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Canto USA’s RETRO Series is Something New at The Old Globe Theatre

The Old Globe Theatre is one of the most renowned professional regional theatres in the United States and one of San Diego’s finest arts institutions. Originally built in 1935 it was modeled after Shakespeare’s Old Globe in London. The Old Globe has gone through several remodels and expansions over the years. In that time it has been home to nationally acclaimed artists, designers, directors, and playwrights. It was the recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1984.

The Old Globe, along with most theatres, closed its doors temporarily early in the pandemic. This closure allowed them the opportunity to make needed upgrades to their mainstage venue halogen-based houselights and houselight control system. That hardware hadn’t been updated since a 1984 remodel, so they were long overdue for some much-needed attention. Considering the advances in LED the theatre thought it would be best to take advantage of the reliability and energy savings.

The Old Globe Theatre Canto USA RETRO-Passive Install Photo

The Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA – Photo credit, Ryan Osborn. Trouble In Mind, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg – director, Lawrence E Moten III – scenic design, Nicole Jescinth Smith – costume design, Sherrice Mojgani – lighting design, Luqman Brown – sound design, Chandra R.M. Anthenill – production stage manager.

Chris Rynne, Director of Theatrical Applications at OCS Lighting + Control, had previously worked at The Old Globe as lighting director so he was familiar with the layout and needs of the theatre. After presenting and testing out several houselight LED upgrade options, the Canto USA’s RETRO series was concluded to be the best fit. “Cost and function were the deciding factors. We loved the dimming, ease of installation, color quality, and even distribution,” said Chris.

Older fixture cans and wiring needed to be updated and adapted before the RETRO installation. Coinciding with several other upgrades the theatre was making, the installation of the 27 RETRO-Passive 300’s was finished up in about a week. Some of the older fixture cans and wiring had to be repaired, updated, and adapted before the RETRO installation.

The Old Globe Theatre Canto USA RETRO-Passive Install Photo

The Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA – Photo credit, Ryan Osborn.

Once completed both the production staff and audience were happy with the result. Everyone loved the color quality and dimming of the lighting. The retrofit to LED not only greatly reduced the houselight power consumption but the decreased heat output from the houselights reduced the work of the HVAC system. This translates to the Globe benefitting from substantial energy savings.  All of their houselight problems were solved.

“We were really happy with how the RETRO series performed.” Said Chris, “We hope to use it on the next project we’re working on.”

The Old Globe Theatre Canto USA RETRO-Passive Install Photo

The Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, CA – Photo credit, Ryan Osborn. Trouble In Mind, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg – director, Lawrence E Moten III – scenic design, Nicole Jescinth Smith – costume design, Sherrice Mojgani – lighting design, Luqman Brown – sound design, Chandra R.M. Anthenill – production stage manager.

The RETRO Series Line of Products

RETRO-Passive® – Absolute Silence

CantoUSA RETRO-Passive Series Product Photo

Being fanless, the RETRO-Passive is perfect for sound-sensitive spaces like museums and concert halls. They also have heavier heat sinks to compensate for not having active cooling.

RETRO-Fusion™ – Lighter & Smaller

CantoUSA RETRO-Fusion Series Product Photo

With the RETRO-Fusion being lighter and lower profile, along with a beveled top edge, it is able to squeeze into more shallow fixtures without having the lens protrude from the front of the trim ring. That reduces any type of glare. This new design opens up more opportunities and applications.

RETRO-Classic™ – Flexibility & Customization

CantoUSA RETRO-Classic Series Product Photo

The RETRO-Classic our original 0-100% phase dimmable (forward and reverse) variable wattage LED 2700K-6500K 80-97 CRI engine retrofit house light and most customizable RETRO in the entire RETRO family. They are heavier than the Fusion, yet lighter than Passive.

RETRO-PAR – PAR Lamp Replacement

CantoUSA RETRO-Par Series Product Photo

The RETRO-PAR is easy to replace/install, modular, and customizable. Customizable features include active or passive cooling, different wattage outputs, and different optical beam spreads. It comes in PAR 38, 46, 56, and 64 styles, as well as custom.

RETRO-HPL

CantoUSA RETRO-HPL Product Photo

The RETRO-HPL is a direct replacement for existing Source 4 PARs in the marketplace, especially those used for house lights.

About CantoUSA

Founded in 2013, Canto USA is a manufacturer of houselight retrofits and followspots. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to our mission: “Our customers come first. In order to do this, we continuously train our team on the latest trends and needs of the industry, while at the same time becoming a trendsetter in the development of new products and technology that no other company has available.” 

Have a custom job we did for you and want to be featured in one of our blogs articles?

