Kings Theatre Portsmouth


Channel Technical Services worked on a full scale fire detection system design right through to commissioning and providing routine maintenance services.

Designed by the celebrated theatrical architect and designer, Frank Matcham, the Kings Theatre was officially opened in September 1907 with a production of Charles 1. Much of the backstage area is still fully manual, allowing it to retain the tag of a traditional hemp house, though powered flying bars have now been installed to allow for the demanding and adventurous technical requirements of larger scale productions.

The 4 storey theatre boasts a seating capacity of 1,600 and has an array of different level seating areas alongside stage areas that required isolating between performances from the main fire detection system; to allow for special effects such as smoke machines during performances.
Building on the original installation of 1994, additions were made following a large scale refurbishment in 2001 and the advice of a local Fire Officer. The system was upgraded utilising a Firewatch 9003 network panel, a repeater panel and over 85 independent detection devices, all linked to isolator switches.
Location: Portsmouth, Hampshire
Client: Kings Theatre Trust
Contract Specifications: System Design, Supply, Installation, Commissioning and Maintenance Contract
Size of location: 4 storeys - 1,600 person seating capacity
System Requirements: All systems to be designed to BS5839 L2 Apollo protocol
System specifications: Analogue addressable fire detection system utilising over 85 Apollo devices, networkable panel, repeater panel & isolator switching functionaility
Alarm / Evacuation sequences: One out / all out, sounders isolated during performances to allow for 'Show mode'
Other contract features: Products used:- Firewatch alarm panel, beacon & smoke detector - Apollo XP95 protocol