The Colosseum in the Norwegian capital Oslo was the biggest and most modern cinema in Scandinavia when it opened in 1928, and over the intervening 90 years it has remained extremely popular. The venue has maintained a long history of staying up-to-date with the latest cinema technology, utilizing Alcons Audio Pro-Ribbon loudspeakers over the past decade.
The Colosseum was updated several times to embrace the latest film technology between the late 1940s and early 1960s. When it burned down in 1963, it was so popular that it was completely rebuilt and reopened within two years.
Reducing the capacity from 2,100 to 1,158 increased the quality of the audience experience and, ever since, it has continued to embrace modern technology, including Alcons systems that have played an important part of the audio experience since 2009.
In fact, the company developed its Cinemarray scalable line source screen system for the Colosseum. The system was so successful that Alcons has since expanded the range and it’s now utilized in cinemas across Europe and the U.S.
This system is comprised of six CRA30/90 and three CRA30/120 line-array front loudspeakers, each consisting of two 15-inch low-frequency driver, three 6.5-inch mid drivers and three RBN401 four-inch Pro-Ribbon high-frequency drivers, joined by eight CB362 dual-18-inch subwoofers. Power and control is delivered by nine ALC4-ST and four ALC6-ST amplified loudspeaker controllers.
“The dome is completely open above the audience and, with the long 40-plus meter (130-plus feet) distance from the last row of audience to the screen, in the past there were a lot of acoustic issues with conventional cinema audio systems,” says Alcons co-founder Tom Back. “Using our pro-ribbon line-array technology, we achieved very precise projection without any side-lobes, which meant there were no unwanted reflections and the audience’s audio experience radically improved.”
When the Colosseum was refurbished it was brought up to standard for Barco AuroMax audio processing. The Alcons system was retained, only needing a minor upgrade of additional front channels — two CRA30N and two CRA30W bi-amp line-array front system plus four more ALC4 2x amplified loudspeaker controllers.
“The system had been in constant use for eight completely problem- and maintenance-free years,” Back adds. “All it needed was enhancing to adopt the new audio technology and to make it state-of-the-art” again.
“Because of its architecture, the Colosseum is acoustically a difficult room, but the projection control of Alcons pro-ribbon technology is the key to making it a space with an exceptionally high level of audio performance. The Cinemarray system is suitable for any size venue, with any type of acoustics, and we are very pleased that it not only continues to enthrall audiences at the iconic Colosseum, but at a wide array of cinemas and hybrid-cinema/performing-arts theatres throughout the world.”