Posts tagged mob museum

Inside the Mob Museum: Technology Helps Tell the Story

Las Vegas – The Mob Museum is dedicated to the history of organized crime and law enforcement.  This $42 million renovation of the former courthouse presents the real stories and events of Mob history through interactive and engaging exhibits that reveal all sides of the story about the role of organized crime in the U.S.

AVI-SPL was responsible for integrating 26 exhibits in the museum showcased from the moment you begin your tour.  While we won’t cover every exhibit of which AVI-SPL was a part, this will leave you with more to see on your visit! In the meantime, here is a brief teaser.

The museum chronologically starts on the third floor guiding patrons to work their way back down to the first. Once in the elevator, a cop on a mounted television reads you your rights. Welcome to the mob life.

The first set of exhibits takes you through the Mob’s history. They answer who was involved in the beginning and why. Inside a room designed to feel like the debriefing area at a police station is a Da-Lite 96”x54” manual drop down screen with a Digital Projections DVision 30 1080p XL projector presenting Mob101 — some basics of the Mob’s establishment.

Once you have the scoop on a few key mobsters that will pop up throughout your visit, the next room travels back to a saloon during Prohibition. In there is one of the most entertaining exhibits throughout the museum – the poker table. Guests gamble imaginary coins to test their knowledge on some of the time’s trivia. This interactive poker table has four of five touch screens allowing four visitors to play a trivia game about the mob.

Next, there is an interactive hallway to walk down. There, people can take a blood oath, see if the mob had ties in their hometown and learn about the early efforts of organized crime as it began branching out into areas such as gambling over what is called the “race wire,” sports fixing and drug smuggling.

On the second floor there is a waiting room with benches that are equipped with hidden Solid Drive SD-1 speakers, so visitors are surrounded by the experience of people talking and shuffling.  The year is 1950 and the Kefauver hearings are now in session. The doors automatically open every 12 minutes and funnel guests into the actual court room where the hearing was held over 60 years before. The AV work in this room is totally immersive, shedding light on the story that made Kefauver nationally famous and introduced many Americans to the concept of the Mafia for the first time ever.

This courtroom is also where the former Mayor of Las Vegas Oscar Goodman defended several clients in “Mafia” trials. During his term in office, it was Mayor Goodman who looked out of his office window which overlooked the soon to be condemned Federal Building and came up with the idea for a museum that would preserve organized crime and law enforcement history of Las Vegas.

In the courtroom there are four projectors — including two Digital Projections DVision 1080PXL, one Christie LW-650 illuminating the translucent plexiglass causing a holographic effect and one Panasonic PT-DX800 which adds the background behind the judge’s bench to complete the effect. During the presentation characters on any one screen interact with those on another as voices and sound effects are played on all sides from the 5.1-surround system consisting of K-Array products.

Once court is adjourned, the rest of the second floor leads you deeper into the mob’s illegal transactions that transformed Vegas into how we know it today.

Inside another room known as “Vegas Wide Open,” there are interactive lessons on card counting and loaded dice, and screens that ask visitor to spot the scam happening in the casino from real surveillance footage.

There is a multi-touch screen table which consists of two Multitouch MT460 touch surfaces, where guests can explore which mobsters had what ties to the Vegas hotels and to one another.

Also within this room is a widescreen — approx. 30:9 aspect ratio — showing images from two blended projectors, with three video windows processed via RGB Spectrum MediaWall 2900 and Edge Blend Units. Three synchronized videos are fed from the Alcorn McBride Binloop HD players in the AV rack on the first floor. The content shows a timeline montage set to music about how the city landscape has changed from its earliest history until today, including a couple of videos of famous hotels being imploded.

Next are the museum’s most gruesome exhibits including real photos of famous mobsters gunned down, video expose’s from real mob hit men in a small  theatre made to feel like a meat locker and even the actual barber chair in which Albert Anastasia was murdered. This exhibit, like most of the projected images throughout the museum, uses the same Digital Projections projector mentioned above.

The first floor is all about the take down of the mob and its everlasting impact on society and pop culture.  There are wire taps to listen in on, pieces of evidence to examine and plenty of video testimonials of mobsters, law enforcement officers and undercover agents

The tour finishes with a movie room that features clips from the most recognized mobster films. The custom curved lace and grommet screen by Da-Lite is filled with a projected image from a Christie DHD-800 projector. The video and audio in this theatre and throughout the museum originates and is synchronized from the Alcorn McBride system. They have memorabilia from some of the movie sets as well.

Did I mention that all of this can be controlled from one tablet computer? Lights, touchscreens and more can all function from one mobile hand held device. This is useful during tours, media events and at times when the entire museum is rented out for an event so the staff can start and stop exhibits as needed.