Friday, September 30, 2011

SCarowinds Halloween Haunt XI video

"Nights of Fright" continue through Oct 30 at Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte, North Carolina USA. The park is a Cedar Fair property.

ASLA Announces 2011 Professional Awards: 37 projects honored for innovation, design and sustainability

CityGarden, St Louis
Washington, D.C., – The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has announced the winners of the 2011 Professional Awards. The awards honor the top public places, residential designs, campuses, parks and urban planning projects from across the U.S. and around the world.

The jury of leading design experts considered 567 entries and selected 37 winners in the categories of General Design, Residential Design, Analysis and Planning, Communications, Research and the Landmark Award. In addition to the quality of the design, the jury also weighed the environmental sensitivity and sustainability of each project. The October issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine features the winning projects. Winners will be honored at the
ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO in San Diego on Wednesday, November 2.

The winners include:

General Design Category

Award of Excellence
Portland Mall Revitalization, Portland, Ore.
By ZGF Architects LLP, Portland, Ore.

Honor Awards

Stone River, Eastern New York State
By Jon Piasecki, ASLA, Housatonic, Mass.

The Steel Yard, Providence, R.I.

By Klopfer Martin Design Group, Cambridge, Mass.

Contrasting Shade: Building a Sustainable Urban Grove Central Wharf Plaza, Boston

By Reed Hilderbrand, Watertown, Mass.

Manassas Park Elementary School Landscape, Manassas Park, Va.

By Siteworks, Charlottesville, Va.

City of Greensburg Main Street Streetscape, Greensburg, Kan.

By BNIM, Kansas City, Mo.

Citygarden, St. Louis

By Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, Charlottesville, Va.

West Seoul Lake Park, Seoul, Korea

By CTOPOS DESIGN, Seoul, Korea

Casa Nueva: Working in the Garden, Santa Barbara, Calif.

By Van Atta Associates, Inc., Santa Barbara, Calif.

Analysis and Planning Category

Award of Excellence
An Emerging Natural Paradise — Aogu Wetland Forest Park Master Plan, Taiwan
By National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Honor Awards

Adding Green to Urban Design, Chicago
By City of Chicago

South Grand Boulevard "Great Streets Initiative", St. Louis

By Design Workshop, Inc., Denver

The Regeneration / Yongsan Park, Seoul, South Korea

By UnitedLAB and Isaac T. Brown Ecology Studio, Seoul and Los Angeles.

Monumental Core Framework Plan, Washington, D.C.

By AECOM, the National Capital Planning Commission, and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, Washington, D.C.

Integrating Habitats: “Growing Together”, Portland, Ore.

By AECOM, Seattle

Making a Wild Place in Milwaukee’s Urban Menomonee Valley, Milwaukee

By Landscapes of Place, LLC, Mequon, Wis.

The Dignity of Restraint: A Historic Landscape Preservation Study for the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.

By Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects, Chicago

Hunters View Public Housing Neighborhood Redevelopment, San Francisco

By GLS Landscape / Architecture and Daniel Solomon Design Partners, San Francisco

GreenPlan, Philadelphia

By Wallace Roberts & Todd, Philadelphia

Communications Category

Award of Excellence
LID Low Impact Development: A Design Manual for Urban Areas
By the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, Fayetteville, Ark.

Honor Awards

Landslide: 2004-2010 The First Six Years
By The Cultural Landscape Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Metropolitan Paradise, The Struggle for Nature in the City: Philadelphia’s Wissahickon Valley, 1620-2020

By Carol Franklin, FASLA, and David Contosta, Philadelphia

The Better Block Project

By SWA Group and the StreetSpace Collaborative, Dallas

Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field

By Anne Whiston Spirn, FASLA, University of Chicago Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Stormwater from KC to the Sea: An Experimental Curriculum for Students in the 4th to 6th Grades

By BNIM, Kansas City, Mo.

San Mateo County Sustainable Green Streets and Parking Lots Design Guidebook

By Nevue Ngan Associates, Portland, Ore.

Research Category

Honor Awards
Backyard Farm Service: A Business Plan for Localizing Food Production
By Visual Logic, St. Louis

Multi-Variate Study of Stormwater BMPs

By BNIM, Kansas City, Mo.

Landmark Award, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation

First San Diego River Improvement Project, San Diego
By Wimmer Yamada and Caughey, San Diego

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pittsburgh ScareHouse® ranked high by the Haunts community (video)

PITTSBURGH, USA /PRNewswire/ -- The ScareHouse®, for the second year in a row, has been ranked as one of the country's best haunted houses by the editors of Haunted Attraction magazine: the haunted attraction industry's leading trade publication. The recently released list once again ranks "Pittsburgh's Ultimate Haunted House" at #3 on the list of 25 "Must See" haunted attractions in America.

The ScareHouse was also recently voted the #1 haunted house in the world by visitors to and as one of America's Top 3 haunts on

Fright fans who brave The ScareHouse this year will experience three original and terrifying attractions created by a team of scenic artists, costume designers, and special effects experts.

- Pittsburgh Zombies is an ALL-NEW attraction devoted to Pittsburgh's living dead legacy as "Zombie Capital of the World." This new attraction features elaborate re-creations and references based on iconic Pittsburgh landmarks, now infested with legions of the walking and hungry dead.

- In Delirium 3-D, guests enter a deranged and demented world filled with color, creatures, and the crazed imagination of a very twisted mind. The 3-D glasses will protect your eyes but your brain may never be the same!

- The Forsaken offers a journey into a carnival of carnage, abandoned ruins infested with evil, and face-to-face encounters with your worst nightmares.

The ScareHouse is open on select dates from now through October 30. Hours are 7pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 7pm to 10pm on all other nights. "Pittsburgh's Ultimate Haunted House" is located just minutes from downtown at 118 Locust Street, Etna PA 15223.

Tickets, dates, directions, and more information are available now at Facebook fan page:
SANTA CLARA, Calif. USA /PRNewswire/ -- California's Great America's Halloween Haunt "All You Fear is Here". The blood curdling horror and mind-bending terror of Halloween Haunt features more than 500 ghastly creatures emerging from the darkness, six spine-tingling haunted mazes, three themed scare zones, one themed attraction, five head-turning live stage shows plus Great America's thrill-rides and attractions will also remain open for Halloween Haunt as well. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, September 30th through October 30th, from 7 p.m. until midnight, Halloween Haunt will beckon brave souls to take on their most horrible fears.

The 4th Annual Halloween Haunt has the addition of two new shows "Zombies Gone Viral" and "Blood Drums" as well as the all-new SlaughterHouse Annihilation maze, and the new and improved Dead Man's Cove – Forsaken Souls scare zone.


