When the Hawaii theater opened its curtains in the heart of Hollywood in 1940, it offered an experience like no other. The theater had seating for over 1,100, a large lobby and lounge, retail shops, a children’s nursery, and much more. The Hawaii theater was famous for its “erupting” volcanos of light on each side of the screen signaling the start of a movie. For more than 20 years, the theater personified the Golden Age of Hollywood, but while many might say the theater’s best years are behind it, the Salvation Army Hollywood— with the help of fellow Southern California company Renkus-Heinz — is bringing a new vision for the theater to life.
The Hollywood Corps of the Salvation Army Hollywood purchased the Hawaii theater in 1963 and converted it into a multi-use community center. Faced today with an alarming growth of homelessness in Hollywood, the organization was looking for new ways to generate more resources and provide hope within the neighborhood. Local performer, music composer, and Emmy-nominated TV show creator Sammy Oriti visited the Salvation Army’s Hollywood center and had an inspiration.
“The bones of the building have excellent potential for concerts, musicals, and other live performances,” said Oriti. “Working with the team at Salvation Army Hollywood we finalized a vision for the space and knew that Renkus-Heinz would bring the sound solution it needed. I called Renkus-Heinz, told them of the plan, and there was no hesitation to come aboard.”
Garrison Parkin, the Western Regional Sales Manager for Renkus-Heinz, worked with Oriti and the team to specify a sound system with the quality, flexibility, and control needed to produce almost any presentation or performance in the newly renovated theater. The stage would need to accommodate everything from spoken word ministering to full musical productions with multiple singers, full bands, and a wide range of instrumentation.
“It’s a great-looking stage and theater so the producers didn’t want to hang big, bulky arrays that would spoil the ambiance and intimacy of the space,” explained Parkin. “But at the same time, the space is wide with a curved ceiling, and they needed good coverage and fidelity for every seat, and for that, the ICLX is the perfect fit.”
After acoustically evaluating the space and considering the supporting equipment in use, Renkus-Heinz recommended a set of eight ICLive X loudspeaker modules for creating two beam-steering tower arrays, supported by a matching set of eight ICLX-118S subwoofers. Renkus-Heinz also deployed a set of eight P2-10 floor monitors for on-stage use.
The ICLive X series is a complete system, designed from the ground up, consisting of three freely combinable, steerable-array modules, the ICLX, ICLXL, ICLLX, and a matching subwoofer, the ICLX-118S. ICLive X is highly versatile, providing system designers the horsepower, steerability, and directivity needed to deliver consistent coverage and clarity for even the biggest shows in the most challenging spaces.
“The first thing I noticed with this system is that we have plenty of power. Sometimes small column arrays don’t cut it, but these have plenty of headroom — more than we will need for the 350 seats — which is fantastic,” explained Sean Massey, AV integrator for Able Productions in Los Angeles, who worked with Oriti to deliver exceptional AV to the theater renovation. “After white and pink noising the room, we worked with Garrison to set the beams and dial in all the specifics; it sounds amazing. It’s a warm, full-range sound with a lot of dynamics and fidelity, and the coverage is perfect. Every seat in the house is set to have an excellent experience!”
The Salvation Army Hollywood will begin selling tickets for a range of concerts and shows with the proceeds directly helping the Hollywood neighborhood. Currently, the Salvation Army Hollywood serves 200 hot meals a night to those on the street, and nearly 1,000 families visit the Hollywood facility three days a week to pick up boxed foods.
“I’ve been a big Renkus-Heinz fan since the 1980s; their systems are always super reliable and sound amazing,” said Oriti. “I’m proud of this project, and I’m so happy to be working with Renkus-Heinz — the company’s people and products are great to work with, and together we’re building something very special here. I hope we can replicate this in more cities and help touch even more lives.”