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Stage Magic on Columns of Chain

Updated on May 9, 2013

Columns of Chain Moving Stages

Illusions of Sight and Sound

Live stage performances are about illusions, a transformation of sight and sound that whisks an audience into another world. Serapid stage lifts and scenery movement systems provide the instantly movable topography of that world, allowing a performance company to place the audience in another place and time or create a wondrous, timeless fantasy unlike any place on Earth.

A peak beneath the stage reveals lift equipment that’s even more mysterious to audience members -- and to more than a few stage managers. What they see are chains that uncoil almost silently from the floor to form a rigid column that supports and lifts the stage. What they see is not magic but imaginative engineering.

The Rigid Chain

The Chain That Makes It Happen

The key to creating this illusion of magic above and below stage is the LinkLift™ column, made of specially shaped links that interlock under a load to make a lift of extra-high rigidity and strength. Unlike lifts supported by columns, no extra excavation is needed to accommodate Serapid’s LinkLift. When lowered, the links enter a drive housing, unlock, and store horizontally. When raised, the link columns may appear fragile when compared to traditional solid columns. But their deceptive rigidity and strength allows the LinkLift to take up seismic shock and external pulling forces, even for stages aboard cruise ships sailing the high seas.

Orchistra Lifts

Similar systems are available for for orchestra lifts, and with the current trend for flexible theatre design, LinkLifts can raise and lower stage lighting support and sound equipment systems. Serapid can also custom design LinkLift configurations to raise and lower sections of audience seating to adapt the sightlines and acoustics to fit a specific performance. The LinkLift system can also push and pull horizontally for smooth and nearly silent scenery movement.

The LinkLift at the 2008 Olympics

Customizable For Any Job

When it comes to custom designing specialty performance spaces, the results are spectacular, such as Serapid’s custom outdoor stage for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in China, where the moving, undulating stage itself had a feature role in the performance.

The LinkLift is robust and simple electro-mechanical system. Unlike standard hydraulic lifts, there are no pumps, glands, oil, valves or complex controls. There is no need for locking pins or a compensation system, and no differential movement under uneven loading. LinkLift’s nearly silent and smooth motion means there’s no unwanted distractions for the audience. The stage movements become not something merely to sit through until the next scene is ready, but instead a transitional part of the performance itself.


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