In 1922, five plush theatres opened along a single avenue in Cleveland, which was soon dubbed Playhouse Square, ushering in the era of silent movies, vaudeville and legimitate theatrical drama. However, over the next few decades, the Depression took its toll, followed by World War II and then the flight to the suburbs and the relentless rise of television. The grand old theatres fell victim to neglect and vandalism.
But vigorous restoration has put these great houses back on the map, and the most elegant of them all, the Palace Theatre, has just been brought fully up to date with the installation of a new sound system, designed by NAC Technologies, comprising more than 60 NEXO GEO S12 cabinets with S2 subs, NXAmps and a Yamaha M7CL digital console.
The NEXO system at the Palace is the third that NAC has supplied to Playhouse Square venues. Senior audio engineer Rick Galbraith, who designed the system with NAC owner David Cooper, explains that the final decision to replace their existing SR equipment was taken when Patti Lupone came to town.
“The last stop on the Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin tour was the Palace Theatre where we hung our own NEXO touring rig. Over the course of the next 12 days, all the top management folks had the opportunity to hear what they would end up buying.”
NAC has installed three large line arrays in a L/C/R configuration. and provided a deck support system with additional S1230s on top of NEXO S2 subs. The under balcony area was redone with two rings of S1230s, five in one ring, six in the other. Four S1230s per side were added in the balcony light boxes to cover the upper balcony seats. The system is powered by NEXO NXAmps, 4×1 and 4x4s.
“Most acts coming through carry full production, and will use part of the system, such as the under and over balconies, but most just leave their rigs on the truck,” says Galbraith. “We’ve also had good success with the NEXO product which we’ve installed in two other Playhouse theatres.”