The Grenada Theatre in Mount Vernon, IL, a 1930s era Art Deco picture palace that’s now been converted to a multipurpose events center and cultural hub, has been outfitted with a flexible audio backbone implemented by local production partner JA Pro Sound that utilizes an Allen & Heath SQ7 mix surface at front of house.
The venue, known as the “Crown Jewel of Southern Illinois,” now presents a diverse range of live concerts and event audio playback following a multiyear renovation project that kicked off in 2017 as a new owner took the reins. Starting with the removal of the seats and original stage, construction projects also included new floors, a large stage extension, and an audio infrastructure that makes use of the SQ’s networking capabilities to place drop locations across the venue for I/O expanders.
“We chose our equipment configuration to make hosting a wide variety of events possible,” explains Granada Theatre owner Russell Brown. “The SQ-7 was really at the heart of the decision-making process because of its ease of operation paired with tons of mixing power. I’d never call myself a sound engineer, but as a venue owner I can run sound for small corporate events and hire outside pros to run our live music gigs. This is the ultimate in flexibility that a 350- to 500-seat venue like ours requires. We finished up renovations right in the midst of COVID-19, so our next phase will require this sort of flexibility to generate revenue and best make ends meet.”
The SQ-7 surface is paired up to AR2412 and AR168 AudioRacks over Cat-6 that feed three Powersoft amplifiers driving Tectonic Audio Labs PL10 main loudspeakers and subwoofers. On the lighting side of the system, a wide range of dimmer, LED color mixing and moving light fixtures are controlled by a Chamsys QuickQ 30.
“It’s truly jaw-dropping when the entire system comes together.” Brown adds. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the SQ-7 in particular. The theatre staff is picking it up quickly and they have surpassed my knowledge already. We had a training day with JA Pro Sound and their abilities really took off. I’m really glad we invested in a rock solid sound system and such a user friendly sound board. Here’s to the next 80-plus years of presenting top tier entertainment at the Granada Theatre.”