Township Auditorium Goes RETRO

Township Auditorium in Columbia, South Carolina, is a historic auditorium built in 1930 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Recently the Auditorium updated their lighting system with Canto USA’s RETRO Series. We reached out to Ceili Hesselgrave, Senior Project Specialist for  Productions Unlimited, Inc., who handled the installation, to see how the RETRO Series worked out for their team.

What prompted them to upgrade their lighting?

Township Auditorium hosts a variety of events throughout the year, and while their space is a beautiful and historic landmark for the city of Columbia, SC, the degree to which the architectural lighting system had degraded over the years was casting a dark shadow on an otherwise grand space. Upgrading their house lights has brought new life into their space!

Township Auditorium Before Installation
Before Installation

What made Productions Unlimited recommend and help you choose the RETRO series for the job?

Productions Unlimited, Inc. works closely with many different vendors to select the appropriate fixtures for every job—big and small. For Township Auditorium, it was an easy choice. The client wanted a hassle-free solution to their dim house space, and Canto USA’s RETRO series allowed our talented team of installers to quickly swap the old incandescent lamps for new, RETRO-Fusion fixtures. While also burning brighter, the RETRO series offers our clients a consistent, reliable light source, all while giving them substantial savings on electricity and consumable lamps!

What were some of the challenges?

No job is perfect, but our installation of Canto USA’s RETRO fixtures came close! Our biggest challenge when installing these fixtures was ensuring that we had tightened them enough for the base to make good contact. With warnings from the factory, my team and I were careful when installing the fixtures for fear of overtightening the candelabra bases. After some painless testing and troubleshooting, we found that the majority of our non-functioning units were due to not screwing them in all the way. A few other issues proved to be caused by damaged lamp sockets in the old existing fixture bodies.

What were some of the customizations that had to be done?

After completing two site visits and executing some calculated testing with Production Unlimited’s Canto USA Demo kit, we determined that the best customizations we could offer the client came from the stem height and reflector type for each of their fixtures. Township Auditorium is unique in that it is a very tall space—about 100 feet to the floor at its tallest, and about 8 feet to the floor at its shortest—which meant that each area inside the house was outfitted with a different degree of reflector. In order to give our client the cleanest possible look, we opted to outfit their fixtures with 2-3/4” stems, and used a combination of 15° and 70° reflectors.

How long did the install take?

In total, outfitting took our skilled team of installers about 3 days to install 112 RETRO-Fusion 700’s and 37 RETRO-Fusion 300’s. 149 in all.

Township Auditorium Canto USA RETRO Series Installation Setup Photo
Township Auditorium Canto USA RETRO Series Installation Setup

What was everybody’s initial reaction when the job was done?

The Event Manager, Trip Bradley, and Executive Director of Township Auditorium, Andrai Holloman, were ecstatic with the results of our work.  They have always known their space to be a bustling, thriving home for entertainment and the arts in their community, and they were overjoyed to introduce their audiences to the beauty that they knew their space always emanated.

Township Auditorium After CantoUSA RETRO Installation Photo
After Installation of Canto USA’s RETRO Series

How does everybody feel about how the RETRO is performing in the space?

We are all very pleased with how Canto USA’s RETRO Series is performing in Township Auditorium. The atmosphere of the space has been greatly improved by having fixtures with a wider throw.

The RETRO Series Line of Products

RETRO-Fusion™ – Lighter & Smaller

CantoUSA RETRO-Fusion Series Product Photo

With the RETRO-Fusion being lighter and lower profile, along with a beveled top edge, it is able to squeeze into more shallow fixtures without having the lens protrude from the front of the trim ring. That reduces any type of glare. This new design opens up more opportunities and applications.

RETRO-Classic™ – Flexibility & Customization

CantoUSA RETRO-Classic Series Product Photo

The RETRO-Classic our original 0-100% phase dimmable (forward and reverse) variable wattage LED 2700K-6500K 80-97 CRI engine retrofit house light and most customizable RETRO in the entire RETRO family. They are heavier than the Fusion, yet lighter than Passive.

RETRO-Passive® – Absolute Silence

CantoUSA RETRO-Passive Series Product Photo

Being fanless, the RETRO-Passive is perfect for sound-sensitive spaces like museums and concert halls. They also have heavier heat sinks to compensate for not having active cooling.

RETRO-PAR – PAR Lamp Replacement

CantoUSA RETRO-Par Series Product Photo

The RETRO-PAR is easy to replace/install, modular, and customizable. Customizable features include active or passive cooling, different wattage outputs, and different optical beam spreads. It comes in PAR 38, 46, 56, and 64 styles, as well as custom.

RETRO-HPL

CantoUSA RETRO-HPL Product Photo

The RETRO-HPL is a direct replacement for existing Source 4 PARs in the marketplace, especially those used for house lights.

