Live Design Blog Archive

Summit Rigs Largest Screen in O2 for Mamma Mia Screening

Summit Steel rigged the largest flown projection screen to date in London's O2 Arena for two special screenings of Mamma Mia the Movie which were enjoyed by up to 12000 people per show.

Summit was working for Andy Peat Associates. They had rigged a similar - slightly smaller - screen in the venue two years ago for Peat and his team to facilitate the premiere of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ...... this time, the screen frame measured an even more impressive 33.45 metres wide by 14.95 deep

Summit's crew, led by project manager Jay Call, also flew the PA system and all the drapes used to dress the venue and transform it into a giant cinema for the day.

The screen frame was constructed from 30.5 cm JTE trussing and picked up on 4 x 1 tonne points. The projection material - supplied by Harkness Hall - was attached and tensioned via the traditional method of lacing with string around its perimeter.

During the build process, tensioning wires were dropped from the centre two points and wrapped around the bottom chord of the frame to prevent the structure bowing as it was flown out.

The screen had to be raised in stages as it was built outwards width-ways, and because it was so large, it would have been impossible for it to be assembled flat and then lifted without substantially more bracing. This was the trickiest element of the operation. The material was also tensioned as it was built - from the top down - by riggers working off cherry pickers. Once the full screen was assembled and the surface stretched smooth, it was flown out to its full 14 metre top trim height.

It was then finished off with a border fitted by Blackfriars Scenery.

The PA was supplied by Britro and comprised 3 hangs of V-DOSC concealed behind the screen.

The PA stacks were each picked up on a pair of 2 tonne motors to enable maximum focusability, allowing full and even coverage around the whole arena.

Upstage of the PA behind the screen were 3 drapes trusses for masking, each hung on 4 points. One was in the centre at the back, and the screen was flanked left and right by an angled set of drapes.

Summit's 4 ground riggers worked in conjunction with 4 venue riggers - also supplied by Summit as part of their ongoing rigging services to the O2 - who installed the top points. They completed everything in the day before the show.

Jay Call says, "It's always interesting and fun working on Andy Peat's projects - they are often different and offbeat, However we are really fortunate to work with such a professional team, which makes the entire production process flow so smoothly".

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.