The F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. has installed a new system based around Meyer Sound MINA™ line array loudspeakers. As part of the restoration for the art deco auditorium, custom-painted gold arrays blend seamlessly into the gilt wood proscenium arch. Dave Grogan of Wilkes-Barre-based Effects Unlimited handled system design consultation and installation.
“The MINA system has a powerful sound, and fills the hall beautifully,” says Michael Dale, technical director for the F.M. Kirby Center. “The system will be accepted on 95 percent of the riders. It’s got the most bang for the buck, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
In addition to dual hangs of 13-each MINA loudspeakers, the Meyer Sound system also includes six 600-HP subwoofers, four UPM-1P loudspeakers as front fills, and a Galileo® loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 processor for system drive and alignment.
“The MINA arrays were the preferred solution, as the venue didn’t want a massive array of black loudspeakers hanging in front of that gorgeous proscenium,” says Grogan. “As small as the MINAs are, they still throw beautifully to the back of the balcony. And the centre’s management was flabbergasted at how well the custom painting matched.”
Matching the loudspeakers’ color to the venue was a smooth and simple process, according to Michael Dale. “I took a color swatch up to that level of the proscenium, made a selection, sent it off to Meyer, and they sent back a piece of cabinet and metal grille for verification,” he reports. “The match really is astonishingly good.”
Dale adds that the system has already impressed a number of touring FOH engineers. “The sound is just phenomenal,” he says. “Alice Cooper was our first real test, and his FOH mixer loved what he heard. I heard much the same reaction when the Experience Hendrix tour came through with some of the world’s top guitarists.”
For the 1,800-seat venue’s movie showings, Effects Unlimited also provided three new 7,000-lumen Panasonic video projectors with image merging by Airflex 5D processing. FOH is mixed on a MIDAS Venice 320 console.
The lavish art deco structure housing the F.M. Kirby Center was completed in 1938, closed in 1977 due to economic factors, and reopened in 1986.