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What is a Curtain Board?

A curtain board is a robust horizontal structure that sits atop a stage, hiding lighting and technical equipment from the audience's view. It ensures the magic of theater remains uninterrupted, blending seamlessly into the background. Intrigued by the unseen elements that shape your theater experience? Discover how these unsung heroes of stagecraft contribute to the enchantment of a performance.
Liana Thomas
Liana Thomas

A curtain board is an incombustible curtain made out of a flame-retardant material that is not likely to catch on fire. If there is a particular area in the building that has a higher potential of being a fire hazard, then that is where the curtain board will most likely be placed. It is securely draped against the ceiling, parallel with the border within the area of hazard. The main purpose of this material is to prevent fire from spreading uncontrollably throughout the building by forcing heat and smoke in the direction of nearby vents.

The curtain board is secured in place along the perimeter of the ceiling by tempered spring steel fasteners. Steel devices that are nearly impossible to remove from the board are placed in the structure. Electrically powered and continuous metallic tubes are used to build the frame. The frame is attached to the structure by screw tees, which also aligns the curtain board and hold it in place. The tubing that continues along the top of the material is attached to a fastener, which will support the structure and hold it in place against the ceiling.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Curtain boards can be formed out of an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and mildew-resistant material that is simple to clean and will not deteriorate, shrink or stretch. The fabric is not flammable, which is what makes curtain boards so effective. If they were not built to be so flame-resistant, then it would not function long enough to force the necessary amount of heat and smoke in the direction of nearby vents. When board comes in contact with smoke or fumes, it locks them in. They can also be made out of other materials, such as aluminum.

Just like most of the devices within a building, every now and then steps will need to be taken in order to repair the curtain boards so that they can function correctly. To repair a curtain board that is made out of fabric, one must unscrew one end of the tubing and then pull the tube out and replace it. In order to fix a metal or aluminum curtain board, the impaired trim angles might have to be taken out, along with the fasteners, and then the panel and trim angles will have to be replaced.

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