There is a really cool website that deals with the beginnings of filament lighting in theatres. Everyone should check it out as it speaks to the beginnings of our present era in the history of lighting. Check out CASSSTUDIO6 for some amazing behind the scenes shots and history of our industry.
The above photo is of the electrical room in the Paris Opera House in 1887
While LEDs are becoming more and more prevelant in the theatrical world, there are still plenty of places where standard dimming is still being used and installed. This is why CHAUVET Professional came up with the Ovation ED 190-WW and Ovation FD 165-WW. These are LED fixtures that are designed to work with both DMX control and dimming systems. A true bridge between the old and the new.