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The Capitol Theatre is the latest addition to Fort Edmonton Park, Canada’s largest living history park.
The cinema was recreated from blue prints of the original 1920s Capitol Theatre on Jasper St, but reconfigured to a 250 seat auditorium with expanded stage facilities for modern use. The primary feature of the theatre is a an immersive show called Northern Light – the Edmonton Journey. Its secondary purpose is to provide a multi-use theatre to serve the community out of park hours and during the winter closure.
Northern Light starts as an authentic silent movie, but with the coming of winter, the theatre undergoes a dramatic change. Snow falls on the audience, the seats rumble and ice ‘cracks’ open over the frozen movie. The ice spreads off the screen, disguising side screens sliding out to create a wide panorama.
A pictorial chronology unfolds. With the arrival of the first hunters, bison take off in a continuing 3D effect achieved with front projection on scrim combined with a rear projection screen.
New arrivals to the district are heralded by large boat, train and other set pieces that glide on stage between the front and rear projection screens, expanding the 3D effect. These are integrated with the media, allowing projected ‘actors’, landscape, weather and effects to interact with them.
DJW designed, supplied, installed and programmed the AV and show control systems for the Theatre and show experience, and integrated all the elements of the show. Of vital importance was to integrate show technologies with the historic ‘theming.’