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Alcorn McBride delivers video playback at prohibition museum

The newly opened American Prohibition Museum in Savannah, Georgia includes 13 immersive galleries over two floors with all video playback throughout the museum handled by Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop HD.

Located next to Ellis Square, the museum occupies a 5,500sqft space in the City Market. More than 20 exhibits and an authentic speakeasy trace the history of the Temperance Movement, the ratification of the 18th amendment to prohibit alcohol production and sale in the US in 1920, the rise of gangsters and gunrunners, moonshine making, the advent of flappers and the repeal of the notorious amendment in 1933.

Attraction designer Ryan McCurdy performed the full AV design and install for the museum for Historic Tours of America. “The museum is a linear, self-guided attraction with live actors and multimedia content,” he explained. “Visitors follow a chronological path through history although there are moments when their tour can be diverted by the actors!”

To pack a lot of history and the look and feel of the Roaring ‘20s into a relatively small space, the museum combines traditional reader rails and artefacts with experiential technology. “There are extensive soundscapes and music-scapes in street scenes, speakeasies, even NASCAR engines revving to give a full impression of lights, sound and music,” stated McCurdy. “Archival footage is also displayed throughout in the connecting hallways.”

McCurdy chose an Alcorn McBride A/V Binloop HD frame-accurate synchronised audio and video player for all the playback in the museum. “We wanted a system that didn’t have any moving parts,” he noted. “We can buy as many cards as we need and upscale at any time without wasting technology. Binloop is the king of the install.”

Among the content that the Binloop runs are five prestige effects including 4K life-size, talking portraits, which are designed to communicate with the live actors, other portraits and additional effects in a frame-accurate synchronisation.

McCurdy added: “It was important that the effects be 4K because of the size of the images and the fact that there’s not enough room to do a massive projection. Binloop allows for two channels of 4K. It was essential to making the portraits look good – visitors believe they’re looking at a live person.”