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Indiana University Auditorium - Indiana University - Bloomington, Indiana
The Indiana University Auditorium opened in 1940. The large seating capacity and the enduring enthusiasm of the audiences allowed IU to present here the greatest artists and touring companies of the past 60 years, including the Metropolitan Opera, Artur Rubenstein, and Ezio Pinza.
Reopened after a 2-year $10-million renovation, the auditorium is ready for many more years of service. Much of the renovation work is felt but not seen, including new electrical service and electrical distribution, new air conditioning, new public toilets, new accessibility for the disabled, new life safety systems, and new support spaces. Soon, with the completion of the new Department of Theatre and Drama next door, there will be new, larger, loading docks as well.
The most important visual change is the restoration and relighting of the extraordinary Thomas Hart Benton murals that ring the lobby. The murals were painted for the Indiana display at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 and depict the cultural and industrial history of Indiana. The murals were acquired for this auditorium following the exposition.
The service level below the stage was revised to accommodate the larger and more complex wardrobe requirements of modern Broadway touring, such as the "cocoon" system.
A new stage lighting system was installed with 440 dimmers for house needs such as local ballet companies, concerts, and convocations. For road shows there are three large company switches and many small company switches. Lighting data networks were installed to handle several different lighting data types, including houselight command data, houselight DMX, hand-held remote control data, stage lighting Ethernet, and house and road show DMX. The networks are run by PC's, by hand-held remotes, and by an ETC Obsession-II with a designer's remote. The onstage power circuits are run with 6-circuit portable multiconductor cables.
The new electrical systems, working as an integrated whole, allow the house electrician more control in the allowed time, and make the house more attractive to technically demanding road shows. Two overt goals of the facility management and of the renovation are to attract commercial touring companies and to provide a desirable first engagement for touring companies to do their initial setup and technical work in the right kind of cost/staff/space environment before starting a rigorous tour.
Original Architect: Eggers & Higgins and A.M. Strauss