Epikos Church Rejuvenates a Theatrical Gem

Aging theater becomes a satellite campus with help from A/V

Epikos Church Rejuvenates a Theatrical Gem
Photo Credit: Kathleen Stogin

Epikos Church Resurrects Milwaukee's Paradise Theater

follow through to the slideshow to see how a growing church took advantage of an empty theater.

Epikos Church Rejuvenates a Theatrical Gem
Photo Credit: Kathleen Stogin

Epikos Church Resurrects Milwaukee's Paradise Theater

follow through to the slideshow to see how a growing church took advantage of an empty theater.

Photos & Slideshow

Epikos Church Rejuvenates a Theatrical Gem

Technology News

4K Cameras: Camera, Lens Combination Crucial in Handling Tough Lighting
Lamps or Laser: When, Where, Why?
Final Full Exhibit Day at NAB Features Solid Offerings
Beams, Spots and Washes: Dizzying Array of Fixtures for Church

Technology Resource

For Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.
·

The link between church and theater is surprisingly robust. As author Jeanne Halgren Kilde writes in When Church Became Theatre: The Transformation of Evangelical Architecture and Worship in Nineteenth-Century America, profound socio-economic and technological changes in the United States occurred in the 1880s. That decade saw multiple economic crashes and the development of the telephone and motion picture.  This contributed to a turning away from the traditional Christian basilica and central-plan church designs that had been the norm for the previous 1,800 years. Instead, a new design emerged: the auditorium church. It featured a prominent stage from which rows of pews radiated up a sloping floor, a design derived directly from the theater. Other theatrical elements began to appear in churches at this time, including proscenium arches, marquee lighting, theater seats and even opera boxes.

There was much of that and more at the opulent Paradise Theater in the Milwaukee suburb of West Allis, Wisconsin. Following an extensive $2 million renovation that spared it from the wrecking ball, the theater has now been given a new lease on life as the West campus to Milwaukee’s expanding Epikos church. Originally built in 1929, the landmark 1,100-seat theater located at the city’s bustling Six Points intersection of Greenfield and National Avenues has served as a performing arts theater, a hub for local vaudeville, a cinema house and a worship facility for other church groups. However, in recent years the Paradise had become vacant, falling into such disrepair that the city’s building inspectors declared that it must either be repaired or demolished.

Last year, Epikos church’s Lead Pastor Danny Parmelee invested in the theater as the West campus satellite to its already-thriving flagship downtown campus, which Parmelee founded in 2005.

“The location had a lot going for it,” observes Michael Morgan, director of Musical Worship at Epikos Church, noting that it would vastly increase the overall church’s capacity and position it to grow. Its East campus is a former Presbyterian church that seats about 250. The new location needed new electrical wiring and new HVAC, but the Paradise Theater also needed some A/V sprucing up before it was ready for another kind of paradise.

Lights, Camera, Sound

The church hired Grand Rapids, Michigan-based A/V integrator LiveSpace to provide a full A/V/L package for the facility. This included an L-Acoustics KIVA/KILO loudspeaker system with SB18i subs, LA4 amplified controllers and a Midas Pro2 FOH console. Video uses a Christie LX700 center projector, Vivitek D5000 XGA DLP projectors for the left and right Vutec 72x128 Rear-Vu screens, a Sony HXR-NX5U HD camera and a


Latest Resource

For Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.


Article Topics

Media · Projects · Technology · Audio · Lighting · AV · Church · Control · Integrator · Lighting · Speaker · All Topics

Support and Enhance the Worship Message

The latest strategies for sound, lighting and facilities can help you better attract and engage with your congregation. With Worship Facilities’ insights on leadership, communication and administrative tools, each issue shows you how to design and maintain your facility and how to adapt it to meet the changing needs of today’s members.
Explore the success stories of others, and find ways to enhance your weekly services. Get a free subscription to Worship Facilities magazine.

Editor's Picks
©2018 WFX Network · A division of Informa · 1166 Avenue of the Americas, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10036 · All Rights Reserved.