San Marcos, TX | March, 2011 – Originally opened in 1941 as the Plaza Movie Theater, this grand old venue has gone through a variety of incarnations, including a live theater, cinema, restaurant and live music venue. Shutting its doors in 2008, this already-decaying building went further downhill, becoming another clichéd historic building locals spoke about with regret, wondering when some enterprising team would swoop in and uncover the space’s potential.
In March of this year that dream was realized when the Texas Music Theater opened its doors, offering a solid rotation of live country, country-rock, indie rock, blues and tejano-salsa-latin. The venue’s $2.4 million renovation includes new flooring, new décor, and a powerful new audio system built around Renkus-Heinz line arrays.
As Gray Gregson, Head of Production/Film/Recording notes, the venue’s acoustics presented some unique challenges. “It’s a big, flat, square brick box with high ceilings,” he explains. “We had horrible acoustic wave behavior and reflections. We had to begin with notable treatments on the walls, ceilings, and joists just to get the proper noise reduction so that we could begin working with this space.” A former musician and audio veteran, Gregson’s primary concern was, as he puts it, “to make the space the kind of venue musicians would be so comfortable playing in that they wouldn’t want to leave.”
Rocky Giannetta of Fault Line Sales, Renkus-Heinz’s Northern California representative, was brought in to design a system based on left and right hangs of eight Renkus-Heinz PNX-102LA two-way line array loudspeakers. “I had never used Renkus-Heinz before, although I was familiar with the product,” says Gregson. “But Rocky spoke very highly of the Renkus-Heinz PN-Series, so we went with their recommendation.”
Low frequency reinforcement is provided by five DRS18-2B dual 18-inch subwoofers, positioned underneath the front of the stage and insulated using neoprene and large sandbags. “The whole setup created a very tight low-end with a very forward response, which was exactly the sound we were hoping for,” says Gregson. Coverage to the balcony areas is supplemented with four CFX101-LA two-way modular point source line array systems. Onstage monitoring is handled by six CFX121M two-way systems, with a pair of CFX18S 18-inch subwoofers for the drum fills.
The club’s first few weeks have garnered rave reviews and booming business. Acts have been eager to play and the local patronage has been strong, and Gregson reports that musicians who play the venue are consistently impressed with the quality of the audio system. “We’ve gotten some great compliments on the sound quality,” he concludes. “I’m thoroughly pleased with the Renkus-Heinz line and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.”
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