WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — The nearly century-old venue State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, opened its doors in 1936 but closed down in 1988. Luckily, it later underwent a multi-million-dollar restoration and renovation that both buffed up its Art Deco design elements and added modern sound and lights with a 20-foot video screen, turning it into one of the leading live music venues in the region, sporting a wide-open dance floor and 200 seats in the restored balconies. The State Theatre just got another upgrade, this one to its audio and lighting systems, with all components sourced through Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro), the outside sales division of Guitar Center that focuses on the needs of professional users.
The new audio and lighting components include an RCF dual-hang line array sound system, managed by a dbx DriveRack 4800 speaker processor and mixed through an Avid SC48 VENUE digital FOH console. There is also a new High End Systems Road Hog 4 lighting control console and 16 new Chauvet LED and PAR lighting fixtures. All of these components were installed by Koko Brothers Entertainment, a proud member of the GC Pro Affiliate Program.
“That’s one of the things we love about working with GC Pro — any product we think we might need on a job, GC Pro will always be able to get it for us,” says Angelo Kokkinakos, who with his brother Lou owns and operates Koko Brothers Entertainment. The Baltimore-based firm is one of an elite group of approved vendors in the GC Pro Affiliate Program, which includes a growing number of award-winning companies and individuals who specialize in key areas of professional audio systems design, integration and installation.
“There were a couple of challenges,” says Angelo Kokkinakos. “It’s an old, landmarked building, so there’s not much you can do from an acoustics point of view, because the historical nature of the interior must be maintained. The owner” — Thomas Carter, who with a partner bought the State Theatre and brought it back to life — “wanted better sound. What had been in there was a ground-stacked system, which was good, but the coverage was uneven; it needed a number of under-balcony fills to make it work. Working with Jonah [Joffe, GC Pro Account Manager based at the Washington, D.C.-area office], we determined that a flown line array would be the best choice.”
“When we explored the different options and prices [for the P.A. system], the RCF came up as the right solution for the job,” says Angelo. “And once we had it installed, it really exceeded our high expectations. And that’s what I mean about working with GC Pro: whatever we might ask for, they’ll always tell us, ‘No problem! We can get that!’ And if something comes up in the middle of the project, like it did here when we discovered that the crawl space between the FOH position and the stage was longer than the snake we had specified, no problem — GC Pro and Whirlwind worked together to get us the items we needed to modify the snake.”
On working with GC Pro, Angelo notes, ““It’s a great partnership,” says Angelo Kokkinakos. “Every project has turned out exactly the way it’s supposed to. Clients love that!”
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