Outdoor Theater Uses Lug-All Winch Hoists for Audio Equipment Rigging


The Delacorte Theater is an outdoor amphitheater located in Central Park in New York City, and it is home to the Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park productions. The amphitheater seats 1,800 people, and it has been offering free showings of Shakespeare’s plays to the public for 60 years. The theater’s sound department uses several Lug-All come along ratchet winch hoists to set up sound equipment for their regular performances. 

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We had the opportunity to talk with Corrine, the head of the Delacorte Theater Audio Department, and Mack, the Associate Audio Supervisor, and they explained to us how their department uses Lug-All come alongs to prepare the sound equipment for shows. Mack told us “to provide sound for the entire amphitheater, our audio department uses a system of 12 90-pound speaker boxes. These speaker boxes are suspended above the audience using a web constructed of aircraft cable.”

Workers attach several Lug-All model 4000-20 come alongs to the web and to various anchor points. They raise the web into position, then fasten it to the anchor points directly. Some of the come alongs are removed after the web is secured, but workers also leave some come alongs in place. Mack explained that, when the web is set up, the come alongs hold about 40 percent the web’s weight.


Mack told us that the Delacorte Theater has been using Lug-All come alongs since the creation of the web in 2000, and he can’t see any other real viable alternatives. In fact, the engineers who designed the web used Lug-All come alongs, and they recommended them to the theater.

One reason Lug-All come alongs are the best solution is that the theater operates outdoors from March to October, so the equipment is exposed to outdoor conditions for extended periods of time. The outdoor conditions mean electric hoists can’t be used because of the risk of electrical or mechanical failures due to rain or other weather events. Lug-All come alongs also have an advantage over electric hoists through the use of the double locking pawl, which can hold a load more safely than a winch brake.

Another reason they continue to use Lug-All come alongs, Mack says, is that they are easy to use. He told us that the sound department has 12-16 people who set up the web, and they are not always the same people every year. He told us that “they’re really easy to use, so new workers pick up how to use them really quickly.”

He also said they he is a huge fan of how versatile and robust the Lug-All come alongs are. The sound department uses them for the web, but they have also loaned them to several other departments as well. In one case, a large moving set piece fell off its tracks, and they were able to use a Lug-All come along to get the set piece back on its track quickly. Because Lug-All come alongs are so versatile, rugged, and easy to use, they are the perfect tool for many of the Delacorte Theater’s needs.