I am wondering if there is a typical or traditional side that the cannons for 1812 Overture are usually at in the orchestra and, if there is a preferred side, what reasons there are for choosing that side.
The outside, as in outside in the rear parking lot synchronized by closed circuit TV. Or possibly 500 feet or so behind the stage pointing out over The Reflecting Pool.
I only know about Army National Guard howitzers, but two or three of those are so loud and create a huge shock wave when firing blanks that I can't imagine them being anywhere near the orchestra, and the three or four times I've seen 1812 live in person, they haven't been near at all. The one time I saw the cannons fire over the Reflecting Pool (in Washington DC), we were right across the pool from the cannons, and so far from the stage we could barely hear the music. But it was fun to see (and feel!!) the cannons fire.
With something that loud, it's never going to matter exactly where they are, only how far away.