Envisioned as a lobby lounge for high-rollers at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Teatro opened in July 2004 with an eye-catching blend of lighting and projection to enhance fiery interiors, designed by Adam Tihany in a cool, silver dome. “It looks as if a spaceship has landed in the lobby of the hotel,” says Ron Morissette of Realisations.net in Montreal, creators of a wall of imagery featuring 120 glass bottles (with the back third sliced off) embedded into a red, laser-cut steel wall.

Behind each bottle is a ViewSonic video monitor, with computers running Dataton Watchout software to project images seen through the glass. “A series of images evoke the message-in-a-bottle mystery, and there are also dream-like images of what might go on in your mind when enjoying the temptations of fine wine and spirits, as well as memories and things far away in time and space, from your youth or your past. It's subliminal,” says Morissette. “The idea was not to create a drive-in movie with a big wall of projections, but rather a non-literal background to everything else going on in there. It's very sensual imagery.”

A second layer of images is projected on the front of the bottles via four Christie LX45 and four NEC T260K projectors that cover the top of the wall and the lower section with columns. “These images link together the visual dialogue on the wall,” says Morissette. “It also allows the MGM to project corporate images for special events.”

The idea of visual messages is carried through into the lighting with kinetic words moving around the perimeter of the room, behind red leather banquettes, via an LED signage unit. “It's like flickering candlelight behind you but with messages,” says Paul Gregory, of Focus Lighting in New York, whose firm designed the lighting, with Dave Billings as project manager and Mike Cummings as LD. Realisations.net created the LED messages whose content is about desire and intriguing meetings.

Additional LEDs, from Lamina, add an amber glow to the tables. To avoid having the tables attached to the floor or long cords, the LEDs run on battery packs that charge during the day when the space is not in use. Recessed MR16 floor lights by Exterieur Vert add glow to a rail between the bar and seating area. The bar itself also glows, thanks to Belfer linear ALR strip lights in the fascia. The ceiling is lit with recessed MR16 Kurt Versen downlights. “The look is very sexy and sleek,” says Billings. “It's a dark space with lots of points of interest in the lighting and images.”