Marcus Gets a Sound Makeover

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Thu, 04/30/2020 - 11:19 -- Nick Dager

Movie Tavern by Marcus is the first full theatre complex in the U.S. to exclusively feature JBL Sculpted Surround and Dolby Atmos.Movie Tavern by Marcus is a premium theatre concept offering restaurant-style dining and in-seat service for moviegoers. At its new location in the Brookfield Square shopping center in suburban Milwaukee, guests can enjoy dinner and a movie in the premium SuperScreen DLX theatre. It is the first full theatre complex in the U.S. to exclusively feature JBL Sculpted Surround and Dolby Atmos.

The main auditorium is equipped with Dolby Atmos immersive audio; the seven other theatres feature 7.1 Surround Sound. Bright Star Systems recently installed JBL Professional cinema loudspeakers, DSi 2.0 amplifiers and Crown DCi amplifiers, following the JBL Sculpted Surround specification in the 7.1-equipped theaters. Sculpted Surround relies on precisely calibrated JBL loudspeakers in a specific configuration to widen the sweet spot in the auditorium for balanced sound in every row.

“We had been handling most of the work for Marcus on their last four new builds,” said Dave Lund, senior consultant, Bright Star Systems. “We came in as the integrator, we got the construction drawings, and we handled the projection and sound in the theater auditorium. We took into consideration how big the screens are, what kind of ceilings they were going to put in, and we handled all of the technical work. We are also the primary service agent for a majority of the Marcus theatres.”

The JBL Sculpted Surround specification involves specific loudspeaker models in a precise configuration to provide a premium experience for the entire audience. Behind the screen, JBL C222 and C222HP ScreenArray loudspeakers feature Dual Dissimilar Array technology, each with two horns at different angles and output levels to provide equal volume from the front row to the back. Along the sidewalls, JBL 9310 cinema surround loudspeakers feature a built-in 15-degree angle toward the screen to minimize the rearward bias common in traditional setups. At the rear of the theater, two JBL 9350 high-power rear surround loudspeakers provide wide, even coverage, eliminating the volume buildup created by traditional rear surround arrays. Together, this configuration provides balanced, spatially accurate sound for the majority of seats.

“I had used the JBL 9310 and 9350 speakers previously in other installations,” said Lund. “I particularly like the output characteristics, the light weight and all the things that everybody likes about those JBL surrounds. The degree of advanced technology, which I try to apply in an engineering-centric way, gave me tools I never had before. The 200 Series is a home run. I was astounded by, given the cost package, just how effective they really were in providing what I would call truly lifelike cinema sound.”

To power the 7.1 and Dolby Atmos speaker arrays, Bright star Systems selected JBL DSi 2.0 and Crown DCi amplifiers. Designed specifically for cinema amplification, JBL DSi 2.0 amplifiers are engineered to meet the exact power requirements of JBL cinema speakers and come pre-loaded with JBL speaker presets. The DSi 2.0 MA4-D model deployed at the Movie Tavern features Dante and AES-67 digital connectivity for a completely networked system. Crown DCi Series amplifiers provide additional amplification, featuring ultra-efficient DriveCore technology. HiQnet Audio Architect software allows Bright Star Systems to remotely monitor the performance of all amplifiers and make adjustments to keep the system working at optimal capacity.

“This was a great opportunity to really have a showcase for JBL, and part of that showcase is our Sculpted Surround,” said Mark Collins, senior manager, global cinema, Harman Professional Solutions. “We really tried to make that an integral part of the project, and it's really come together well. I've talked to the senior VP of operations for Marcus Theatres, and they are very pleased with what came out of it.”