Few cities, if any, truly own the “glow up” quite like Hollywood. And as The Vermont Hollywood aims to soon prove, that transformational concept can apply to Tinseltown’s entertainment venues just as easily as to its socialites and celebrities.
Known as the Campus Theater when it first opened back in 1939, what was once a cinema on the bustling corner of North Vermont Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard has undergone a massive metamorphosis by its current owners, MCAP Partners. They have set a lofty goal for the newly-revamped space: to have it be “the gold standard for the ultimate concert and event-going experience in Los Angeles and around the world.” Certainly one of the keys to fully realizing that objective is The Vermont’s distinction of owning North America’s first permanently-flown L-Acoustics K3 loudspeaker system, supplied and installed by Camarillo-based L-Acoustics Certified Provider RAT Sound Systems, Inc.
“At the core of our vision and aspiration (to become a global gold standard for concerts and events) is a state-of-the-art entertainment infrastructure that starts with our K3 system,” says MCAP Partners Co-Founder and Managing Partner Jacques Massachi. “The feedback we have received regarding K3 from artists and the production community has been astoundingly supportive, enthusiastic, and 100 percent positive across the board. I would also note that the K3 system inspired and raised the bar for the rest of our production infrastructure, effectively leading us to acquire the ‘best of the best’ in equipment.”
Capable of accommodating up to 1,200 people, the 11,000-square-foot, multipurpose live performance venue, designed by Santa Monica-based Ryder Design & Architecture, features a 56-foot wide by 75-foot deep main room with a 30-foot-deep balcony, initially prompting RAT Sound to consider an L-Acoustics K2 or Kara system for the project. “In our early Soundvision models, K2 far exceeded our system needs for the space, so we switched over to Kara, which we knew would work well,” recalls RAT Sound Systems Integration Manager Adam Figueroa. “Wanting more low-frequency support in the air, we paired 10 Kara per side with four SB18 subs flown behind each array, but it wasn’t ideal for video sightlines.”
Serendipitously, right around that time, news of the forthcoming L-Acoustics K3 was revealed. “K3 was exactly what we needed,” he adds. “It gave us the compact, full-range system we wanted without having to fly any sub hangs, and the system didn’t require any changes in amplification. K3 was an obvious ‘win’ all around, requiring minimal redesign.”
Now in place, The Vermont Hollywood’s loudspeaker system features eight K3 flown per side for mains, four Kiva II spread out across the stage lip for frontfill, and six KS28 subs positioned under the stage. Left and right flown sidefills each comprised of one A15 Focus over one A15 Wide are complemented on stage by an X12 monitor package, while short-throw X4i and 5XT enclosures are located out in the lobby area for additional coverage. Driven by LA12X amplified controllers, the entire system is connected via AVB with an AES fallback coming from an L-Acoustics P1 processor at FOH. A QSC S-SYS system is also in place for control of the main PA and processing for the distributed audio system, and a DiGiCo SD12 mixing console is located at the venue’s FOH mix position.
Having previously been impressed with the L-Acoustics K1 and K2 systems at Coachella and the Hollywood Bowl, Massachi describes the experience of hearing K3 as every bit as stirring. “The first time I heard our K3 system with playback material at The Vermont, I was literally blown away,” he says. “It resonated through every inch of my body and was an epic and magical experience. We all know how music inspires on so many levels, but to hear music amplified so accurately and brilliantly allows the deeper appreciation of what the artist intended in their creation. I know that our patrons will appreciate being in a space that allows for a truly entertaining and engaging experience.
“With everything that I do, personal or business, I’ve always believed that the pursuit of excellence is at the core of winning. It’s an honor to be the first adopter of an installed K3 system, but it’s also about having a sound system that creates a true outlier for The Vermont, allowing us to offer the best-sounding space for artists and guests.”
Massachi is quick to also credit RAT Sound Systems for its huge role in the project. “I really want to thank the team at RAT for their professional guidance, workmanship, and overall dedication to The Vermont, and particularly Adam Figueroa for his knowledge, leadership, and hard work,” he says. “What they brought to the table allowed us to transform what was effectively an empty shell into a technologically superior venue—the best-sounding space we’ve ever heard! We definitely hit a home run with L-Acoustics and RAT together, and we can’t wait for everyone to hear our K3 system for themselves.”
The Vermont Hollywood is set to officially open its doors to the public later this summer. For more info on the new venue, visit www.VermontHollywood.com. RAT Sound Systems can be found online at www.ratsound.com.