  • All new SlaughterHouse Annihilation – a virtual cornucopia of bloody remains
  • The Toy Factory which takes guests through a factory where your favorite toys have now been turned against you
  • In CarnEvil, dance the night and life away at Club Blood
  • Venture through Werewolf Canyon where hunters have become the hunted 
  • Avoid a cult of evil scarecrows that lie in wait in a path of overgrown debris at CornSTALKERS
  • Black Widow's Cavern – Dare to enter the old creepy cavern of fright, once a logger's run, now abandoned and overrun by deadly spiders.
Scattered throughout the park, guests will also encounter monsters and other terrifying creatures of the night in three themed scare zones.


  • The all new "Zombies Gone Viral - Live on stage integrating Music, Dance and Un-Dead action. 
  • Blood Drums (New in 2011) Brought to you by Street Drum Corps! 
  • Shocking Side Show of Freaks. 7 foot 3 inch, George the Giant and Robin Marks - Master of Mayhem will amaze onlookers. 
  • BANG! PrimEvil Percussion drumming trio will wander the midways of Haunt.
  • Dave Hill's Haunted Hypnotics
Halloween Haunt at California's Great America is a special ticketed event, requires a separate ticket for admission. 2011 and 2012 Gold and Platinum Season Pass holders are admitted free.

Halloween Haunt ticket holders looking to gravely enhance their experience can also take part in a Pre-Scare "Boofet" Dinner. This all-you-can-eat dining option features a special themed meal followed by early entry into Haunt a few minutes before it opens to the public.

California's Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. In addition to California's Great America, Cedar Fair owns and operates 10 other amusement parks, five outdoor water parks, one indoor water park resort and six hotels. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, Calif. under a management contract.

Fright Fest at Six Flags St Louis, by day and by night through Oct 30

EUREKA, Missouri USA /PRNewswire/ -- Six Flags St. Louis transforms from theme park into scream park for this year's annual Fright Fest presented by Snickers®. For four weekends, October 7 through October 30, 2011 Six Flags St. Louis offers family thrills by day and freaky fright by night including some new scares and the return of cockroach consumption in Friday Nights Uncooked.

Thrills By Day 

A favorite of Fright Fest goers for many years, Love At First Fright returns with the Grand Witch still in search of the perfect brain for her Frankie and direct from Las Vegas, Steve Daily hypnotizes guests before live audiences in Trick or Trance Hypnosis. Also offering frightful entertainment is the Phantom of Six Flags, playing his music on a 13' pipe organ while Deadman's Party features special effects and dancing that are to die for. Younger ghouls and goblins will delight in a visit with Bugs Bunny and friends in their best Halloween costumes as well as a trip to Kids Spooky Corner for stories, hay maze fun and a special treat bag for kids 12 and under.

Fright By Night
The bewitching hour of six o'clock signals the unleashing of the freaks. Guests beware while walking the streets of the scream park as the Trolls of the Black Water Swamp are looking for sacrifices for their king, the Sinister Clowns of the Black Top are recruiting for their horrific circus and the mutant residents of our newest community, Zombieville, lie in wait of human flesh. The Slaughter House haunted house, the Backlot Terror Tour haunted hayride and the all new Insanity Alley outdoor haunted maze offer the most gruesome destinations and are not for the faint of heart or children under 13 years of age. The freak show is back in town featuring The Rotten Bros. in P.T. Barnum's Side Show with their bed of nails, fire juggling, and more disgusting feats. By popular demand, the cockroaches return in Friday Nights Uncooked. Each Friday night, for one hour, guests who eat a live cockroach can earn a front of the line pass for the ride of their choice. Guests can spin the Roach Wheel to determine which tasty dish they will receive off of the menu including the Gruesome Twosome featuring two fresh cockroaches; the Squirting Scramble with complimentary, tasty toppings; Slim Pickin's lets guests pick out their own cockroach and Roll The Die where the number rolled is the number eaten.

Fright Fest takes place Fridays 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., Saturdays 12 noon – 11:00 p.m. and Sundays, 12 noon – 8:00 p.m. October 7 – 30. Visit

Inflatable domes as portable, digital classrooms: STEM fair targets education sector in Nigeria

A Discovery Dome portable
Message from Antares Fulldome Productions:

"Immersive Solutions, Antares FullDome Productions and Discovery Dome see the possibilities in the science education sector in Africa and are in a position to help provide learning solutions in the science and technology fields. The three companies have teamed up to feature planetariums and fulldome shows as part of the outreach to educational institutions.

"The companies are taking an active role in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair and exhibition event scheduled in Nigeria for the month of October this year. This is a premier event targeted at the education sector in Nigeria with the aim of promoting interest in the STEM fields. The event will promote literacy in STEM disciplines among school children and to raise awareness and knowledge of science, engineering, technology and mathematics in a fun, interesting, active and interactive way.

"Planetarium shows are scheduled to run during the event - one of the goals is to accomplish through this event, the introduction of planetariums as a teaching aid with hope to kick-start not just an interest in portable planetariums and planetarium shows but also create market and sales opportunities for these.

"Mojisola Omole at Immersive Solutions says, 
'The yearly average failure rate of 75% in science and mathematics subjects in the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) examinations is a cause for concern and creates a bleak future for Nigeria's technological development. The Fair offers a way to promote interest in these subjects in a fun and meaningful way and bridge the gap between classroom teaching and real life application of STEM principles.'

"Exhibitors and visitors are expected from the various industry sectors and over 50 top schools in Nigeria have indicated interest in participating in the event. Antares FullDome Productions and Discovery Dome will be represented at the event by Immersive Solutions Limited.

"Sergio López Borgoñoz ofAntares FullDome Productions says; 
'We hope that we can awaken an interest in the science of astronomy through our fulldome programs and that they hopefully will stir the imagination among the young and encourage further exploration of it. Portable planetariums are an ideal solution for popularizing scientific content, as they can show immersive and spectacular educational films and as they can be taken to where the students actually are located. This is very important in Nigeria as many have schools have limited travelling possibilities and the fixed planetariums are yet very few.'

"Patricia Reiff at Discovery Dome says; 
'Our portable planetarium is not just for stars – we immerse and excite students in all fields of STEM research by means of fulldome content, including earth science, biology, human body, history, and of course astronomy. The students take an “out of this world” journey that engages as it instructs. We are eager to bring more Discovery Domes to Nigeria, to join our other Discovery Domes in Ethiopia, Morocco, Zambia, and South Africa. And it can go anywhere with just a small generator.' 

