Light Console

As a part of my research, I have restored to working condition the 60-way Light Console built in 1946 for the Theatre Royal, Bristol, UK. The console is owned by Jim Laws, and is currently housed at Rose Bruford College. The restoration project has been sponsored by a grant from the Society for Theatre Research and sponsorship by Electronic Theatre Controls.

I have collated some information on each of the 17 Light Consoles made in the table below – click the links for details of each one. Some additional general information and links to other resources appear below.

Dates of Manufacture, Removal and Preservation:

Console Installed Last Known Date Preservation
Original 1935 Removed from Palladium in 1949 V&A Theatre Museum collection, London.
S’Carlos Opera House, Lisbon 1940
South Shore Icedrome, Blackpool 1946
Theatre Royal, Bristol 1946 Replaced by PR control c.1962 Owned by Jim Laws. At Rose Bruford College.
Palladium Theatre, London 1949 Replaced c.1969 V&A Theatre Museum collection, London.
National Opera House, Ankara 1949
Palace Theatre, Manchester 1949 Replaced by Light Palette in 1981 Preserved at Gerriets, in their Vogelsheim factory in south-east France.
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London 1950 Replaced in 1975 Jim Laws.
Empress Hall, Earl’s Court, London 1950
Stoll Theatre, Kingsway, London 1950 Moved to ‘Talk of the Town’ (old London Hippodrome) in 1958
Festival Hall, London 1951 Removed by Jim Laws c.1975 DHA Lighting, London.
Coliseum, London 1952
Aula Magna, Caracas 1954
Adelphi Theatre, London 1954 Converted to something equivalent to a CD in 1962
Her Majesty’s Theatre, London 1954 Removed by Greg Hamlin in 1978. Greg Hamlin private collection.
Plaza Cinema, Caracas 1954
Theatre Polski, Warsaw 1955 Reported as ‘recently removed’ in 1983

Other Light Console Resources:

Miscellaneous Light Console Documentation:

  • A scanned copy of a Light Console manual, in PDF format.
Strand Electric leaflet showing the RFH Light Console. From the collection of Adam Grater.

Strand Electric leaflet showing the RFH Light Console. From the collection of Adam Grater.

A cue sheet from the RFH Light Console. From the collection of Adam Grater.

A cue sheet from the RFH Light Console. From the collection of Adam Grater.