More Lex than Clark




South Carolina’s Club Kryptonite has a dark look with a sleek veneer…and lots of movable truss.

Bridging the enormous gap of awe-inspiring clubs from the shaken-and-never-stirred New York City to the non-stop pulse of Miami, South Carolina’s Club Kryptonite is the product of the magnificent synergy of three ambitious young entrepreneurs, Chris Manios, Andrew Manios, and Pete Politis. These gents set out to create the ultimate club experience, and they did their homework, “researching” the biggest clubs in the nation, from New York to Boston to Miami to Las Vegas. As torturous as their studies must have been, they were able to clearly develop a feel for the sort of experience modern clubgoers seek, and turned that newfound instinct into Club Kryptonite.

Not Saying Much For The Theme Restaurants

The first order of business was to find a location that would support the vision shared by the owners. After extensive research and countless hours of consideration, they decided to set up shop in what was once the All Star Café in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, next to a Planet Hollywood. The 21,000-square-foot venue is located near Broadway at the Beach, one of the largest attractions for nightlife in this tourist driven city.
Next came phase two: To assess the gear acquired in the purchase of the venue, and seek out a company capable of providing seamless additional solutions to all of their lighting, sound, and special effects needs. Chris Manios contacted Jeff Nickles, President of Production Design Associates (PDA) in Charleston, for consultation on club design, and solutions for a limited budget incurred by the already high remodeling expenses. The owners of Kryptonite brought several designs to the table, and with assistance from Nickles, a streamlined vision was created, plans were drawn up, and PO’s were sent out to manufacturers.

On the evening of April 19, 2002, anyone traveling on Highway 17 could not miss the neon green glow penetrating the night sky from the opening of Club Kryptonite, or the line of eager clubgoers that wrapped all the way around the building. From the immaculate manicure of the exterior’s landscaping, to valet parking and bathroom attendants, to leather couches that swallow you whole, the club spared no expense on detail. Beautiful hand-painted murals that reflect the club’s theme, and marble-top tables completed the picture.

4 - EAW DC2 two-way speaker systems
4 - Littlite L-3/18 table lights
4 - Shure M44G cartridges
4 - Technics SL-1200M3D turntables
3 - EAW SB528Z dual 18” cabinets
3 - QSC MX 3000A power amps
3 - Racklight Chameleon Pro lights
2 - EAW FR129z booth monitors
2 - Pioneer CDJ-1000 CD player
1 - EAW MX8750 system processor
1 - Pioneer CP-600 rack ears
1 - Pioneer DJM-600 mixer
1 - Pioneer DJM-300 mixer
1 - Pioneer SEDJ-5000 headphones
1 - QSC PLX 3002 power amp
1 - Rane AC 22B active crossover
1 - Shure U2/58 microphone

10 - Le Maitre Le Flame effects
6 - 400-watt black lights
6 - Martin Mac 500 moving heads
6 - Martin MX-4 scanners
4 - Hypnotic Light projectors
4 - Martin RoboColor Pro 400 color changers
3 - Martin Wizard effect lights
2 - Martin Discovery effect lights
2 - Martin Juggler effect lights
2 - Martin relay packs
1 - two-channel fiber optic curtain (custom), 12’ x 8’
1 - two-channel fiber optic curtain (custom), 40’ x 10’
1 - Jem 6500 low lying fogger
1 - Jem Stage-Haze
1 - Martin 2510 controller
1 - Martin Direct Access touch panel
1 - Martin LightJockey software (USB)
1 - Mobolazer ML10-250 argon projector

Diamond In The Circle

But it took a lot of work to get to that opening night triumph. In its original state, Club Kryptonite was a single level. The new owners added a U-shaped balcony edged in glass railing, and marbled columns topped with LeMaitre LeFlame bowl units (special effects that replicate the look of open flame), for that Mt. Olympus feel. The club can now hold 1,500 to 2,000 patrons.

A technically innovative tangle of lighting, truss, and chain motors is visible over the recessed dance floor area, the nerve center of the club. Kryptonite’s highlight is the 28-foot circular truss, constructed from applied two-inch triangle truss. The giant circular truss then encompasses a three-dimensional diamond structure, constructed from ten-foot applied two-inch ladder truss, and then flown from three CM chain motors, operated by a Skjonberg motor control. Each apex of the diamond structure contains Martin Wizard with a Jem four-head smoke system (three heads above it and one below, all facing downward). As the structure is lowered and raised by the chain motors, it resembles the lift-off of a spaceship. This experience is greatly enhanced with the use of six Martin MAC 500’s, six Martin MX4’s, and 12 High End System Dataflash strobes, all mounted to the circular truss. PDA added two 6-channel Martin relay packs to create space for the addition of fixtures in the future.

Apollo created custom gobos featuring the Kryptonite’s logo. These are projected by the MAC 500’s onto green-colored spandex stretched across the panels of the inside truss structure, as well as onto the dance floor. Control is centered up in the DJ booth, where there’s a Martin USB LightJockey with a Martin 2532 Direct Access, and a Martin 2510 used solely for backup purposes.

Floating Cement

The DJ booth appears to be suspended in front of a custom-made fiber optic curtain, which actually makes it look like it’s floating in outer space. But the booth is extremely solid, with concrete flooring to prevent any bumps or sudden movements from affecting the DJ’s equipment. PDA’s Tom Rothbauer, who has been a DJ for the last 23 years, was the project manager charged with overseeing the set-up of the DJ booth, as well as the unique lighting installation. The booth features playthings such as four Technic 1200’s, two Pioneer CDJ 1000’s, one Pioneer DJM 600 mixer, one Stanton SK6 mixer, and EAW booth monitors. It’s approximately 18 feet above the dance floor, and directly below it is a stage on which professional dancers perform nightly.
The stage itself houses a Jem 6500 low-lying smoke machine. Flush-mounted into the DJ booth itself is a discreetly installed argon laser from Mobolazer, which blows the crowd away with dynamic effects that snap to the beat of the music when used with the bounce mirrors throughout the club.

And that brings us to the sound. When Kryptonite’s owners acquired the venue, they also acquired 12 EAW background speakers. Well, that was a great resource to them if they wanted to entertain their guests with elevator music, but the objective was to shake’em up with pulse pounding effect. PDA’s Bert Mann designed the additional sound applications needed to create the desired effect for the club’s sound. Bert added speakers from the EAW Avalon Series, including four DC2’s, plus three SB528r dual 18-inch subs, two SB 250’s, and an 8750 processor. All of this “in your face” quality sound gear is powered by QSC amplifiers.
Club Kryptonite is spearheading the post-9/11 nightlife charge in Myrtle Beach’s Grand Stand area, and after a manic Spring Break season, the summer is only looking brighter for the club. With a look that is as underground as the vibe is young, Kryptonite continues to set itself apart from the more standard social spots that surround it. And does that truss have something to do with it? You bet.


Copyright 2002 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2002 TESTA Communications