Museum of the Moving Image

Astoria, NY

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Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York reopened with extensive audio-visual upgrades by Electrosonic that offer visitors a renewed focus on the history of moving image production and the future of film and video art. Designed by Josh Weisberg of Scharff Weisberg in New York, the museum now provides even more insight into the production, promotion and exhibition of moving images through its unique collections, interactive exhibitions and versatile theater and screening rooms.

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“Electrosonic worked closely with the client to explore many cost-saving options, while maintaining the architect’s vision and the museum’s goal over a very compressed time schedule,” says Electrosonic senior sales consultant Bryan Abelowitz. “We worked with Moving Image throughout the 1990s and did their original ‘Behind the Screen’ core exhibition. Now we’ve come together again for a state-of-the-art, 21st-century upgrade.”

Electrosonic’s contributions to the new museum begin in the entrance hallway where the company engineered and installed a 50x9-foot projected mural created by five ceiling-mounted edge-blended projectors. Two additional wall-mounted 65-inch LCD displays in landscape mode provide scheduling information in the hallway. Additionally, tucked into the first-floor landing is an informal video screening amphitheater where changing content is displayed via a projector.

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Electrosonic also played a key role in the museum’s theater and screening rooms. The dramatic, amphitheater-style 267-seat main theater is designed with a screen of classic proportions and projection equipment for every format from 16mm to 70mm and HD stereoscopic 3D. Electrosonic outfitted the theater with a digital cinema server, as well as a scaling switcher to permit connection to a variety of sources. A digital cinema projector displays content on a fixed, 34x18-foot projection screen.

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The 68-seat Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room is used for professional motion picture screenings. Electrosonic equipped it with a scaling switcher, two Century JJ 35mm projectors and a DLP projector for the fixed 22x9.5-foot projection screen.

The theater and screening rooms include complete high-end cinema audio systems, as well as assisted listening support. Electrosonic also installed dedicated control systems with docking touch panels and control button panels throughout the rack, theater and projection positions.

The museum’s ground floor houses the Ann R. and Andrew H. Tisch Education Center, a series of flexible teaching spaces for which Electrosonic provided conventional AV equipment, such as projectors, roll-down screens and simple audio and control equipment.

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For the permanent “Behind the Screen” exhibition, which has been dramatically reconceived and upgraded, Electrosonic provided project management, engineering and installation support, and furnished most playback, displays and projection equipment. This core exhibition seamlessly integrates more than 1,400 artifacts from the Museum’s collection of historical materials, nearly four hours of AV materials, and interactive experiences that allow visitors to try their hand at creative processes used in making films and TV programs. In one new interactive, visitors are invited to “dub” their voices over the lines spoken by Tony Curtis or Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot.” At another exhibit, multiple stations allow visitors to create their own stop-motion animations.

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Electrosonic was faced with a special challenge to provide overall control and connectivity among different areas of the museum that would allow for multifunctional use. Unlike a traditional museum, Museum of the Moving Image requires the flexibility of being able to adapt nearly every wall as a potential canvas for digital artwork. The AV design implemented by Electrosonic achieves this by allowing for multiple, cross-functional connections to take place between almost every space in the museum.

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