About CantoUSA

Founded in 2013, Canto USA is a manufacturer of houselight retrofits and followspots. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to our mission: “Our customers come first. In order to do this, we continuously train our team on the latest trends and needs of the industry, while at the same time becoming a trendsetter in the development of new products and technology that no other company has available.” 

Have a custom job we did for you and want to be featured in one of our blogs articles?

Canto USA’s RETRO Series Becomes the Big Star at Charleston Gaillard Center

Construction of the new Charleston Gaillard Center in South Carolina began in August of 2012 and was finished in October of 2015. The new Gaillard Center features the 1,800-seat Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall, a 15,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom space, and three floors of City offices. One of the City’s most notable spaces, the Charleston Gaillard Center is a non-profit that provides the Lowcountry with a world-class performance hall, elegant venue space, and vibrant educational opportunities.

Recently the Center updated their lighting system with Canto USA’s RETRO Series. We reached out to Daniel Grummer, Facilities Manager for the Gaillard Center, to see how the RETRO Series worked out for them.

What prompted the Center to upgrade their lighting?

Since the renovation in 2015, the Charleston Gaillard Center’s Martha and John M. Rivers Performance Hall’s fixtures have required two a-style bulbs. We were changing bulbs before every event, and with 91 fixtures and 182 bulbs, replacing bulbs just inside the performance hall took an hour or so. 

What made your dealer recommend and help you choose the RETRO series for the job?

Before I left Charleston Southern University, I oversaw a LED retrofit performed by Productions Unlimited, Inc., which utilized the Canto USA RETRO LEDs. When we had the opportunity to upgrade the house lighting at the Gaillard Center, I knew RETRO was the best choice for a state-of-the-art facility. I reached out to PUI to see if custom-built RETRO fixtures were an option, and they took the project from there.

What were some of the challenges?

Some of the last ETC Sinewave dimmers ever installed were the 3 for house and theatrical lighting for our symphony shows at the Gaillard Center. While the demo of a fixture worked great, as we got the last few fixtures installed, we noticed a few were not constantly dimming. We discovered the Sinewave dimmers were causing interference, and we decided to move the LED circuits to a Sensor rack with D20 modules. 

What were some of the customizations that had to be done?

The fixture design is pretty shallow, but Productions Unlimited made a custom laser-cut aluminum plate that Canto USA mounted the LED components onto, allowing them to just swap out the old fixture’s interior with just 4 screws, while allowing the decorative ring and globe to remain.  

How long did the installation take?

The install took about a week as hunting down the dimmer issue was difficult; it affected different fixtures at different times. 

What was everybody’s initial reaction when the job was done?

We were relieved to not be replacing light bulbs before every event! To the average person, you cannot tell a difference in the lighting in the theater. But for those who noticed the shadows and the filament that projected on the glass, it is night and day.

How does everybody feel about how the RETRO is performing in the space?

The staff are all very pleased with the performance and output of the fixtures. We look forward to our larger capacity events returning for patrons to enjoy the new lighting as well. 

Charleston Gaillard Center Canto USA Box

The RETRO Series Line of Products

RETRO-Classic™ – Flexibility & Customization

CantoUSA RETRO-Classic Series Product Photo

The RETRO-Classic our original 0-100% phase dimmable (forward and reverse) variable wattage LED 2700K-6500K 80-97 CRI engine retrofit house light and most customizable RETRO in the entire RETRO family. They are heavier than the Fusion, yet lighter than Passive.

RETRO-Fusion™ – Lighter & Smaller

CantoUSA RETRO-Fusion Series Product Photo

With the RETRO-Fusion being lighter and lower profile, along with a beveled top edge, it is able to squeeze into more shallow fixtures without having the lens protrude from the front of the trim ring. That reduces any type of glare. This new design opens up more opportunities and applications.

RETRO-Passive® – Absolute Silence

CantoUSA RETRO-Passive Series Product Photo

Being fanless, the RETRO-Passive is perfect for sound-sensitive spaces like museums and concert halls. They also have heavier heat sinks to compensate for not having active cooling.

RETRO-PAR – PAR Lamp Replacement

CantoUSA RETRO-Par Series Product Photo

The RETRO-PAR is easy to replace/install, modular, and customizable. Customizable features include active or passive cooling, different wattage outputs, and different optical beam spreads. It comes in PAR 38, 46, 56, and 64 styles, as well as custom.

RETRO-HPL

CantoUSA RETRO-HPL Product Photo

The RETRO-HPL is a direct replacement for existing Source 4 PARs in the marketplace, especially those used for house lights.

About CantoUSA

Founded in 2013, Canto USA is a manufacturer of houselight retrofits and followspots. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to our mission: “Our customers come first. In order to do this, we continuously train our team on the latest trends and needs of the industry, while at the same time becoming a trendsetter in the development of new products and technology that no other company has available.” 

Have a custom job we did for you and want to be featured in one of our blogs articles?