The historic Warner Grand Theatre in Los Angeles (San Pedro, CA), a classic Southern California Art Deco-Moderne cinema palace dating back to the 1930s, is now a 1,525-seat venue presenting films and hosting a variety of live performances that are now supported by new VUE Audiotechnik line arrays, subwoofers and stage monitors.
Designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca and interior designer Anthony Heinsbergen, and retaining its original contours, the venue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was renamed the Warner Grand Theatre in the 1980s, and in 1982 was designated as City of Los Angeles Historic Cultural-Monument #251. In 1996, the theatre was purchased by the Department of Cultural Affairs and has continously operated the landmark since that time.
After a 2019 upgrade to its lighting system, the Warner Grand had a 96-channel DiGiCo console installed and El Segundo, CA-based Bell Event Services had specified new VUE Audiotechnik al-8 line-arrays joined by as-418 subwoofers and hm-112 stage monitors. The project was completed in July 2020, with VUE’s Paul Bauman on-site to fine-tune the system and work with the Warner Grand’s front-of-house engineer and master electrician Victor Prudeaux.
Tim Campbell, who served as project manager for Bell Event Services, explains “We worked closely with Victor Prudeaux as he knows that room better than anyone. The old system lacked headroom and vocal clarity. So we set-out to solve those deficiencies and install a system that would impress.”
Prudeaux adds, “With our last system, the biggest issues were intelligibility, and overall SPL on the floor and in the balcony. The previous system was extremely undersized for our venue. Once you got to audience sizes around 500 people the system would run out of headroom very fast, In the balcony this issue was just compounded due to the physical distance of the balcony from the PA, also SPL coverage of the balcony was very weak.
“Our new al-8 VUE line array is a huge game-changer for us. We now have incredible coverage throughout and the vocals have never been cleaner. The clarity is so detailed it’s like comparing standard HD to 4k resolutions, but with audio. The beryllium technologies VUE employs in the AL series brings a level of definition and performance that will be hard to beat. I can really turn the system up and never worry about distortion in the high frequencies.”