Highlighting heritage

Illuminated Centenary Theatre

Rialto Theatre

Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2014

Since 2010, the Rialto theatre in Montreal has undergone large-scale renovations to restore it to its former glory. Built in 1923, the building was designated a Canadian national historic site in 1993. Its Beaux-Arts style façade was inspired by the Paris Opéra. The space has been used for a variety of purposes, first as a neighbourhood movie theatre, then as a high-end steak house, in the 2000s, and now as a multipurpose venue for the performing arts. When the current owners acquired it, they completely restored it, from its sumptuous interior to its imposing façade. XYZ Cultural Technology installed an outdoor lighting system that highlights the façade’s iconic architectural elements and illuminates Parc Avenue at nightfall.

Description

In order to highlight the specific architectural elements of the Rialto façade, Garou Blancan, lighting designer at XYZ Cultural Technology, designed a system comprised of 46 lights in five distinct zones. These zones can be controlled independently to create different ambiances, monochromatic or contrasting, depending on the event or the season. Lighting control is achieved directly by means of an application.

Lighting up a heritage building involves a host of challenges. Preserving the building’s architectural integrity by changing as little as possible is key. It was therefore crucial that the lights installed by XYZ be discreet and invisible from the street. For the same reasons, the power source and control modules were installed inside the theatre, connected to the lights by small perfectly airtight lines. The lighting fixtures are watertight and dustproof and can withstand extreme temperature variations (as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius).

Expertise

  • Lighting

Mandate

Principal contractor
Technical directior
Design
Equipment supply
Integration
Programming

Production

Rialto Theatre