Located on the shore of Lake Erie in Cleveland, OH., the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Rock Hall) museum was dedicated in 1995. The museum recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll. In addition to the Hall of Fame inductees, the museum documents the entire history of rock and roll.
Since the Rock Hall opened, its plaza has sat in stark contrast to the iconic I.M. Pei-designed building. When president and CEO Greg Harris began in 2013, he knew upgrades were needed to make the facility a better experience without trying to transform it into a brand-new museum. Moving forward with renovations were part of a major Rock Hall reboot, the most extensive since the landmark museum opened and stemmed from a desire to grow, elevate and be more impactful. The plaza improvements are intended to broadcast rock ‘n’ roll’s raucous side at the doorstep of the museum’s elegant modernist building.
Additionally, the organization wanted a premium experience for visitors, starting from the entry that includes a dynamic, bright LED display system that sets the tone for the extensive interior upgrades. The client’s requirements, tight timeline and budget drove this project. Finding a display company that had a turnkey design and installation, and a US-based maintenance and warranty program were necessary to move forward.
The Rock Hall engaged BRC Imagination Arts (BRC) of Burbank, California, and the Cleveland architecture firm Westlake Reed Leskosky to design the improvements.
Part of the Phase I renovation involved an entrance area on a suspended bridge outside the Hall’s Connor Theater. This section features a digital screen and speakers reading off an informal roll call of some of the world’s greatest performers during a 10-minute pre-show visitors watch before entering The Power of Rock Experience. The new Power of Rock Experience brings to life more than 30 years of legendary induction ceremonies through a three-act pre-show, multimedia concert-style experience and exhibition.
The Connor Theater is part of a $14 million renovation to create a transformative and multidimensional experience. In the theatre, moving screens, concert lighting, smoke and dynamic concert-style audio recreate the experience of attending a Hall of Fame induction.
BRC Imagination Arts partnered with CA-based Optec Displays, Inc., to provide the LED display used for the pre-show because of the superior display solution and support, and competitive pricing. BRC selected Optec’s Opt-Slim indoor LED display. Due to the installation’s complexity – it’s mounted over 13 feet from the ground and on an angle – BRC knew they needed a display manufacturer with experience in providing custom solutions.
“Optec’s LED display’s custom design capabilities were perfect for this unique installation that really needs to engage visitors,” commented Edward Hodge, creative technical director BRC. “The modular display is mounted on an angle directly on the wall, which comes with many engineering challenges, not many manufacturers are capable of this sophisticated of a project.”
BRC and Optec’s engineers worked to ensure the mounting configuration was optimized for the unique installation requirements, could be seen from many angles and would meet this environment’s unique demands.
BRC and Optec agreed that Opt-Slim’s 3.9 mm for easy, clear viewing close-up or from a distance – in a configuration 6.5’ tall x 24’ wide – would really showcase the continuous video loop visitors experience before they enter the new Connor Theater.
“The Opt-Slim enabled us to create the large video display that Rock Hall wanted, but in a configuration that precisely fit the height and width constraints of the mounting space. Also, the fine pixel pitch meant that Rock Hall’s content – which includes text and motion graphics – could be viewed easily whether a person is standing right in front of the LED display or at a distance,” Hodge added.
To ensure the content would run smoothly once installed, Optec and BRC worked closely together. In the early part of the project, Optec provided the display’s matrix, which allowed BRC to create content to match the display size. This content was then tested at Optec’s facility on a display similar to that proposed for Rock Hall.
Viewable in bright light, Opt-Slim is designed for year-round operation. Additionally, the high pixel density and definition, bezel-free SMD LED modules and quick-release tiles allow for fast, easy front or rear module maintenance, making this a perfect solution for Rock Hall and its visitors.