Underwater Stage Lifts – A Legacy

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Underwater Stage Lifts – A Legacy

Did you know that Handling Specialty has designed, manufactured and installed the underwater stage lifts for all of the Oasis-class Royal Caribbean Aquatheaters?

Our success in landing these contracts is due in part to the advanced underwater stage lifts we have engineered in the past for companies such as Cirque du Soleil and Franco Dragone. 

To give some perspective on underwater stage lifts and the extraordinary engineering and manufacturing these custom material handling systems require: The House of Dancing Water in Macau (China) is a 2,000 seat venue featuring a 270 degree theatre-in-the-round, housing the world’s largest commercial pool which is 160 feet in diameter, 26 feet deep and holds 3.7 million gallons of water.

Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘O’ Show in Las Vegas takes place in a pool containing 1.5 million gallons of water, where four hydraulically-actuated lifts raise and lower the four-piece stage, which measures 3,650 square feet.

Each of the Oasis-class Royal Caribbean ship’s Aquatheatres’ include three underwater lifts, two diving board tilters and one trampoline rotator. In order to slow the movement of water from side to side within the pool, the runway lift features a vertically telescoping platform. With a platform capacity of 10,000 lbs, the equipment can withstand an average of 10 kpa horizontal “sloshing load”.

Designing a system to move people and props vertically and horizontally on a theatre stage is one thing, putting that stage underwater is an entirely different story, and one that Handling Specialty is very familiar with. Working intimately with each customer to assist in animating their vision, Handling Specialty spends hundreds of man hours from technical sales, to design/engineering, to project management, installation, testing and support in order to keep shows running and operating to schedule.

The incredible array of technology included in these projects require their own square footage with entire rooms dedicated to the pumps and hydraulics, and a control room running each lift between performers moving in and out of the water.

Are you thinking of adding water to your stage show? Don’t stop there, add dimensions to your show by including a lift to transition your performers, sets and props from a wet to dry setting in seconds. Include deep dives and boats, incorporate fish and sea monsters. Make your theatrical show an event!