The Beacon Theatre, USA

One of New York City’s most legendary stages

The Beacon Theatre, USA
  • 100

    Year old ornate theatre

  • 2894

    Audience capacity

  • 2

    Balcony tiers

  • 1

    HOLOPLOT X1 sound system

Beautifully challenging

Historic venue, modern tech

The Beacon Theatre on Broadway is one of New York’s most prestigious entertainment venues. Opened in 1929 as a movie palace, today The Beacon Theatre is a listed building thanks to its incredibly ornate interior and cultural significance. Since its conversion into a live performance venue in 1971, it quickly became one of the most popular concert halls in New York City, hosting the biggest names in live entertainment.

However, it has also been one of the most acoustically challenging with a plethora of hard, reflective surfaces and architectural restrictions making it extremely difficult to achieve even coverage and optimal sound.

In 2022 venue owners Madison Square Garden Group decided to match the beautifully restored interior and high-calibre of touring acts with a cutting-edge sound system that would provide the best audio experience to every seat.

"Walking around the venue [during setup] it sounded the same everywhere. That doesn’t happen. You try to do that – but it never happens."

– Garry Brown, FoH Engineer for Trey Anastasio

A traditional system?

Stereo with more equality

Beacon’s HOLOPLOT X1 Matrix Array system consists of two arrays, each tailored to precisely direct sound to the theatre’s four sections – orchestra, loge, lower balcony and upper balcony.

The X1 system is deployed in a traditional left/right configuration comprising hangs of 6 x MD96 and 6 x MD80-S each in a 6x2 checkerboard format.

However, this is where traditional ends and the magic of the Matrix begins…

Coverage zones

Make every seat the best seat

With X1, audience members no longer hear audio relative to where they’re sitting – which is better in some places than in others with a traditional audio setup. Instead, audio beams from the left and right arrays reach every seat in the house, widening the stereo image for a more realistic listening experience.

Whether you’re in the front row or the back of the balcony, or seated to the side, with X1 there’s no longer any loss of quality based on where you’re seated.

Avoided zones

Reduce tier excitement

The balcony sections at The Beacon have large tier fronts that reflect sound back at performers, unnecessarily exciting the room. Utilizing 3D Audio-Beamforming, the HOLOPLOT system is able to prevent energy spillage onto room boundaries, such as the balcony fronts, allowing the audio to be precisely steered to where it’s desired, making for cleaner room acoustics and a better listening experience.

The Beacon Theatre is the perfect place to demonstrate what we mean when we say that we can ‘make every seat the best seat in the house’.

What we’ve accomplished goes beyond simply upgrading a venerable venue’s sound system, it’s a complete rethink of how sound can be directed and controlled.

— Gareth Davies, Projects Lead at HOLOPLOT

SPL results

Even, yet flexible coverage


Dynamic by design

A conventional stereo system typically creates a ‘sweet spot’ in which the audio image and level is optimal for the audience. The X1 system achieves unmatched coverage across the entire listening area without the need for added delay speakers to cover the upper balcony areas.

It’s also possible to ‘switch off’ parts of the theatre - an empty balcony for example - to avoid exciting areas of the room where there’s no audience, focusing the energy where it’s required.

The audio coverage at The Beacon is optimized and tailored to the shape and size of the venue. Using HOLOPLOT 3D Audio-Beamforming and processing algorithms, different presets for different scenarios, such as an empty balcony can easily be recalled, each with predefined target response curves and coverage patterns that are mapped precisely throughout the venue.

Full Venue Coverage
Direct SPL, 25-20000 HZ, Broadband 97.7% Coverage at 101 +/- 3 dBA
Direct SPL, 25-20000 HZ, Broadband 97.7% Coverage at 101 +/- 3 dBA
Direct SPL, 25-20000 HZ, Broadband 97.9% Coverage at 101 +/- 3 dBA | Difference : 7 dB
Direct SPL, 25-20000 HZ, Broadband 97.9% Coverage at 101 +/- 3 dBA | Difference : 7 dB

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