CYPRESS, Calif. ? (October 22, 2015) – Christie® 4K 3DLP® projectors are playing an essential role at the historic Grand Hall in St. Louis Union Station, supporting the largest permanently installed indoor immersive projection mapping attraction in the United States. First opened in 1894 and once the world’s largest and busiest train terminal, today’s renovated Union Station features a new hotel, as well as bars, restaurants and shops, and continues drawing people downtown thanks to Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM), which bought the building several years ago.
Dubbed “The Grand Hall Experience at Union Station,” the presentation won the Themed Entertainment Association's Thea 2015 Award for Outstanding Achievement – Live Show, Limited Budget and the IAAPA Brass Ring Award for Excellence. Created by Technomedia Solutions, the vibrant light show spans the Hall’s splendid 65-foot vaulted barrel ceiling and two curved walls using a 10.1 surround sound system, LED accent lighting, an automated control system, and innovative multi-media content.
“We wanted to honor the space and wanted to make sure that what we created wasn’t just a layer on top of that but really blended in very well into the architecture,” said John Miceli, President and Chief Creative Officer, Technomedia Creative & Mood technologies.
Creating a magical atmosphere and adding an element of surprise, “sprites” project around the room at random intervals, bringing the space to life slowly as the room transitions from daylight hall to a controlled light theater hall. Each show consists of three to ten custom-produced vignettes ranging from local historical facts and the local sports teams, to the Mississippi River, and to “3D visual wonder & illusion” pieces – all highlighting what projection mapping can do to spaces like this. Narration is provided by St. Louis natives John Goodman, John Hamm, and others, including famed sportscasters Bob Costas and Joe Buck.
Along with LHM, Technomedia’s collaborative team, led by Miceli and assisted by project manager Drew Atienza, worked diligently to transform the venue, which included positioning the projectors on a custom platform to preserve the views of the magnificent architecture. Except for lamp replacement, the projectors rarely need to be serviced ? an enormous selling point for a customer operating on a tight budget.
Drawing crowds into a revitalized downtown St. Louis
“The biggest appeal of the venue is that people come and see something they cannot see anywhere else in St. Louis, or even the country,” said Miceli. “We have many hurdles to overcome to achieve this level of seamless experience and immersive environment, but our biggest challenge by far was light, which practically floods the entire space all day and tends to bleed its way into the space in so many ways at night. In addition to a varied combination of A/V technology, we knew the Christie 4K projectors were the right choice from the start to light up the two ends of the Hall. They are the optimal size for the space, with powerful 4K resolution and, with 35,000 lumens, superior brightness levels to overcome the ambient light.”
Although the space is free to the public, LHM also rents it as a convention and event center and since the projection mapping has been in place, revenues have soared from $7,000 per week to about $47,000 – well ahead of the three-year projection.