The problem with theaters

Although recently constructed movie theaters have acoustically treated walls and padded seats that absorb sound, there are many older theaters that can benefit from remedial upgrades, such as improving the acoustics in the venue. When these older spaces were designed, PA systems did not exist. Hard reflective surfaces such as plaster walls, ceilings and balconies, along with tiled floors and hardwood trims contributed to propagating the sound from the stage so that those seated further back could enjoy the show. In later years, rudimentary sound systems were added without ever considering the negative effects.  The direct sound projecting from a loudspeaker reaches the audience member while powerful primary reflections ricochet off the walls, arriving a few milliseconds later. The two sound waves collide, amplifying frequencies that are ‘in phase’ and cancelling out those that are ‘out of phase’ causing an effect known as comb-filtering. Because the room is typically large and spacious, the sound reflects off of the various hard surfaces creating a dense series of echoes known as reverberation. The net result is that it becomes difficult and often impossible to discern what is being said and the show-goer ends up being disappointed.

How can Primacoustic help you?

Over the years, architects have come to realize the importance of controlling primary and secondary reflections and bringing the reverberant field (RT) down to a controllable level. This is done by applying Primacoustic Broadway™ acoustic panels to between 25% to 50% of the available wall space. For high traffic areas, these are available in rugged polyester tweed in choice of black, grey or beige. For areas that require color matching to integrate with room aesthetics, Paintables™ may be lightly spray-painted on site. Installation is as easy as hanging a picture. Panels are mounted to the walls using Impalers™. Side walls are typically treated using 2” thick Broadway panels as they are highly effective at absorbing sound energy throughout the voice range and below.  To better control bass, the rear wall will often be treated with thicker 3” panels as these extend down to absorb lower frequencies.  Once in place, you will immediately notice the room is quieter and the PA system will sound clearer, with a greater degree of dynamics and excitement. This will significantly improve intelligibility and enjoyment for all.  

Executive Summary

  • Lowers the reverberant field and eliminates disruptive noise
  • Absorbs primary reflections and improves intelligibility
  • Enables the PA system to function to its full capacity
  • Customers comprehend what is being said and hear every note of a performance
  • Delivers a more enjoyable event that will keep customers coming back
  • Class-A fire rated for safe installation in any jurisdiction