Projection-Mapped Church Show Draws Almost 100K Paid Viewers Over Its Run In Bordeaux

January 11, 2024 by Dave Haynes

A lot of the recent attention around projection-mapped environments lately has been with commercial attractions – like Illuminarium and Montreal’s Oasis Immersion – but there’s also interesting work going on that delivers experiences but also has broader benefits.

A projection-mapped show, mixed with live orchestral music, sold almost 100,000 tickets during a just-finished run at a cathedral in Bordeaux, France.

The company behind the show, Luminiscence, suggests that head-count is higher than the number who turned out for a Beyoncé concert at the Stade de France … though that was a one-night stand, not 100+ shows.

Luminiscence is spinning up a new show now to illuminate the interior of Saint-Eustache church in Paris Les Halles, starting in mid-February.

From the company:

We firmly believe that art and technology have immense power to tell captivating and moving stories. Embarking on our pioneering venture Luminiscence, we will first aim at elevating and celebrating the most iconic cathedrals and basilicas across the world, which have stood as historical pillars of our common legacy for over a millennium.

We take pride in offering an artistic, immersive, and inclusive experience that allows everyone, regardless of age, culture, nationality, or religion, to discover the richness of our heritage. We create a unique emotional, memorial, and sensory connection between visitors and the site, leaving unforgettable memories for our guests. Through our advanced 3D modeling and projection technology, we can recreate every architectural detail with incredible precision, bringing the nave, walls, columns, and stained glass windows to life in a breathtaking visual spectacle.

We utilize state-of-the-art projectors for video mapping and a spatialized sound system that synchronizes sound with the visual performance throughout the entire structure, creating a unique multi-sensory experience.

The business model on this kind of thing isn’t spelled out, but it is likely some sort of specialty leasing thing that sees a fixed fee or revenue percentage that goes back to the church – likely generating FAR more revenue than realized through donation boxes or digital payment-enabled information screens in the church.

It also would drive a lot of foot traffic into the church – likely important as church attendance has been sliding in France, as in much of the world.

I am not sure it was the first, but certainly among the first iterations of this was the Aura show Montreal’s Moment Factory developed for the Notre-Dame Basilica in downtown Montreal. That show was lit up in 2017 and is still running – generating revenue that helps with the high costs of running and maintaining a huge historic building like that.

  1. Paul Fleuranges says:

    Glad you mentioned Aura Dave, which to your point I believe was the first of this kind of projection mapping experience in a setting like a historic cathedral.

  2. Gwen Gueth says:

    We saw this show in Bordeaux and it was amazing!!!!

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