Opened in1928, the IAO Theater in historic Wailuku Town on the Hawaiian island of Maui recently underwent a complete system upgrade.
Featuring a Yamaha integrated audio system the project was a vast improvement over the antiquated equipment the theater had been using for 50 years.
The IAO Theater was once the main entertainment venue for all of Maui, known for hosting movie premieres, live stage acts including such stars as Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra, and major community events. In 1953, the theater hosted the star-studded Hawaiian premiere of “From Here to Eternity”.
By the early 1980s, both Wailuku Town and the theater were in decline, and after the theater closed, it was seriously threatened with demolition. A community effort to save it led to a million dollar-plus renovation beginning in 1995.
That same year, the U.S. Department of the Interior placed the building on the National Register of Historic Places. Wailuku is regaining its role as Maui’s artistic capital, and the IAO Theater has re-emerged as an important centerpiece.
The Maui Community Theater, also known as Maui OnStage, has occupied the IAO Theater since 1984. One of the longest, consistently running theater companies in the United States, Maui OnStage provides the island with an affordable and accessible place for self-expression, exploration, education and enjoyment of the arts.
This year, and as part of the initial renovation project, the 375-seat theater received a completely new Yamaha integrated audio system. Primary audio system components were purchased through Wind Over the Earth, Boulder, Colorado.
Theater staff, under the direction of local consultant Jonathan Starr and Mickey Houlihan, owner of Wind Over the Earth, completed the installation on schedule and within budget.
The new audio system was designed by Lloyd Kinkade of Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems and includes a Yamaha M7CL-32 digital audio console and two SB168-ES Stage Boxes.
“The automated board with 300 scene memories and built-in effects, along with the digital snakes and stage boxes, provide the latest in technology for running complex theater productions as well as film and live music,” said Starr.” It allows versatility for expansion and high-resolution multi-track recording capabilities, and makes it possible to host diverse and demanding productions with excellence.”
The system also includes two Yamaha Installation Series IF3115/64 tri-amped main speakers, two IS2205s flown and used as side fills, two IS1118 subs along with four IS1108 monitors residing front of stage. Yamaha amplifiers installed include a T5n, PC9501n, and two each of PC6501n and P7000s. A Yamaha SP2060 speaker processor rounds out the Yamaha system.
“Lloyd Kinkade came over to commission the new system and train the staff, said Starr.”
“He got our wonderful old theatre on Market Street sounding great. We were amazed at the level of support the folks at Yamaha provided to make this project such a success. There was absolutely no interruption of theater operations. We were truly fortunate to go with Yamaha all the way.”