JoRonCo transforms theater for a wedding
For some weddings, the main focus is the bride. For one particular wedding in Bakersfield, Calif., all the focus was on the stage.
JoRonCo Rentals, Bakersfield, provided rentals for a wedding on Oct. 12, 2013, at the Fox Theater in Bakersfield, working with companies including Lili Marsh, Signature Event Group/Signature Weddings and Lounge Appeal Furniture.
The Fox Theater was designed by the late S. Charles Lee, a well-known Los Angeles architect, and opened on Christmas Day in 1930, featuring the first “talkie” motion pictures of the time. It was only fitting that the bride, a theater major and teacher, would be the first to get married at the venue.
The couple wanted the décor to complement the theater, so gold and burgundy velvet linens were used, along with gold tassel ribbon, to mimic the gold leaf décor. Major items used included Bil-Jax Multistage and Palmer Snyder tables, as well as dark fruitwood chairs.
“The biggest challenge was building the stage out over theater seats that could not be removed,” says Ron Holbert, owner, JoRonCo Rentals. “The Fox Theater opened in 1930, which gives you an idea just how long those seats have been in place. We also took our stage and brought it out flush with the theater’s stage, which required adjusting the height of the stage legs to get things level. We used a laser level on the existing theater stage, projecting it throughout the theater, to determine the stage dimensions. Then we started with 5-ft. stage legs and adjusted by inches as we went along.”
Other issues at the venue included access and safety. “We put in ADA ramps in the aisles leading to the back of the theater,” Holbert says. “Guard rail was installed all the way around the entire stage and down the center. We also had to add decking to install stairs for the catering staff on either side of the stage.”
The couple contacted the rental company in June, giving JoRonCo four months to work on the event. In addition to meeting with the event planner and the bride and groom, there also were two large group meetings with all companies and the theater involved, as well as the couple, to ensure everyone was on the same page.
“We had planned to start load-in on the Wednesday before the Saturday event,” says Amy Freeman, office manager. “However, the theater had a concert that night, so load-in began on Thursday. That gave us a total of only about 20 hours to complete the event.”
The event also went beyond the stage. The company installed a 30-ft.-by-30-ft. tent in the alley for a cigar smoking area, which was accessed via stage left.
“The entire load-in went great, better than what we could have hoped for,” Freeman says. “There was excellent communication between all parties involved and extremely precise planning. What also helped us out with the build-out of the stage was the amount of times we measured. Every planning meeting we had, we made sure to measure just to make sure we were ready for the job.”