The Palladium Theater was formed in 1998, utilizing a historic Church of Christ, Scientist structure on the National Register of Historic Places. Created to support the arts in the immediate local community, the theater was acquired by St. Petersburg College shortly thereafter. Minor acoustical renovations immediately following the acquisition enabled performances to be held, but never brought the project to its full potential.

ESa was hired to reimagine the multi-purpose hall into one of exceptional acoustical quality, supporting the mission of the theater to be a low-cost, neighborhood-friendly venue. We have three main goals: create exceptional acoustics, provide enhanced sightlines, and increase patron comfort in the hall.

Palladium Theatre - St. Petersburg College - rendering

Working within the budget, our strategy has focused the majority of our effort on replacing the ceiling with a new assembly that better reflects the history of the space, while implementing numerous technical enhancements within. The natural acoustics have been enhanced by correcting a critical error in the original design – a barrel vaulted ceiling that causes severe acoustical reflection issues. Solving this issue for both acoustical and amplified performance required a twofold approach: Natural acoustics have been enhanced with the design of a new, coffered ceiling that supports the performer with positive reinforcement throughout the hall, while variable acoustic banners hidden within the ceiling structure will provide better acoustics for amplified performances.

A new seating arrangement is proposed that provides more comfortable spacing and better sightlines in the orchestra level, while the balcony sightlines have been enhanced through an overbuilt structure that steepens the rake of that seating tier.