Chicago Flyhouse Blog

Wintrust Arena - Blackout Curtains

Posted by Flyhouse on Oct 26, 2017 2:50:51 PM

Popcorn in hand, soda to the right, the sound barrels through the speakers and the lights dim to near blackout levels, the ambiance of the room is perfect to escape from reality for a few hours.

The right environment can make or break an event instantly for those in attendance. When your favorite musician is about to play their first note, the mood set right before they play is of the utmost importance and light leaks can interrupt that mood and spoil the environment.

Wintrust Arena, new home to the DePaul University Blue Demon basketball teams and entertainment events, considered this exact scenario and focused on reducing light leaks it would receive throughout its new building.

To achieve this, installation of different blackout style curtains was needed. Using a mix of manual bi-part and one-way draw curtains along with numerous motorized roman shades, Flyhouse delivered on its promise to create an efficient and suitable atmosphere for all types of future events.

For the upper bowl seating and arena-ends, Flyhouse installed a series of remote operated roman shades to reduce light spill. The roman shades are of varying heights and widths, some upwards of 100 ft wide, to cover the expansive areas of windows and in hard to reach areas where a manual system would not be possible. The motorized component allows the shades to raise and lower at a variable speed of 20 feet/minute and uses a wireless controller that is able to operate at several locations within the arena. However, should the wireless controllers become inoperable, the system also has a hardwired pendant allowing the system to remain operational through another control point.

An added benefit of installing blackout curtains throughout the arena are the acoustical properties they gain. The heavier fabric used in these curtains helps absorb and dampen the sound emitted from the event and those in attendance. 

The manual curtains are hand-operated at vomitory and aisle entry locations of the venue which will provide a reduction of ambient light seen by fans and performers. It required the use of 1,700 feet of I-Beam style tracks and nearly 1,800 curtain carriers to complete this portion of the installation.

Wintrust Arena is now in the position to offer the environment needed for each event; darkness or light depending on what is desirable to set the mood.



Topics: Project Recaps, Arenas

Columbus McKinnon 5-Day Mega School

Posted by Flyhouse on Oct 20, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Flyhouse's Director of New Product Development, Eric, will be one of the lead instructors for this year's CM Mega School. For more information on his course and how to earn ETCP credits, visit

CM Mega School Flyhouse


Topics: Training

Join Flyhouse - Project Supervisor

Posted by Flyhouse on Oct 19, 2017 11:11:57 AM

Flyhouse is hiring for a Project Supervisor. Think you or someone you know would make a good one? Take a look at the position and submit an application so we can talk.

Flyhouse Project Supervisor


Three Dead Wraps: The Industry Standard

Posted by Flyhouse on Oct 6, 2017 3:29:56 PM

Dead wraps are wraps of the wire rope around a drum that provide an anchor for the wire rope to the drum. The industry standard has always been three dead wraps, but why is that? Flyhouse went to the shop to test different numbers of wraps on the drum to see how much of the load gets transferred from the wire rope to the termination to get an answer.

Click here to watch this video on YouTube

Topics: Video

Flyhouse Projects in October

Posted by Flyhouse on Oct 4, 2017 9:55:34 AM
From flying Billy Elliot, being on-site at multiple Arena projects to installing holiday decorations, Flyhouse has a full schedule this October. So where are we?

In-Progress Projects

Geneseo High School (Geneseo, Illinois)

Geneseo High School

Willow Creek Church (Crystal Lake, Illinois)

Willow Creek Church

Barclay College Performing Arts Center (Haviland, Kansas)

Barclays Performing Arts Center

Columbia College (Chicago, Illinois)

Columbia College

Macys (Chicago, Illinois)

Macys Chicago

Marriott (Lincolnshire, Illinois)

Marriott Lincolnshire.jpg

United Center (Chicago, Illinois)

United Center

Oakbrook Center (Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois)


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (Chicago, Illinois)

Shirley Ryan Ability Lab

UMBC Arena (Baltimore, Maryland)

UMBC Arena

Porchlight Music Theater (Chicago, Illinois)

Porchlight Music Theatre

Wintrust Arena (Chicago, Illinois)

Wintrust Arena

Flyhouse Rigging Trainings

Columbus McKinnon - Lititz, Pennsylvania

ETC - Madison, Wisconsin

Cruise Ship Trainings

Lisbon, Portugal to Rome, Italy

Honolulu, Hawaii

Los Angeles, California

Topics: News, Theatrical Rigging, Stage Rigging