The National WWII Museum in New Orleans features multiple AV projects including a 4D cinema and multipurpose pavilion and exhibit spaces, with audio solutions from Renkus-Heinz.
The museum has received $370 million of investment, which has allowed the AV experiences and spaces to expand and evolve over several phases, and quadrupled the size of the original facility.
A key attraction is the 250-seat Solomon Victory Theater, home of the 4D cinematic experience, Beyond All Boundaries. The theatre is equipped with a 120ft-wide perforated curved projection screen and left/centre/right audio from six Renkus-Heinz PNX151T loudspeakers.
“We spent more than 24 months on designing the Solomon Victory Theater,” offered Rob Pourciau, director of artistic engineering/AV at JBA consulting engineers in New Orleans. “I believe we had 36 discrete channels of audio. We were very mindful of the cinematic application because we had 4D where objects were flying in and out within the space. We needed to place speakers within very unique spaces to get very specific coverage for the audience. Renkus-Heinz provided a wonderful solution.”
Nine Renkus-Heinz PNX82 loudspeakers provide front fill to the first three rows, while four DRS18-2B subwoofers add the essential impact to accompany the experience. “We couldn’t stick the subs in a typical location due to structural limitations,” explained Pourciau, “So we flew them directly above the catwalk. We designed the subs to couple with each other, so they really focus the energy right down on the patrons.”
Another popular spot in the museum is the US Freedom Pavilion/Boeing Center (pictured), a multipurpose exhibit space. Three diagonal screens cover the walls, with more than a dozen vintage planes suspended overhead. Five Iconyx IC16 arrays and 13 CF61 point-source systems enable the system to be easily reconfigured based on the exhibit in the space. “The whole idea of a museum of this scale is to have spaces that are constantly changing, with new exhibits coming in,” said Pourciau. “We needed a very flexible audio system with a lot of control that could be reconfigured for a multitude of uses.”
Elsewhere in the museum, the Stage Door Canteen is a 250-seat, 1940s-era venue offering evening and matinee performances of headline acts, signature musical productions, big bands and dancing. “It has a main floor and a balcony with seating. It can be used as a restaurant with live entertainment. There’s a proscenium stage like a small theatre,” said Pourciau. The space is fitted with left and right arrays of three TRX121 loudspeakers each, along with six SGX41 boxes for front fills, and a pair of BGS15 subwoofers provides low frequency coverage.
Elsewhere in the museum, Renkus-Heinz is featured with a pair of Iconyx IC16 steered arrays in the atrium of the Louisiana Memorial Pavilion, a challenging space that supports large events and banquets, including multi-media and live entertainment. “We’re dealing with many hard surfaces,” added Pourciau. “There’s a very large glass curtain wall. We used Iconyx for this application because we wanted to make sure that we focused the sound on the patrons and not on the reflective surfaces.”