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Isaac Theatre Royal New Zealand

Isaac Theatre Royal In Christchurch, New Zealand

The end of March, 2014 marked a milestone for the iconic Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch, New Zealand, as “the grand old lady’s” iconic dome ceiling lifted back into its rightful place after an extensive refurbishment as a result of the February, 2011 earthquake. Rigging and stage equipment company ShowQuip of Christchurch was there with their Ron StageMaster wireless load cells from Eilon Engineering.

“Right from the onset it was clear that the lift was going to present its challenges with the weight of the dome unknown and only ‘rough ideas’ being presented to the lift team,” explains Jason Galbraith, Director of ShowQuip Limited.

With the dome needing to fly 19 meters to its final home, Hang Up Entertainment supplied the required rigging equipment and personnel to rig the 16 1-ton CM hoists that were to be used to lift the dome.

“This was the first step in getting the dome off the ground with the team having to hang points from the new maze of steel work constructed in the roof for the new building,” Jason says. “Points were placed symmetrically around the dome, allowing for an evenly distributed lift.”

Ron StageMaster wireless load cells

With the rigging complete and the dome ceiling being prepared to lift, ShowQuip was consulted and supplied 16 x Ron StageMaster wireless load cells from Eilon Engineering. Jason Galbraith comments: “The reason the load cells were used for this high profile job is that millions have been spent on restoring the theatre to its former glory and the reliable load monitoring allowed the lift team to control the weight and keep the dome in trim over the week that it was lifted into position. The use of load cells in this application means peace of mind for engineers, architects and builders involved in this potentially hazardous process.”

The Ron StageMaster 6000 system is a wireless load cell system that can host up to 200 cells per monitoring station with multiple monitoring stations possible. The system communicates wirelessly to a PC laptop via a receiver, eliminating messy cabling. The result is an easy-to-install system, which is essential in many facets of the entertainment industry.

Real-time monitoring

Much like every job ShowQuip does with their RSM load cells, they were able to set an upper and lower limit for the dome lift, which enabled them to constantly monitor progress. If a limit was reached on the system, an alert was sent out meaning the dome could be re-trimmed and the lift could continue.

“With the RSM software this is all done in real time,” Jason explains. “The lift team overlaid a plan of the dome on to the lift screen making it simple and safe to see what weight was on each hoist. The software provided an easy-to-use visual plot of what was going on throughout the lift phase while recording every second of data into a log, which could then be viewed at the end of each day.”

Safety first

The RSM system used for the dome lift at the Theatre Royal includes a raft of safety features including continuous monitoring up to 5000 hours (10,000 hours optional) with absolutely no standby or sleep modes, independent data flow, multi-channel transmission, internal verification, transmission range up to 1km, real-time monitoring and SMS alerts. All of these systems allow for peace of mind no matter what the job.

At the conclusion of the lift, the dome was bolted to the steel work and secured into its final resting place, a process that could not have been done as safely and efficiently without the Ron StageMaster wireless load cells from ShowQuip Ltd.

RSM used the world over

Based on proven technologies in use since 1976, Ron systems are used by top companies worldwide such as NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Rolls Royce and more. In the world of entertainment, RSM systems are the preferred choice for load monitoring in the largest venues and theatres like the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Sydney Opera, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Royal Shakespeare UK, Olympic Park Munich, Swiss TV and Esplanade Theatres Singapore. RSM systems are used by top rigging and rental companies such as Kish Rigging, Tait, and PRG and are utilized on tours the world over such as Rammstein, AC/DC and many others.


ShowQuip Ltd
Will McJorrow
Tel: +64 3 982 3113


For more information please contact your local Eilon representative or Noga Eilon-Bahar at: 
Mobile: + 972-528-901851 
Office: +972-4-8577720 

Call Us:

US / Canada / International: 1-888-778-8064

UK: 0800 8620354


US / Canada / International: 1-888-778-8064

UK: 0800 8620354


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