Sunday, September 19, 2021

Illuminarium Experiences reaches $100 million in initial financing

Illuminarium Experiences, a global experiential entertainment company created by worldwide leaders in cinematic and interactive content, architectural and theatrical design, and venue operations, has announced that it has received $100 million in initial funding, with its newest significant investment from Eldridge.

The commitment from Eldridge will support the launch of the first-ever Illuminarium in Atlanta, GA, opening July 1, 2021, as well as future global locations. Illuminarium’s immersive entertainment venues enable visitors to experience real world, filmed content and authentic, re-created worlds in an environment unlike any other. The Illuminarium brand complements many of the entertainment, real estate and sports businesses within the Eldridge network, offering the potential for content and partnership opportunities.

“In Illuminarium Experiences, we have created a global experiential brand that will produce unprecedented entertainment to transport consumers to many of the most coveted places and experiences on Earth, and beyond,” said Alan Greenberg, CEO, Illuminarium Experiences. “The support from Eldridge underscores the potential for this completely new entertainment concept, which is meant to proudly democratize the world’s most amazing places, people and experiences through highly engaging, socially conscious and educational immersive digital spectacles. We’re proud to welcome Eldridge to our team of best-in-class partners, including RadicalMedia, Rockwell Group and Legends.”

Illuminarium’s immersive venues will transport visitors to places “they only dream of experiencing” by placing them “inside” the narrative. Illuminarium combines techniques used in traditional motion picture production and virtual reality so visitors can experience real world, filmed content (like a safari) and authentic, re-created worlds (like the planet Mars) in an immersive environment, without wearable hardware.

“Illuminarium Experiences offers immersive entertainment unlike we’ve seen,” said Todd Boehly, Co-founder and CEO of Eldridge. “The brand complements many of our investments across the entertainment and consumer landscapes, and we look forward to partnering with Alan and his team to continue to grow Illuminarium.”

Located in megacities and mega-tourism destinations around the world, Illuminarium venues are super scaled, reprogrammable technological venues that bring the immersive experience to a unique level. The Illuminarium “cinematic immersion” will engage one’s entire visual and sensual framework: visitors are completely surrounded by a massive canvas, 350 feet in length over 20 feet in height, with state-of-the-art laser projection, rich spatial beamforming audio (where natural and musical scores change with the listener’s location), in-floor haptics, scent and lidar-based interactive technologies.

Opening in Atlanta, GA on July 1, WILD: Safari Experience will introduce the first-of-its-kind Illuminarium entertainment experience through the beauty and splendor of Africa’s most exotic animals in their natural habitats. The spectacle will transport visitors to Africa through cinematic content shot by RadicalMedia, using custom camera arrays that provide a 240-degree native field of view (versus the average 210-degree human field of view), on location to showcase majestic animals in their native habitats across South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania. Complementing the exotic sights of a safari, visitors will also be immersed in its authentic sounds and scents, all without leaving Atlanta’s BeltLine.

WILD will be followed by SPACEWALK, a journey through our solar system, where the Illuminarium audience will experience what it’s like to walk on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars. From the familiar rocky planets of the solar system’s inner regions and the gas giants dominating the outer regions, to the distant and remote ice worlds and comets of the Kuiper belt, and finally to the celestial beauty of the stellar nebula beyond — SPACEWALK is a visually rich, immersive spectacle that transports visitors across space and time. 

The Illuminarium Team

Illuminarium Experiences has been created by a team who bring leadership, content creation, architectural and theatrical design, and operational expertise to the enterprise. They include:

  • CEO: Alan Greenberg, a seasoned global entrepreneur and co-founder of Avenues: The World School, Greenberg News Networks, Travel Holdings and former Publisher of Esquire Magazine. 
  • Content Partner: RadicalMedia, an award-winning (Academy, Emmy, Grammy) communications company, led by Jon Kamen, that produces content for film, television, music, digital platforms, projections, and experiential / immersive installations.
  • Design Partner: Rockwell Group, one of the world’s most admired and awarded architecture and design firms, founded by David Rockwell, with a specialty in hospitality, cultural, theatrical, experiential and interactive project design and development. 
  • Operational Partner: Legends, a leading operator of more than 150 venues, attractions and experiences around the world, provides planning, sales, partnerships, hospitality, retail, technology and operational solutions to the entire Illuminarium enterprise.
Illuminarium After Dark

In the evenings, Illuminarium will transform into an immersive generative environment, allowing guests to have cocktails and curated eats surrounded by an ever-changing lush and stunning atmosphere. Through state-of-the-art projection and audio systems, guests will be invited to gather in a different far-flung and fantastic setting every night of the week.

Designed and developed by the LAB at Rockwell Group, each environment evolves throughout the night to deliver ever-changing visual destinations rendered in real-time. Guests may toast friends as they float on billowing clouds that overlook a glowing sunset; the following night they may encounter the fluorescent light animations and holograms decorating the surfaces of a futuristic street in Tokyo. One of the largest examples of real-time rendered content at this scale, Illuminarium After Dark’s constantly shifting canvas delivers moments of surprise and serendipity that may never appear in the same way twice.

Future Illuminarium Destinations

Following Atlanta, Illuminarium will open in Las Vegas at AREA 15 in January 2022 and in Miami, at Mana in the Wynwood Arts District, in spring 2022. Other North American locations under consideration are New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Los Angeles and Austin. 

Illuminarium plans to create a global footprint in the world’s leading international megacities and mega-tourism destinations. Leading Illuminarium’s international development is Ian Thomas, the former CEO of Boeing Europe, China, India and Australia. 

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