A quality theater production transports the audience to another place and time. The onstage magic is made possible by a combination of lights, sounds, and movement. Backdrop curtains play a critical role in immersing the audience in a different world.

What Are Backdrop Curtains?

Backdrop curtains are typically floor-length drapes that hang at the back (upstage) part of the stage. They are usually made of flame-retardant material to ensure safety. Luxurious velvet or velour are popular choices for backdrop curtains with a grandiose appearance, but voile is also used frequently for creative lighting alternatives. Multiple types of backdrop curtains are used in the theater.


Generally made of muslin fabric which is known for versatility, cycloramas (also known as cycs) may be used for projection or specialty lighting. They are often concave and are available in a variety of colors. Muslin’s ability to hold dye makes it a good choice for cycs that need to be painted.


These backdrop curtains are constructed with a lightweight cotton weave fabric that may appear transparent or opaque in various light. They may be painted, depending on the needs of the particular production.


Olios are backdrop curtains that were popular in Vaudeville productions and are still sometimes seen in historical theaters. These were generally covered with advertisements from production sponsors and were visible during intermissions and between shows.

How Are Backdrop Curtains Hung?

As an important stage component, the installation of backdrop curtains varies depending on the production. Fixed backdrop curtains are generally suspended from a track or rail using a specially-designed rigging system. Pulleys, ropes, and counterweights are used to hoist and support the curtains, which are typically heavy for durability. A modular system may be preferred for quick and mobile hanging of backdrop curtains for productions that require a variety of set background changes. These can be easily adjusted throughout a show according to the production needs.

What Are The Uses Of Backdrop Curtains?

Backdrop curtains play an important role in the theater. Although they are by definition a part of the background, they are essential in capturing the audience’s imagination and engaging them in the story unfolding on stage.

Establish The Setting

Backdrop curtains work seamlessly with the physical stage setting to create the time, place, atmosphere, mood, and ambiance of a production. Through the use of vibrant colors, realistic images, and intricate designs they transport the audience to diverse locations. A quick change of the backdrop curtains can provide a seamless transition from one setting to another, which helps the storytelling process and maintains the audience engagement.

Maintain The Magic

The magic onstage keeps its integrity when the chaos backstage is concealed from the audience. Background curtains serve the additional purpose of hiding the actors and other personnel moving around backstage. They also conceal the light, sound, and set mechanisms that are needed for a flawless production.

Find Backdrop Curtains

Based on the functions and types of backdrop curtains, we hope your search for the perfect one will narrow down and you can improve your theater production. There are many online resources to find the perfect match. One of the most reliable places you can get these curtains from is storesselectscanada. They have the best quality all-purpose curtains that can be of great benefit for multiple reasons.