The CENSEO team recently completed an orchestra pit lift project at the University of Hawaii Kennedy Theatre. . Our team of engineers redesigned the pit lift using a new, more efficient system that solved several functionality problems with the existing 50-year-old hydraulic lift.

After fully understanding the needs of the UH Kennedy Theatre project and listening to our client’s wishes, our team of audio/visual and acoustical engineers began researching and designing a new system that would provide solutions to existing challenges.

Why Spiralift?

CENSEO chose to use Spiralift technology by Gala Systems because of its superior efficiency and design. The self-erecting column of interconnecting stainless steel has made Spiralift one of the world’s top-rated systems. CENSEO chose the system for this individual project because Spiralift by Gala Systems offered the best solution to the problems, fit the constraints of the project, and worked well with our client’s wishes.

Mechanical Efficiency

The Spiralift operates at a high level of efficiency due to the reduced power required to operate the electric motor.

Architectural Design

Because of Spiralift’s compact design, it can be easily incorporated into any platform geometry and building design.

I-Lock Technology

Responding to a salesman’s request for a theater platform lift, Gala System engineers began working on a slinky-like design, which allowed for an expandable vertical band column. Soon, teeth were added to the edges of the slinky, allowing the column to lock into place and the system to operate in a variety of directions. The I-Lock system increased stabilization with extended height, a new concept in the operation of stage pit lifts. Spiralift is capable of safely reaching twice as high as a traditional lift, has no wear parts, operates quietly and smoothly, is non-corrosive, and requires minimal maintenance.

A significant benefit for the Kennedy Theatre was eliminating the need for excavated shafts, which were necessary for the original hydraulic pit lift. Thanks to the innovative configuration system design of Spiralift, the new orchestra pit lift was easily installed by Gala Systems and completely accessible above ground.

Our team was pleased with the selection of Spiralift by Gala Systems. As the world’s largest manufacturer of understage equipment, we were able to trust and receive valuable information from Gala Systems, making our design a great success. Our experience with Gala Systems was very positive, and the UH Kennedy Theater underwent a successful revamping of their stage orchestra pit lift. As Dean Uehara, Architect at the University of Hawaii explained,

…there were no major design problems. CENSEO did a good job on the construction documents.

When asked if UH would again choose CENSEO AV+Acoustics for future projects, he replied,

“The University modified [the] contract to have CENSEO resolve the acoustic problem.”

Moving forward, our team will continue to work with the UH Kennedy Theatre as they undergo further refurbishing to modernize the functionality, making the most of the valuable historic space.

If you have questions about this project or would like more information about CENSEO AV+Acoustics, please contact us directly at 808-726-2999.

photo credit: Gala Systems Inc.


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