I’d bet that 99% of the prospective students who visit Belmont University this summer will see the R. Milton and Denice Johnson Center on the east side of campus and think that it’s a very handsome academic building – like many of the other structures on that beautiful site – but would never guess (unless they’re told by the person leading the tour) that it contains some of the most sophisticated acoustical environments a college can offer.
In fact, even those who attend Belmont and regularly eat in the cafeteria that occupies the entire second floor may not be aware of the kind of facilities that exist on the floors directly above them.
It’s possible they would get a hint if they attend a lecture in the space known as the Large Theater, but even then they might not realize they’re sitting in the first Dolby Atmos mixing stage for motion picture audio ever installed in a university setting.
The Johnson Center houses many of the technical facilities for the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. We’ve been working with the Curb College for more than 30 years, since they were a fledgling program teaching audio recording.
Now the program includes five areas of study, including motion pictures. Besides the 250-seat mixing theater, our design work for the four-story 134,000-square-foot Johnson Center includes a second screening theater, a motion picture shooting stage, TV production studio and control rooms, motion capture studio, Foley / ADR control room and studio, audio sweetening, video edit and color correction suite, media focus lab and entertainment research center, and a host of student edit bays and labs.
Students at Belmont who want to learn media production will be the lucky few who discover that the Johnson Center contains much more than meets the eye.