Safety Solutions for Public Buildings - Case Study: Cinemas

Project: Preston Odeon Cinema

Installer: Tec Audio


Providing clear information and announcements is at the forefront of the thought process when designing and installing public address and voice alarm systems now. As an industry we have seen huge changes in voice messaging in the last two years and an increase in the range of messages required. It is imperative when operating public spaces that staff can give clear instructions to evacuate safely and to relay public address announcements as situations change.  It is equally important that systems are easy to operate by multiple staff especially in applications that have extended opening hours where staff are working to rotas and not regular 9 to 5.

Just such a project was the replacement PA/VA system that Tec Audio were commissioned  to install. We  spoke  to  Lee Thompson, of Tec Audio, about the process and why they specified the TOA VX-3000.

“Tec Audio is a specialist subcontractor who work for a number of facility providers and fire alarm companies undertaking their regular maintenance and small works on a range of PA/VA equipment.” said Lee.

“We were contacted by a regular client, Procyon Fire, to look at the existing PA/VA system at Preston Odeon Cinema and we decided to specify the TOA VX-3000 rack to replace the existing Millbank system that had failed.

Having used the VX-3000 on several projects before including more recently the Mill gate Shopping Centre in Bury, also for Procyon Fire, and the Showcase Cinema in Nottingham for another customer we were confident this system was also the correct solution for this job.

The cinema complex comprises of 12 screens, 2 access slipways and a foyer area which also has background music within it. In the Manager’s Office there is a paging microphone, with the fire microphone being is situated below the existing fire panel.

The VX-3000 is such a versatile product that we were able to install and change over in a single day with fire alarm cause and effect testing and staff training taking place the following morning prior to the cinema opening.”

The TOA VX-3000 is a reliable and energy-saving voice alarm system certified to EN54-16.  It’s design, with its low number of system components, allows for easy installation and rapid system configuration.  Its scalability makes it suitable for both large and small applications from airports to office blocks and venues to healthcare facilities whilst being energy efficient using class-D amplifiers and modern power supply technology.

“We are always pleased to see our custom-built racks in situ doing the job they are intended for - delivering clear voice messaging. Our technical team work very closely in partnership with installers, such as Tec Audio, working to find the best solution for each project.  You must make sure that any system designed for evacuation and life safety is robust and our public address and voice alarm systems are flexible for many installations and projects.” Ian Bridgewater, Director & Technical Sales Manager, TOA Corporation (UK) Ltd

You can dowload a full copy of our case study here


Technical Support

At TOA we offer a full technical support service by phone, online and on-site meetings and email. We can assist with design and quotations, give guidance on installations, and help with documentation. Our systems come with free software upgrades and use of the TOA Tools Database and Cookbooks. Our technical team are also available to advise on maintenance and deliver our free training programme.  In addition, we offer commissioning services (fees apply )to ensure safe hand-over of projects and (for a nominal cost) messaging for PA/VA