A technical upgrade at the Chassé Theater in Breda, The Netherlands sees the installation of 12 x Zero 88 Chilli Pro 24x16A Bypass dimmers and five Zero 88 Chilli Pro 6x25A dimmers in Jupilerzaal, the venue’s main auditorium … where they will be controlling approximately 309 channels of lighting and LED fixtures including some moving lights as needed / specified by the production.
The venue is one of the Netherlands’ largest venues, with a total of three auditoriums and three cinema spaces, mostly a receiving house – anything from music and bands to drama and dance plus amateur and semi-pro performances as well as corporate and private events and conferences, so a truly ‘multi-purpose’ space that is also a diverse cultural melting pot.
The Chassé Theater also stages some of its own productions, and a typical (pre-pandemic) year would see around 350 live performances and 3500 plus film screenings across all the different spaces.
Chassé Theater technical manager Jordy ten Bloemendal is proud to have worked there for 12 years, and is responsible for the lighting installations, budgeting and – together with his colleagues – future visions and planning. He co-ordinates with all the various incoming production companies, ensures all their technical needs are met, and on occasion still programmes and operates the lighting console!
This was the combination of a general technical upgrade and the replacement of the previous dimmers which had been in service for 25 years! The new dimmers were supplied via Zero 88’s distributor, AED Group, and chosen as the best and most versatile option for the Theatre’s current and future needs.
Jordy explained, “We could no longer source spare parts for the old dimmers, and as theatre lighting going forward is now primarily focussed on getting LED fixtures involved, we needed to purchase dimmers that are suitable for powering these as well as conventional fixed voltage luminaires.”
The new dimmers running in ‘bypass’ fixed voltage mode are also a perfect solution for productions using moving lights.
With this futureproofing topping the required features list, Jordy and his team consulted a host of technicians, gathered their opinions, and then searched for dimming solutions … picking Zero 88.
As a busy mainly receiving theatre which does also some own productions, it was important that all the technicians involved supported the product.
Chassé Theater had already started working with the same Zero 88 Chilli Pro Bypass dimmers in 2017 which are installed in the middle-sized room Koninklijke Drukkerij EM de Jong Zaal, offering approximately 270 channels.
These first Chilli Pros in the building were also a replacement for the old dimmers in place at the time. Everyone was delighted with the kit and the results, so this excellent Zero 88 experience helped propel the decision to repeat the process in the large hall.
“I have a very positive impression of the products – they have proved reliable and stable,” states Jordy, adding that the local support and backup from AV specialist AED Group is also hugely important in their choice of brand.
“Having good dimmers improves the general technical facilities and offers greater scope to light shows creatively and imaginatively,” he says.
These specific Chilli Pro dimmers were chosen for their compactness and because they have the option of functioning as a standard dimmer, and more importantly, the channel can be switched to fixed voltage to run LED fixtures as more are introduced to the rig in the future.
Zero 88’s Chilli Pro range comprises high-density, wall-mounted and convection cooled power switching and dimming cabinets which are ideal for fitting into often already tight spaces in assorted venues.
They are well known and loved for being quick to install and set up and easy to operate and maintain, becoming a popular workhorse for hard-working professional venues like the Chassé Theater.
Chilli Pros are available in 12 and 24 channel packages with 10 or 16 Amp load capacities and optional RCD protection, relay channels, bypass switches and RCBOs, all contained in an elegant, slim line wall-mounting enclosure.
A logical and easy to read user interface and a backlit LCD screen on each individual dimmer assist in convenient setups for DMX patching, preheat, topset and dimmer curves.
The user interface and all breakers are also protected by a lockable breaker cover which is handy for multi-user environments like the Chassé Theater, and there is even a choice of responses in the event of DMX failure, including backup memories or inbuilt chases and an alarm input trigger.
“Projects like the Chassé confirm the popularity of our solutions for modern and energy-efficient refurbishments of venue dimmer and power systems,” commented Zero 88 key account manager for entertainment lighting, Franck Tiesing. “The Chilli Pro bypass units can be efficiently integrated into existing infrastructures without generating unnecessary installation costs.”
Like every venue in the world right now, the Chassé Theater is preparing to re-start productions in the summer after the worldwide pandemic shut down.
Photo: © Jordy ten Bloemendal, courtesy of the Chassé Theater, Breda