"Event details

  • Theme of Fair: “Science in my world”
  • Date and time: 25 – 28 October 2011, 8.00 – 16.00
  • Host: Grange School, GRA Ikeja
  • Venue: Grange School Grounds (over 6000 sqm space), GRA Ikeja
  • Attractions: Career talks, STEM project competition, quiz competition, science-based shows, Educators' forum, and awards dinner.
"More than 100 schools are expected to visit this event and participate in Fair activities. Schools will compete in the STEM Project competition in 5 categories to win various prizes and can also compete in the daily quiz competition at the junior and senior levels.
The Educators' Lounge will open daily to STEM tutors for deliberations on ways of enhancing the quality of science and mathematics education in the Nigerian schools.

"Expected visitors
• Graduate, undergraduate and pre-university students
• Primary and secondary schools
• Parents/guardians with their wards
• School board/owners
• School administrators/educators: principals, head teachers, teachers
• STEM field experts
• General public

"For more information on the STEM fair and exhibition, contact Mojisola Omole at Immersive Solutions, For more information on Antares FullDome Productions, visit For more information on Discovery Dome, visit

Giant Screen Films and D3D Cinema promote Threinen, Grzymala and Raksany

(Evanston, IL—September 29, 2011) Giant Screen Films and D3D Cinema announced promotions for Derek Threinen, Rob Grzymala and Deborah Raksany. Threinen has been promoted to Vice President, Film Distribution and Business Development, Grzymala to Vice President, Production and Finance, and Raksany to Vice President, Development and Partnerships.

“This is an exciting time of growth for both GSF and D3D and for the museum-based cinema industry in general, and the success we are having is directly attributable to having high quality individuals like Derek, Rob and Deborah on the team,” said Don Kempf, President and Founder of GSF and D3D.

Threinen joined GSF/D3D in the fall of 2010 to head up North American distribution efforts, both on the film leasing and theater system integration fronts.
“In the past year, the digital revolution in museum-based theaters has taken hold,” said Threinen. I look forward to continuing our efforts with the talented teams at GSF and D3D as we grow and strengthen our relationships with long-standing clients and entirely new venues.”

Grzymala joined GSF in 2003 straight out of the University of Illinois as a finance associate. “Rob has played a critical behind-the-scenes role at GSF for almost a decade,” said Andy Wood, Sr. Vice President. “Over the past few years, Rob has increasingly taken on the important role of line producer in our film productions, from Waking the T.rex: the Story of Sue and on our upcoming film The Ice Age.”

Raksany joined GSF last year after working for the company on a consulting basis in order to develop and oversee the company’s most important strategic partnerships. “Deborah was the driving force behind the major grant that Tornado Alley received from the National Science Foundation,” said Kempf. “In addition, she continues to play a key role in managing relations with our corporate partners, including our valued client Nokia, sponsor of Wild Ocean.”

About Giant Screen Films and D3D Cinema

Giant Screen Films (GSF) is one of the world's leading large-format/IMAX® film production and distribution companies. Over the past three years, GSF's productions Wild Ocean, Dinosaurs Alive, and Egypt/Mummies have generated over $100 million in box office within the giant screen network. GSF recently released the NSF-funded Tornado Alley, and is now in production on The Last Reef (February 2012).

D3D Cinema (D3D) offers complete digital 3D cinema solutions and services to museum and attraction industry clients worldwide. D3D recently released its first digital 3D production, Waking the T. rex: The Story of SUE, featured as the signature 3D experience at the Field Museum in Chicago. D3D’s next production, The Ice Age, co-produced with GSF, will premiere globally in summer 2012 as well as serve as the companion film to the Field Museum’s “Mammoths and Mastodons” touring exhibition.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If you're reading this in London, you might be at EAS

The European Attractions Show (EAS) is wrapping up in London right now. Check back soon for more reports and updates from the show.
Bob Rippy, Chairman of the IAAPA Board, opens the 2011 Show, together with (from left to right) Mats Wedin, Roland Mack, (Bob Rippy), Will Morey, Mario Mamon and Chip Cleary (CEO IAAPA).

Port Aventura Park adds Prime Play expansion

RICHMOND, BC, CANADA - Prime Play continues to grow its presence in the European marketplace with projects like Port Aventura Park, the most visited theme park in Spain and the sixth most visited in Europe. Port Aventura Park recently completed its sixth expansion within its theme park with SesamoAventura late this spring and enlisted Prime Play to assist in this endeavour.

Featuring two of Prime Play's best-known industry products - Soft Contained Play and 1, 2, 3, Go!, this attraction caters to children 8 years old and younger, offers a capacity of up to 300 and is accessible to people with disabilities.

Since the experience that toddlers need is very different from the challenge that older kids need, two playgrounds were specially designed to integrate into one overall attraction. Sitting side-by-side, one playground caters to ages 3-8 years old and the other to ages 0-3 years old.

The 1, 2, 3 Go! system offers similar features but also provides age-appropriate safe, soft foam activities for entertaining and stimulating imagination in toddlers.

Fitting in with SesamoAventura's Sesame Street theme, Prime Play's in-house team of experts designed and manufactured custom-themed eye-catching, larger-than-life characters to enhance the attraction's environment.

Prime Play has the most diverse line of playground attractions in the industry, tailored to meet the needs of various age levels and skill sets. Our in-house team of experts can design indoor and outdoor playground environments utilizing products that engage the whole family in the fun! For more information on Prime Play and our suite of innovative new products, please visit

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chip Largman rises to Senior Vice President, Universal Creative

Chip Largman
Universal City, California USA -- Universal Studios HollywoodSM has promoted Chip Largman to Senior Vice President, Universal Creative, with responsibility for the development and execution of all rides and attractions for the entertainment landmark, including the theme park and the Universal CityWalk® shopping and entertainment complex.

In making the announcement, Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative for Universal Parks & Resorts said: “We are very pleased to recognize Chip with this much deserved promotion. His extensive experience and reputation in themed entertainment production, creative development and strategic planning make him an invaluable asset to our company as we continue to build cutting edge rides and attractions that maximize our brand positioning as The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM and deliver an original and authentic Hollywood entertainment experience.”

Mr. Largman’s recent accomplishments included the execution and development of the theme park’s acclaimed Studio Tour thrill ride, “King Kong 360 3-D” created by triple Oscar®-winner Peter Jackson. His scrupulous oversight of the ride resulted in it being awarded “Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project” by the Visual Effects Society. The prestigious award was the first-ever presented to a theme park ride.

Recent other projects included oversight of Universal CityWalk’s “5 Towers” interactive outdoor concert venue. The multi-million dollar project, which represented Universal CityWalk’s most ambitious expansion in over a decade, features a technologically advanced staging system equipped with thousands of LED fixtures, motion capture sensors, five soaring 42-foot light tower sculptures, a massive video monitor and a state-of-the-art audio system.

