Ft. Meyers, FL (August 14, 2017)—Built in 1915, The Arcade Theater in Fort Meyers, FL has been a vaudeville house, movie theater and multiplex over the years, but the last 19 years have seen the 393-seat venue running as the home of the Florida Repertory Theater. While the theater company has staged countless comedies and dramas during that time, it’s only during this year that musicals have been added to the lineup, all due to the recent installation of a d&b audiotechnik PA system by regional installer BCI Integrated Solutions.
“For musicals, we needed full range audio,” said John Kiselica, the venue’s resident master electrician and sound designer. “We had a sub in our old system, but it was a sub in name only. Nowhere near powerful enough, it had to be driven to destruction to make any sort of noise, so for practical purposes it was unworkable.” That led to Kiselica contacting BCI.
Michael Fraioli, vice president of Audio Visual Sales at BCI, explained, “Their aim was to bring in larger premium touring productions, and a new audio system would be part of being able to attract such acts. When we looked closely at what was required, we could install a d&b system that would conform to all their needs and still fit their budget.”
As a result, BCI designed a L/C/R system that covered the audience perfectly, even under the balcony (the balcony itself is home to FOH and lighting). “Providing the rigging support was a big thing in a heritage building,” said Fraioli. “With care and consideration, we installed all-new mounting points, so we got the loudspeakers positioned exactly where they needed to be. Left and right is d&b Y-Series Yi7P loudspeakers, with a wider point source Yi10P on center. Correctly positioned and aligned, they give ideal coverage +/- 1dB across the whole seating area, and as rigged, get in under the balcony.” A pair of d&b 27S-SUB are each hidden left and right of the stage, within pre-existing cavities high up in the architecture at the same level as the flown Yi7P tops. Powering the whole system are two d&b 10D installation amplifiers.
Kicking off the new system’s tenure at the theater was a production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which Kiselica reported went swimmingly. “For Bee, it’s been an absolute dream to mix on; the sound quality and coverage are more than I had imagined. We had 10 actors on stage, all on Lavaliere mics, with a small band upstage left on a discreet stage as part of the gymnasium set. I did the classic approach in the sound design; orchestra in the L/R mains, with the actors’ voices from the center cluster. Yes, audience members could tell the performers were miked up, but it wasn’t blatant and with a couple of additional front fills to pull the image down, it was easy to overlook because locating the singers’ voices in the performance space was remarkably natural.”
Florida Repertory Theater