Historic Salt Lake Tabernacle

Design Team

Auerbach Pollock Friedlander (Theatre Consulting)
principal designer, principal in charge: S. Leonard Auerbach, ASTC, IALD, LC
principal, project manager, theatrical systems designer: Tom Neville, ASTC
principal, video and communications systems: Paul Garrity
video and communication systems designer: Dan Mei
theatrical systems designer: Grace Gavin


Other Team Members

Construction Manager: Jacobsen Construction
Architect: FFKR Architects
Structural: Reaveley Engineering
Acoustics: Kirkegaard & Associates
Electrical/Mechanical: BNA Engineering/VBFA Engineers
Electrical Contractor: Cache Valley Electric Co.




Auerbach Pollock Friedlander provided theatre consulting and sound, video, and communications (SVC) consulting on the major renovation of The Historic Salt Lake Tabernacle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This extraordinary structure, which is listed in the National Historic Register, was built in 1867 and has had only one other significant renovation in its 140-year existence. The facility is the home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.



The most critical aspect of the project was to incorporate 21st century theatrical systems into the space with minimal visual impact to the existing historical building structure. The interior of the Tabernacle was to remain “as it has always been,” and these theatrical systems, nearly invisible to the audience, were deemed critical in supporting the Tabernacle’s unique performance requirements.

Under this directive, the firm collaborated with the architectural firm FFKR on the development and upgrading of technically advanced stage machinery including theatrical lighting, stage lifts, rigging, automation, and SVC systems. A newly added control booth and reconfigured seating provide the only two major visible clues to the dramatic changes in the hall.

The Tabernacle was constructed to be the home of the LDS General Conference, a meeting open to the entire Church membership. Over the years the use of the space has increased dramatically. It is now the venue for over 500 events annually and the permanent home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Stage lifts and modular staging components are the key building blocks of the stage area, and by manipulation of these elements, it is possible to change from one configuration to the next in less than 24 hours. The theatrical lighting system is designed to support a variety of Church functions by suitably lighting them for both daily use and for broadcast purposes. A full complement of conventional and automated theatrical lighting fixtures, automated accessories, and LED technology provides the user with the ability to work within a repertory plot supporting the multiple configurations and broadcast use. Broadcast and presentation lighting is achieved through a series of custom designed truss elements that are flown from an automated winch system concealed within the ceiling and roof structure.

A video projection system has been added to provide advanced multimedia presentation capabilities to presenters and attendees. Using video source equipment, including DVD, HD cameras, and computer-based media, the “Technical Operations Center” can distribute these video signals in realtime to digital video projectors within the space. Twin motorized front projection screens mounted in the floor on either side of the organ allow the multimedia information to stand alone or integrate with live action. Their ability to retract out of view when not in use helps preserve the architectural beauty of the Tabernacle.

In response to the Church’s video and broadcast engineers, Auerbach Pollock Friedlander designed a state-of-the-art video broadcast system which provides high-definition video production capabilities from both manned and robotic cameras. These signals can be sent out for broadcast, stored for archival purposes, or integrated into the CCTV distribution network and digital video projection system, allowing full HD monitoring within the Tabernacle, rostrum, rehearsal rooms, and back-of-house support areas.


Winches, lighting, and acrobat automation control: Stage Technologies
Stages Lifts and Modular: Staging Components by Pook Diemont & Ohl, Inc.
Theatrical Lighting Fixtures: ETC, High End, Vari-Lite, Selador

Lighting Control

Theatrical Lighting Dimming and Control:
ETC Sensor+ dimmers and Sinewave dimmers
Ethernet data distribution system
Wireless network system
ETC Eos console
ETC Unison

Video And Communication Systems

Video System:
Broadcast Video Camera System
CCTV and Video Monitoring
Technical Operations Center (TOC) Equipment
Video Projection System
Video Playback and Control
Production Intercom and Backstage Paging Headend System
Cue Light System

Read more on:

Suggested Articles:

World's Famous Building Corporation reimagines world’s narrowest commercial building with animated storytelling through light and media.

On a canvas stretching a full city-block wide and nearly 100’ tall, the design teams of American Christmas and Chris Werner Design transformed the iconic…

Held from 15-27 September 2015 at Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the IAA International Motor Show is one of the biggest auto shows in the world, and is known for…