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Empire Theater Upgrades With Harman

London’s 1,327-seat Empire Theater recently upgraded its sound system to a THX-approved, Harman HiQnet™-enabled 5.1 surround system featuring JBL loudspeakers, Crown amplifiers and dbx processors.

The new system—designed, installed and commissioned by London-based Bell Theater Services—boasts 56,000 watts of power and more than five miles of cable. For each of the main JBL 5632 speakers, a Crown CTs 2000 handles the mid- and high frequencies and a Crown CTs 3000 powers the low-mids and low frequencies. Six CTs 8200 amplifiers power 42 JBL 8340A surround speakers, and eight CTs 3000 amplifiers drive 16 JBL 4642A subwoofers. Crossover is managed by five dbx DriveRack 4800 digital speaker-management systems. The system is ready for all major cinema sound protocols, including Dolby Digital Surround EX, SDDS, DTS and 70mm magnetic.

Commenting on the system, Rick Kreifeldt, VP of Harman systems development and integration group, notes, “This cinema installation highlights the versatility of HiQnet to provide advanced integration and control in a wide array of professional audio applications. As we continue to work with leading design and integration firms such as Bell Theater Services, we look forward to evolving HiQnet to make the protocol even more powerful and intuitive. In doing so, we plan to provide greater value to contractors and consultants and better system performance for their customers around the world in various markets.”

The Empire was the site of the first motion picture screening in the UK in 1896 and later hosted the first sound pictures shown in England.

For more information on the gear, visit