Equipment sale marks the end of Brad Barrett Lighting

All good things must come to an end, as the old adage goes. And one of those good things is the closing of lighting director Brad Barrett’s 15-year old AGLS — A Great Lighting Stage  — in Oak Park, which will hold “a huge equipment sale” Monday and Tuesday, March 28-29.

With his 8,000-sq. ft. building having been sold recently to an Oak Park-based specialty tile company, Barrett is selling now sell what he estimates is around $50,000 worth of equipment, at 222 Lake St. in the suburb, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Among the items on sale are an 8-ton Mitsubishi lighting truck; studio HMI and Tungsten lights; conference room tables and chairs; office equipment and kitchen equipment that had been originally purchased from a big restaurant supply company, such as a six-burner stove with a griddle. 

“I’m even selling my cappuccino machine,” Barrett says with his always-genial laugh.  

Barrett started his career as a PA in 1979 working for the many of big commercial production companies of the day. After having learned the grip/gaffer trade, he started his own company, Brad Barrett Lighting, in the late 1980s, with two lighting trucks and a supply of studio lights. 

A resident of Oak Park, he jumped at the chance in 2003 of acquiring the former Lake St. warehouse, for a purchase price of $250,000. Over the years, the AGLS, the rental stage was the site of hundreds of commercials for clients like Carson’s, Wrigley Gum and the Chicago Bulls, R. Kelly’s music videos, reality, fitness and cooking TV show. 

The stage’s best feature, as far as Barrett was concerned, was its location: a convenient two blocks from his home and one block from the grammar school his two daughters attended. 

“From then on and throughout their high school, they always had access to their dad,” he says of his daughters, Alicia, now 25 and Michele, 23, who recently moved back into the family homestead.

Barrett, of course, plans to stay in the film business after AGLS says its final goodbye. But what that next chapter will be “for the next 20 years” he laughs, he hasn’t quite defined nor has he fully explored.

But those new opportunities will be in Chicago and most likely in commercial production. “I’ll probably stay with crews as a gaffer or grip,” he says.