Project team:


Project name: Escape Cinemas, Chennai/IND
Owner: Sathyam Cinemas
Interior design: Giovanni Castor and Vikram Phadke
Lighting design: Integrated Lighting Design
– Anusha Muthusubramanian

Products applied:


Fluorescent cove lighting and backlighting
for onyx panels, Philips
LED cove lighting, Osram
Ceiling-recessed fixtures, Reiz Lighting

05. May 2012

Beyond neon and marquee lighting
Iconic lighting identity for a multiplex in India

Text: Anusha Muthusubramanian
Photos: Sunder Ram

 Those were the days – when movie theatres were adorned with glittering lights running along the marquee, façade and interiors, creating dynamic patterns to attract clientele. Neon lights in flamboyant colours, brightly sparkling, heavily ornamented decorative pendants, wall panelling and finishes using jazzy materials – all adding to the romantic art deco ambience.

At that point in time, movies were all about the Hollywood bling, which was also ostentatiously reflected in the movie theatres’ ambience. It was all about the “Wow effect”. With the advent of multiplexes, it was all about packaging in the most economical way possible. Multiplexes became the notorious black boxes with template designs and simple typical finishes. Movie theatre spaces were designed uniformly with darker finishes and decorative wall sconces. One leading entrepreneur in India decided he wanted to revolutionize the design ambience in multiplexes and bring back the romantic era of movie theatres but with a contemporary flavour. The conventional “black box” approach was changed by thinking along the lines of applying a hospitality touch to the multiplex, while combining luxury with elegance and refinement. The idea was to offer the visitors a visual treatto enhance their cinema experience. This was achieved through the careful selection of special material finishes and spatial definition in meticulous detail. Lighting was an important tool for establishing the intended image and defining the corporate brand identity. The lighting was to accentuate, delineate and soften the spatial structure rather than just illuminate. It was to provide visual and emotional cues to attract viewers to features and guide them through the space. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 83.

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