Built in 1937 as Shirley Temple, Clark Gable and Bing Crosby ruled Hollywood, the “Crown Jewel of Southern Illinois” quickly became the center of Mount Vernon entertainment. Complete with the original neon marquee shining bright, the Granada Theatre now enters its next act as a modern multipurpose event center and cultural hub. An Allen & Heath SQ-7 stars at front of house, managing the diverse range of live concerts and event audio playback.  

Photo courtesy Haizey Photography.

A massive multiyear renovation project kicked off in 2017 as a new owner took the reins at the Granada. Starting with the removal of the seats and original stage, major construction projects also included new floors, a redesigned bar area and a large stage extension. Local audio partners JA Pro Sound took this opportunity to install a flexible audio backbone, making use of the SQ’s audio networking capabilities to place drop locations across the venue for I/O expanders.

“We chose our equipment configuration to make hosting a wide variety of events possible. The SQ-7 was really at the heart of the decision-making process because of its ease of operation paired with tons of mixing power,” notes Granada Theatre owner Russell Brown. “I’d never call myself a sound engineer, but as a venue owner I can run sound for small corporate events and hire outside pros to run our live music gigs. This is the ultimate in flexibility that a 350-500 seat venue like ours requires. We finished up renovations right in the midst of COVID-19, so our next phase will require this sort of flexibility to generate revenue and best make ends meet.” 

The Granada’s upgraded audio system features an Allen & Heath SQ-7 paired up to AR2412 and AR168 AudioRacks over CAT6 which feed three Powersoft amplifiers, Tectonic Audio Labs PL10 mains and subwoofers. On the lighting side of the system, a wide range of dimmer, LED color mixing and moving light fixtures are controlled by a Chamsys QuickQ 30. 

“It is truly jaw-dropping when the entire system comes together,” adds Brown. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the SQ-7 in particular. The theatre staff is picking it up quickly and they have surpassed my knowledge already. We had a training day with JA Pro Sound and their abilities really took off. I’m really glad we invested in a rock solid sound system and such a user friendly sound board. Here’s to the next 80+ years of presenting top tier entertainment at the Granada Theatre!”