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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So — we are planning to coordinate a school-wide Halloween party at my daughters school.
We’re planning a Shrek theme and want to attempt transforming the gymnasium into the inside of the Dragons Keep. For a smaller setting like a carport, I’d carve up some foam stone walls, crack them apart and back light with red LED floods. Video clip of example scene below:


But the size of this space means full floor to ceiling treatments won’t be feasible. Room is roughly 90’x60’ with 20’ ceilings, and of course with banners and school pride currently covering the walls. Looking for ideas on making large columns and wall treatments that’s would help transform the space without full coverage, without huge costs and that the fire marshal would approve.
Which ruled out many of my usual standbys — black plastic sheeting, cardboard, etc.

Any ideas?
 

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That is quite a 'tall' order! Low cost is typically going to mean paper, cardboard, plastic, etc - but as you mention - all might be viewed as fire hazards. But going with more substantial materials - plywood, sheetrock, etc might be cost prohibitive.

For my high school prom - many, many years ago - we ran a couple cables across the gym, then draped black crepe paper streamers from them to block out most of the walls/ceiling. Of course today, people would probably take that as roughly equivalent to having a bridge over a lake of gasoline! Though it might be good to clarify exactly what flammability ratings are acceptable and how much can be used with the local FD before proceeding too far down the planning route.

One thing that comes to mind is to do something with light. Have the majority of the gym dark / blacked out, but possibly set up some smaller room sized 'scenes' and focus small/dim lights there, so not too much (if any) light spills out into the main gym. If you need a path between scenes use very dim light focused down, again so as not to light up the entire space.
 

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Light is a great suggestion. If you want to hide something, put a light in front of it and direct it towards the audience. You could shrink a space down with perimeter lights directed inwards, and definitely de-emphasize the banners and walls. I'd also consider making walls using PVC pipe as frames and covering in flame retardant black plastic.
 
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