Skip to main content

Paradise Restored

Billed as a "paradise of architectural splendor" at its grand opening in January 1929, Stroudsburg, PA's Sherman Theater has a history that spans the entire gamut from vaudeville house to movie theater to performing arts venue.

As is the case with many such properties, the Sherman Theater has endured its share of hard times.

After almost a decade of inactivity, Stroudsburg's Sherman Theater is back. Following a rapid-fire, 90-day revitalization program initiated by Rich Berkowitz (the property's new owner), the Sherman Theater opened its doors in July to a packed house and, once again, is heavily involved with the community. The facility has been restored to convey the grandeur of its original architecture, and now includes a new 50,000-watt sound reinforcement system from TCS Audio.

According to M.J. Law, owner of East Stroudsburg, PA-based Law Sound and Lighting (LSL), the firm responsible for selling and installing the equipment, "Mr. Berkowitz wanted a versatile system that could accommodate any type of act that may come through the facility. Currently, the theater is primarily a music performance venue, but the plan is to encompass comedians, plays, as well as hosting a wide range of arts programs."

The Sherman Theater is structured with a stage area facing out onto a raked floor, which extends back underneath a balcony that houses a central area for film projection and spotlighting. Serving as the room's primary sound delivery sources, four TCS1500b full-range enclosures are stacked two per side at stage left and right and positioned on custom-made pedestals to elevate the cabinets roughly four feet. The enclosures are powered by TCS Audio TA1400, TA2240 and TA2400 amps distributed to each part of the 3-way system.

Spread evenly underneath the stage across the front, there are eight TCS1800 subwoofers providing low end. These are fed from the same left and right signals coming from each side of the main house feed. Power is supplied by four TA2400 amplifiers.

Located 95 feet out from the stage is the FOH position, which includes a 52-channel Yamaha PM3500 console and the accompanying signal processing for the system. Loudspeaker management is provided by a BSS OmniDrive, while two dbx 2231 dual 31-band graphic EQs, two dbx 166XL compressor/gates, and a Yamaha REV7 digital reverb handle additional signal processing tasks.

Serving as front fill along the stage lip are four TM10x multipurpose loudspeakers powered by a single TA2240 power amplifier. Law reported, "the forward-most center seats in the room weren't gaining adequate coverage by the left-right mains, so we chose the TM10x for front fills, as they enabled us to address that challenge without overwhelming the front center area."

The theater's stage monitoring provisions are quite versatile, and are handled by eight TCS1150M floor monitors driven by four TA2240 power amplifiers. For more demanding monitor applications with larger rock acts that require a dedicated drum fill mix, a single TM115, coupled with a TM215s subwoofer and a TA2240 power amplifier are employed.

For smaller acts, the PM3500 console handles monitor tasks in addition to conventional FOH chores, as Law explained, "We've configured the console so that for smaller acts, we do four monitor mixes from FOH on those wedges in any configuration we need. For more demanding situations, we bring in a separate monitor desk and signal processing, at which point, we can do eight to 10 monitor mixes via a 52-channel splitter snake that the house owns. This way, we can set up a separate monitor world, which is positioned at stage left."

With a number of concerts under their belt, Law, Berkowitz and FOH engineer Dave Dermont are all enthusiastic about the new system's performance. Reflecting on its attributes, Berkowitz commented, "The dynamics of using multiple subwoofers and the front-fill speakers in tandem with the left-right mains form a really cohesive solution that results in clear, evenly distributed sound throughout the room, with the loss from the first row to the last measuring less than 3 dB."