Who is Charles H Stewart Backdrops and why should I consider them?

Charles H Stewart Backdrops has been a premier provider of backdrops for theatre, stage, dance, and special events in the United States since 1893. CHS Backdrops rents a full complement of hand painted scenic backdrops specifically designed to accommodate the most popular show themes as well as dance and event categories. Charles H Stewart Backdrops represents the finest selection of scenic backdrops in the industry.

What types of backdrops does Charles H Stewart offer?

Charles H Stewart offers a wide variety of backdrops designed to accommodate most high quality productions for theatres, schools, dance recitals, corporate events and the like. We feature a rapidly growing selection of stage curtains that have been directly inspired not only by Broadway, National Tours, and London's West End productions, but also by a wide variety of popular, world-class entertainment venues such as Las Vegas, Branson, world renowned nightclubs and film/television productions. While our primary products are large format backdrops, we also offer a growing selection of valances (or borders) and legs. Browse our website to see our new inventory. We are constantly growing to our already wide selection of scenic backdrops.

What are your rental periods?

Our backdrops are rented on a weekly basis--Monday to Monday.

Can I choose what day my backdrop arrives?

Our contracts are Monday to Monday. We try our very best to ensure the backdrops arrive on Monday whenever possible. If the drop is in house and available, we do try to ship early, but we do not guarantee any early deliveries. If you want to guarantee an earlier delivery date than Monday, we do offer a limited partial week rental. Otherwise, it would get into a second week of rental. If there is any deviation from this, we will let you know prior to renting when possible. After Monday arrivals may occur during our peak seasons.

What methods of payment do you accept?

We accept checks, AMEX, Visa, Mastercard and Discover.

What kind of material is used to make your drops?

Our backdrops are hand-painted on heavy weight muslin.

How are your drops hung?

All of our backdrops come with grommets and tie lines spaced approximately 12-14 inches apart. We ask that you only hang the backdrops using the grommets and tie lines provided. Please do not pin, staple, tack or tape the backdrops at any time.

What shipping carrier do you use?

We ship via UPS and ask that you do the same on the return. UPS has the best tracking system in the business! This allows us to track the backdrops to and from your location. It is very important to us to have your backdrops arrive and returned on time. Plus, we will provide the UPS return labels when we ship the backdrop or via email, so we can keep an eye on all of our backdrops that leave our facility and when they are on the way back.

Is shipping included in your rental price?

No. Your invoice will reflect your rental fee and a separately itemized shipping and handling fee. We use UPS to send you the backdrop(s) and provide a pre-paid return label for your convenience. Additionally, we insure the backdrop while in transit with UPS and will resolve any in-transit issues with UPS as long as our customer has documentation that UPS received the return package on time.

What are your shipping procedures during the Christmas and Holiday Season?

Due to the high demand of certain backdrops during the winter holiday season, Charles H Stewart ships all holiday-themed backdrops both to and from the customer via UPS. We select the least expensive 3 Day shipping option that will schedule the backdrops for 3 Day delivery and 3 Day return. Of course, if you need anything shipped Next Day or 2 Day Air, we will accommodate you. Doing so allows us to enable as many customers as possible to rent these popular, seasonal backdrops. So, please make sure that you order your holiday backdrops early.

Can I use a rented backdrop for an outdoor event?

No, we do NOT allow our backdrops to be used outdoors or in any area where they could be exposed to the elements. Water and moisture will ruin the backdrop. However, backdrops hung inside a tent are acceptable as long as they are kept off of grass or moist surfaces and do not get wet. In addition, venues with open-air stages are also suitable if the backdrop is protected by an awning and does not get wet.

How do you fold and repackage a backdrop for return?

Folding a backdrop is very simple. We ask that you sweep your stage BEFORE you lay down any backdrop! Then, lay the backdrop out PAINT SIDE UP. With one person at a top corner and another at the bottom corner on the same side of the drop, reach out an arm’s length and pull the backdrop to the corner—accordion style. Repeat this process until you have the backdrop about one and a half feet wide. Now, with the backdrop at its full height and a foot and a half wide, fold it vertically in half from the bottom, then fold it in half again. From here, fold it into a rectangle by folding it into thirds. You’ll see it start to take the form of the box. This makes a nice, tight rectangle that will fit easily back into the box the drop shipped in. The idea is to fold it so that either of the top corners is visible when we open the box so that we can easily check it back into our shop when it returns. This saves us a lot of time! We will include folding instructions inside each box. After the backdrop is folded, place it in the plastic bag that it was wrapped in when it arrived. This protects the backdrop if the box gets wet. Then, place the bagged backdrop in the box that it arrived in. If you have lost the bag or the box, you a responsible to replace these items for packaging. If the items returned to Charles H Stewart have not been repackaged properly and damage occurs during return, you may be liable for damage fees.

Do you have backdrops that are printed digitally?

We do not offer digitally printed backdrops as part of our rental inventory.

Do your backdrops come in a variety of sizes?

Yes. We can create a backdrop of any size to your exact specifications on a custom order. However, our standard sizes for backdrop rentals are mostly 18x42 or 15x36.

Why should I consider using a backdrop for my event?

A backdrop can be the final element that brings your theatrical production, dance recital or event to life. They set your stage and provide a visual impact that makes your presentation truly unforgettable. Backdrops can also be a cost effective method to set your theme, and they can save you many hours of set building and painting. You just hang it, and you’re ready to go! Please take a moment to visit our blog, Curtain Call, to see some of our scenic backdrops in action.

What if I need to rent the backdrop for an extra day or two above what my contract specifies?

Please call us immediately. We need to check availability to make sure that another client is not expecting the backdrop, but would be happy to extend your rental period otherwise. Additional rental charges may apply.

What happens if I accidentally damage a backdrop prior to or during my event?

Upon any damage to a backdrop, you must first call us immediately so that we may assess the situation and advise you on the best options for both your event and the backdrop. Depending on how severe the damage is, you might be able to apply a temporary fix in time for your production. We recommend only using gaffers tape; its quality allows easy removal without leaving tape residue. Tape should never be used on the painted side of the backdrop. It will cause further damage.

Are the colors and details of the backdrops depicted on the web site accurate?

While certain to be close to true color representation, the colors depicted on the Charles H Stewart website may not always be accurate when viewing the actual backdrop. Computer monitors and printer inks all vary in color separation. Additionally, while pictures are great, remember that lighting requirements are different for all color combinations and your lighting technician can have a dramatic impact on your presentation. Further, images depicted on the website have obviously been significantly reduced from their original size. At such a reduction, the actual backdrops will have infinitely more detail than is able to be accurately depicted on the website. Because of this, we digitally photograph the actual backdrops in neutral lighting.

Can a backdrop only be used at the exact size of the drop?

Not at all. Every backdrop that Charles H Stewart offers are soft goods. The material can be folded or rolled from the sides and/or bottom to fit the exact size of your venue, provided you have selected a product that is larger than your space. We don’t recommend modifying the backdrop from the top and we caution our clients on the use of non-fabric protected clamps. If you modify the size of the drop and cause damage, you will be responsible for the repair as that damage is not considered normal wear.

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"Nice work on our back drops for New York State Ballet."

Ben and Katie Johnson January 29, 2016

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"The Egyptian backdrop was beautiful and added just the right touch to our stage play! As always, we really appreciate your service and quality!"

Rick Auvil, United High School January 29, 2016

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"Love these backdrops. You guys have wonderful drops and great service!!!"

Victoria Szeplaki, River Ballet January 29, 2016