How do you clean a 10-foot, 87-year-old chandelier?
Every three years or so, the State Theatre cleans the giant chandelier that's hung above its auditorium since the building opened in 1926.
On Thursday, that meant theater workers very slowly lowering the ornate crystal lamp for cleaning, a process that takes 10 hours over the course of two days.
This is how it works:
- Stage hands build a bowl to catch the run-off for the cleaner.
- Three stage hands climb into the ceiling from a hatch in the third floor dressing room. Inside the room, they remove the iron pin and unplug all the circuits.
- Using a hand crank, they lower the chandelier until it's just above the theater seats.
- Workers spray the chandelier with cleaner, and then give it a few hours to drip dry. After that, all the bulbs—all 98 of them—are removed and left to dry overnight.
- The next morning, they'll put the bulbs back, and test all the chandelier's circuits before raising and locking it into place.
Everything needs to wrap up by Saturday, said theater spokeswoman Jamie Balliet. That's when the State hosts its next show, hopefully under the lights of a freshly cleaned chandelier.