Morristown’s Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) in New Jersey has undergone three major renovations, including the addition of a new L-Acoustics Kara loudspeaker system installed by Boulevard Carroll Entertainment Group.
Considered one of New Jersey’s preeminent arts and cultural institutions, Morristown’s MPAC hosts more than 200 performances for over 240,000 patrons annually. Built in 1937 as a single-screen, first-run movie theatre, the building closed in the 1980s and reopened as a performing arts centre in 1994.
The new house PA system comprises left and right arrays of 10 Kara each, backed by hangs of three SB18 subs, a pair of KS28 subs under the stage, two X12 outfills, four X8 frontfills and six X8 under-balcony fills, all powered by six LA12X and two LA4X amplified controllers.
“The main physical challenge for the installation was the need to have everything hang off of the existing box truss, including the sound and the lighting,” said Anthony Cioffi, Boulevard Carroll president. “In addition to the weight issues that brings up, it’s also a tight fit. The Kara boxes and SB18 subs offered the best combination of coverage and impact for a variety of applications from theatrical performances to rock concerts, and in terms of unit size and weight. Crucially, we were able to fit the subs directly behind the Kara hangs.”
“We have an unusual front-of-house situation, in which the PA has to hang from the lighting truss, instead of its own steel, so we’ve always had to have very compact sound systems,” said Chris Ball, MPAC’s director of production. “One of the problems was that the old system couldn’t handle many of the bigger, louder shows that come through, so we had to rent additional PA components, which added to our costs. With the Kara system, that’s no longer an issue. The system fits the space and fits our volume and coverage needs.”
The Kara system had visited the venue several times in recent years, both as a rental system and most recently as part of an extended evaluation process by the theatre to choose installed systems for its wide range of shows. During that process, a number of complete PA systems were brought in and installed for a week or two at a time, for a number of shows.