Schuster Center Upgrades with Halcyon and SolaPix

The Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio is a world-class venue hosting national and international touring entertainment. It is also the home of the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Dayton Opera, and numerous local productions. Dayton Live, the organization that oversees the Schuster, is in a multi-year renovation of the Schuster’s lighting system.

Built in 2003, the Schuster PAC has always been an ETC house. In 2023, Dayton Live purchased twenty-four ETC Series 3 fixtures after seeing how well they performed from the Schuster’s FOH positions, one hundred feet from the stage. This year they have added a High End Systems package of 26 Halcyon Gold and Halcyon Titanium luminaires, as well as 40 SolaPix 19 fixtures.

Dayton Live partnered with Scenic Solutions, LLC to supply and install the extensive lighting upgrade for the Schuster PAC. Scenic Solutions’ creative and diverse team are experts in theatrical systems integration, as well as set design and scenic fabrication. Founded in 1996, Scenic Solutions initially began as a scenic shop. In 2016 they became an authorized dealer for ETC (lighting and rigging) and later, High End Systems. In 2024 their service offerings include theatrical equipment sales and maintenance, full systems integration, as well as “scenic solutions.”

Scenic Solutions’ Sales Manager, Chad Penix, explains. “The Schuster was ready for an extensive upgrade to the lighting package. There were a few movers there, but Dayton Live usually rented automation. The house does not have a resident LD, so we worked directly with Dayton Live on their purchase and installation. We began discussions last fall, and we had the new lighting package in by February, in time for Dayton Ballet’s Swan Lake.”

Penix introduced Dayton Live to ETC’s High End Systems luminaires. “Dayton Live initially wanted a mixture of multiple fixtures from different manufacturers,” said Penix. “They changed their minds when we pointed out two things. First, getting all fixtures to match color and color temperature is exceedingly difficult when utilizing multiple brands of luminaires. And second, High End Systems has an excellent reputation for immediate response to service issues and can offer options for quicker remedies.”

Penix continued, “During the fixture shootout, the Dayton Live team felt that the Halcyons had the best color saturation, good pastels, more options for gobos, prisms, and animation. With so many features for the price, the Halcyons had everything they needed. And the High-Fidelity LED engine option was an absolute necessity for their performance environment.”

Dayton Live chose the Halcyon Gold and Titanium fixtures for their overall versatility. Penix said, “The Schuster is a fully staffed Union house. We knew that the rig could be easily assembled and removed to accommodate productions bringing in their own systems. It follows that house hang reset potentially becomes quicker and easier.”

Dayton Live also wanted fixtures that had pixel mapping, and they noticed that the SolaPix 10 fixtures offered a good balance of features, especially when combined with the Halcyons. “In the same shootout with multiple brands manufacturers,” said Penix, “the Dayton Live team noticed the consistency of the beams from each SolaPix was better than the competition. And even though it’s a pixelated fixture, it had a round, even beam, with a smoother zoom.”

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For Dayton Live, fixtures from ETC’s High End Systems were the logical choice for the Schuster and a reliable source for quality and innovation. The Schuster’s crew, visiting designers and performers, and local Dayton theatre enthusiasts are all enjoying the power and versatility of this new lighting system. For the future, Dayton Live is considering a new Apex 10 control to replace the Shuster’s current Ion XE, and this multi-million-dollar lighting upgrade will continue. Penix says, “We feel certain that ETC and High End will lead the way.”

To learn more about Scenic Solutions, visit


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Bruce Jordahl
Bruce joined the ETC family in 2017. A former magazine editor and journalist, Bruce also worked in marketing at High End Systems throughout the 1990’s, returning as a consultant in 2012. At ETC he covers marketing for the High End Systems product range, and pinch hits on projects for other company departments. Based in Austin, Bruce is a musician and budding record producer, and was nicknamed ‘the ETC musical director’ at Workshop 2018, a moniker he is now comfortable with. He has enjoyed a long side career performing at lighting industry events, loves to talk about his amazing grandchildren, and gets occasional points for sending banana nut bread to his co-workers.