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The Alabama Theatre is located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and since its opening in 1993 has been featured by the CBS Morning Show, NBC Nightly News and Good Morning America. Recently, the theatre was nominated for the Country Music Association’s Venue of the Year award. In addition to the theatre’s signature shows, the venue brings in top touring acts once a week, including Alabama, Bill Cosby, Vince Gill and many more.
The Alabama Theatre’s live shows remain on the cutting edge of entertainment technology. This includes some impressive cryogenically produced special effects.
In order to create the fog, the theatre uses equipment to mix CO2 with O2 and N2. For years, stage managers had relied on dewar tanks of CO2 for these effects, manually wheeling them from one location to the next. The tanks had to be ordered and delivered each week, required regular onsite checks and resulted in noticeable liquid loss, due to high CO2 flash losses. In order to simplify operations and reduce costs, the theatre needed a more efficient way to store and distribute CO2 that would still help them wow audiences.
In March 2014, the Alabama Theatre contracted Carolina Piping to help upgrade its cryogenic CO2 system. The Chart VIP design team worked closely with Carolina Piping to select suitable piping that would complement the theatre’s new Perma-Cyl® MicroBulk Storage System CO2 tanks, delivering a solution that was as efficient as it was effective.
The Chart team understood that the Alabama Theatre wanted a very hands-off, reliable cryogenic system – one that would not require replacement for many years. With this in mind, Chart recommended its half-inch Modular Vacuum Insulated Tube (MVIT) Python® Vacuum Insulated Pipe components.
Chart MVIT Python components are preconfigured to offer easy installation and boast a double-wall design that provides maximum thermal efficiency and minimizes liquid loss. They also require no additional protection against moisture or vapors and deliver optimal performance for decades.
As a result of its Chart MVIT solution, the Alabama Theatre is experiencing many advantages, including:
In addition to the benefits listed on the previous page, the Alabama Theatre is also realizing significant operational and business gains. Because the system enables the theatre to store more CO2, requires little to no onsite attention and will last for decades, the theatre has significantly reduced its labor associated with monitoring, moving and ordering new CO2 tanks – previously a weekly task.
The system has also consistently delivered optimal liquid volumes, providing the pressure necessary for reliable delivery while minimizing liquid loss. This enables more accurate and repeatable cryogenic effects onstage, which not only enhances the audience’s experience, but also creates a safer environment for the performers.
All of this has helped the theatre simplify operations, reduce costs and deliver advanced cryogenic effects that add to the Alabama Theatre’s leading-edge live performances. Estimated costs savings are nearly $11,000 per year.
“We have been more than impressed with the ease of use and performance of the new system as a whole. The savings we’ve experienced financially and in productivity will absolutely make this a worthwhile investment.” – Lance O’Connor, Stage Manager, Alabama Theatre
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