Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Alcorn McBride provides AV equipment to Portal 31 Mine Exhibition in Kentucky

Photo courtesy Alcorn McBride
Orlando, USA – Alcorn McBride’s Digital Binloop HD multi-track video player went deep underground to service AV needs at the Portal 31 Mine Exhibition Tour in Lynch, Kentucky.  The two-year old attraction shows visitors what it’s like to venture into an actual working coal mine, teaches them the history of mining in the community and outlines advances in the industry through the decades.
“It’s a remarkable site: The Mine set records for coal production in a 10-hour shift and was the industry leader in safety,” says Bob Ernspiker, managing partner of Louisville-based Communications Electronic Design, Inc., which designed the exhibition.  “The mine was big in the war effort because the type of coal extracted was critical to steel production in World War II.”
The Portal 31 Tour presents the history of the Kentucky Coal Museum as it shuttles visitors through the mine on a narrow-gauge track.  Eight stops take them from the opening of the mine in 1917 to its closure in 1960.
“Stop eight has a seamless three-screen projection on the mine walls,” Ernspiker explains.  “The space is a big cavern with surround sound played in sync off the Digital Binloop HD; one Binloop channel is dedicated to each screen.  With the lights off, it’s very dark and dramatic, and people get a really big kick out of it.  It’s very cool.”
He notes that equipment must be robust to keep running in the hostile environment of an underground coal mine.  “The Alcorn gear has performed flawlessly in a very abrasive environment with constant moisture and huge humidity shifts.  We have a lot of problems keeping everything working despite equipment being housed in environmental enclosures.  The mine is extremely hard on equipment, but the Binloops have never broken down.”
About Alcorn McBride: 
Founded in 1986, Alcorn McBride is a leading manufacturer of show control, audio and video equipment for the themed entertainment industry, and a rapidly growing provider of audio and video systems for retail environments and transportation applications. For more information, visit
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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