The Sala Energia auditorium at the Arcadia Melzo multiplex in suburban Milan, Italy has become the first cinema anywhere to power all of its screen channels with Meyer Sound LEOPARD line array loudspeakers.
The 630-seat venue is said to now contain the most powerful permanent Meyer Sound cinema system in the world, as well as one of Europe’s largest Dolby Atmos systems.
“When I first heard the LEOPARD-based system in our Sala Energia, I was so excited and enthusiastic that I was moved to tears,” recalled Piero Fumagalli, owner of Arcadia Cinemas, which operates movie multiplexes at four locations across Northern Italy. “I sensed immediately that the clarity, dynamics, and musicality of the LEOPARD arrays represented a major improvement over the previous system.”
The five screen channels each comprise seven LEOPARD loudspeakers flown under two 900-LFC low-frequency control elements. Additional low-end support thunders though a steel-framed, behind-screen tower of 10 X-800C high-power cinema subwoofers, while drive and optimisation are supplied by a Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system with one Galileo 616 and two Galileo Callisto 616 array processors.
To fully realise the immersive effects of Dolby Atmos, the complete system also includes 30 HMS-12 and six HMS-15AC surround loudspeakers for side, rear, and overhead surrounds, and eight additional X-800C subwoofers for surround effects. The system was provided by Meyer Sound's Italian distributor Linear Sound, a division of Eko Music Group, and installed by Brusaporto-based Sangalli Tecnologie S.r.l. under the supervision of Giancarlo Terzi.
Fumagalli points out that LEOPARD supplied an ideal solution for Sala Energia’s 30 meter-wide auditorium, which also has a long throw distance to the back rows. “I had some doubts about using compact line arrays for screen loudspeakers, but when I heard LEOPARD I realised this is a loudspeaker of such exceptional quality that it can absolutely be used in any application,” he remarked. “For Sala Energia, it has proven to be the best possible solution.”
Complementing the audio presentation is an enormous 30-by-16-meter Harkness Perlux white screen, two Christie 4K digital projectors, and two Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 projectors for special 70mm film screenings.
First opened in 1997, Sala Energia is acclaimed as the first choice for Italian film enthusiasts who seek an exceptional movie-going experience, regularly posting per-cinema ticket sales across a variety of genres, including both recent blockbuster digital releases and 70mm roadshow versions of classic re-releases.
“This new Meyer Sound system is our investment in the future,” Fumagalli concluded. “Audiences are now willing to pay more to experience a film in the Sala Energia. We have patrons raving about both the sound and image technologies. In fact, they often applaud the sound demo trailers before the features.”