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Custom Vortek Hoists Featured in Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas, Texas

Custom Vortek Hoists Featured in Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas, Texas

Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre custom Vortek hoistTexas theatergoers will soon experience one of the most versatile facilities capable of transforming itself from one event to the next. Hoists manufactured by Vortek, a Division of Daktronics Inc. (Nasdaq-DAKT), are center stage in the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. The custom hoists manipulate seating sections along with Vortek Pro Series hoists in an advanced fly system. This innovative theatre design was commissioned by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus (partner in charge) and Rem Koolhaas.

The theatre consultant, Michael Nishball, of Theatre Projects Consulting said, “When direct lift, multipart-line in a high capacity hoist is required, there is no group with as much experience as the Vortek team at Daktronics. At this point, it's clear to me that this is going to be a very successful power flying and controls installation.”

Scheduled for completion in October 2009, this 74,915 square foot facility has 12 stories and seats approximately 600 people. The vertically stacked floors are unique compared to the traditional form of theatres. It places support spaces above and below the auditorium, providing maximum flexibility of performance space.

Without the Vortek custom hoists, this design would not be possible. The hoists have the capacity to raise sections of box seats and balcony seats allowing multiple configurations for the various venues.

“Taking the vision of the theatre consultant and architect of literally hanging the seating from the upper floors was an enormous engineering challenge. A lot of credit goes to Vortek's engineers and field technicians; the towers flew the first time the button was pushed,” said Steve Hagen from Secoa, Vortek's authorized dealer. “The general contractor, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc., assembled a team that looked out for the owners' best interest and all of the subcontractors, along with the logistics of this one-of-a-kind building.”

There are 51 hoists installed in the entire project, of which 45 Vortek Pro Series hoists and two custom hoists are installed on stage to control curtains and scenery. However, the real measure of innovation lies in the four custom hoists used for shifting the seating towers. Vortek engineers were handed the challenge at the onset of the project two years ago to develop these four massive, custom hoists. Each is capable of moving horizontally and vertically with the lifting capacity of 60,000 pounds.

“It's a great opportunity to be the supplier of hoist equipment for the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre,” said Dave Lane, Controls Engineering Manager for Vortek. “A project of this size lets us really sink our teeth into the engineering to create a custom design.”

“Richard Nelson, Vortek's Installation Supervisor, has been on the site during hoist installation to make sure all goes as planned,” said Lane. “All Vortek Pro Series hoists were installed in December without any difficulties.”

To follow the development of the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, visit their web site at

For more information on Vortek, a division of Daktronics visit:

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