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Theatres and Cinemas


Theatres and cinemas mainly revolve around a same concern: giving a chance to the audience to see the plot on stage or on the screen while hearing properly the corresponding speech and sound signal.


To start with, there is a visibility requirement, as the stage or the screen must be properly observed by the audience. This usually induces a slightly stepped audience.

Next, there is a speech intelligibility requirement.

As with any project, there usually exists a program: What does the end user (and the payer too!) actually want? This means the various requirements must be identified (e.g., cinema only, or cinema and theatre? How loud will the music be? etc.) and the relevant acoustic objectives stated. In today’s spirit of sustainable development, one must be conscious that the design team (i.e., architects, structural engineers, stage engineer, HVAC engineers, and acoustician, just to name a few) works together and make sure that the various solutions that are considered at the design stage are compatible with each other. This supposes the end user has made clear his intentions first! Should this not be the case, it will be up to the design team to push the end user into either acquiring his own support team or discussing with the design team to elaborate a program. Remember, acoustics often is part of a global problem that can only be solved by a complete design team fed the relevant data by the end user. One may also be confronted with an existing historical place where the appearance of the place is an important factor. At any rate, the visual aspects will be significant and must not be overlooked for the sake of acoustics, while decent intelligibility must nevertheless be provided.

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