Tasked with planning and configuring this 2,000-seat, adaptive venue to provide “a multi-sensory experience unlike anything before” was the full-service McLaren Engineering Group, which has 11 offices worldwide.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature at the MGM Theater at COTAI is what is described as the world’s largest – and reconfigurable – indoor LED screen spanning 10,000 square feet. As the video wall design engineer, McLaren provided the conceptual sketches, technical specifications, LED layouts, and engineering design drawings.
Based on the design of Scéno Plus in Montreal, Quebec, the theater features a massive, multi-axis, 28 million-pixel Ultra-HD video wall that can transform the space in up to 10 configurations for dramas, musical theater, fashion shows, talk shows, and more. McLaren Engineering Group engineered the wall system using the team’s in-depth knowledge of theatrical stage machinery, infrastructure, and rigging systems.
At 9,700 square feet – the size of three tennis courts – the 4K LED screen contains 12 independent, major axes of large, moving components with on-board video screens. Outside of the video technology, the theater’s stage, forestage seating area, and lighting are also mobile — a feature that appeals to many theater productions and programs desiring a multi-sensory experience.
“The complex design includes seams between the moving and static LED screens that are just 2 mm (a penny is 1.52 mm thick), which allows for virtually seamless imagery,” Gorlin explains. “The scale of this design has yet to be rivaled. The entire video screen in its widest configuration produces immersive surround imagery, from which pieces and parts can be moved to alter the space.”
McLaren’s intricate engineering design also includes a “mid-air” engagement system that allows large pivoting wall sections to meet with a third flown section to create an entirely different video image surface, compared with the immersive video surround surface.
“The MGM Theater at COTAI brings the future of events to Macau, today,” says Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International and Chairperson and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited. “MGM is synonymous with entertainment and we have taken our deep knowledge and incorporated it with cutting-edge technology to create a setting that will redefine and elevate the way our guests experience entertainment.”
Other global firms involved include the Hong Kong-based Siu Yin Wai & Associates, Ltd. (building structural engineer), Durham, N.C.-based Simulation Technologies, Inc. (technical coordinator), Scéno Plus, of Montreal, Canada (theater consultant), Show Canada Industries, of Laval, Canada (specialty contractor), Gala Paco, of Montreal, Canada (stage lift vendor), Sandman Associates, of High Point, N.C. (lift installation consultant) and the Los Angeles firms Electrosonic (audio/visual engineering) and VER (LED vendor).