Connecting to Our Audience: The History of Thern Stage Equipment

Hi folks! We’re sure you have a lot of other things to read, so we appreciate you stopping by. As the great-granddaughter of the founder of Thern Inc., I know that Royal Thern would have never imagined his lifting devices operating on the big stage. Here is the story of how a company started by a humble engineer ended up making equipment that performs in front of millions.

Act One: From Farm to Stage

When Royal established Thern in 1948, he invented equipment that solved lifting problems on his farm and within his small community of Winona, MN. Over time, the popularity of Royal’s products grew beyond the bluffs of the Winona River Valley. He began connecting with people and their lifting problems across the nation.

In the late 1980s, Thern became aware of a market that was unknowingly misapplying our products. Our customers in the entertainment industry were solving their lifting challenges with Thern equipment, which was not its intended use at that time. We addressed the opportunity and focused our attention on creating a product perfectly fit for the role.

As we began our research, we sought out professionals in the field for product guidance. We connected with consultants, and theatrical dealers, and installers.  These valuable connections helped us gather information and answered some initial questions. What did the industry need? What products were popular but not working? How do we connect with people in the world of entertainment and help them identify and solve their lifting needs?

Act Two: A Star is Born

With this newfound knowledge from our research, we were able to present the original cast of Thern Stage Equipment:

The introduction of these products was a hit! We like to think we did my great-grandpa proud as we entered the market officially as Thern Stage. Just like Royal, we connected to the people and helped solve their problems.

Act Three: Unstoppable

The success of Thern Stage continued to grow. Throughout the 2000s we hired people who were experienced in the theater industry. They developed additional rigging products that would star backstage and ensure a flawless performance every time.

One of the products targeted by our team of industry experts for improvements was the counterweight arbor.  We identified that the current “industry standard” side loading arbors had flaws that made installation and operation difficult and sometimes even dangerous.

We developed and launched the revolutionary Brickhouse™ front-loading arbor which was met with resounding applause (hyperlink to our product). Brickhouse™ arbors solved a number of industry concerns by greatly improving ease of installation, operation, and safety.

As our experience in the industry continued to grow, it was necessary to expand our product offering. We wanted to be considered for projects that required full theatrical rigging systems and not just counterweight systems. By introducing additional components, such as our innovative rope locks, loft blocks, and motorized rigging and controls, we were able to engage in projects that cast Thern Stage Equipment in all of their theatrical rigging roles.

No Curtain for Thern Stage!

As we continue to improve, design, and redesign our Thern Stage Equipment, we follow in my great grandfather’s footsteps by creating connections to those experiencing a lifting challenge. We identify the dilemma, we research and develop answers, and then we innovate a solution.

When you choose a Thern solution, you can be confident that you chose a solution that is deeply connected to our audience… you.