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New Tobin Center selects Robert Juliat followspots

James McGrath 17 July 2014
New Tobin Center selects Robert Juliat followspots

San Antonio’s Tobin Center for the Performing Arts is primed and ready for its opening in September for its inaugural 2014-2015 season. Theatregoers will experience performances in the venue’s H-E-B Performance Hall and Alvarez Family Studio Theatre, which will be illuminated by new Robert Juliat Cyrano and Buxie followspots.

The new Tobin Center rises behind the façade of the former San Antonio Municipal Auditorium along the famed River Walk downtown. The 1,750-seat multi-purpose house will be the home of the San Antonio Symphony and other resident companies.

The four-level H-E-B Performance Hall is the largest of the Tobin Center’s performance spaces.  Working with local distributor Texas Scenic, the theatre installed four Cyrano 2500W HMI followspots in the hall. The fixtures offer a narrow beam angle that is said to make them the perfect fixture for long throw distances.

The Alvarez Family Studio Theatre, meanwhile, is a black box-style space with multiple seating arrangements. Tt has acquired a pair of Buxie 575W MSD ultra-compact followspots, which deliver a powerful punch in a small package.

Technical Director Stefan De Wilde was familiar with Robert Juliat followspots from his tenures with Disney and Cirque du Soleil.  De Wilde confidently selected the followspots, stating that Robert Juliat followspots “were the industry standard for top-of-the-line fixtures,” he said.  “They were the most flexible, light-weight units with high output and extremely high quality.  The Tobin Center is booked through 2017 so these lights will get a lot of use.  We need products that will hold up under a lot of use and still provide a beautiful, powerful output of light.”

“We needed a long throw, flicker-free unit since we will accommodate broadcast level television production,” noted De Wilde with regards to the Cyranos in the H-E-B Hall.  “The design was also important.  The Cyrano’s colour changer is mounted on the centre of the fixture, which is more ergonomic for the operator, and the fixture is balanced.”

Likewise, the compact Buxies were a good fit for the Alvarez Family Studio Theater because of their “small footprint, great output and quiet operation,” he reports.  “This is a small theatre.  I can mount the Buxies on a tripod, put them in a spot tower or clamp them to the catwalk railing.  They have beautiful optics and will last a long time thanks to their high-quality construction.”


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