Germany (October 4, 2005)–Minimundus am Bodensee, Germany’s newest miniature-world theme park, offers visitors a variety of themed areas to visit and models to see, but it also features a 96-seat movie theatre that shows a 12-minute film that deconstructs the work of groundbreaking Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher. Three times an hour, Escher’s most renowned mind-bending optical illusions are rendered by computer graphics technology from their original two dimensions into three, letting viewers see ‘inside’ his buildings.
The soundtrack plays through a self-powered Meyer Sound system that is part of the AV system designed and installed into the theatre by Kraftwerk Living Technologies of Wels, Austria. Kraftwerk’s Markus Beyr and Christian Hofer managed the AV installation project and designed the 7.1 surround sound system, most of which is wall-mounted.
Three UPJ-1P compact VariO loudspeakers reproduce the front LCR channels. The left and right enclosures are mounted to the walls on either side of the auditorium’s curved screen, while the center channel cabinet is hung from one of several trusses Kraftwerk installed to house the theatre’s show lighting system.
The left and right side surround channels play through two more UPJ-1P units, while a pair of UPM-1P ultra-compact wide coverage loudspeakers handle left and right rear surrounds. A 700-HP ultrahigh-power subwoofer is concealed behind the projection screen.
The auditorium’s unconventional oval shape–the walls and screen are curved–helps minimize internal reflections, and the system reportedly required only fine tuning once it had been installed by Kraftwerk’s team. “We are very happy with the sound quality, and so is the client,” said Beyr. “We get good sound pressure levels from speakers that are very compact and don’t take attention away from the screen.”
The movie makes use of virtual reality techniques. Viewers get an immersive experience in which they get the startling sensation of being flown through and around Escher’s buildings as a series of wind and water effects are blown into the audience’s faces and the seats themselves–also designed and supplied by Kraftwerk–rock from side to side.
The theatre’s AV system is networked and can be monitored remotely by Kraftwerk engineers in Wels, though so far there have been no maintenance issues of note. “You always get teething problems with a major construction project like this, but Kraftwerk has been the least troublesome of all our suppliers,” said the park’s technical director, Martin Gengenbacher. “The remote monitoring is very reassuring for us, and it makes our lives here at the park easier because it gives us one less thing to worry about!”