L-Acoustics reinforces restored Garden City theatre
Thursday, 9 June 2022
chileThe Teatro Municipal of Viña del Mar been fully restored
Chile - The city of Viña del Mar is renowned for its colonial architecture, vibrant nightlife, and the annual Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar (Viña del Mar International Song Festival).
Coupled with a Mediterranean climate and beautiful, abundant greenery, the city, nicknamed Jardín Ciudad (Garden City), is one of the country’s most-visited spots. In 2010, a devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake severely damaged some of the city’s best-known buildings, including the heritage site Teatro Municipal of Viña del Mar.
Today, the Teatro been fully restored and fitted with the most advanced L-Acoustics Kara sound system in the country, delivered by L-Acoustics certified provider distributor for Chile, VGL.
Built between 1925 and 1930 by famous architects Renato Schiavon and Aquiles Landoff, the Teatro Municipal de Viña del Mar features a façade decorated with friezes, cornices, and columns and an interior filled with sculptures and decorations of carved and moulded plaster. Following the earthquake damage, a painstaking restoration using the original designs was also the opportunity to install a modern technical infrastructure.
“Our team first became involved in the tender process for the entire technical installation in 2013 when the local municipality approved the renovation works,” recalls Cristian Osorio, live audio solutions and installations at VGL. “We worked with Alex Soto from L-Acoustics to create initial pre-designs for a new sound system for the theatre’s auditorium.”
Unfortunately, the earthquake had done more damage to the structure of the building than was initially thought, which created a serious delay. It was not until 2019 that the theatre’s technical team was able to re-visit the tender process, again inviting VGL to share their ideas.
“While we were waiting for the project to be reinstated, we improved on the initial design. This meant that when we finally went back to the theatre to present our work, we were sure we had a winning design,” says Osorio.
The theatre’s team had conducted independent research into various loudspeaker manufacturers and was aware of L-Acoustics’ undisputed reputation. The theatre’s technical manager, Julio Lobos, was also impressed with the design Osorio and Soto presented.
The final design comprises left/right hangs of 12 L-Acoustics Kara per side, with a further two hangs of four SB18 subs flown next to each hang of Kara. Front-fill is delivered by six 5XT evenly distributed across the stage lip. Twelve 5XT are distributed under the balcony, and another four are used for delays. The system is managed by an L-Acoustics P1 processor, with five LA12X amplified controllers driving the PA. An LA4X for the front-fill and another LA4X were deployed for the delays. The amplified controllers are connected to an AVB data point through either an AES or analogue signal.
The stage monitor system consists of 15 X12 cabinets, four ARCS Focus, four SB18 subs for side-fills, plus an SB15 sub for trim-fill. The monitor system is controlled by LA12X and LA4X. “There is literally no other theatre in Chile with so many X12 floor monitors available. We are completely unique in that way,” says Osorio.
Working on the project during the pandemic added additional challenges but involving the theatre’s technical team from the start ensured its success. “The team was there throughout the process and became increasingly familiar with the system,” explains Osorio. “With Kara being such an easy-to-use-and-maintain system, we only needed to provide a bit of extra training once its final calibration is complete.”
The reaction from the staff and the Municipality has been spectacular, with the Teatro opening to the public in the second quarter of 2022.
“We saw a lot of surprised faces when we played the system to the theatre’s team and visitors from the municipality for the first time,” says Osorio. “People just couldn’t believe that this building, which is almost a century old and previously severely damaged, could sound that good.”

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