Open House throws open the doors to Melbourne’s most intriguing buildings, featuring almost a dozen Lightmoves projects.
This year’s theme, ‘Collective City’, provided a platform for a citywide discussion on the power of collective, adaptive and responsive design approaches.
Open House Melbourne 2023 featured several projects Lightmoves has been involved in, including Bunjil Place, Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne and Olympic Parks, City Link (Control Room), Collingwood Yards, Federation Square, ACMI, NGV, the Shrine of Remembrance and the Capitol Theatre.
We spoke to local Melbournian Ian Smith about his experience touring the Capitol Theatre and Melbourne Recital Centre at this year’s Open House Melbourne – Collective City weekend event.
“Both tours were great, the lighting in the Capitol is spectacular… It was good to see [the ceiling] go red, replicating when the Towering Inferno was shown there”, Ian said.
The Capitol has hosted some of Melbourne’s longest running and most popular seasons, including the disaster film Towering Inferno, which was exhibited with ceiling lights flashing red to emphasise key scenes. These immersive screenings are well remembered as unique cinematic and sensory experiences.
The Capitol ceiling was completed in 1924 and designed predominantly by Marion Mahony-Griffin as well as Walter Burley Griffin. The original ceiling incorporated hundreds of incandescent bulbs in order to invoke the image and feel of a crystalline cave.
“The [Capitol] leaves an indelible impression on visitors who recall not only the film they saw, but also what the experience was like – the architecture of the theatre in combination with features such as the sound and lighting, and films themselves all secure a ‘sensory experience’ for the body, the senses, and the imagination”, writes RMIT’s Lisa French in Senses of Cinema.
The Capitol Theatre was completely restored in 2020 after falling into disrepair. It was imperative that the new lighting provided the theatre with the capacity to create these one-of-kind immersive experiences again, using modern technologies.
From the restoration’s conception, Lightmoves worked closely with GHD Consulting to design a LED lighting concept that was as true to the original design as possible.
The build comprised of over 770 metres of Lightmoves custom-made RGBW LED bars, made up of 533 custom lengths mounted in custom extrusion. Utilising state of the art LED drivers, the system has over 700 discretely controllable segments.
Lightmoves provided a Pharos system which controls the ceiling, through which the lighting can be easily synchronised to the audio and digital projection systems.
“The tours were very informative and I’d love to see the Capitol used more, so the Melburnians can enjoy this amazing space more”, Ian told us. The Capitol is hosting screenings as part of the 2023 Melbourne International Film Festival until August 27th. Don’t miss this great opportunity to see one of Melbourne’s finest architectural and technological marvels doing what it does best!
See some of our other projects featured in Open House Melbourne below or check out our project portfolio for details.