Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Peoria Riverfront Museum partners with Global Immersion for giant screen digital theater

www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org
Construction begins summer 2011

Peoria, Illinois, USA -- After several months of research and exploration, the Peoria Riverfront Museum Board voted Thursday to partner with international immersive theater specialist Global Immersion to provide the technical solution for the museum’s Giant Screen Digital Theater (GSDT).

The Board’s GSDT committee met with key industry players, including system integrators, technology/hardware providers and film producers, and benchmarked with other mission-driven museums across the country regarding emerging technology, programming options and general tips on attendance. After deciding on a system integrator, the board selected award-winning Global Immersion as the company that best meets the museum’s criteria. The company, comprised of a team of veteran industry professionals, is dedicated to the design, development and integration of unique immersive theater experiences and was recently named 2011 International Business of the Year in England.


“Our decision was guided by defined criteria and we’re confident that Global Immersion is the right partner,” says Ryan Beasley, PRM Board Vice-Chair. “It’s all about creating an environment that will deliver an incredible immersive theater experience. We’ll have the most innovative technology available, access to a broad film library and the flexibility to control the content we deliver.”


The team at Global Immersion has been building innovative and technically advanced environments in venues around the world for more than 14 years. Headquartered in the UK with additional offices in the United States, Global Immersion provides display system engineering, media management, show production, lighting, seating, audio and more—combining these individual components to create state-of-the-art, high-performance attractions. Global Immersion’s portfolio of international clients includes Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego, Walt Disney Imagineering, Tainan Science & Education Museum in Taiwan, National Space Center in the United Kingdom, and the Moscow Planetarium in Russia, among many other educational institutions, entertainment venues and visitor experiences around the world.


The technical solution includes a 70’ x 52’ screen, digital 3D theater with 4K digital projection that will provide superior picture quality and a true “immersive” experience—a giant screen and stadium seating that creates the illusion of being inside the action. “The result will be a bigger, bolder, and better theater experience than any other across central Illinois,” says Beasley.


Because the museum is not tied to one content provider, its giant screen theater has access to a wide variety of existing and future films from producers and distributors like National Geographic, K2 Communications, nWave, MacGillivray Freeman and more. The arrangement also allows the museum to use the theater in creative ways that expand offerings— like airing live simulcasts of sports, arts, music and science events; hosting functions that incorporate live data or award videos; and planning video gaming or YouTube festivals.


“Selecting Global Immersion as our partner in this endeavor is the result of a comprehensive evaluation strategy," says Beasley. “Our goal was to find the right GSDT partner who shared and is aligned with PRM’s mission."


Construction on the Peoria Riverfront Museum began in March, and work will begin on its theater later this summer. In the meantime, the PRM board will work with Global Immersion to review the theater architecture, system design, performance specifications, budget and schedule. Preliminary film programming planning will begin later this year.


The Peoria Riverfront Museum is a collaborative effort of Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences, Peoria Historical Society, Illinois High School Association (IHSA), African American Hall of Fame Museum, Peoria Regional Museum Society, The Nature Conservancy, Heartland Foundation and Caterpillar Inc. Features include a giant screen digital theater; state-of-the-art planetarium; Illinois River exhibit; Peoria history gallery; children’s Discovery Worlds; galleries for fine arts, folk art and international features; and the IHSA Peak Performance Center.