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Scenomedia selects AV Stumpfl core tech for underground cinema

The new Bronze Age Cinema, located 400m below ground at Austria’s Saltzwelten salt mine, has specified a variety of AV Stumpfl solutions as the core technology for the attraction by multimedia specialists Scenomedia.

The Bronze Age Cinema was created in a specially blasted 1,000-cubic-metre cavern in the Rose Chamber of the experience. The eight-minute cinematic experience ends to reveal Europe’s oldest wooden staircase, restored and documented over a ten-year period by Vienna’s Natural History Museum. The Bronze Age Cinema seats up to 70 visitors for each performance and at the end of the presentation they can view prehistoric artefacts in custom made cases using LED lighting.

Inside the cavern and in front of the ancient staircase, there is a 10m wide by 3m tall AV Stumpfl Magnum motorised projection screen, which is used to show a five-minute film documenting the staircase restoration process and latest 3D scanning results.

Tobias Stumpfl, CEO at AV Stumpfl stated: “During installation, these were flown in by helicopter to the tunnel entrance and through narrow passageways with considerable skill.”

AV Stumpfl FHD Players drive content to three Canon XEED WUX400ST short throw projectors that are edge blended. The projectors are installed at a distance of 2.5m in front of the Magnum motorised screen to eliminate projected light on to the visitors.

The motorised screen then reveals the staircase and a two-minute holographic projection show using a fourth projector onto the rock wall creating a 3D effect. This tells the story of Uldo and Erie, Bronze Age children, showing how salt was mined and transported using the stairs.

In creating the content, Andreas Scheucher, founder and MD at Scenomedia said: “Using RED EPIC Dragon cameras, we recorded footage in 6K resolution (6,144 x 3,072 pixels).”

Video content is managed using the AV Stumpfl Wings Vioso toolkit with its timeline-based workflow. Show control of DMX, Artnet, triggers and lighting and sound effects is achieved using the AV Stumpfl modular Avio show control system.

Scheucher added: “All show components are connected via a network and the installation is designed to operate during opening hours, seven days a week so operational staff don’t have to worry about a thing.

“The deployment of AV Stumpfl and their terrific support throughout the design and installation phases was invaluable. It allowed me to focus my time on the creative elements of the experience and together we have achieved truly unique result of technology interacting with ancient archaeology.”

Kurt Thomanek, general manager, Salinen Tourismus, explained: “The Bronze Age Cinema showcases over 7,000 years of the historical site and welcomes over 420,000 guests who visit the salt mines each year. For this project, we wanted to restore the 3,000 years-old Bronze Age stairs. We called upon Scenomedia to integrate them into a cinematic experience as part of the regular tour of the museum. Since opening in May 2015, it’s been a tremendous success and the cinema is enjoyed by audiences of all ages.”

AV Stumpfl projection screens and show control