A sound design: Historic architecture sets tone for Ellen Theatre’s stunning acoustics
published on Friday, January 8, 2010 11:09 AM MST
By JODI HAUSEN, Chronicle Staff Writer
The best seats in the house at the Ellen Theatre are not in the front row. They’re not even in the second or third rows.
ERIK PETERSEN/CHRONICLE John Ludin, executive director of the Ellen Theatre, talks about the historic theater’s acoustics on Monday, Jan. 28, 2009. The primo seats are in the balcony, says the theater’s director, John Ludin.
The 90-year-old leather upholstered folding seats in the first and second rows of the balcony were once reserved for members of the Story family.
These are the most comfortable seats in the house. They provide a panoramic view of the stage. And they are the optimum spot for hearing performances, Ludin said, speaking at a conversational volume on the stage to a reported sitting in the balcony.
Musicians who have played the Ellen since it reopened about a year ago typically react to the theater’s sound quality with awe, he said.