The Belgrade Theatre was the first civic theatre to be built after the war and was opened in March 1958 as part of a large-scale re-development of the City of Coventry.
Now an English heritage grade II listed building, the Belgrade Theatre took its name in recognition and thanks for a gift of timber from the Yugoslav city of Belgrade that was used in the construction of the auditorium. Holding 866 seats in its two-tier main auditorium, and just under 300 seats in its new studio sized second auditorium, the theatre remains one of the largest regional producing theatres in the country.
The Theatre is also the centre of the community with over 70,000 visitors each year attending theatre productions, school plays, training workshops and corporate events. The site covers 5 floors and is served by a large car park to the rear of the building which is part of the Belgrade Plaza building scheme. "The security of our visitors and staff is a major concern for the theatre and we have had CCTV installed since 1987; however the old analogue system was somewhat unreliable and the quality of the black and white images meant that actual identification of individuals was almost impossible, especially in areas with low lighting," comments Paul Duncombe, Deputy Buildings Manager.
MOBOTIX CCTV cameras provide discreet, high resolution coverage over critical access points at the Belgrade Theatre . The old system proved difficult to search through in the event of an incident, but with a major £14 million refurbishment programme between 2005 and 2007, Paul persuaded management to upgrade and improve the CCTV system. "The refurbishment included a major upgrade to the cabling infrastructure and allowed us to move to an IP based CCTV solution integrated into the building design."
Following a tendering process the theatre chose Active Communications Ltd as lead contractor for both the cabling and CCTV solution. "We wanted a CCTV system with better video quality and potential audio as well," explains Paul. "We also needed a simple to use interface that would allow us to view cameras from multiple locations."
Active Communications Ltd is a local Coventry based systems integrator formed in 1989, by Directors Peter Jacobs and Martin Gardner to provide high quality telecommunications and computer network cabling services. Over many years Active Communications have developed a strong customer base providing services to small/medium enterprises and large multinational Companies with economical, reliable and customised solutions that dramatically increases their efficiency and productivity.
After a detailed site survey, the technical team from Active Communications Ltd and Paul established essential locations for 27 cameras, delivering 39 views for a complete 100% coverage of all public areas within the theatre. Using a mixture of single and dual lens MOBOTIX cameras, the new CCTV system provides megapixel level quality and audio reception feed back to one major location and can be used on other computers by remote access if needed.