The cast and crew of Kenmark Theatrical backdrop rentals are proud to be celebrating our 35th year. From quite humble beginnings as a small production company specializing in live theatre and corporate industrials, we began to assemble an inventory of backdrops and props. Slowly but surely we were able to accumulate enough stock to be able to actually pull a show from inventory! Our emphasis shifted to the corporate clients because they were creating specific departments and budgets within their marketing programs for live production and themed events.
We all have fond memories of the early years: 100 hour weeks, no sleep, all night set strikes, tech rehearsals until 5:00am then return to the theatre at 9:00am for final dress with light cues. We would load out after the final show on Sunday evening, and load in the next show at 8:00am Monday morning. Oh, the joys of theatre !!! And we haven’t even mentioned being on the road!
As the demand grew for new product introductions and industrials, Kenmark responded by adding a full rehearsal studio, a sculpting studio and a sign shop. The size and scope of the productions exploded, demanding complete audio-visual resources, wardrobe capabilities, and total set design and construction facilities. Our venues swelled from Hotel Ballrooms to Convention Centers and Civic Arenas. We enlisted the services of the Kansas City Costume Company to design and manufacture all show wardrobe; the results were spectacular. Suddenly we found ourselves working in every imaginable theatrical scenario: television specials, cruise ships, huge theme parties in Convention Centers, and of course our favorite, live professional theatre.
Those of us in the business wouldn’t trade our experiences for anything in the world. There will always be the excitement of opening night! As the curtain came down on our first ten years, we had filled a 60,000 square foot warehouse with equipment and scenery. Conestoga Wagons, surreys with the fringe on top, a full revolving Riverboat set, six floors of assorted props and lighting equipment, even a 24’ turntable. At that point we changed our focus from production to construction.
In 1990 we relocated our main studio to Las Vegas. It was then decided to concentrate on scenic backdrops and close out our set and prop construction. The cost of maintaining, transporting, and warehousing this inventory became prohibitive. The inventory was sold to a company in Southern California. At that time all of our design and painting was done in house. Over the years we began to outsource our design work, but continued to paint our rental and custom murals.
We began to paint and design specifically for the stage, specializing in theatre and dance. We started using experienced scenic designers for designing backdrops for musical theatre and stage plays. Dance backdrops have also become a very important part of our inventory. All of our artisans came to us with theatrical backgrounds from Broadway to professional ballet. We are so grateful for the talented and professionally seasoned painters on our team.
As proud as we are of our theatrical roots, we are equally as excited about the future. We have expanded our production capabilities to satisfy your demands for new and exciting professional designs and backdrops. Equally important to us is maintaining and improving our existing inventory. When you call us, expect the best!
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