Mr. Largman is currently overseeing the theme park’s Spring 2012 thrill ride, “Transformers: The Ride 3D,” based on the iconic brand from Hasbro and electrifying film franchise, directed by Michael Bay. Celebrated for its multi-generational appeal, inventive storyline, spectacular action sequences and amazing special effects, the attraction aims to revolutionize theme park ride perceptions when it debuts as a cutting-edge mega-attraction next year.

Mr. Largman was most recently Vice President of Universal Creative. He began his tenure at Universal in 1987 as a Project Manager working on the team responsible for designing and building the Universal Studios Florida theme park. Throughout his prosperous career, Mr. Largman also served as Executive Producer of the 1984 Democratic National Convention and the 1986 Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration. His brush with fame began early in his career when he worked as a Lighting Designer touring with such artists as Olivia Newton-John, Cher and Bette Midler for over 10 years.

Mr. Largman currently resides in Santa Clarita, California with his wife, Karen and two children, Kayte and Grayson.

Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A., is a full day, movie-based theme park featuring such unique and groundbreaking attractions as “King Kong 360 3-D,” “The Simpsons Ride®,” “Revenge of the Mummy—The RideSM,” “Shrek 4-DSM,” and “Jurassic Park®-The Ride” as well as the world-renowned behind-the-scenes Studio Tour, featuring video host Jimmy Fallon. It also includes the adjacent CityWalk, a unique dining and shopping promenade featuring an array of entertainment-themed restaurants, clubs, shops and movie theaters, including the new “5 Towers” outdoor concert venue.

Universal Studios Hollywood
is a unit of the Universal Parks & Resorts division of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.

Steve Soboroff Selected as Senior Advisor for California Science Center's Space Shuttle Endeavour Project

Space Shuttle Endeavor
LOS ANGELES USA /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Business and community leader Steve Soboroff has been selected by the California Science Center Foundation as senior advisor for its project to transport and permanently exhibit the Space Shuttle Orbiter Endeavour in Los Angeles.

Officials of the California Science Center, located in Exposition Park near downtown, asked for Soboroff's involvement soon after it was formally awarded the Endeavour, considered one of America's national treasures, over 20 other applicants nationally.

In a joint statement, California Science Center's President Jeffrey Rudolph and Foundation Board Chair Tom Soto said, "We are excited about the task of bringing Endeavour home to California, since it will provide an educational platform for the public to celebrate our State's long time leadership in science, technology, mathematics and engineering. We are confident that it will attract and engage the next generation of California's and our nation's workforce in these fields.

"It's a monumental project, and Steve Soboroff, with his vast experience in stewarding into existence some of the most exceptional projects in our city, will make a great senior advisor. We are delighted to have his expertise, passion and energy to guide us in building awareness and engaging others to ensure the success of this major undertaking."

Soboroff, whose imprint is all over major Los Angeles projects including Staples Center, city parks and schools, the Expo Center, Playa Vista and the Alameda Corridor, said "I like to help make good things happen in Los Angeles. What Staples Center did for downtown is what the Endeavour promises do for the Exposition Park area, downtown, and all of Southern California. It will bring millions of visitors to Los Angeles and serve as a no-cost educational and science experience for the school kids of our region."

Endeavour, a $1.7 billion spaceship that flew 25 missions, and was developed and built in Southern California 20 years ago, completed its last voyage into space this past summer. It will be flown to LAX on top of a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft after being prepared for exhibition at the Kennedy Space Center which includes removal of hazardous materials.

Soboroff added, "The planning and logistics for transporting Endeavour from LAX to the California Science Center are nothing short of remarkable."

About the California Science Center
The California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe-inspiring films. Its mission is as follows: "We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people's lives."

Full-size Ford Explorer modeled from LEGOs promotes new LEGOLAND Florida

CHICAGO, USA /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Driving School at LEGOLAND® Florida, a new theme park opening Oct 15, allows children to experience the fun and responsibility of driving in their own vehicles (at a maximum speed of 3 mph)

Symbolizing a unique cross-promotion and long-term alliance between Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) and the theme park, a full-size LEGOLAND® Florida Explorer was created from more than 380,000 LEGOs and made its debut at Chicago Assembly Plant; the model took more than 2,500 hours to create. The bright red model was created by 22 designers, weighs 2,654 pounds and is supported by a 768-pound interior aluminum base.

After its debut at the historic Chicago plant, which produces the Explorer, the vehicle will be loaded onto a trailer with transparent sides so motorists can see the LEGO Explorer as it makes its way to the new 150-acre LEGOLAND Florida theme park just outside Orlando. There it will be featured in front of one of the park's attractions, the Ford Driving School for children.

"Ford is excited to support the alliance between LEGOLAND Florida and the Southeast Ford dealers. The LEGOLAND Florida Explorer and the Ford Driving School attraction are great opportunities to showcase our products and safety messages to families and visitors in a unique way," said Tracy Magee, Ford Experiential Marketing manager.

LEGOLAND Florida will cater to kids ages 2 to 12 with more than 50 family-focused rides, shows and attractions and a botanical garden. The park, which features exhibits using more than 50 million LEGO bricks, is divided into 10 themed entertainment zones for kids.

"We're less than a month from opening and the anticipation level is incredibly high," said LEGOLAND Florida General Manager Adrian Jones.

Driving through LEGOLAND Florida
The driving school is divided by age. There's a Ford Junior Driving School for children ages 3 to 5 years old and a Ford Driving School for those ages 6 to 12. The children watch a video with driving instructions and safety tips – starting with the basics like safety belts and the difference between the accelerator and the brake – and move on to stoplights and stop signs. Children then have the opportunity to drive in their own electric vehicles on curbed roads with maximum speed limits of 3 mph. The attraction is designed to give children the experience of driving in a real-world neighborhood.

While the children are behind the wheel, park employees known as "model citizens" are nearby to ensure the experience stays positive. After the drive is complete, the children are issued their own Ford Driving School license.

The school was the brainchild of Florida-area Ford dealers who worked with LEGOLAND Florida management, and is designed to introduce the fun and responsibility of driving skills to children.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. Visit

LEGOLAND® Florida opens October 15, 2011 and will be a 150-acre interactive theme park dedicated to families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. Located midway between Orlando and Tampa, just 45 minutes from either city center, the park features more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. There are currently four other LEGOLAND Parks in the world – LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark, LEGOLAND Deutschland near Gunzburg, Germany and LEGOLAND Windsor outside of London. The LEGOLAND theme parks are a part of Merlin Entertainments Group.

