With a mission to provide the highest-quality experiences for music makers and audiences alike, the from-the-ground up, fully renovated Texas Music Theater in San Marcos (situated between Austin and San Antonio) officially opened its doors March 9th, featuring all-new state-of-the-art digital sound, lighting and acoustics. The former movie Theater-turned nightclub-turned high-end music venue will host a wide swath of national touring artists in a range of musical genres (including Americana, Texas country, rock, indie rock, blues, Tejano-Salsa-Latin and more), as well as offering a top-notch location for private parties, corporate meetings, and special events.
Co-owner Gray Gregson was instrumental in pulling together the best of the best in the areas of audio, architecture and lighting consultation, including independent lighting designer Alex Soto, who came onboard at the very beginning of the revitalization process nearly 3 years ago. Although he was unfamiliar with the Elektralite product line initially, Soto specified a lighting package comprised of six Elektralite LXE700 spots and four LXE700W wash luminaries based on recommendations. In the end he was pleased with his decision—from their features and functionality to price.
“When Gray contacted me through a mutual friend to come down and take a look at the space, it was pretty weak,” Soto recalled. “There was a mess of very old American DJ truss and rigging that wasn't very accessible and basically falling apart. The idea was to gut the building completely inside and use the natural large space of the Theater to create a great venue that was top-notch. His primary goal was to make it as straightforward and accommodating to a production crew with lighting trusses that were easily accessible and that offered flexible functionality.”
The Elektralite fixtures fit the budget at hand, in addition to offering the venue a completely flexible and customizable system. “We're using the LXE700 profiles upstage for the moving light package, and the LXE700 washes are downstage for general stage washes, audience blinders and general movement—controlled by a Barco Road Hog console. The output is good, the gobos are nice, and the prisms are very fast and rotate quickly. The LXE â€˜Frost' feature is probably one of the best frost features I've seen thus far. You can completely frost out a gobo and then bring it back into focus by taking the flag in or out. Overall, I've found these to be a great all-around fixture, not to mention we haven't had any mechanical issues, which is always nice. On any given show, we might move the washes to a mix stage truss or change it up in any number of ways… That's the best part of this; we can do whatever we want because of the system's flexibility. And we have that advantage over a lot of other venues that are at the same capacity level. They're very straightforward… We just hang â€˜em, power â€˜em up, run data to them and we have a great light show!”
Soto says that one of the venues greatest advantages, over similar venues in the surround areas, is that the Texas Music Theater was built from the ground up with well-thought-out design and implementation. “There are no other venues near here like this. A lot of these music clubs are just a bar with a stage. They weren't designed from the ground up with the production in mind as first consideration—from the loading ramps to the way they designed monitor world and FOH. And it's really obvious when production people walk on that stage for the first time. Every act that comes through here now is blown away. They really did it right.”