoquip Solution

Keeping the goals in mind, Autoquip’s engineer design team recommended a 4 Post Mechanical Freightlift – VRC for its custom flexibility and design features.

  1. The FL4M is engineered with the best SEW Eurodrive gear motor drive that is capable of instantaneous braking, repeatable stopping and holding of the suspended carriage which is a critical part of this application for loading and unloading stage props.
  2. The carriage size on this particular VRC design is supported by each post corner, so the carriage size can be larger and lift higher capacities which will also be needed as the theatre will be moving stage props, scenery and equipment of all different shapes and sizes.
  3. Because of the location of where the lift was to be installed which was outside, in an alley way along a brick retaining wall, the lift would be installed in an angle position requiring a custom-built carriage platform in a wedge shape to match the contour of building. 
  4. Automatic locking devices were installed under the carriage platform that will lock in place once the lift is in the raised position for egress allowance. These are powered by a top mounted air compressor. 
  5. A special powered roll up door was installed for lower egress, or rolled down to prevent pass through. 

Solution Benefits

Once the lift was installed and after the first show, the manager of the St. George theatre provided Autoquip feedback and commented that “everything went smooth and we were able to get the piano and equipment onto the stage with no problems.”  

Published: 10/08/2013
Customer: St. George Theatre
Tags: Custom Freight Lift (VRC) , Mechanical 4 Post VRC , Entertainment

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