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Where do you find a box to pack a chandelier?

May 29th, 2014 by admin

Short Answer:  “You build it!”


But this was just one part of our process as we moved to temporary spaces while the theatre undergoes necessary upgrades and improvements over the summer.

Packing up a 99 year old theatre – turning 100 in December, is no small feat… especially when you have an ongoing Season of shows and thousands of patrons to serve during pack-up time.

We started with five directives to all department heads:chandelier

  • Throw out what you don’t need – recycle bins were available around the clock and dumpsters were brought in later in the process
  • Pack up what you need to go in long term deep storage – for historical and/or accounting purposes – items that can’t be thrown out, but don’t need to be referenced anytime in the foreseeable future.
  • Pack up what you need to go with you to our temporary office space – current files for current projects – and did I mention we have a 100th birthday coming up – so we have a LOT of events that need supplies on the ready.
  • Pack up what you won’t need in the temporary space – but WILL need when we move back into offices at the theatre in the Fall.
  • Take your personal effects home – we love the framed finger painting collage your 6 year old made in art class – but if you think we’re bubble-wrapping that and paying to put it in storage, think again.

Of course this sounds pretty straight forward, but in reality, this opened up a hornet’s nest of questions and quandaries… such as…do you pack your hanging file folders or just the manila ones? can you fit more by packing a file box long ways or short ways?  and we had MANY moments spent going down memory lane as someone found an old program or invitation from an event and discussion ensued as someone recalled a former star that wasn’t so nice, or the revealing dress a cast member wore to an opening night party… catty perhaps, but c’mon – we all do it!

The previously mentioned hanging file folders were grouped in one area, as were other general office supplies.  A quantity of the most popular office supplies were packed to move to the temporary space, and the balance we will see again in the new space… and, after shredding over 2.5 tons of sensitive files,  if anyone reading this needs some binder clips – we have enough to build a second theatre with!  Why is it that offices in any environment – large small, for-profit, not-for-profit – always end up with an overabundance of binder clips versus any other office supply?!?

horseWith the assistance of our terrific IATSE crew, the stagehand organization that has worked at the theater since it opened, and now led by Ed Mangini, we sent 10 tractor trailers, filled with items both large and small, off for storage in the care of theatrical movers Anthony Augliera & Sons Movers.   The Augliera’s have been moving Shubert shows for 99years – now by truck – but in the early days by horse!

Both dedicated teams spearheaded the moving and storage of backstage elements like hundreds of lighting units, sound equipment, drapes, electronics, and 3 washers & dryers from our wardrobe department.   We filled a total of 6 dumpsters, brought in for larger, broken items – the wobbly chair that had you sitting on a tilt, the old candy counter with the one door that always slid off the track….but as the saying goes “one man’s junk is another mans’ treasure” – on many mornings, we arrived at the theatre to find some characters in the dumpster carrying away what they deemed new treasures.

And what do you do with a theatre of staff people…and your temporary office space is one single room of 1900square feet?   We’ll visit “The Shubert Bunker” in my next blog post!


Contributing Writer: Sheri Kaplan, General Manager, Shubert Theatre

Learn more about the Shubert Centennial Plan.