Cerami & Associates’ team of acoustical engineers was commissioned by the Nederlander Producing Company to aid in the improvement of acoustics at The Music Box Theater. The Music Box was constructed in 1920 and designated a New York Landmark in 1987. Our acoustical team had three goals while working on this project: improving the acoustics of the theater, maintaining the historical integrity of the space, and ensuring aesthetically and acoustically pleasing theatrical presentations.
The main acoustical problems at the Music Box Theater were due to its location. The Music Box faces 45th Street and backs into the Richard Rogers Theater, which faces 46th Street. Located on the top of the Richard Rogers Theater was a 120-ton air handling unit which generated noise that created a disturbance to actors and audience members in the Music Box. Cerami’s site surveys revealed that the noise levels created by the air handling unit far exceeded New York City Noise Code Regulations for theaters. Recommendations to mitigate the noise included applying acoustical gaskets to exit doors facing the back of the theater and providing acoustical treatments to spaces adjacent to the rear of the theater. In addition, the units’ compressors were fitted with sheet metal enclosures and acoustically lined to help mitigate the noise.