InTents August/September 2020 - 23

company and crews in a position where
they can succeed," says Chisholm.
"This means choosing a team that
has proven capable of doing the work
being required. And it begins with
understanding the client's expectations,
accessing the feasibility of the work, and
then making sure you can successfully
complete the work to the expectations."

THE CHALLENGES: TIMES
SQUARE CROWDS, RAIN,
LAST-MINUTE CHANGES
Over the past 35 years, Ace Party & Tent
Rental has pretty much seen it all. Located
in Flushing, N.Y., the full-service tent
and event rental provider specializes
in corporate, education, commercial
and high-end social events. But even
for a company with this extensive and
varied experience, the install it did
for the May 2, 2019, premier of the
Warner Bros. ϐilm Pokémon Detective
Pikachu was likely one for the books.
It's not as if the company hadn't done
movie premier installs before; it's done
lots. But this one-scheduled to begin
the evening of May 1-was going up
right in the middle of Times Square, a
location where the foot trafϐic is heavy
and constant, 24 hours a day.
"Times Square is in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and is one of the busiest
pedestrian areas in the world," says John
Clarke, company president. "So we were
concerned if there would be issues with
pedestrians walking through the jobsite.
"A major concern about this project was
that the client-a production company
located in California-had never been to
the site before the day of install," Clarke
continues. "They had only seen the site
through Google Earth images."
And in fact, when the clients did the
ϐirst site inspection that May 1 morning,
they requested a design change, deciding
they wanted part of the main tent placed
on an angle.

The job consisted of a customized,
30-by-155-foot Navi-Trac tent sprawled
over a one-block plaza in the Square,
along with four smaller production
tents, ranging in sizes from 10-by-60foot to 20-by-20-foot. A 12-person
crew was tasked with completing
the entire install overnight within
a four-hour time frame (11 p.m. to
3 a.m.). To make things even more
exciting, it was "pouring rain" during
the entire installation, says Clarke.
"We brought in crowd control
barricades and had staff on hand to
keep the pedestrians away from the
install for their own safety. The job
turned out great," Clarke says. "We
met our timeline just in time for the
audiovisual team from California to
start their part at 3 a.m.," he says,
explaining that this team and other
vendors had to wrap up their tasks by
9 a.m. for the producer's ϐinal walkthrough and press setup.
Not even that aforementioned lastminute design modiϐication threw
the team.
"We called our warehouse and had our
in-house team quickly create a custom
fabric piece to ϐit the angle/diagonal
install," Clarke recalls. "Luckily, since it
was early enough in the day, there was
still plenty of time for our in-house fabric
department to make the custom piece,
which took about six hours."
How does Ace Party & Tent Rental
manage tough installs? Over the years
team members have learned to "plan
for the unexpected," says Clarke. They
hold operational meetings where they
plot out projects in detail. For example,
for this project they painstakingly
choreographed the load-in/load-out
processes since most of the vehicles
involved could not remain in the area.

A MAJOR CONCERN
ABOUT THIS
PROJECT WAS
THAT THE CLIENT
-A PRODUCTION
COMPANY LOCATED
IN CALIFORNIA-
HAD NEVER BEEN
TO THE SITE BEFORE
THE DAY OF INSTALL.
JOHN CLARKE,
ACE PARTY & TENT RENTAL

Pamela Mills-Senn is a Seal Beach,
Calif.-based writer.

www.InTentsMag.com

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7/21/20 8:25 AM


http://www.InTentsMag.com

InTents August/September 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of InTents August/September 2020

InTents August/September 2020 - Cover1
InTents August/September 2020 - Cover2
InTents August/September 2020 - 1
InTents August/September 2020 - 2
InTents August/September 2020 - 3
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