Hall Technical Information



Stage/Production Manager
Production Crew
Stage Entrances and Exits
Load In and Load Out
Local Street Access
Dressing Rooms
Stage Measurements/Proscenium Opening
Counterweight System
Stage Surface
Acoustical Shell Walls
Acoustical Ceiling Panels
Stage Apron
Piano Lift
House Lights
Lighting Inventory
Sound Check

Front of House:
Entrances and Exits
SDSO Banners
Ticket Office





The San Diego Symphony technical director/ stage manager will be present at all load-ins, rehearsals, technical rehearsals and performances. It is this person’s responsibility to represent the Association in all production matters, act as a resource to protect the Jacobs Music Center and Copley Symphony Hall, and supervise San Diego Symphony-owned equipment. A management fee will be charged in addition to stage crew charges.


The San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association requires that all renters of Copley Symphony Hall employ the SDSO House crew. Our minimum requirement is for three Heads of Department, those being carpenter, electrician and properties. If your production requires the use of sound amplification/recording, the use of the fly-rail or video, it will be necessary to employ additional Heads of Department.

CREW RATES (Important): Please call for rate information. In order to expedite an accurate estimate, please have a technical rider or a detailed idea of your production needs and an anticipated schedule for the day(s) you will be renting the Hall.

SHOW CALL: A show call based on a 3.5-hour minimum will be charged for all rental events that include a performance for which tickets are sold. Cancellations must be made no later than 12 hours before call time to avoid the four-hour minimum charge. House crew costs include hourly rates, benefits, and payroll/workers compensation.

OVERTIME: Will be billed at 1.5 times the base rate after 8 hours daily. Double (2) time be will be charged for work performed between midnight and 8 a.m. or after 12 hours in one day. For work on holidays (including NYD, MLK Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July Fourth, Labor Day, President's Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day following Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day), the base rate will be double the straight time hourly for all hours except actual performances, which will be paid as 1.5 times of performance rate.

MEALS: One hour must be allowed for a meal after every 5 continuous hours of work, or a meal penalty of 1.5 times the base rate will be paid until a one-hour meal break is given. (Overtime rate also applies when exceeded in conjunction with a meal penalty period.)


The service freight elevator (for stage loading) is located on 8th Avenue between "A" and "B" streets. The stage door (artist's entrance) is located on 8th Avenue immediately south of the elevator.

There are fire exits on the northeast and southeast sides of the hall on all levels.


The stage is approximately 23’ below Eighth Avenue. The primary loading access to the stage is a freight elevator located stage left, with gate openings at sidewalk, stage, and basement levels. The elevator has a capacity of 5,000 lbs. Its gate opening at stage level is 5' x 7', and the elevator interior length is 15' 8". Additionally, there is a 14'-0" high by 6'-0" wide wall opening at the sidewalk level, 23’ above the stage. Large set pieces may be lowered to the stage through this, via block and falls or by a chain hoist system consisting of (2) 1 ton motors attached to a beam that can lift and lower approximately 4,000 pounds to the stage level.

Note: some events may require City Traffic Control during load in / load out. Please call for details.



Eighth Avenue is a one-way street, and is graded approximately 30° downhill in the direction of travel. Average loading time is slightly over one hour per truck with a sufficient crew size. There is a commercial loading zone immediately outside the freight elevator for loading and unloading; however, full day truck-parking arrangements MUST be made in advance. (See additional section.) Due to the grade of the hill at the freight elevator, traffic control is required for all semi trucks longer than 45' in length. Scheduling and cost will be determined during advance process per city regulations.


During the summer of 2008, the basement level dressing rooms / green room areas underwent a complete remodel / upgrade. This upgrade was intended to not only improve the visual appearance of the space but also allow for an enhanced green room environment for all to share. Upgrades include but are not limited to: new flooring, furniture, restrooms and locker rooms in conjunction with a limited use kitchenette area. Lockers in the basement areas are the property of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and are not available for rental use. Locker rooms may be used, but that use must be approved by SDSOA during the advance process.

Rm# Location Description
/ Size
Private restroom Sinks Showers
A Stage level Suite Yes 1 1
B Stage level 2-3 people Yes 1 0
1 Basement Small (1-3 people) No 1 0
2 Basement Small (1-3 people) No 1 0
  Basement Common gathering room or "musicians' lounge" No 0 0
Ladies' Basement 1 facility, multiple stalls, ADA includes shower stall      
Mens' Basement 1 facility, multiple stalls, ADA includes shower stall      


Height (Permanent Valance)  30’-0"
Height (Structural) 31’-8"
Width (Structural) 50’-0"
Proscenium to upstage permanent pillars  30’-9"
Proscenium to upstage wall  45’-1"
Last set of lines to upstage pillars 0'-3"
Stage floor to grid 69’-10"
Curtain line to edge of apron  15’-3"
Curtain line to balcony rail 62’-0"
Curtain line to rear wall, main floor 112’-0"
Curtain line to projection booth 138’-0"
Stage height above main floor 0'-33"



CLICK HERE for the Copley Symphony Hall Lineset Schedule.



