CARMEL – Carmel’s Center for the Performing Arts is taking entertainment outside of its venues.
Thursday night, crowds got to experience what the city calls “architectural cinema.” Palladiscope, a $2 million light show, premiered on the Palladium building’s exterior.
“I think people are really going to be surprised by what they see,” Redevelopment Director Henry Mestetsky said. “There’s nothing like this anywhere.”
12 projectors placed on top of the Tarkington building, a 3D scan of the Palladium, and custom software designed at Blockhouse Studios in Bloomington made the 12-minute debut film possible.
“Eos: The New Dawn is the show that’s premiering. It’s about Greek gods – Eos, Selene and Helios,” Mestetsky said.
The plan is to rotate themed shows throughout the year and project them onto the Palladium’s limestone façade nightly.
“Mayor Jim Brainard has always believed in providing free, open to the public, inclusive amenities. And that’s really what this is,” Mestetsky said.
It’s also an opportunity to boost tourism.
“I’ve heard other people in other states that know about this,” Carmel resident Susan Ammons said.
“It’s one of those stumble-upon activities that we all enjoy when we travel,” Hamilton County Tourism Director Brenda Myers said. “You’ve had dinner, you’ve had a drink, and you’re walking around. It’s a beautiful location. You get to find this amazing experience.
Hamilton County Tourism pitched in $100,000, covering the cost of the film itself.
“I think the cost of future shows will depend,” Mestetsky said. “I know for this one we put in a lot of hard work, so it’s really going to be special.”
The rest of the funding came from the city’s redevelopment areas.
“Those are commercial investments that happen in our walkable cores,” Mestetsky said. “None of this money comes from individual homeowners or residential taxpayers.”
No detail was spared – even down to Sun King beer cans designed just for the premiere.
“It’s beautiful and I think we need more of this kind of thing to bring everybody together,” Carmel resident Ronise Abitante said.
Eos: The First Dawn will run through November 14. The city says showtimes will be adjusted as the season changes.
“Really, it’s a celebration of Blockhouse Studios, the company that put this together for us,” Mestetsky said. “They’re incredible artists and I’m really excited for people to see their work.”