The Armitage Centre
Completed in 2014, the Armitage Centre is a flexible black box theatre. It is ideal for professional artist performances, business events and community productions.
The Centre compliments the heritage listed art deco Empire Theatre which was restored and reopened in 1997. Over the past 20 years, Toowoomba’s community has embraced their Empire Theatre as one of the city’s major icons.
Respecting its artistic legacy, the Empire is forging future ambitions with its audiences and catering to emerging artists on the Darling Downs.
Visual Focus was the appointed audio-visual contractor for the new building project.
The Visual Focus team worked closely with builders and Empire Theatres Technical Manager, Mr Timothy Panitz to deliver state-of-the-art lighting and audio-visual systems.
Inside the Heritage Auditorium
The venue has house lights operated through Mosaic house lighting control automation. This controls theatrical lighting fixtures for dimming, adjusting fade times and programming colour variations.
The programmable lighting system uses 48 dimmer channels and 2.4Kw dimmer racks. It connects with theatrical lamps positioned across 15 lighting bars. These can be patched via multiple stage boxes located around the auditorium.
A CableNet Tension Wire Grid supplied by Jands is installed as a ‘virtual floor’ above. It gives high level of safe access for theatre technicians working with the lighting bars, scenery and rigging.
Foyer Paging System
An Australian Monitor Digipage system provides a flexible multi zone foyer paging system. Installed for easy use by front-of-house staff making announcements for patrons and playing background music.
Empire Theatres Tim Panitz had oversight of selection and installation of technical equipment for the venue. Equipment selected met his high standards of functionality, maximising flexibility to suit many future uses for the new venue.
Visual Focus recommended a Williams Sound Hearing Augmentation Infrared System to meet requirements under the Australian Building Standards. It delivers a flexible hearing augmentation system ideal for special needs of hearing impaired patrons.
The Armitage Centre is a important facility for Toowoomba. It supports the Empire Theatres precinct in delivering a broad program of performing arts annually.
The Empire complex services the community, showcasing the talents of young people now and in future generations.
Building the Armitage Centre attracted strong community support and significant funding through a partnership with Toowoomba Regional Council. The project was supported by the Federal Government through the Regional Development Australia Fund.