Ben Franklin, MLC and Tanja Greulich, Byron Theatre Manager.
Ben Franklin, MLC and Tanja Greulich, Byron Theatre Manager.

Non-profit theatre gets $200,000 technical and audio upgrade

CRYSTAL clear audio and long-overdue technical upgrade for the Byron Theatre

The Byron Theatre recently upgraded its cinema screen and speaker system with new state-of-the-art digital audio and visual equipment.

This technical upgrade was long overdue as most touring shows expect digital desks for all operations and the theatre was still using analog components.

The upgrade was made possible through grant funding totalling $200,000 from the NSW Department of Industry Infrastructure Grant by the Office of Responsible Gambling.

After much professional research on the sound requirements for the space, installation of the new equipment began in January 2020 and was completed in March.

All equipment was purchased and installed by local company North Coast Events who have been an awesome long-term supporter of the Byron Theatre and an absolutely fabulous industry partner.

“This grant has given the theatre an urgently needed technical upgrade that means that we haven’t just met contemporary expectations, we’ve surpassed them,” the new Byron Theatre technical manager, Jamie Hunter, said.

Mr Hunter was instrumental in the final completion of the audio and video installation.

“I’m very excited about what the future holds for the theatre, now that the standard of our technical production has been so radically improved,” he said.

“This grant has given the Byron Shire community, its visitors and our performers and artists the modern theatre experience they deserve and raises the bar for regional arts.”

The theatre’s management researched, purchased materials for and completed the project over almost two and a half years.

This time frame was influenced by the intimate nature of the space and intricate and delicate sound issues technicians face there.

“We needed to purchase audio equipment that would work for all the different events that we host in the theatre, so there was much time-consuming research done with professional consultants from all areas of the entertainment industry,” Byron Theatre manager Tanja Greulich said.

“The need to replace the cinema screen to an acoustically transparent screen was unexpected, but has certainly made a huge difference to the space and is a crucial factor in the delivery of the overall exceptional sound experience.”

The Byron Theatre is a local not-for-profit venue and part of the Byron Bay Community Association’s social enterprise model.

Funds raised by the Byron Theatre through tickets sales are used for essential projects and services that benefit the local community, such as the weekly homeless breakfast and homeless showers.

“This new upgrade has really elevated the Byron Theatre to a high technical standard that is now acceptable for national and international artists and touring companies,” Ms Greulich said.

“We hope that the new crystal clear audio and visual experience will result in more bookings in the future to entertain our local audience & generate funds for our community outreach projects.

“Hopefully, we’ll see the space buzzing with shows again very soon, when it’s safe to do so.”

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