During the summer of 2002, a new Brazilian cherry hardwood floor was installed as the stage surface of Copley Symphony Hall. This upgrade was intended to not only improve the visual appearance of the Hall, but also to assist the acoustics and augment an audience member’s overall experience. The flooring extends from wall-to-wall and covers the entire stage area including the main performance area, orchestra pit cover, piano lift and backstage areas. The floor color is natural (no stain) with a satin protective finish.

While we understand that regular wear and tear is unavoidable, we request that you follow these guidelines for working and performing on the Symphony Hall stage:

    • No drilling will be done into the stage floor.
    • No food or drink other than water, preferably in a bottle or other container, is allowed on stage (this includes backstage areas).
    • All scenery, electrical and sound gear, props, flying pieces and all other stage equipment may not have sharp edges. All rough-edged metal gear must be padded.
    • Please do not drag items such as truss or chain motors even a short distance on the stage. We have carpets and mats in a variety of sizes readily available to place underneath sharp edges of any stage equipment.
  • All adhesive tapes (gaff, duct, spike, etc.) must be used sparingly on stage. Please be aware that when placing tape, do not stretch it over the floor, but rather let it relax prior to adhering it to the floor surface of the stage. Please take care when removing the tape. When removed too quickly, areas of the wood finish will be removed.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: A $100.00 fine will be added for any severe violation of these guidelines. 


The shell wall consists of ten solid wood panels that were designed to enhance the acoustics in the Hall. There are four panels along the rear of the stage; these run parallel to the proscenium. Each side is made up of three panels, which are placed on an angle connecting the end of the rear wall with the proscenium opening. An offstage-opening double door is set in the farthest downstage panel on each side of the stage. This is our standard orchestra configuration.

Smaller ensembles that wish to use the stage with the shell have the option of "shrinking" it. This includes removing and storing the two upstage walls on each side of the stage and bringing the rear wall forward to meet the sidewall sections that contain the doors. This allows for a more intimate setting and clearer acoustics for small ensembles and recital soloists. 


The ceiling panels are another part of the Hall’s acoustical upgrade. There are four ceilings – one downstage of the proscenium (#1) and three upstage of the proscenium (#s 2, 3 and 4, these are numbered in order from down to upstage). Ceiling panel #1 is not available, it must remain in storage position.

The panel heights are adjustable; however, when they were installed their heights were tested and individually adjusted to be optimal for orchestral performances. These are the heights we recommend and automatically have preset unless otherwise requested. Each ceiling contains six inset strip lights.

If the ceilings are not necessary for your event, they can be all or individually "removed." The following chart shows the control mechanism for each panel, and which can be tripped to vertical or must be removed for storage. 

Panel # Control Trip/Removable
1 Motor Remove (not available)
2 Motor Trip
3 Flyrail Trip
4 Flyrail Trip

The first ceiling must be brought in to stage level, removed from the pipe and transported in sections aboard dollies to an upstage motorized storage pipe, where it is hung, then tripped to vertical and flown out. The location of this pipe can be found on the Counterweight System chart. 


The apron deck is 14'-0" deep from the downstage edge to proscenium at center mark, and 7'-6" deep on stage right and stage left (rounded thrust). The apron deck is 50'-0" wide at proscenium line. The apron depth is fixed.

The surface of the apron is of the same cherry wood as the stage floor, and is installed and removed in sections which are supported from underneath by steel beams and framing to create an orchestra pit. The majority of these cover sections are 4' square; the rest were designed and built to fit the existing rounded thrust stage. They can be secured at stage level (standard), audience level, or removed completely for pit orchestra configuration.


During the summer of 2002, a piano lift was installed in the stage floor in order to allow more ease for the presentation and removal of a solo piano during a concert performance. The lift is located extreme downstage center and measures 7’ deep x 13’ wide with a tapered front (apron) edge. Control is motorized and can be run from back stage right, or it can be run from on the lift itself through an access panel in the floor by connecting the control pendant. The surface is of the same cherry wood as the stage floor and can be set at pit, audience or stage level. Humans may not use it as a secret entrance or trap door.


The front curtain is burgundy in color, flies in and out, and is split at center and travels. There are 4 pairs of black legs (30’ high x 12’ wide), 4 sets of black borders (12’ high x 60’ wide), and a full-stage black backdrop (30’ high x 60’ wide). All are sewn with fullness. There are no black travelers in house.


There are 54 sets of lines on 6" centers. There is no permanent electrical. Most sets can be stripped to accommodate show requirements. The line set battens are of 1 1/2" single pipe construction, not trussed. The pipe battens are 54’-6" long. The pipes are bridled for pickup support, and can fly from a high of 4’-6" beneath the grid to within 4’ of the stage floor. The locking rail is located on stage right at stage level; there is no pin rail stage right. The loading bridges are located 10’-6", 32’-0", and 54’-0" above the stage right floor.


There are two bull-switches located stage right approximately 10’ from the proscenium. Both switches are 3 phase, 600 amps per leg, 110/220 VAC. These are bussed units, with 450 cm Al/Cu lugs provided. There is an additional bull switch located stage left, 50’ from the proscenium. This switch provides three phases, 200 amps per leg, 110/220 VAC, and has 35’ cam lock tails (2/0) permanently installed. It is generally used for sound taps. 


