Theatrecrafts.com > Backstage Heritage Collection > Equipment > CD / System CD

CD / System CD  (1956)
Strand


200 channel Strand system CD/W Civic Theatre Gothenburg

Electro-mechanical remote control (120 channel)
The first System CD went into the Palace Theatre, at the same time as the last Light Console was being installed in Warsaw. Brian Legge was involved in the installation of both. 
The first theatre to use System CD outside the West End of London was the Sunderland Empire (1959/60). 
The final System CD installation was at the rebuilt Abbey Theatre, Dublin. 

Notes by Brian Legge: 
This is the Strand Electric Console Preset (System CD) remote lighting control, the type installed between 1956 and 1966 in virtually all the major theatres, and most of the first ITV Studios. 
The remote power handling dimmers were magnetic clutch driven resistance or transformer dimmers. 
Essentially this console was used only to change the lighting and such changes were limited to those control channels which had been selected to change by selecting the associated stopkey, either manually or magnetically by the internal 3-dimensional latching memory preset and recalled by the group of 15 round push buttons at the right hand side. 
It is not surprising it looks like an organ because all except the fader levers were manufactured for Strand by John Compton Organ Company - crafted would be a better word because each was made by just one man who started by choosing the timber, made the very intricate memory boxes and did all the interconnection wiring, and signed it internally. 
The first one was for the Palace Theatre, London, the last for the rebuilt Abbey Theatre, Dublin. 
The forerunner was the Light Console, employing similar technology, but without fader levers to preset precise intermediate intensity levels - this had an organ-type keyboard, but with 12 keys to an 'octave'. These keys were in effect submasters for same coloured stopkeys. As such it was ideal for fast, broad effects. The most famous of the previous generation was at the London Palladium where it was in full view at the end of the circle. 
It was the introduction of Thyristor Dimmers, variable load and far more compact but requiring a continuous control signal that marked the end of this type of selective control. Dimmer intensity memory was the solution but today we tend to forget how expensive bit-memory was initially. 

Related Venues:

Related Shows

See also:


Documents

Photo: System CD - Console Preset - Cambridge
Photo: System CD - Console Preset - Cambridge 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[522kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD - Console Preset - Sadlers Wells
Photo: System CD - Console Preset - Sadlers Wells 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[491kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD - Savoy Theatre Console
Photo: System CD - Savoy Theatre Console 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[502kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD Console
Photo: System CD Console 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[591kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD Console at Adelphi Theatre, London - Rear
Photo: System CD Console at Adelphi Theatre, London - Rear 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[644kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD Console for Palace
Photo: System CD Console for Palace 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[365kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD Console for Palace - Close-up
Photo: System CD Console for Palace - Close-up 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[741kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD Console with Philip Sheridan
Photo: System CD Console with Philip Sheridan 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[596kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD for Aldwych featuring Paul Weston
Photo: System CD for Aldwych featuring Paul Weston 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[2.3Mb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD for Miskolc, Hungary
Photo: System CD for Miskolc, Hungary 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[438kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/TV adjacent installations 
at Wembley Studio 5
Photo: System CD/TV adjacent installations at Wembley Studio 5 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[547kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/TV at Wembley 5
Photo: System CD/TV at Wembley 5 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[548kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/TV at Wembley Studio 5
Photo: System CD/TV at Wembley Studio 5 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[608kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/TV for Glasgow TV
Photo: System CD/TV for Glasgow TV 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[368kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/TV for Granada TV, Manchester
Photo: System CD/TV for Granada TV, Manchester 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[355kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/TV for Wembley Studio 5
Photo: System CD/TV for Wembley Studio 5 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[458kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/TV suite for Hamburg
Photo: System CD/TV suite for Hamburg 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[357kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/TV suite for Hamburg with M Wooderson
Photo: System CD/TV suite for Hamburg with M Wooderson  
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[457kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/TV suite in use at Hamburg
Photo: System CD/TV suite in use at Hamburg 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[487kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/W for Birmingham Alexandra Theatre
Photo: System CD/W for Birmingham Alexandra Theatre 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[357kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/W for Gothenburg
Photo: System CD/W for Gothenburg 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[550kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/W for Gothenburg (with M Wooderson)
Photo: System CD/W for Gothenburg (with M Wooderson) 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[513kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/W for Gothenburg - centre console
Photo: System CD/W for Gothenburg - centre console 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[461kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
Photo: System CD/W for Gothenburg - rear wiring
Photo: System CD/W for Gothenburg - rear wiring 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[603kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection
System CD - Console Preset - Cambridge
System CD - Console Preset - Cambridge 
Click on thumbnail to enlarge
[713kb  JPEG]
From Frederick Brown Collection

System CD TH II Instructions 
[4Mb PDF]
From Jim Laws Collection

1957 Theatrical Lighting (1957)
From Strand Archive

1957 Theatrical Lighting (1957)
From Strand Archive

1957 Theatrical Lighting (1957)
From Strand Archive

1958 Price List - page 14 (October 1958)
From Strand Archive

1961 Lighting for Entertainment - page 17 (1961)
From Strand Archive

1961 Lighting for Entertainment - page 22 (1961)
From Strand Archive

1963 Lighting for Entertainment page 17 (April 1963)
From Strand Archive

1963 Lighting for Entertainment page 19 (April 1963)
From Strand Archive

1963 Lighting for Entertainment page 24 (April 1963)
From Strand Archive

LSI - Classic Gear - System CD (September 2009)
[1.28Mb PDF]
From Lighting & Sound International

Exhibits in the Backstage Heritage Collection


System CD  
From Jim Laws Collection

System CD  
On display at Production Park Reception, Wakefield
From Production Park Collection

System CD 120 Channel  
From Electrokinetica


Back to Control - Manual (Strand)


1126