|Also see - Krisha Lights, Ono Yasumaro's Illumination Factory, Liquid Light Orchestra and The Odd Light Show
RIP Keith Robert Canadine b.18th May 1943 - d. 5th October 2003
Was formed as a limited company on 27th November 1970. Its first directors were Phil Brunker, Keith Canadine, John Harding, Neil Rice and Nick Turnbull.
Having seen the commercial possibilities of selling lightshow equipment at Krishna Lights, Canadine and Rice, who lived with Harding and Turnbull, were introduced to Brunker by Peter Cutchey then of Light Sound Studios in Acton. Cutchey was a mutual customer of both Krishna and Brunker who was also making liquid wheels and converting cheap east European slide projectors to go with them.
In the summer of ’71 Harding and Turnbull left after a difference of direction and the others continued together with their wives. The boys made the ‘hardware’ converting slide projectors into effects projectors and the girls made the ‘software’, hand painting rotating moiré effect cassettes. Such was the demand for Liquid Wheels both for their own projectors and for other companies who had joined the bandwagon converting slide projectors that everyone mucked in to keep up production of these.
Although the company was set up to manufacture and sell what was by then being termed effects lighting equipment it also continued to perform regular Light Shows which they were able to use as a test bed for new products.
Equipment used for these events included Rank Tutor 2 projectors, a UK lightshow standard by now, Kodak Carousel and Leitz Pradovit slide projectors, overhead and film projectors.
Optikinetics moved from the farm house into an old hat factory in Luton in late 1972 where its headquarters remain to this day. In 2000 it celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Originally like most of the other effects lighting equipment ‘manufacturers’ at the time Optikinetics was converting slide projectors into effects projectors. Slide projector brands bought at the time for conversion were from Rank Aldis in Brentford, Hanimax, London and Gnome Photographic in Cardiff. Most business was done with Ranks projectors.
However Optikinetics does continue to do occasional lightshow performances.
In Reno, Nevada, in November 1994 during the entertainment lighting trade show LDI Optikinetics joined other 60’s light show veterans to help provide an authentic lightshow for a party hosted by leading US lighting manufacturers High End Systems of Austin, Texas.
With the help of Graeme Furley and Geoff Blindt (who works for OPTI, as Optikinetics is now known, also running Mystic Lights in his spare time) atmospheric retro lighting was provided for The Recurring Technicolour Dream at the ICA in The Mall in London in the Autumn of 1999.
Perhaps the current largest and most frequent OPTI light show is that created by Zeeman Zap of Whirl-y-Gig, a monthly Saturday night club at Camden Town Hall, Euston Road, London.
Text Copyright © Neil Rice 2001. All images Copyright © Neil Rice & Optikinetics Ltd.
Optikinetics residency for Mike Alfandary and Harvey Goldsmith
March 5th 1970
Glissando Guitar Orchestra - Club 85 - Hitchin - Saturday 27th August 2022 - The Odd Light Show