hello from an empty theatre. three

Hello again.
Although we have been staying home for longer than three weeks.
It was three weeks ago that I crawled out from my house and went in to check on our quiet theatre, and three weeks ago that I decided to take some photos of things you don’t usually see.

AHHHH. The pinrail.  It is a gorgeous beast, and has its very own choreography for each show.
I am going to tell you, it is high.  It takes strength. It draws you in nonetheless.

The view above is parts of our fly system.  It shows the two levels where the fly crew raise and lower the scenic drops.
To make the drops manageable to lower in and fly out, sand bags are used as counter weight.
Sand is added and removed from the bag to match the weight of the item being flown.
We are the last remaining “hemp house” (manually operated pin-rail) left in West Virginia, and one of only 7 left in the nation,
(that we know of) other than a small handful concentrated in NYC.
It’s a dying art and we’ve done our best to preserve it here at the Apollo.

Another view of the fly space and the lights, curtain and scenic drops above the stage.

Standing on the stage and looking up is the fly space grid, 45ft above the stage floor.  On the grid is a series of pulleys and ropes that are used to suspend the lighting system, curtains and set pieces that are flown in and out to change the look of the of the stage for different scenes in a show.  The ropes go up two levels above the stage where the fly crew work flying items in and out as instructed be the stage manager that runs the show.  The ropes are tied off on a rail that has pins known as the pin rail.  The pin rail mirrors the pins that are found on a sail ship.  In the early days of the theatre in Europe the stage fly space was operated by sailors on shore leave.

Pretty cool right?
What else do you want to see?
Our last performance was March 15th.
Frozen, Jr closed with full hearts and lots of uncertainty. The very next day we were all instructed to stay home. The theatre has now been quiet for over 6 weeks.  We have canceled our last two shows of the season. It is so quiet in here.
It is surreal, and uncertain.  We take deep breaths as we think about how our theatre has withstood two world wars, a depression, an economical boom, and many other major events. This event is just another that we will need to figure out how to keep going.
It will. As we brainstorm ways to keep the lights on as we wait, don’t forget we are here waiting for everyone’s safe return.

Turning the ghost light back on.
Be well.