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Devonshire Park Theatre

Contacta was commissioned to transform the listening experience for theatre-goers of the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne in the summer of 2013. The theatre had an old infrared solution installed which was not addressing the needs of it’s hearing device wearing customers. According to a recent UK survey, 77% confirmed hearing loops were preferred over an infrared or FM system due to hygiene issues, the hassle of collecting and returning equipment and the fact that using a headpiece draws attention to users*.

The solution chosen for the auditorium was a low-spill phased array hearing loop. The system uses 6 of our powerful HLD7 hearing loop drivers and a length of wire laid in a particular way to ensure coverage for each one of the 900 seats across the three floors. The hearing loop was integrated with the sound system already used by the theatre. Skilled Contacta engineers installed the system and took care to cause minimum disruption for the theatre.

“Initially we were mindful of technical impacts loop systems have in theatre auditoriums but had recognised the issues that our infra-red system created for hearing device users,” explained Gavin Davis, General Manager of Eastbourne Theatres. “After talking to experts in this field of the benefits a loop system has for the hearing impaired, we made the decision to be one of the first lyric theatres to install such a device,” he stated.

“We now have a perfect signal to every seat in the auditorium with zero impact on both our and the visiting companies’ equipment,” Gavin reported. This has transformed the theatre experience for existing customers of the Devonshire Park Theatre and “those who, through a bad experience, had stopped visiting the theatre are now returning in ever increasing numbers.”

“None of this would have been possible without the expert knowledge and hard work from Contacta. Their understanding of our needs around technical impacts and the need for ‘business as usual’ during the install ensured a very smooth and efficient delivery of service,” he added.

Contacta are experts in specifying, installing and maintaining hearing loops. Founded in 1970, Contacta have enhanced the customer experience for many major banks, supermarkets and councils throughout the UK.

Over the next few years, Contacta will install the same solution in the other venues for Eastbourne Theatres, in order to make their services accessible to everyone within the community and helping to attract more visitors for each location.

“Eastbourne Theatres is extremely delighted with our new loop and so are our patrons.”

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