City Theatrical Retires the AutoYoke®

by Gary Fails | Aug 29, 2021


City Theatrical has retired the iconic AutoYoke® after 22 years of production. City Theatrical brought the AutoYoke to market in 1999 by marrying the ETC Source Four ellipsoidal with a precision pan/tilt yoke, and it was the first hard edge incandescent automated lighting solution designed especially for theatrical use.


2001 Catalog Cover Art AutoYoke


Most hard edge moving lights of the 1990s utilized arc source lamps which produced skin tones that many theatrical designers did not like. Broadway lighting designer Brian MacDevitt asked City Theatrical to produce a remotely refocusable Source Four so his moving lights would match the color temperature of his conventional units. Since City Theatrical was founded to serve the needs of professional lighting designers and technicians by creating unique lighting accessories, the AutoYoke was created to fill a niche in the moving light world that was of critical importance to Broadway lighting designers and which no other manufacturer was addressing.


AutoYoke square


Smooth, accurate, and completely silent since it did not require a cooling fan, the AutoYoke’s DMX control allowed users to pan, tilt, change the size and sharpness of the beam and to control popular color scrollers. Later versions of the AutoYoke controlled LED ellipsoidals and washlights.


The AutoYoke played an important part in hundreds of Broadway shows and tours and in permanent lighting installations all over the world, but with incandescent light sources now officially obsolete and with many hard edge and soft edge LED moving lights on the market from dozens of worldwide manufacturers, the more than 20-year life of the AutoYoke has now officially been brought to a close.