Marcus Movie Tavern, Wisconsin

The Opportunity

Movie Tavern by Marcus is a premium theater concept offering restaurant-style dining and in-seat service for moviegoers. At the new location in the Brookfield Square shopping center, guests can enjoy dinner and a movie in the premium UltraScreen DLX theater with Dolby Atmos immersive audio or one of seven additional theaters with 7.1 surround sound. To ensure high-quality sound and balanced audio coverage throughout the theater, the facility required a state-of-the-art cinema audio solution.

The Solution

Bright Star Systems equipped the complex with JBL Professional cinema loudspeakers, DSi 2.0 amplifiers and Crown DCi amplifiers, following the JBL Sculpted Surround specification in the 7.1-equipped theaters. Sculpted Surround relies on precisely-calibrated JBL loudspeakers in a specific configuration to widen the “sweet spot” in the auditorium for balanced sound in every row.

The JBL Sculpted Surround specification involves specific loudspeaker models in a precise configuration to provide a premium experience for the entire audience. Behind the screen, JBL C222 and C222HP ScreenArray loudspeakers feature Dual Dissimilar Array technology, each with two horns at different angles and output levels to provide equal volume from the front row to the back. Along the side walls, JBL 9310 cinema surround loudspeakers feature a built-in 15-degree angle toward the screen to minimize the rearward bias common in traditional setups. At the rear of the theater, two JBL 9350 high-power rear surround loudspeakers provide wide, even coverage, eliminating the volume buildup created by traditional rear surround arrays. Together, this configuration provides balanced, spatially accurate sound for the majority of seats.

To power the 7.1 and Dolby Atmos speaker arrays, Bright Star Systems selected JBL DSi 2.0 and Crown DCi amplifiers. Designed specifically for cinema amplification, JBL DSi 2.0 amplifiers are engineered to meet the exact power requirements of JBL cinema speakers and come pre-loaded with JBL speaker presets. The DSi 2.0 MA4-D model deployed at the Movie Tavern features Dante and AES-67 digital connectivity for a completely networked system. Crown DCi Series amplifiers provide additional amplification, featuring ultra-efficient DriveCore technology. HiQnet Audio Architect software allows Bright Star Systems to remotely monitor the performance of all amplifiers and make adjustments to keep the system working at optimal capacity.

The combination of JBL and Crown cinema audio solutions and JBL Sculpted Surround technology comprises a state-of-the-art system that brings next-generation sound to the Movie Tavern experience. As the first full theater complex in the U.S. to exclusively feature Sculpted Surround and Dolby Atmos, the project represents an ideal model for future cinema audio installations.

The Impact

“We had been handling most of the work for Marcus on their last four new builds,” said Dave Lund, Senior Consultant, Bright Star Systems. “We came in as the integrator, we got the construction drawings, and we handled the projection and sound in the theater auditorium. We took into consideration how big the screens are, what kind of ceilings they were going to put in, and we handled all of the technical work. We are also the primary service agent for a majority of the Marcus theaters.”

“I had used the JBL 9310 and 9350 speakers previously in other installations,” said Lund. “I particularly like the output characteristics, the light weight and all the things that everybody likes about those JBL surrounds. The degree of advanced technology, which I try to apply in an engineering-centric way, gave me tools I never had before. The 200 Series is a home run. Given the cost, I was astounded by just how effective they really were in providing what I would call truly lifelike cinema sound.”