Electrosonic Systems Inc. (Electrosonic) recently engineered, fabricated, installed, and programmed the audio, video, and control systems for multiple installations at the home of the first US president, George Washington. Comprised of media including a pair of state-of-the-art big-screen theatres at the Ford Orientation Center and engineering, installation, and programming services at the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center. Both entities form a new complex that illuminates chapters of the inaugural President’s life via interactive displays, films, immersive experiences, and a collection of more than 700 objects.
The theatres in the Ford Orientation Center, one with 300 seats and the other with 150, play an action-adventure movie by Greystone Films (a division of Greystone Communications, Inc.) that highlights critical moments in Washington’s life. The video, which runs in rotation in the two theatres, is preceded by a three-minute orientation to Mount Vernon by hosted by Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak.
The theatres feature 40’ wide Stewart GrayHawk Cinema Perf. screens, Christie Digital CP2000X 2K projection systems, and QuVIS Ovation 2K video servers.
“Mount Vernon’s choice to invest in using these advanced technologies suggests that they are committed to providing their guests with experiences uncommonly found,” comments project manager, David Girgenti who is based out of Electrosonic’s New York office. Media is displayed at Digital Cinema resolution via dual HD-SDI links at 4:4:4 color sampling rates. Dolby CP650 decoders distribute 5.1 surround sound programming to their respective theatre through JBL Cinema sound systems. Medialon Manager show control software allows the system to be fully automated and provides remote monitoring capabilities. “With the use of Medialon, our project engineer Chris Keitel delivered a solid control system that was specifically tailored to meet Mount Vernon’s requirements,” continues Girgenti. Listen Tech IR emitters furnish assisted listening via IR headphones.
“We have timed the sequence of the doors opening, how long it takes to fill the theatres, close the doors, run the intro, then the movie, and open the doors,” explains Mount Vernon’s audio visual manager, Robert Pryor. “Electrosonic has programmed the system to take account of these timings and sequences so that the theatres can operate automatically.”
Pryor continues, “The technology set up by Electrosonic is performing as planned; everything plays well. It’s really state-of-the-art.” The big test will come in the months from April to June when Mount Vernon experiences large numbers of school groups whereby the theatres will be in continual operation.
In addition to the theatres, Electrosonic has provided extensive support to six exhibits at the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center. In six exhibition areas within the 23 galleries, Electrosonic has installed an array of Electech MP3 players, Museum Technology BB-100 motion sensors, Tannoy speakers, Magenta Research MultiView CAT5 transmitters/receivers, Calypso Control Systems’ power distributors, an Alcorn McBride 8-Traxx audio player, and an AmpTraxx multi-channel amplifier. Most of the exhibits used sound effects, either running continuously or triggered to start by motion sensors.