With the help of Meyer Sound and Memphis Audio, we have met and even exceeded the need for an advanced system that will let audiences fully enjoy our productions.”
Pat HalloranPresident and CEO, The Orpheum Theatre
With its new Meyer Sound MINA line array loudspeaker system, The Orpheum Theatre has completed phase one of a multi-year renovation program. The upgrade projects will breathe new life into the historic, 85-year-old music venue in downtown Memphis and give long-time patrons a world-class entertainment experience.
“This is the first major upgrade to our audio equipment since the 1983 renovation, and until now sound quality has been an issue for our patrons,” says Pat Halloran, president and CEO of The Orpheum. “With the help of Meyer Sound and Memphis Audio, we have met and even exceeded the need for an advanced system that will let audiences fully enjoy our
When the Orpheum was originally built in 1928, it was designed for unamplified performances. To provide the clarity and sound levels to support every event from Broadway productions to concerts and speech performances, choosing the right loudspeaker configuration for the 2,500-seat room was key. The team also had to protect the Orpheum’s historic architecture by minimizing the loudspeakers’ visual impact while ensuring balanced audio coverage for all of the seats. These requirements led to the selection of the compact MINA arrays.
“It is very important for that mezzanine area to hear properly under the balcony,” says Matt Britt, audio systems engineer for Memphis Audio, which designed, provided, and installed the system. “Everybody in the theatre now hears the same thing, and no one’s experience is diminished by their seat choice of the day.”
The main system includes left, center, and right arrays of 16 MINA loudspeakers each, with four 1100‑LFC low-frequency control elements supplying low-end reinforcement, and four M1D line array loudspeakers for front fill. Sixteen UP-4XP loudspeakers and two UPJunior-XP VariO loudspeakers, all with IntelligentDC technology, handle under-balcony and upper gallery fill, respectively. A Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 AES and one Galileo Callisto 616 array processor provides system drive and optimization.
According to Britt, the IntelligentDC technology helped overcome the theatre’s architectural obstacles. “The old building is entirely plaster lath, so adding wiring for delay speakers was a big challenge, but IntelligentDC made installation much easier than having to install AC in each speaker location.”
More upgrades will be launched in stages from now through 2020, including seat renovations, restoration of the auditorium’s gold leaf and patina, and refurbished restroom facilities.
“My staff, our board, and I work constantly to provide a positive Orpheum experience for our patrons, and we also have the honor of taking care of this historic building,” adds Halloran. “We want Memphis to know that we are fully committed to the task.”