St Albans Arena

Modernising traditional entertainment

The St Albans Arena is a well-established, busy theatre with a programme of national touring shows, concerts and exhibitions. Prior to refurbishing its 1970s interior looked dated and tired.

ESK redecorated the auditorium, offices, stores, large stairwells, bars and backstage areas within eight weeks.

It remained open for five weeks, only closing for three while the main auditorium was redecorated.

The colours had to be modern and in tune with the new lighting system that would be fitted by stage lighting specialists, while the ESK team were providing the momentous face lift.

ESK worked with Dulux colour consultants to produce a scheme from the Dulux Diamond range, which has proven durability in high traffic areas.

The four main staircases were the first areas to be decorated; due to time restraints fixed scaffold was not an option. A safe system of work was designed using a mobile tower system, which gave next day access to each staircase. Within five days they were reopened, in time for the theatre’s weekend performances. Bar areas were completed during closed periods, although redecoration scheduling was adjusted to last-minute ticket sales to protect the theatre’s revenue.

The main stage walls were decorated in a flat finish to minimize unwanted light reflection. ESK’s specialist access equipment was used to access elevated surfaces. Speakers and large sound-proof curtains had to remain in place and were fully protected.

“I would like to thank ESK for an excellent job well done. Working around other contractors on site is not always easy, but ESK carried out the total internal redecoration of the Arena Theatre without any fuss or major disruption. Working to a tight programme, their flexible approach and good site supervision meant the project was completed on time and within budget. Standards and quality of workmanship were excellent & a very professional job throughout!”

Alan Burch, Project manager, St Albans Arena

ICI were so impressed with this project, they included it on their website .