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A Spot of 1932

2011 November 7

Though retrofitted for modern bulb technology, this original followspot is still in use at Radio City Music Hall. The custom design allows one operator to run two spots simultaneously. I was having a little fun with filters, so the shot looks as old as the spotlight. But its from just a few days ago.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Duane Mortensen permalink
    August 13, 2012

    My father Dana K. Mortensen and I did the retro fit in 1974. We had a small business back then creating specialty lighting equipment. The install was done over several weeks after the show. We would arrive at 11pm and work until sunrise. We also converted special effects machines and rear screen projection equipment. He was also the creator of one of the first Xenon Lamp houses back in the 1960’s. Later he developed specialty light bulbs for the pool industry.

  2. Bob Kinstle permalink
    November 25, 2013

    I am fascinated that one operator could run two lamps at the same time. I have trouble running one at a time. Especially with carbon arc lamps.

    Can you explain more about how this worked? Did the operator actually follow two different people at the same time, moving in separate directions? Sounds VERY difficult…

    Bob Kinstle, local 346, Lexington, KY

    • Duane Mortensen permalink
      May 16, 2014

      Yes you can target two different performers. The single handle to the bottom could handle focus and iris. The color gels. Were changed manually and each would drop out the old color.

      It took a lot to stay on target. It was also very hot in those rooms.

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