Metropolis at the IU Cinema

The IU Cinema screened the restored version of Metropolis this weekend featuring the premier of a new arrangement of the original Gottfried Huppertz score for salon orchestra. The orchestra was made up of students from the Jacobs School and of course the Recording Arts Department was there to provide sound reinforcement. This production really shows off the strength of our department as well as the advantage of being located at a large state university. Where else would you get to work in a world-class cinema with world-class musicians, on a world premier production of one of the most important films ever made?

The theater was originally used by the IU Theater Department and was converted into the cinema over the past year. It seats 260 and has very comfy memory foam chairs. There are five JBL cinema speakers behind the screen, the surrounds are hidden in the light fixtures along the walls. It just received THX certification.

A view of the back with the projection booth and mix position. You can see the lights with the surround speakers on the sides. There are also two  surround speakers on the back wall.

How many musicians can you fit in the orchestra pit? It’s designed for 15…

The ensemble is four violins, one cello, one bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, two horns, two trumpets, trombone, two percussion and keyboard. We used 9 microphones, one per desk of strings, two on the winds, two on the percussion, one on the horns; and a DI on the keyboard.

Joe McIlvain and Wayne Jackson at the mix position. We put the orchestra in the left center and right center front speakers with just a little cheated into the surrounds and the TC Reverb 4000 went to the surrounds with a little cheated into the front speakers.

Every digital projection format known to man!

Barco 2k and Sony 4k 3D projectors

Screen aspect ratio control and Dolby audio control unit – notice the ‘ref’ tag. Did I say that this theater has incredible sound?

A few amplifiers and one of the two 16/35mm film projectors. A special thanks to Manny Knowles, technical director of the cinema, and Jon Vickers, director of the IU Cinema for inviting us to collaborate with them to bring this production to the screen. Watch a WTIU piece on the dedication of the new cinema.

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