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Irwin eyes action over poor Lamp Theatre audio

Joe Napsha
| Thursday, June 15, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
An exterior view of the Lamp Theatre taken on Nov. 12, 2015 in downtown Irwin. The theatre will celebrate it’s grand opening Friday evening featuring Completely Hollywood (abridged).
Barry Reeger | Trib Total Media
An exterior view of the Lamp Theatre taken on Nov. 12, 2015 in downtown Irwin. The theatre will celebrate it’s grand opening Friday evening featuring Completely Hollywood (abridged).

The audio from the sound system at the renovated Lamp Theatre in downtown Irwin is not what theater operators expected, prompting council to take action against the New Stanton installer.

Council this week authorized officials to “take all necessary action” against Sonus Lux Inc., including filing a lawsuit or making a claim against the company's performance bond. The borough hired the company for the job two years ago.

Council President John Cassandro, who serves as the Lamp Theatre's general manager, said Wednesday that Sonus Lux substituted inadequate sound system equipment for the 350-seat venue. To compensate, the Lamp has paid other audio companies to bring in sound equipment at costs ranging from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 for certain performances, Cassandro said.

Messages left with Sonus Lux were not returned. James Edmiston of Hempfield, who is listed as president of the company in the Pennsylvania Department of State records, could not be reached for comment. The company previously was named Good Sound Studio.

Lamp officials have had conversations with representatives from Sonus Lux, but the problem has not been resolved, Cassandro said.

The contract with Sonus Lux was for less than $40,000, Cassandro said. He said he did not know the value of the performance bond.

“We'll never get our money back,” Cassandro said.

Mary Benko, borough manager, declined to comment.

The Lamp Theatre is operated by the nonprofit Lamp Theatre Corp., which acquired the property from the borough for $1 in August 2015. Irwin assumed ownership of the property in March 2013 from the nonprofit Westmoreland Cultural Trust and spearheaded renovation of the theater, which first opened in 1937.

In other business, council selected Leslie Savage, who won the Republican nomination for a council seat in the May primary, to fill the vacancy after Brian Rasel resigned.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or

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