Six Flags Great Adventure kicks off 20th annual Fright Fest; cockroach eating included

SIX FLAGS GREAT ADVENTURE 20TH ANNIVERSARY Six Flags Great Adventure's 20th anniversary of Fright Fest boasts two dozen "Thrills by Day" and "Fright by Night" attractions, including four new features for the 2011 season and more flesh-hungry zombies stalking the midways. Daytime features include the new Haunted Wagon Tales ride, Trick-or-Treat Trail and Monster Mash Bash. Nighttime attractions include the new Project XI-Mortuary Manor terror trail, Freakshow and Ghoulmaster's Ghosts stage show (pictured). (PRNewsFoto/Six Flags Great Adventure, Ron Wyatt) JACKSON, NJ UNITED STATES
Combining a world-class lineup of monster thrill rides with elaborate decor and frighteningly fun Halloween attractions, Six Flags Great Adventure transforms into a 140-acre "scream park" and the ultimate place for thrills and chills. The month-long celebration takes place Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the month of October plus Columbus Day, October 10, 2011. 

"The Northeast's Largest Halloween Party"—Fright Fest presented by SNICKERS® offers two dozen "thrills by day" family-friendly activities and terrifying "fright by night" attractions, including four new features.

All-New Thrills by Day, Fright by Night
New shows and attractions include Doc Swan's Magical Comedy show and Haunted Wagon Tales ride for families, Demon Barber of Main Street show featuring haunting Broadway songs from Wicked, Sweeney Todd and Phantom of the Opera, and the bone-chilling Project XI—Mortuary Manor walk-through for only the bravest guests. In addition, after 6 pm there will be more zombies stalking the midways in Main Street, Fantasy Forest and Boardwalk to enhance the creepy vibe.

By day, families can enjoy the return of favorites such as Professor Slither's Creepy Critters animal show, Trick-or-Treat Trail featuring their favorite characters, Mr. Six Spooktacular Street Party, Monster Mash Bash musical featuring hit songs by Lady Gaga, Pink, Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green and Michael Buble, and Dolphin Discovery Summer Spook-tacular edu-tainment show. They can also catch a glimpse of the park's newest pair of adorable lion cubs five times per day in Safari Discoveries along with bear cub and sea lion presentations.

When the clock strikes 6 p.m., the park takes a ghastly turn and transforms from "thrills by day" to "fright by night" with The Awakening, a dramatic procession of the walking dead, a Thriller performance and the resurrection of Dr. Fright, the father of Fright Fest. Other popular shows set to return include Dead Man's Party dance show, Hypnosteria comic hypnotist show, The Ghoulmaster's Ghosts stage show, Zambora side show, Fright Fest Freakshow featuring Coney Island freaks, Lakefront Graveyard and Dead & Local music showcase. Haunted attractions will also include the return of Demented Forest and Escape from the Asylum terror trails, where guests must face their darkest fears as they walk through ghastly scenes and escape angry zombies.

Spooktacular Special Events
Six Flags hosts the ninth-annual American Red Cross Blood Drive October 8, 2011. Guests can donate a pint of blood to earn a free ticket to Fright Fest. Reservations required.

During the final weekend of Fright Fest, Six Flags brings back a popular, stomach-churning promotion featuring giant, Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Six Flags will invite 20 guests to eat a giant, live cockroach for the chance to experience the new Project XI-Mortuary Manor terror trail for free and with front-of-the-line access. Cockroach consumption will begin October 29 and 30 at 7 pm.

For more information, visit or call 732/928-1821.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with 2010 revenue of nearly $1.0 billion and 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Six Flags Over Texas, the company's flagship location, is celebrating its 50th anniversary season in 2011.

SIX FLAGS and all related indicia are trademarks of Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. ™ & © 2011®/™ SNICKERS is a registered trademark of Mars, Inc © Mars, Incorporated 2011

IAAPA hosting three events for Give Kids the World during 2011 IAAPA Attractions Expo

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA - Attractions industry professionals and their families will swing a golf club, ride a motorcycle, and lace up their shoes this November for three charity events hosted by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) to benefit Give Kids The World (GKTW). GKTW Village is a resort that creates magical moments for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The events will take place during IAAPA’s annual conference and trade show, IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011, Nov. 14-18, in Orlando.

“IAAPA is proud of our more than 15-year partnership with Give Kids The World,” said Chip Cleary, IAAPA President and CEO. “These unique and exciting events are ways for our members to get involved and give back. We look forward to being a part of the year-long celebration of Give Kids The World’s 25th anniversary.”

The IAAPA International Charity Golf Tournament, the IAAPA Motorcycle Run, and the IAAPA 5K Fun Run and 1K Walk each provide an opportunity for trade show attendees to gather with friends and colleagues and meet other attractions professionals in a fun, engaging way, while also giving back to the a worthwhile cause.

The Ninth Annual IAAPA International Charity Golf Tournament will take place at Hawk's Landing Golf Club, Orlando World Center Marriott Resort, Sunday, Nov. 13. The 18-hole scramble tournament will begin with an 8 a.m., shotgun start. Playing slots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. In addition to a round of golf, the US$200 registration fee includes practice facility time, bag service, and breakfast and lunch. The registration deadline is Oct. 31; however, members are encouraged to register early as past tournaments have sold out weeks in advance. Information about sponsorship opportunities is available at

After a successful first year, the Second Annual IAAPA Motorcycle Run will take place at 8 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 13. The event begins and ends at Orlando Harley Davidson and riders will enjoy lunch with those playing in the golf tournament at Hawk's Landing Golf Club. The registration fee is US$100 and does not include motorcycle rentals. (Rentals are available from Orlando Harley Davidson.) The deadline to register is Oct. 31.

GKTW Village will serve as the site for the IAAPA 5K Fun Run and 1K Walk Thursday, Nov. 17. Buses will ensure participants arrive for the 7:30 a.m. start. Since IAAPA Attractions Expo is a busy week, and some may prefer to sleep in, participants can also choose to make a donation to GKTW by becoming a silent runner. Advanced registration is encouraged, but members can sign up during IAAPA Attractions Expo at the GKTW booth, #3935.

The exhibitor donation program and the World Passport for Kids Program are two additional ways companies can give back to GKTW. Information about each program will be available at the GKTW booth.

Tivoli releases summer 2011 attendance report, readies for fall & winter events

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen has finished the summer season and is now getting ready for fall. Halloween in Tivoli runs from 14 – 23 October. 15,000 pumpkins and 2000 bales of hay are on their way to central Copenhagen. Shows are rehearsed and shops filled with Halloween paraphernalia. Photos: Tivoli
Tivoli CEO Lars Liebst explains:

“The summer season ended with 162,000 more visitors attending than in 2010, thus Tivoli had a total of 2,773,000 visitors during the Summer Season 2011. The season began well with nice weather for the Easter holidays as well as the early summer, and attendance was better than expected. Guests enjoyed the new picnic lawn areas and the many new restaurants. This confirms our view that Tivoli continues to appeal to a large segment of the population with its wide variety of offers.”

