A partnership that has brought “immersive Van Gogh” and related digital shows to cities across the country has signed a long-term lease in a historic building across from Independence Square and is looking to mount similar productions in Philadelphia from next year. .
The ace Impact museums and based in Toronto Immersive Lighthouse have teamed up in cities coast to coast over the past year to showcase everything from Immersive Monet and the Impressionists (Boston) to Immersive Frida Kahlo (Los Angeles).
Now they’ve signed a long-term lease on the former Penn Mutual tower, a National Register certified property at 6th and Walnut streets, and plan to start offering shows there in 2023, though even an approximate date for the start of operations is not sure.
Leisha Bereson, vice president of marketing for Impact Museums, said Monday that Lighthouse Immersive has “this vision to bring projection-based experiences and immersive art” to the United States, and already operates in 15 cities. . The Impact, she said, has partnered with five venues.
“We’re basically bringing cutting-edge projection technology — we’re the largest purchaser of Panasonic projectors in North America — and projecting art onto the walls in a larger-than-life format,” Bereson said. “So floor to ceiling and content on the floors. You basically walk in and are enveloped in beautiful projections showcasing art and history, plus a wonderful soundtrack.
She said which shows will play in Philadelphia are still being discussed.
Lighthouse Immersive worked with Italian designers led by Massimiliano Siccardi, who created their Immersive Van Gogh which debuted in Chicago last year. (The Lighthouse Van Gogh is a different production than the one playing at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby until November.)
“We’re excited to continue to grow the portfolio in a conscious way to find the right cities and provide accessibility to the right audiences who would appreciate art in this format,” Bereson said.
Lighthouse did not respond to phone and email inquiries on Monday.
Greg Soffian, a real estate broker who arranged the transaction, noted that the building, known as Washington, is protected by historic certification. City approval is required for exterior modifications. There won’t be, he said. Inside the building, which last housed the Beneficial Bank a decade ago, a mezzanine will be removed, opening up vast 25- to 30-foot ceilings.
Bereson said the venue will serve snacks and drinks.