New to the Las Vegas Strip, the MGM Resorts International’s Park Theater is the city’s largest and most technologically advanced venue – bringing immersiveness to the theatre.
Holding 5,200 in its standard configuration – but able to accommodate 5,800 or even up to 6,300 people at peak capacity – the US$90M development is set adjacent to the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. Regardless of is configuration, every seat is intended to give ‘fifth row centre’ sound thanks, in large part, to an L-Acoustics K2 loudspeaker system specified by Montréal-based Scéno Plus and installed by the Las Vegas division of Solotech.
Although the 150,000-sq-ft performance space is roughly four times the size of the Lance Burton Theatre (which previously occupied the site), the Park Theater offers a remarkably intimate environment, with its rear row of seating less than 150 feet from the stage. It has already hosted a series of ‘extended engagements’ with top artists, including Bruno Mars, Cher and Ricky Martin.
In best Vegas style, the room’s technology is nothing short of dazzling, including a projection mapping system that scales 260 feet across the top of the stage and onto 50ft-high screens on either side, illuminated by seven HD projectors and two 4K projectors capable of 3D imagery. To match the visual effects, Scéno Plus specified an LCR system with left/right stereo line arrays of K2 elements and K1-SB subs, with dialogue/lead vocals routed through a centre cluster of Kara as its own channel. Created in Soundvision, this system design was deemed the ideal solution to offer an immersive, full-range (35Hz-20kHz) audio experience evenly and consistently across every seat in the house thanks to the K2’s Panflex horizontal steering, which focuses the energy on the audience and away from the walls.
‘The challenge here was to provide a truly immersive audio experience that was as amazing as the video projection,’ explains Scéno Plus AV Designer, Simon Léonard. ‘Plus, we had to provide a rider-friendly system that can meet the expectations and requirements of the biggest theatrical shows and concerts. L-Acoustics’ line source arrays have earned a reputation for delivering remarkable vocal presence and projection, and their consistent sonic signature eliminates coverage seams in the audience, creating a very intimate concert experience.’
Also chosen for their uncolored sound and exceptional power-versus-size ratio, the K2 arrays and other speaker elements had to be able to clearly and powerfully perform despite being hidden behind the projection screens that comprise the stage’s huge 7,500-sq-ft proscenium.
‘We had a very big space to cover and it had to be done from behind the screens,’ Léonard explains. ‘Accuracy of mappings and mechanical data were instrumental, and we required a highly efficient, predictable and accurate system. Plus the system had to be reliable and well renowned—it had to be spot-on in every sense. And the K2 solution caters for all of that while maintaining a clear stereo image no matter where you’re sitting in the room. It’s really quite amazing and, in my opinion, unique.’
The sound system at the Park Theater today comprises two hangs comprising 16 K2 enclosures and six K1-SB subwoofers per side flanking a centre cluster of 14 Kara boxes and four ARCS II out fill enclosures. A dozen SB28 subs are ground-stacked down below to anchor the system’s low end, while eight X8 and two X12 coaxial enclosures are set across the 135ft-wide stage to extend the coverage and frequency response of the mains. Ten additional X8s serve as under-balcony fills, with the system powered and managed by 21 LA8 amplified controllers.
Léonard also expressed his appreciation for input from MGM, Marnell Companies (architects), Martin Harris, Solotech and L-Acoustics ‘for their work and support in this team effort to bring this project to life’.