“However, the heavy rain on 2 July set us back. Not only was there massive water damage throughout Tivoli. It was also the beginning of the wettest summer ever in Copenhagen. The initial lead dwindled as the rain continued, so we can actually rejoice that we still end up with an attendance 6% higher than in 2010, which was also very wet.”

"The Summer Season makes up two thirds of Tivoli's opening days. Ahead lie both Halloween in Tivoli and especially Christmas in Tivoli with the Russian city as the big new attraction.
We choose to retain expectations for the full-year result, which is a year’s result of around 20 million DKK," says Liebst.

Christmas in Tivoli: Enter "Father Frost"
On 11 November, Christmas in Tivoli opens with a new Russian theme. Among the attractions of the Russian city is a Tivoli version of St. Basil's Cathedral known from the Red Square in the Kremlin, featuring a 21 m tower with onion domes and a carillon.

With an investment of almost DKK 10 million in the Russian city, Tivoli cements its vision of ongoing innovation. Inside St. Basil's Cathedral, visitors can board a miniature version of the Trans-Siberian railway which will take them through Russian landscapes featuring pixies, angelic choirs and extravagant Fabergé eggs.

The Russian city has been two years in the making with Tivoli’s architects, set designers and gardeners drawing, travelling, developing new ideas and thinking out of the box. This means that the traditional Christmas tree at the fountain in front of the Concert Hall will be moved to the Russian city where it will rise as an iconic tower enveloped in thousands of lights. New stalls with towers and onion domes decorated with an abundance of ice crystals and spruce branches will be erected, creating a very special atmosphere in the Gardens. As usual, the Gardens will also be decorated with lots of lights, thousands of Christmas baubles and spruce trees.

In 2011, the traditional Santa Claus will be replaced by his Russian counterpart, Father Frost, who will enter the sleigh on the Open Air Stage in bluish, frosty colours. Traditionally he handles the heavy job of distributing gifts with the help of his grandchild, the Snow Maiden and she will join him in Tivoli also.

Music & dance performances
Tivoli Festival has revealed four of next year’s headline concerts, all with young singers who have successfully sung at The Met in New York. Audiences can look forward to hear Maltese world tenor Joseph Calleja (26 May 2012) singing Italian arias and songs, American tenor Lawrence Brownlee singing his the part of Nadir for his very first time in a concert performance of Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles (1 July 2012), American tenor James Valenti singing French and Italian arias and, finally, an opera gala with tenor Charles Castronovo and soprano Ekaterina Siurina.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will present a total of 7 performances from 18 - 23 September 2012 and two different programmes.

Aquasplash Waterpark Expands in 2011

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Aqua Splash Waterpark, part of Marineland Espace, located on the French Riviera near Antibes, Juan Les Pins, France added a signature waterslide and a new kids water play ground. The expansion was completed in April 2011 and the park opened on June 11th.

Polin supplied a signature ride, Hybrid Dragero waterslide, and kids' water play area which is rich in kid-focused water play features.The new kids water play area hosts an Octopus Slide, Mini Pirate Slide, Cobra Slide, Penguin Shower, Giraffe Shower, Mini Octopus Slide and an Obstacle Track, which is a new game by Polin to increase activity in the pool area.

The new head-first mat racer ride with a dynamic multi-color combination, Hybrid Dragero is 150 meter long and is especially designed for Aquasplash. It is a sophisticated, thrilling, high-capacity waterslide starting with three high speed multiracer lanes that feature a big drop, an uphill ride route and transforming into enclosed aqua tube slides and ending in an aqua catch.

The park managers add that due to the new additions, the guest numbers increased 15-18% compared to the same period of time last year in spite of rainy weather conditions.

More on Aquasplash:
  • Park name: Aquasplash
  • Owners: Parques Reunidos
  • Admission prices: adult € 25 / children €20
  • Park Hours: 7 days a week/ 10:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m.
  • Dates open: Between 11 June-September 4 everyday 
  • Size/Acres: 42000 m2 
  • Capacity: 5000 people 
  • Clientele: 40% local 60% tourist

Dungeons in London, Edinburgh, York, Warwick and Blackpool present the King of Scare . . . Stingy Jack!

This October the Dungeons delve into the darkest of Halloween legends as the Homes of Halloween present the King of Scare: Stingy Jack.

Condemned by Old Nick himself for his nasty nature, Irish Halloween legend tells how Stingy Jack was doomed to wander the underworld in endless darkness with only a turnip lantern to light his way.

This Halloween, the Dungeons will bring Stingy Jack’s twisted tale to life with live actors and specially created shows designed for maximum Halloween hi-jinx, where guests will be led deep into the dark myth of Stingy Jack’s curse.

Visitors are warned: prepare for thrills, jumps and scares as this grisly turnip headed ghoul walks the Dungeons’ shadowy corridors ready to pop up and pounce on the unwary.

For those who survive the Dungeons’ Halloween happenings there’s centuries of horrible history to discover in a host of interactive actor-led live shows and hair-raising rides at some locations.

The Dungeons’ favourite holiday festival will be celebrated with extended opening hours. Please check for further details. 

Audubon Zoo Celebrates Halloween

Boo At The Zoo will be FOUR days!
October 21, 22, 28 and 29, 2011
5pm - 9pm

Bring your little ghosts and goblins to Boo at the Zoo October 21, 22, 28 and 29! This annual Audubon Zoo extravaganza is a safe, fun-filled Halloween event for children up to age 12, featuring trick-or-treat houses with candy, Ghost Train, a haunted house (scary and non-scary), games with prizes and entertainment. All games and treats, except concessions, are included with admission. Audubon Zoo is located at 6500 Magazine Street, New Orleans.

A limited number of tickets will be sold for each night, giving visitors the opportunity to
experience Boo at the Zoo in a more relaxed atmosphere

  • Now 3 trains for the Ghost Train Ride
  • Expanded areas for games and activities
  • New Star Wars Stage Show each night
  • New location for Toddlers Games and Trick or Treat house
  • A Haunted Maze
  • Animal Presentations on Friday nights
Ticket prices are $16 per person (adult or child). Handling fees apply. Adults must purchase tickets as well as all children over the age of 12 months. Children under 12 months of age are admitted free. Adult and children tickets are the same price. Each person entering the event needs a ticket. Event is held rain or shine.

Order tickets :
More info:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Charlotte Huggins, acclaimed producer joins Rhythm & Hues for renewed focus on special venue media

Photo: Attraction Media & Entertainment
Charlotte Huggins is back!
If you were part of or had your eye on the special venue/giant screen cinema world in the 1980s and 1990s, you know what this means...

