Schauburg Kino & Theater
One of the few cinemas still able show 70mm films, the Schauburg Kino & Theater in Karlsruhe is equally well-versed in modern projection and audio systems. It was the first cinema in the city to install Digital 2k projection and the ability to show 3-D movies, and has recently installed an Alcons Audio loudseaker system.

The recent upgrade to the audio system has seen five Alcons CR4 cinema front systems, tri-amped with ALC2 amplified loudspeaker controllers and SDP processing, installed. ‘The previous system was installed in 1992 and was one of the more advanced speaker systems of its time,’ says Herbert Born, the venue’s MD.

‘However, by modern standards the system lacked the proper punch in the upper bass frequency range. The horn reached its limit at higher reproduction levels, resulting in increased distortion and harshness. Both became a problem with demanding newer mixes in uncompressed audio, but also with magnetic 70mm sound tracks when played loudly.’

The Schauburg technical team assessed various options before settling on an Alcons CR1 for the venue’s smaller screen, and were confident that the CR4 system would deliver a major improvement in sound to the main house.

The main screening room has a large stage that, with the screen removed, is used for live performances. Working closely with Alcons Audio Germany’s Carsten Albrecht, the system was specified by Gunter Oehme of contractors Filmton und Kinotechnik and uses bespoke movable towers for the speakers to allow them to serve both the screen and stage. ‘As it doesn’t have a baffle wall, the stage can cause acoustic problems like excessive reverb if it is excited too much,’ says Herbert. ‘The Alcons system works very well without a baffle wall and has also made a significant difference to evening out the SPL differences between the front and rear of the theatre.

‘The improvement is obvious,’ he continues. ‘Overall the sound is much more natural, music really sounds purer on such a high-end system. Colouring of the sound and distortion, which are typical for many cinema sound systems – for example, when violins are playing – are completely gone. And with high sound levels, it just gets loud, not distorted. The sound localisation has also greatly improved, due to improved time alignment and better coverage of the auditorium. We are very happy with it.’

Opened in 1927, the cinema’s decor has remained essentially the same since a major refurbishment in 1968, which saw a large, curved screen installed and the capability of showing 70mm ‘Todd-AO’ format films. As a format that has become a cult favourite among cinema enthusiasts, this has ensured that the venue continues to be extremely popular.

More: www.digitalcinemaready.info

More: www.schauburg.de

More: www.alconsaudio.com

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