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CASE STUDY: Solomon Victory Theatre

The National WWII Museum’s multiple AV projects have evolved over several phases, with more in the works, thanks to a $370 million capital expansion that will quadruple the size of the original facility in New Orleans. A key attraction is the 250-seat Solomon Victory Theater, home of the 4D cinematic experience, Beyond All Boundaries, which literally moves and shakes the audience. The theater is equipped with a 120-foot-wide perforated curved projection screen and left/center/right audio courtesy of six Renkus-Heinz PNX151T loudspeakers.

Multiple consultants and integrators have been involved in the project, including Rob Pourciau, director of artistic engineering/ audiovisual at JBA Consulting Engineers in New Orleans.

“We spent more than 24 months on designing the Solomon Victory Theater,” says Pourciau. “I believe we had 36 discrete channels of audio. We were very mindful of the cinematic application because we had 4D where objects were flying in and out within the space. We needed to place speakers within unique spaces to get very specific coverage for the audience.”

Nine Renkus-Heinz PNX82 loudspeakers provide front fill to the first three rows, while four DRS18-2B subwoofers add the essential impact to accompany the experience. “We couldn’t stick the subs in a typical location due to structural limitations,” explains Pourciau. “So we flew them directly above the catwalk. We designed the subs to couple with each other, so they really focus the energy right down on the patrons.”

In the museum’s multipurpose U.S. Freedom Pavilion/Boeing Center, three diagonal screens cover the walls, with more than a dozen vintage planes suspended overhead. Five Iconyx IC16 arrays and 13 CF61 point-source systems enable the system to be easily reconfigured based on the exhibit in the space.

Elsewhere in the museum, the Stage Door Canteen is a classic 250-seat, 1940s-era venue offering evening and matinee performances of headline acts, signature musical productions, big bands and dancing. “It’s a true performance space,” says Pourciau. “It has a main floor and a balcony with seating. It can be used as a restaurant with live entertainment. There’s a proscenium stage like a small theater.” The space is outfitted with left and right arrays of three TRX121 loudspeakers each, along with six SGX41 boxes for front fills. A pair of BGS15 subwoofers provides low frequency coverage.

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