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Live Sound

New Console Builds on Midland Theatre’s Revitalization

By Clive Young. After getting rescued from the brink in the early 2000s, Ohio’s Midland Theatre has now further updated its audio system.

Newark, OH (November 7, 2018)—Just outside of Columbus, OH, the Midland Theatre in Newark, OH is a bustling cornerstone of the region’s entertainment scene. The coming months’ packed schedule will see artists like the Oak Ridge Boys, America and Clint Black hit its stage, and with the holidays ahead of us, The Nutcracker and The Polar Express will likewise tread the boards of the venerable venue. Helping provide audio for a number of those productions will be the Midland’s new house console, a DiGiCo S31.

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“We purchased it at the beginning of this season,” said house engineer David Eubanks. “Our space hosts everything from corporate events and meetings to children’s events, local dance companies and national touring acts—so selecting a console for FOH that met the needs of the space was very challenging on our budget.”

The desk replaced an 18-year-old analog Yamaha M2500 that was installed when the venue reopened after a massive eight-year, $8.5 million restoration project. The need for such an extensive refurbishment is an all-too-familiar tale for many theatrical venues built during the Roaring Twenties.

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First opening in December, 1928, The Midland Theatre presented popular movies and stage productions for decades, before falling into decline and eventually shuttering in 1978. Empty for 14 years, the venue lost most of its roof and began falling apart at the seams. Before long, its orchestra pit was filled with stagnant rain water and debris. A local developer purchased the site in 1992 and began the lengthy process of bringing the venue back to life; now, the revitalized theatre intends to entertain audiences for generations to come.

And the new console continues that commitment. “So far, we have used the console for numerous events,” Eubanks told Pro Sound News, supporting not only regional productions but also touring artists, such as Jacob Powell who appeared there recently, opening for Tracy Lawrence. “Just this past weekend, we hosted The Music of Cream 50th Anniversary Tour,” said Eubanks. Given the venue’s schedule, the desk will be kept busy for a long time to come.

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