Chicago - February 16, 2012: Offering the excitement of Hollywood just 45 minutes outside of Chicago, Hollywood Casino Joliet recently underwent a major renovation to its entertainment and dining pavilion, which was destroyed by a fire in March 2009. Hollywood Stadium, a sports bar/entertainment venue located within the pavilion, has since been completely rebuilt and now boasts the latest technology and audiovisual elements, including an 80 x 20-foot screen, over 40 flat-screen TVs and a K-array loudspeaker system, the latter of which is distributed by audio specialist Sennheiser.
“After the fire, we took the opportunity to bring our pavilion up to speed both aesthetically and technologically,” recalls Justin Sattazahn, audio-visual supervisor of Hollywood Casino Joliet. “In Hollywood Stadium, I was looking for a stealthy loudspeaker system that would provide great sightlines and high fidelity throughout the room.” He chose a K-array system, including two KK200 arrays mounted to poles on either side of the stage, four KL18ma subwoofers — each of which was mounted inside the stage — and (4) KF12 self-powered monitors.
A Non-Traditional Solution in a Forward-Thinking Venue
Sattazahn, who has a background in the touring industry and recently made the move to casino entertainment, knew that a traditional horn-loaded P.A. system would not be suitable for Hollywood Stadium — which presented both acoustic and visual challenges. The visual challenges included maintaining unobstructed viewing angles to the stage performers, the massive projector screen and the flat-screen televisions scattered throughout the room.
“My initial design was going to be your standard hanging J-style line array,” Sattazahn recalls. “However, since the sightlines were so important and since I was dealing with a room that was very acoustically reflective, the K-array was by far the best choice.” The room, which measures 60 x 125 feet, has 45-feet-high ceilings and is constructed primarily of concrete. “There were a lot of acoustic challenges that we had to overcome, not the least of which were all the reflective surfaces.”
The precise sound dispersion patterns of the KK200 — which have a horizontal throw of 110 degrees and a vertical throw of just seven degrees — helped Sattazahn and his team overcome the acoustic challenges of the venue while maintaining unobstructed sightlines towards the stage. Moreover, by installing the K-array solution, every seat in the house offers a pristine audio experience.
When it is not a sports bar, Hollywood Stadium is transformed into an intimate music venue that caters to smooth jazz, country, Top 40 dance music and everything in between. Musicians of all genres regularly pass through the venue, and Sattazahn says that so far, the loudspeaker system has gotten high marks: “One of the bigger regional bands that comes in here is called 7th Heaven. When they first saw the K-array system, they said, â€˜Is this it?' But by the end of the show, they had no doubt that the K-array could handle everything they had and a lot more!”
The new K-array system receives regular praise from both performers and patrons alike: “We get a lot of compliments that this is the best system that they've ever heard,” says Sattazahn. “Some bands describe the sound as 'smooth', and say that it's as if they are listening to their performance through a set of studio monitors — but in a live setting.”
Based on the successful performance of the K-array system in Hollywood Stadium, Hollywood Casino Joliet is already planning on installation additional K-array equipment in other locations in the near future. “K-array fits our brand and the high-end feel we are trying to achieve in our casino, so we are looking at adding new elements within the casino and the nightclub. K-array is already at the top of my list,” Sattazahn concludes.