Principal lighting positions available in front of the proscenium include: 

Side (Box) Booms  20’ from the stage on both sides of the house; approx. 20’ above stage level.
Balcony Rail  Approx. 62’ from curtain line, approx. 30° relative to the stage
House Booms  Approx. 80’ from curtain line.
Projection Booth Approx. 138’ from the curtain line, at the rear of the balcony.
Spot Lights 2 Xenon Medium Throw SuperTroupers at the rear of the balcony.
Chandelier Approx. 85’ from curtain line, approx. 45° relative to the stage.

The permanent house hang consists of twelve ETC 10 degree lekos on the chandelier position, six ETC 9 lekos on each box boom and twenty 6x16 lekos on the balcony rail.


House light controls (dimmers) are controlled from stage right, the control booth in the rear of the main floor, and from the projection booth. These are independent, and cannot be patched into the road show circuitry.

All front-of-house circuits from the booms and balcony rail terminate in a patching bay stage right. All of these circuits are standard, 3-pin stage plug (20 amp connectors) and can be utilized and patched into road show circuitry, if the road show has comparable connectors. Symphony Hall does not provide adapters. 


Ellipsoidal Reflectors (all axial mount)
6 x 9 750 W 3 Units
6 x 12 1000 W 18 Units
6 x 16 1000 W 32 Units
6 x 22 1000 W 10 Units
8" Fresnels 1000 W 6 Units
Source 4 Pars with lens kits   78 Units
Par 64 1000 W 39 Units
ETC ION Lighting Console     
LED Colorblasts   24 Units
LED Pars   12 Units
Aura 101 Moving Lites   8 Units
6" x 3" circuit R-40 strip lights (12 A per strip; 150 W per lamp)   10 Units

Please note that the above inventory is not available during the months of June, July, August and September as they are used for the San Diego Symphony's Summer Pops series.

Additional architectural lighting in the chamber has been added to enhance structural features of the historic 1929 Fox Theatre, Jacobs Music Center's original incarnation.


  • If your event requires sound amplification, please call Paige Satter at 619.615.3905.
  • Copley Symphony Hall was originally opened as a movie palace in 1929 and has been acoustically upgraded to accommodate non-amplified orchestral performances.
  • CLICK HERE for Copley Symphony Hall sound specifications.


Should you bring your own sound reinforcement in, it is crucial to pay particular attention to the Balcony and Mezzanine during sound check. In order to reach optimal sound in Symphony Hall, a technician should be in the upper level during sound check to ensure that all levels will be satisfactory to the audience. Please know that it is strongly recommended to mix from the Front of House position. 




Floor Level


Floor Level: ADA Accessible (included in above)


Grand Tier


Grand Tier: ADA Accessible (included in above)






Grand Total



The Patron Entrance and Ticket Office are in the west end of Symphony Towers' lobby, located on "B" Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. There is an additional patron entrance to the upper lobby area located on Seventh Avenue.

Gould Room entrances are on Seventh Avenue and in upper lobby of the hall.

The freight elevator (for stage loading) is located on 8th Avenue between "A" and "B" streets. The stage door (artist’s entrance) is located on 8th Avenue immediately south of the elevator.

Fire exits are located at the northeast and southeast sides of the hall on all levels. 


PATRON PARKING: Jacobs Music Center management alerts commercial parking lots in the vicinity of the JMC prior to each event so additional traffic can be anticipated. AMPCO or Ace parking companies manage nearby lots and charge from $10.00 to $20.00 per vehicle. Declan Suites offers parking for patrons with interior elevator access to the Symphony Towers lobby. 

VALET PARKING: We have a standing relationship with Valet Operations. If you would like to utilize this service, please call for details.

BUS & TRUCK PARKING: It is important to alert Jacobs Music Center management of your truck and bus parking needs so that we can contact the appropriate parties and attempt to reserve parking. A commercial lot located on "B" Street and 8th Avenue can accommodate buses and trucks on a space-available basis for $250-$500 depending on space requirements. Most often we engage special event parking via the City of San Diego for your bus or truck parking. Contact Paige Satter for more information at 619.615.3905.


San Diego Symphony Orchestra's banners are located inside of the chamber to the house right and left of the proscenium opening and will remain in place for all Copley Symphony Hall events.


Jacobs Music Center's Ticket Office is equipped with the BOCA ticketing system. Ticket Office hours of operation are from 10:00am - 6pm Monday through Friday. The Ticket Office is not typically open Saturday and Sunday, but arrangements may be made to accommodate your event. Our Ticket Office accepts cash, checks, Visa, MasterCard and American Express. For more details, please contact Octavia Person, Ticket Services Manager, at 619.615.3919.


A list of preferred caterers are available in the Facility Operations Department. Please call 619.615.3909 for details. Snake Oil Cocktail Company holds the liquor license for the facility and must be utilized for events involving alcohol sales. All caterers are required to provide a copy of their City of San Diego business license, their California health permit and a certificate of insurance naming the "San Diego Symphony Orchestra Association" as additional insured.