An Ohio Theatre Experience: Aladdin's Flying Carpet Requires Some Serious Engineering

Posted on October 27, 2018

We love the Ohio Theatre. Originally built as a movie house in 1928, it was saved from demolition in 1969 and completely restored. Over the years, SMBH has been an active partner to the theatre's renovations, including the Loge, Mezzanine, and Balcony. We've also helped with the set-up of heavy production equipment and sets for multiple shows at the theatre, including Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, and most recently, Aladdin.

Anna Milligan, a Project Manager here at SMBH, usually handles these projects. She enjoyed working on Aladdin saying, "It was actually a really unique project and I learned so much! There is an impressive amount of engineering that goes into that sort of production and I was pleased to have a small part of that responsibility."

We worked with CAPA and the Aladdin tour’s Engineer to determine the specific locations and magnitudes of the loads to be applied to the existing gridiron above the stage and supported from the roof structure at the historical Ohio Theatre. We went back to the office and sifted through 92-year-old drawings and more recent renovation drawings to verify the existing structure. Then we performed an analysis of the components to determine how to appropriately distribute the loads to existing structure without over-loading or over-stressing any of the existing construction. 

Now when you see the carpet flying over the stage during the Aladdin, you’ll know just how much engineering went into that feature and the rest of the dramatic highlights of the production!

Thank you to the Ohio Theatre and CAPA, for the chance to work on such cool projects!

Photo by Deen van Meer, courtesy of the Ohio Theatre website.