Theater conversion project - Page 2 - Router Forums
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 02:28 AM
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Are you getting any assistance Tom? Seems like the promised help didn't turn up yet ?

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Are you getting any assistance Tom? Seems like the promised help didn't turn up yet ?
We lucked out, a family we hired to rockscape our yard found out it was a church project, so they volunteered to help. Had it put up in less than 3 hours. Got an email this a.m. that the church had a youth event in there, so I went in and screwed the ply down. Floor came out pretty much flat. One area where I need to shim the ply slightly, but otherwise flat and even.

Here are a couple of pix. One is just a side view of the old setup, then the new stage, then a picture where you can see some of the theatrical lighting. I have to add a few more lights to cover the larger area. Next up will be the flats to create a back stage area and frame the stage.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Got the stage painted black the other day, but found that people getting on it were shifting the platforms around a bit. So I spend a few hours lining them up correctly and then tied them together with some 1x3. Have to paint the ties black yet, but that will happen shortly. Next step is making the flats for the wings. I might just make them oversized since the space on one side of the stage is only 5 feet. On the other side, there's about 8 ft. Have to leave access to the fire exits.

Since the stage is wide, I may place some "wings" onto the stage itself, which will really help anchor them in place. Have to find what happened to the 8 ft ladder I left there cause I have to rehang the back Black drape so it's the full width of the stage. Then I'm going to move the Church's audio stuff so actors can cross behind the back curtain. There's a fireplace back there with a raised hearth so actors can cross on that.

There are a couple of spots where one ply top is slightly lower, so I've got to loosen the ply and add some shims until it's level. Don't want people tripping.

Last thing is to add at least 3-4 additinal theatrical lights because the five in there just aren't enough to cover the whole stage evenly. Definitely going to need the ladder for that. I gave a local producer four lights for the community theater, but they aren't using them, so maybe I can get them back. That producer is aready interested in using The Venue for a new musical group's performances. The other community theater is fully booked so some folks will be looking for a new venue.

I need to find out the rules for a church accepting money from a non-church performance. I know their building fund could use a boost.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 11:06 AM
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In your State it's likely different, but a Church here in Charlotte, NC owns what was once called the Merchandise Mart and they host many shows, including The Woodworking Shows, every year. The church runs the concession stands at the shows held there too. Sorry, I have no contact information for them to offer.


Normally, a stage is built high enough to allow everyone in the audience a better view of what's happening on the stage. To me, your stage doesn't look high enough to be worth it, but this is just my thoughts on it.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-26-2019, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Stage height was a concern at first, but the dinner theater format with a thrust stage works out fine. The room is versatile so we can set the seating more traditional theater style. The real limit on height is that there is a 10 ft ceiling, so raising the stage much higher would have compressed the vertical height. At some point I might talk the church into removing the drop ceiling and increasing the stage height a bit. That would pick up another 2 feet. The main thing is to create the atmosphere. For music events, or speakers, or high school thespians I think this will work very well. We'll see how the more established companies like it soon enough.

I have to do some research on how a church can be paid for hosting events. I remember the Crystal Cathedral in So. Cal. got dinged for taxes for its religious holiday spectactulars. I think it depends a lot on the type of 501C_. Our senior club is a C7 (social club with insignificant income) so we don't even have to file so long as we don't have large donations. We can keep a separate fund for, say scholarships, but if we get extra income (rare), we contribute it to the Church in appreciation for use of the meeting room.

My wife last night said she was amazed that I've mustered the energy to put this thing together. I reminded her that I'm doing this at a snail's pace, and got help with the hard (heavy) parts. Using kiln dried studs cut the weight dramatically, so the framework is light enough for me to manage. The biggest thing is that I just feel a need to keep contributing and this was financially feasable.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Time to make the side stage flats. Was going to make them with canvas, but I think I'll use a 3 layer ply instead. A little more rigid and I can put in some threaded inserts so they're easy to put up and take down. By anchoring them, I can keep them more stable and less likely to tip. With a ply front, I can use a little cheaper pine for the frame. More of a hollywood flat than the traditional canvas. Still have a couple of spots to level and some non slip tape on the edges so it's easier to see the edge. Will likely use some glow in the dark tape on the edge behind where the flats go so actors can tell where they are in a blackout. There's no curtain, so there will be blackouts.

The AC is a little underpowered for all the rooms it has to cool, so I think I'm going to block the AC in in one of the storage rooms as well as the returns to get a little more cooling in the auditorium. A friend wants to help with painting, but he's in pretty bad shape so he can't do lifting. But it will be nice to have some company.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 08:17 AM
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Tom, in reference to the AC, see if someone is familiar with HVAC and have them look for balancing dampers in the duct work itself. Trying to force more air into another area by blocking the vents is the worst way to try getting more into another space. If you can locate dampers, if installed, you can open/close or partway to increase/decrease airflow. They will have wing nuts and a small handle which operates a piece of metal that can close off the duck or go anywhere from full open to full close. Look for them on the takeoffs of the main duct line. Depending on when and how the duct was installed you should see the main line reduce as takeoffs come into play to maintain the air pressure all the way down the line. Air duct pressurizes by traveling all the way to the end and then back pressure. Common mistake is a duct outlet at the end of a duct. Makes back pressurizing a bit more difficult and the air flow much louder. If you can follow the duct from the equipment you should have the main line run with smaller duct coming off to feed rooms/areas and at that takeoff there should be a balancing damper. You can loosen the wingnut and either open the damper more or close it some but always mark the initial position just in case you need to go back. Ideally you'd have a HVAC guy there doing this by taking airflow measurements and adjusting these dampers but you do what you have to. Blocking the returns can be a problem depending on how closely they were sized. They may end up restricting airflow back to the system.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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@sreilly Good feedback, Thanks Steve. I don't have any authority to hire the AC guy, so I was hoping to figure out a fix. Won't be a problem in a couple of months, but it will be a damper on Summer events.

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2019, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Today found out that a guy who runs a young person's theater group would like to book a performance of Godspell in the Spring. That would be very cool. If we can sign a new client for the consulting biz, I can afford to enhance the lighting and audio a bit.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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Dang, little pissy things keep getting in the way of finishing flattening and painting the edge of the stage. Can only work a few hours per day, then I have to stop. My daughter is being a slave driver, so the consulting biz is getting some much needed attention. But if it generates another client, I will get a nice cut. Need a volunteer or two, but all my friends are pretty old. Only have $350 left in the fund, need flats and a sign at least. Hope to round up some lights I donated that aren't being used, which will save $120.
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