A longtime performing arts center near Salt Lake City has made LED displays a huge part of its new $75 million complex.
The Hale Centre Theatre at Mountain America Performing Arts Centre, which opened its new home a year ago, uses big LEDs on the facade to promote productions, in the lobby near concessions, and most interestingly, as part of productions.
There are six big Absen 6mm pitch screens on the circular facade used to advertise upcoming productions to the passing road traffic. Inside, the lobby has a 4mm pitch LED over the concession area.
There are four curved 4mm pitch LEDs in a back part of the complex’s $20 million-dollar theatre-in-the-round, as well as a four-sided 3.8mm LEDs in what sounds like an arena scoreboard-ish array that can be raised and lowered during productions.
The complex’s Jewel Box stage has a 3.8mm video wall that will be used as the backdrop for productions, with theatre set designers creating scenes digitally – something that adds flexibility but also frees up already limited space backstage.
The project was put together by local AV integrator RevelTV. “LED became a major part in the conversation with the theatre’s design team,” says Brian Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of RevelTV. “Thanks to our long relationship with Absen, it was a natural fit to pull them into the project to help us design solutions to bring their vision to life.”
“This project is truly an amazing example of how LED is impacting today’s stage production designers in taking their design capabilities to a whole new level that leaves patrons with a breath-taking experience during each production,” says Gary Fuller, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Absen.
This sort of thing is really indicative of how direct view LED is getting mainstreamed. It was not that long ago when a building putting a single large LED on a building was a big deal. Now we have buildings – in cities far removed from centres of the US universe like NYC and LA – putting in more than a dozen, and using some of them in ways (like theatrical backdrops) that would have seemed improbable not that long ago.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.