Message from Rhythm & Hues:

Charlotte Huggins
"Rhythm & Hues is excited to announce that Charlotte Huggins has joined R&H as executive producer of its Special Projects division, which will encompass Theme Park and Special Venue attractions.

"With the addition of Huggins, Rhythm & Hues is poised to return to the attractions business in a big way. One of the leading attractions content producers during the '90's, R&H has been a leader in the production of CG animation and visual effects for entertainment and advertising for more than two decades. 

"How does one sum up a creative powerhouse like Charlotte Huggins in a single paragraph? Impossible, but here are some highlights:

"• President, head of production for nWave Studios, where she expanded operations from location-based motion simulation films into IMAX, IMAX 3D, attraction films and finally feature film production.

• A mainstay at IAAPA Expo 13 straight years.

• Producer of “Journey 3D: to the Center of the Earth,” with 2 sequels in the works!

• Arguably the most experienced 3D producer on the planet.

"Rhythm & Hues' recent work includes the "Alvin & The Chipmunks" and "Night at the Museum" franchises, along with 150+ additional film credits. R&H has won two Oscars® for Achievement in Visual Effects (“Babe” 1995 and “The Golden Compass", 2008), along with four Scientific and Technical Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)."

Video preview of Aquatica Texas opening in San Antonio May 2012

Click here to see the official press release.

Interactive technology conference "Interfaces for the New Decade" hosted by The Tech in San Jose Nov 15

Message from The Tech Test Zone 2011: Interfaces for the New Decade:

"Join us on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 for a gathering of the most innovative developers of new interactive technologies at The Tech Museum's Test Zone 2011. This event will bring together interactive technology researchers, developers, and users for a conference and opening of The Tech Museum's newest gallery.

"Connect with entrepreneurs, developers, and researchers working on cutting-edge interfaces such as: 

  • Augmented Reality
  • Context Aware
  • Deformable Surfaces
  • Eye Tracking
  • Feedback
  • Gestural Interfaces
  • Gigapixel Images
  • Motion Sensing
  • Multi-touch
  • Natural User Interfaces
  • RFID
  • Smart Museum Systems
  • Tablet Computers
  • Ubiquitous Media
"Find out how museums and other public-space designers can use these technologies to enhance visitor learning and experience. Experience the interactives firsthand at the opening of The Tech Test Zone Gallery, a new gallery dedicated to temporary exhibitions of prototypes from corporate, academic, and nonprofit partners.


(Subject to change. Additional details posted as available.)

  • 9:00 a.m. Registration opens
  • 10:00 a.m. Introduction to The Tech Test Zone / The Tech Virtual
  • 11:00 a.m. Press Conference
  • 12:00 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m. Lighting Talks by Interactive Developers
  • 4:00 p.m. Workshop: "Experiential Makeover"
  • 5:00 p.m. Conference ends
  • 6:00 p.m. Conference Attendee and Invite-only Opening
  • Christopher Stapleton, Creative Venture Catalyst, Simiosys
  • Ori Inbar, CEO, Ogmento 
  • Jim Spadaccini, Director, Ideum, and Principal Investigator, Open Exhibits
  • Ross Smith, PhD, Deputy Director, Wearable Computer Laboratory University of South Australia
  • Tamara Schwarz, Senior Manager of Experience Design, Chabot Space & Science Center
  • John MacDuffie Woodburn, Co-Developer, Pixel, and Graduate Student, University of the Arts, PA
  • Matt Miller, Co-Developer, Pixel
  • Bob Ketner, Curator, The Tech Test Zone
  • others to be announced soon
Bob Ketner, Curator, Tech Test Zone

"Call for Participation:
The Tech Test Zone is developed through The Tech Virtual, an online museum design community dedicated to advancing the art and science of exhibit design, and funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The Tech Virtual is an open platform where artists, companies, designers, experts, hobbyists, videographers, and other creative people from around the world can directly connect with museum projects."

Museum of the Moving Image reopens in NYC with extensive AV upgrades by Electrosonic

Photos: Electrosonic
“The Museum of the Moving Image is about enabling the public to experience films they haven’t seen in years and learn the history of filmmaking, as well as introducing them to the latest media,” says Electrosonic senior sales consultant Bryan Abelowitz. “We worked with Moving Image throughout the 1990s and did their original ‘Behind the Screen’ core exhibition. Now we’ve come together again for a state-of-the-art, 21st-century upgrade.”

Burbank, Calif. USA (September 26, 2011) – After a three year, $67 million remodel and expansion, the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York has reopened with extensive audio-visual upgrades by Electrosonic that offer visitors a renewed focus on the history of moving-image production and the more experimental reaches of film and video art.

The new building, designed by architect Thomas Leeser, is located on the site where Paramount’s East Coast production facility, the famed Astoria Studio, stood in the 1920s. Moving Image will now be able to present more screenings and a wider range of programming to the public, and serve twice as many students in its education center. Its popular “Behind the Screen” exhibition also has received a complete technological and artistic overhaul.

“Moving Image had high expectations from Electrosonic. We worked closely with the client to explore many cost-saving options, while maintaining the architect’s vision and the museum’s goal over a very compressed time schedule,” says Abelowitz.

Screening the Classics and New Video Art

Electrosonic’s contributions to the new museum begin in the entrance hallway where the company engineered and installed a 50x9-foot projected mural created by five ceiling-mounted Barco edge-blended projectors run from Dataton WATCHOUT. The mural currently features a seven-minute video art piece, “City Glow” (2005) by Chiho Aoshima in collaboration with animator Bruce Ferguson. Two additional wall-mounted 65-inch LCD displays in landscape mode provide scheduling information in the hallway.

Tucked into the first-floor landing is an informal video screening amphitheater where changing content is displayed via a Barco projector and viewed from bench seating. At opening time, the featured work was a museum commissioned piece by Martha Colburn, “Dolls vs Dictators.”

Electrosonic also played a key role in the museum’s theater and screening rooms. The dramatic, amphitheater-style 267-seat main theater is designed to provide unsurpassed visitor experiences with a screen of classic proportions and projection equipment for every format from 16mm to 70mm and HD stereoscopic 3D. The space, according to the museum, was conceived “as a capsule for the imaginary voyage of movie-going” with a wraparound ceiling and walls made of more than a thousand vibrant blue fabric panels that contribute to the sensation of being suspended in space. A stage accommodates live presentations and a mini orchestra pit is used to accompany silent films.

Electrosonic outfitted the theater with a digital cinema server as well as a scaling switcher to permit connection to a variety of sources. A Christie digital cinema projector displays content on a fixed, 34x18-foot projection screen. A complete cinema audio system, as well as assisted listening support, is included. A dedicated AMX control system provides on-demand functionality with a docking touch panel onstage, a touch panel in the racks and control buttons at the theater positions.

