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New Life Is Breathed Into A Renovated Historic Kansas Theater

EMPORIA, KS—The Emporia Granada Theatre Alliance recently completed a $3 million renovation of the Granada Theatre. The theater originally opened on October 3, 1929 as a large-scale movie palace with a seating capacity of 1,400. Like many grand old movie palaces of its era, the Granada’s popularity declined during the 1960s and ’70s. During this period, the building suffered from neglect and damage. It was closed in 1982, and then in April 1985 the theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. However, it was not until demolition threatened the building in 1994 that a group of citizens rallied to save the theater. In cooperation with the Kansas Preservation Alliance, the Emporia Granada Theatre Alliance was formed and the organization acquired the building, saving it from destruction.

In 2004 the Alliance was looking for a sound system that would provide a great sound in the historic theater without obstructing the ornate plaster proscenium. MSM Systems of Lawrence, KS was contacted after recommendations from the Fox Stiefel Theatre in Salina, KS, and Flint Hills Music in Emporia, KS.

MSM president Kent Clasen arranged to have a demonstration of a NEXO GEO S8 line array system with assistance from Joe Rimstidt, speaker product manager, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems. The demo took place in a rented auditorium, since the Granada was still in disrepair.

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The Granada Theatre in Emporia, KS, then and now, with a new NEXO GEO S8 system comprising seven S805s, one S830 with one S2 subwoofer per side along with a NEXO NX242 processor. A center channel utilizes two NEXO PS15s with a NX242 processor. “The members of the Alliance were impressed with the quality of sound, as well as the small size of the loudspeakers,” Clasen said.

The NEXO GEO S8 system consists of seven S805s, one S830 with one S2 subwoofer per side along with a NEXO NX242 processor, powered by three QSC PL6.0 II amplifiers. A center channel utilizes two NEXO PS15s with a NX242 processor. The front of house equipment includes a Midas 400 Verona, Shure ULXP wireless, Yamaha SPX2000, tc electronic D2, tc M2000 with a Clear-Com 2- channel intercom system, EAW UB52 front fills, SM monitors, and a Bose distributed speaker system.

“MSM was very helpful and guided the Alliance through all of the many steps involved in design and implementation of a modern sound system installation,” said Duane Henrickson, president of the Emporia Granada Theatre Alliance Board. “Their recommendations have been on the mark, and the time that MSM spent tuning, refining, and training our staff on the operation of the system has resulted in a system that we feel is second to none.”

“The board was very clear from the beginning that they wanted a high-quality sound system,” Clasen added. “We used EASE and GeoSoft to predict the results before the installation and fine tuned the system with SMAART.”

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