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Fixed Catwalk install is a walk on the beach - Polynesian Cultural Center (03-30-10)
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Fixed Catwalk install is a walk on the beach - Polynesian Cultural Center

Fixed Catwalk install is a walk on the beach - Polynesian Cultural Center

Fixed Catwalk install is a walk on the beach - Polynesian Cultural Center

When planning for their newest production, Ha - Breath of Life, the technical staff at the Polynesian Cultural Center knew they had to improve several areas of their facility. Not only did they need to add lighting positions, they also wanted a system that would be flexible, and would make it easy for technicians to maintain and change out equipment. With these goals in mind, they began the renovation of the Pacific Theater, an open air amphitheater built on the north shore of the island of Oahu. This project would mark the first major changes to the facility in fourteen years.

With a lighting design by Brent Pritchett of 4Wall Entertainment Las Vegas in hand, the first task was deciding where new lighting positions were needed. The production team realized that a complete new catwalk system needed to be installed over the stage and seating area to give them the flexibility and the access the new production schedule required. With an extremely tight schedule to install the entire system, a prefabricated solution was the only option. After much research, the Total Structures Fixed Catwalk Truss was the only product that could meet their needs, budget, and time frame.

Starting with the industry leading design of the standard product, Total's design team applied their extensive experience to put together a continuous catwalk and stair system extending from the front of house positions all the way to the main stage. Built to follow the venue's sloping roof, and connecting to the huge glulam beams, the catwalk system used a series of stair units tied into the catwalk sections to give the entire system a climb of almost 14 feet over the 82 foot length of the system. This design, complete with OSHA compliant hand and toe rails, allows the show's technicians to reach any of their lighting positions without the need for connecting into a fall protection system.

As no project is ever truly off the shelf, this install did require many custom pieces based on the standard Fixed Catwalk Truss. Starting with extra wide catwalks which featured four foot wide walkways, the list of custom solutions also required the construction of 90 degree corners and three way catwalk junctions to allow the system to be a continuous loop walkway over the audience and stage area. The entire system uses over 200 feet of Fixed Catwalk truss, as well as six fixed stair units.

Because the new catwalk had to be completed before the rest of the new systems could be installed, the time line was extremely short for this install. The entire project, from initial proposal, through design and engineering review, until all equipment was loaded into three sea containers for shipping from Long Beach, CA, was completed in less than three months. To maintain this critical schedule, Total Structures enlisted the services of Entertainment Structures Group of Cincinnati, OH, for engineering and design review. Nathan Walsman, lead engineer for ESG, worked hand in hand with the design team in Ventura, and the facility engineers in Hawaii to ensure the system met all local and national codes, as well as functional requirements. Project management for Total Structures was led by Elmer Veith.
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