Serving the historic Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove, IL, the members of the Tivoli Stage Crew provide technical support for community and professional live stage shows.
© 2004 - 2019 Steven E. Margison, Downers Grove, IL All rights reserved

Tour: Backstage

Tivoli Stage Crew

The lightboard is the original 1928

rheostat system, restored

mechanically and cosmetically in

1989 by Steve Margison. It is the best

preserved example of this type of

system in the country. Yes, there

have been enhancements to make it

more functional for modern shows

(note the LCD computer display for

scripts and cue sheets) but it still

basically operates as it did originally.

When the theatre is in “movie

mode” the screen is lowered

from the overhead fly system

and the speakers (which are on

wheels) are placed behind the

screen. There are three

speakers: Left, Right, and Center

-- just like a home theater

system except somewhat

larger!!! The top speaker is

about 10 feet from the ground.

The screen has many tiny holes

and is acoustically transparent to allow the sound to emanate from the

screen. For live shows the speakers are unplugged and rolled off to the

stage left wing area and stored.

To raise and lower scenery, lights, or the movie screen, the theatre has a “fly tower”, which is a structure above the stage that equals the height of the proscenium arch with extra room for the mechanical rigging. The “fly system” consists of ropes attached to pipe battens, and counterbalanced with heavy weights to make raising and lowering items easy. It essentially works like a manual elevator. The three grayish photos are taken from the very top of the fly system, 65 feet above the ground. The color photo is from the stage looking up at the light battens and the bottom of the screen which is flown in this photo.

The “Flys”

or, “Don’t Look Down”
One of the light battens on stage hung with Lekos, Fresnels, LED washes, LED moving beam lights, cables, and dust. Lots of dust.
Scenery & Props loaded in for a play
A tormentor lighting position, 14 feet high. Note the ropes that are a part of the fly system.