Stanley Security Orchestrates an Integrated Installation of the Year Runner-Up Honor

Stanley Security was recognized as an Integrated Installation of the Year (large company) runner-up for upgrading the video surveillance and access control of a more than century old theater.

Stanley Security Orchestrates an Integrated Installation of the Year Runner-Up Honor

The 300,000-square-foot Hippodrome Theatre is over a century old with 65-foot high ceilings, framed arches, sculptural façade of ornamental brickwork that Stanley had to work around.

In the wake of the tragic incident that occurred in 2015 at the Bataclan Theatre in Paris, more and more entertainment venue owners around the world are seeking ways to improve and enhance their security systems.

One of those is the legendary Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center in Baltimore, an existing client of Stanley Security, whose management looked to the Indianapolis-based integrator for greater safety and video surveillance system upgrades and received a praiseworthy effort as Integrated Installation of the Year (large company) runner-up.

The 300,000-square-foot Hippodrome Theatre is over a century old with 65-foot high ceilings, framed arches, sculptural façade of ornamental brickwork and uneven wall textures, providing Stanley with the task of combining safety while ensuring the character and charm of the venue was kept intact, explains John Bellistri, senior account executive, Stanley Security.

Another aspect that made this project challenging, he adds, was scheduling the installation based on a varied live performance schedule.

“We started with an initial walkthrough of the entire building in April 2016 that included Stanley, the Hippodrome Theatre and Hikvision [cameras that were used] to assess the space and their needs: a security upgrade by greatly expanding its capabilities; viewing capacity; and coverage within a low-cost budget,” says Bellistri. “After the initial walkthrough, Stanley began upgrading the existing cameras, then installing new ones. The whole process took about three months.”

The extensive video upgrade included: 44 IP cameras that consisted of upgrading the original 18 analog cameras to 1080p turbo HD cameras; dome or bullet style, depending on the space it needed to cover.

There were an additional 26 new cameras; four were upgraded to 6-megapixel (MP) IP cameras while the rest were 1080p.

The four exterior cameras were upgraded to 6MP with low-light capability, which has the ability to change to IP and 1080p, according to Bellistri, to provide coverage for the front and side entrances to the theater.

“The outdoor cameras can see into cars, and view license plate numbers and provide facial recognition,” he says. “Most, if not all, theater performances take place in the dark, or dim lighting, requiring cameras that operate and record video in low light.”

All cameras were integrated to a NVR/DVR triplex platform, with the ability to be viewed live and recorded from a PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

The Triplex platform allows for simultaneous recording, playback and network remote access along with two 32-inch LCD monitors mounted for easy viewing by the security officer.

With the large surveillance upgrade, Stanley expanded the Sonitrol access control system to provide better security measures for employees and visitors.

Stanley installed additional equipment and relocated existing technology to optimize the theater’s access control platform, Bellistri notes.

Furthermore, two panic buttons were installed in the administrative offices and are monitored by Stanley professionals at the ProtectionNet Customer Service Center.

“In the event of an incident, a Hippodrome Theatre staff member can press the button which will contact the Stanley Monitoring Center; we are then able to reach out to first responders that results in a quicker response time than calling 911,” says Bellistri.

Another important aspect of the installation is the surveillance integration with the Baltimore CitiWatch Community Partnership Program.

The CitiWatch Program consists of a network of 700 cameras on the exteriors of restaurants and storefronts throughout downtown Baltimore; the Hippodrome’s outdoor cameras are now used by the Baltimore Police Department.

“The new HD cameras versus the old analog cameras are night and day and are a game-changing addition to our security system,” says Ron Legler, president, France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. “They listened to us and provided the security system that we needed in order to keep our visitors and staff safe. We wanted an easy-to-use system and that is what Stanley provided.”

BEST OF THE BEST: Check out the rest of the winners and runners-up here!

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About the Author


Arlen Schweiger is editor-in-chief of SSI's sister publication, CE Pro. He was SSI's managing editor from August 2018 to June 2023.

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