Digital Media Services provided the “Cinema” equipment for the theater, including the screen, digital cinema projector and Dolby® equipment, and undertook the refurbishing and re-installation of the 16/35/70mm film projectors. Electrosonic was responsible for the rack build, AMX control and AV elements.

The 68-seat Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room is used for professional motion picture screenings. Electrosonic equipped it with a scaling switcher, two Century JJ 35mm projectors and a Barco RLM-W8 video projector for the fixed 22x9.5-foot projection screen. A high-end audio system includes voice reinforcement as well as assisted listening support. A dedicated AMX control system includes AMX control panels built into the rack, a docking touch panel at the front of the theater and button control panels at the projection positions.

Educating Students and Entertaining the Public
The museum’s ground floor houses the Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Education Center, a series of flexible teaching spaces for which Electrosonic provided conventional AV equipment, such as projectors, roll-down screens and simple audio and control equipment. The center’s new capabilities are expected to double the number of individual students attending the museum’s education programs to 60,000 a year.

For the permanent “Behind the Screen” exhibition, which has been dramatically reconceived and upgraded, Electrosonic provided project management, engineering and installation support, and furnished most playback, displays and projection equipment. This core exhibition – a favorite among visitors – seamlessly integrates more than 1,400 artifacts from the museum’s collection of historical materials, nearly four hours of AV materials, and interactive experiences that allow visitors to try their hand at creative processes used in making films and TV programs. Among the new interactive displays is an Automatic Dialogue Replacement booth, which shows how existing dialog can be replaced. For instance, visitors are invited to “dub” their voices over the lines spoken by Tony Curtis or Marilyn Monroe in “Some like It Hot.” At another exhibit, multiple stations allow visitors to create their own stop-motion animations; here, all monitors, cameras, software, and furniture design were upgraded.

Electrosonic also supplied the museum’s Green Room with a wall-mounted 24-inch LCD TV with speakers; it receives the feed from the PTZ camera in the main theater as well as program audio. An intercom to the main projection booth is included.

The museum also houses a 4,000 square foot temporary exhibition space, intended largely for video art installations but built with the flexibility to be used for a wide range of exhibition materials, for which Electrosonic provided infrastructure components.

Electrosonic was faced with a special challenge to provide overall control and connectivity among different areas of the museum that would allow for multifunctional use. Unlike a traditional museum, the Museum of the Moving Image—which takes the whole spectrum of film, television, and digital media as its subject—requires the flexibility of being able to adapt nearly every wall as a potential canvas for digital artwork. The AV design implemented by Electrosonic achieves this by allowing for multiple, cross-functional connections to take place between almost every space in the museum.

The project was designed by Josh Weisberg of Scharff Weisberg, New York. At Electrosonic, Ellen Simich was the project manager, Randy Sherwood project engineer, Chris Cooper site supervisor. Bryan Abelowitz was the sales consultant.

About Museum of the Moving Image

Museum of the Moving Image explores the art, industry and innovation of screen culture in all its forms. Incorporating everything from 19th century optical toys to the latest Internet developments, the Museum provides insight into every phase of the production, promotion and exhibition of moving images.

About Electrosonic

Electrosonic is an international AV company with a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic can provide a wide range of services including technical design, maintenance and operational support.

Philadelphia's Terror Behind the Walls boasts 2 new haunted attractions; hosts haunted industry in November

Photo: Eastern State Penitentiary/Terror Behind the Walls
Terror Behind the Walls has grown from a single-night event in 1991 to a 29-night event with shows selling out far in advance. Nearly half of the visitors who attended the event in 2010 traveled to Philadelphia for the event, coming from as far as California, China and the United Kingdom, making this event a national and international destination for thrill-seekers and Halloween lovers. 

PHILADELPHIA, USA /PRNewswire/ -- Located inside the walls of Eastern State Penitentiary, a real massive abandoned prison at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue in Philadelphia, PA, Terror Behind the Walls attracts over 100,000 visitors from around the world and is consistently ranked among the top 10 haunted attractions in the country. In 2011, Terror Behind the Walls runs on select evenings from September 23 through November 12. 

Proclaiming to be "America's largest haunted house," the venue celebrates 20 years with two brand new, state-of-the-art attractions, a special Encore Night, and the return of the Eastern State After Dark VIP Tour.

Two New Attractions: The Gauntlet is a high energy opening attraction for the show, featuring overhead catwalks and custom props above an outdoor maze. The second new attraction, Break Out!, is a new finale consisting of an outdoor scare zone in the final courtyard before visitors leave the event.

20 Year Encore Night - hosting the haunted industry:
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Terror Behind the Walls, there will be a special encore performance on Saturday, November 12, 2011. On this night only, visitors will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with haunted house owners and operators from around the country who will be converging on Eastern State Penitentiary for a first ever postseason performance of Terror Behind the Walls. Also on hand will be paranormal celebrities talking about some of the firsthand experiences they've had with real ghosts inside the penitentiary complex. Admission to the event includes all six haunted attractions of Terror Behind the Walls. Tickets for Encore Night are limited and must be purchased in advance online.

Eastern State After Dark VIP Tour:
After an extremely popular first year, Eastern State Penitentiary's "After Dark VIP Tour" returns for 2011. This ultimate Halloween experience begins with an hour-long, guided flashlight walking tour of this National Historic Landmark. Highlights include the cellblocks, Death Row, Al Capone's cell, and the underground punishment cells below Cellblock 14. Following the tour, guests will be escorted to the front of the Terror Behind the Walls' lines. Visitors can remember their evening with a souvenir photo, taken inside the penitentiary, and a special Terror Behind the Walls LED flashlight (included in admission).

A Massive Haunted House in a Real Prison:
Set inside the massive castle-like walls of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, the setting for Terror Behind the Walls is creepy in itself. Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a lost world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. This gothic structure, with soaring 30-foot high fortress walls, is intimidating enough during the day. At night, the cellblocks fall into darkness, and the building becomes truly terrifying. 

Terror Behind the Walls is a theatrical production that features Hollywood-quality sets, custom-designed props, animatronics, and digital sound effects, all taking place within the walls of the prison. It takes an elite team of 14 makeup artists almost three hours to prepare the cast of more than 200 performers each evening.

Daytime Prison Tours:
In addition to the nighttime haunted attraction, Eastern State Penitentiary is a National Historic Landmark with a rich history that visitors can experience in the daylight. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, Eastern State Penitentiary opened in 1829 as the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone. Tours today include the cellblocks, solitary punishment cells, Al Capone's Cell, and Death Row. Admission includes "The Voices of Eastern State" Audio Tour narrated by actor Steve Buscemi. Visit