Chichester Festival Theatre

Case Study

Chichester Festival Theatre

  • CCTV Monitoring
  • Access Control

The venue

Founded in 1962 by Leslie Evershed-Martin and originally funded by members of the local community, Chichester's iconic Festival Theatre has spent the last six decades entertaining, provoking thought and occasionally pushing boundaries in contemporary stage performance.

The theatre building is located in the Oaklands Park area of the city and seats up to 1300 people. It is a grade II listed building designed by architects Philip Powell and Hidalgo Moya.

The challenge

Securing a prestigious 1300-seat venue like Chichester Festival Theatre presents several challenges due to the large and open nature of such buildings. Ensuring safety and security in such an environment is critical but can also be quite complex. Because of this complexity, the theatre management team chose us for the project due to our many years of experience in securing such large venues.

Chichester Festival Theatre Stage

Image © Philip Vile

The order of works

For such a complex project, it was essential to draw up a plan of works that would cause minimal disruption to theatre operations and to the members of the public who visit the space each day.

The order of works was as follows:-

(click on the links to go to the relevant section)

  1. 1 Initial Assessment
  2. 2 Identifying Critical Areas
  3. 3 Camera Placement Plan
  4. 4 Camera Selection
  5. 5 Infrastructure Planning
  6. 6 Access Control System Design
  7. 7 Network Considerations
  8. 8 Power Supply
  9. 9 Installation
  10. 10 Configuration and Testing
  11. 11 Video Storage and Management
  12. 12 Monitoring and Control
  13. 13 User Training
  14. 14 Maintenance and Regular Inspections
  15. 15 Compliance and Legal Considerations
  16. 16 Integration with Security Protocols

01. Initial project assessment

We began by assessing the specific security needs and objectives of the theatre, considering factors such as the size of the theatre, the number of entry points, the layout, and potential security risks.

02. Identifying Critical Areas

Critical areas within the theatre that required surveillance, such as the auditorium, lobby, backstage, car park, and other sensitive or high-traffic areas, were identified.

03. Camera Placement Plan

A comprehensive camera placement plan was developed to ensure coverage of all critical areas. This plan considered factors like camera type, field of view, resolution, and lighting conditions in each location.

04. Camera Selection

We selected appropriate CCTV cameras based on the camera placement plan and the budget. Considerations included camera resolution, low-light capabilities, and weather resistance for outdoor cameras.

05. Infrastructure Planning

Detailed planning was undertaken for the cabling requirements of the CCTV system. Routes for power and data cables were determined, with careful consideration to hide or protect them against tampering.

06. Access Control System Design

The design of the access control system for entry points, such as doors and gates, was completed. Access control devices, including entry gates, card readers, keypads, and biometric scanners were selected based on the theatre's security requirements.

07. Networking Considerations

We ensured that the theatre had a robust network infrastructure to support the new CCTV system, including sufficient bandwidth, network switches, and network security measures.

08. Power Supply

A stable and redundant power supply for the cameras and access control devices was established. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS devices) were installed to prevent downtime during power outages.

09. Installation

The installation of CCTV cameras was carried out meticulously, ensuring secure mounting and correct alignment for optimal coverage. Access control devices were also set up at the theatre's main entry points and integrated with the CCTV system where necessary.

10. Configuration and Testing

Configuration of the cameras and access control devices was carried out according to predetermined settings. Rigorous testing with a series of staged scenarios was conducted to ensure that all components functioned correctly and were synchronized.

11. Video Storage and Management

A video recording and storage solution was set up with both on-site DVR/NVR systems and a cloud-based storage solution, based on the theatre's requirements.

12. Monitoring and Control

A central monitoring station or software was implemented to enable security personnel to monitor the CCTV cameras in real-time. Appropriate access permissions were provided to the authorized security staff members.

13. User Training

Staff members responsible for operating the CCTV and access control systems received comprehensive training. This covered tasks such as reviewing footage, managing access permissions, and responding to security incidents.

14. Maintenance and Regular Inspections

A maintenance schedule was developed for the CCTV and access control systems. Regular inspections were scheduled to ensure that cameras, cables, and access control devices remained in working order.

15. Compliance and Legal Considerations

The company ensured compliance with local laws and regulations related to surveillance and data privacy. This included obtaining necessary permits and informing employees and visitors about surveillance activities.

16. Integration with Security Protocols

Integration of the CCTV and access control systems with the theatre's overall safety protocols, including alarm systems and emergency response procedures, was completed to enhance security measures.

The final result

Following the installation of the CCTV security and access control systems at CFT, the theatre successfully achieved their goal of enhancing safety for visitors and staff. These systems were integrated to provide comprehensive surveillance and controlled access throughout the venue. The access control system was effectively implemented at entry points, including doors and gates. Authorized personnel were able to manage access permissions efficiently, enhancing the theatre's ability to control who entered the premises.

CFT Theatre Interior Spaces

Image © Philip Vile

With the access control system in place, the theatre significantly improved crowd management during events. Patrons could enter and exit in an orderly manner, reducing congestion and ensuring a safer environment for everyone.

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To discuss your CCTV and Access Control requirements, call us on 07977 925 772 or send an email to

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