ADJ revives lighting at Pier 39 attraction
Monday, 17 February 2020
Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze is an immersive attraction featuring a labyrinth of small mirrored rooms
USA - Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze has been a staple of San Francisco’s Pier 39 tourist area for over a decade. When the original lighting fixtures installed for the attraction’s opening began to fail, the venue’s resident ‘light artist’ chose ADJ units to replace them. This not only completely rejuvenated the look of the attraction, but also provided a wealth of creative potential for generating new looks and effects through colour mixing and DMX control.
Pier 39 is a popular shopping and entertainment centre built on a pier close to the famous Fisherman’s Wharf district in San Francisco. Located on the second floor of the complex, Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze opened in 2009. It is an immersive attraction featuring a labyrinth of small mirrored rooms.
Despite its popularity, the owners of the maze are committed to investing in new technology and effects to ensure the facility never loses its appeal. For this reason they brought in Eric Ziemann, who is a freelance light artist, initially to update the lobby of the attraction. This started Eric’s journey with ADJ, which eventually led to the installation of 80 ADJ Dotz Par COB LED fixtures to replace all of the LED lighting units that had been originally installed when the maze first opened.
On a visit to Astro AVL on the San Fernando Road in Glendale, CA, Eric came across ADJ’s H20 IR. This dynamic effect uses a 12W LED light-source, projected through two textured glass wheels and an independent dichroic colour wheel, to create a multi-coloured simulated flowing water effect. For Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze, Eric installed one of the fixtures to project onto an awning in the lobby area that was created from texteline, a semi-opaque fabric.
“The H20 IR is a really cool light,” says Eric, “and as soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for the entrance of the mirror maze. Initially, I was planning to project its effect down onto the floor, but the carpet is black and textured, so it absorbed too much of the light. So then I had the idea of installing the awning and projecting onto that, which worked really well and creates the impression of a comet flying over the space.”
Pleased with the effect created by the H20 IR, the maze’s owner asked Eric to come up with another idea to further enhance the space. This lead him back to Astro AVL to research what other fixtures are available and to seek out inspiration.
“Next time I went in,” Eric explains, “I said, “what else have you got?” And they showed me the ADJ UV COB Cannon, which is a super powerful UV wash that also allows strobing. Which gave me the idea to create a ‘trap your shadow’ glow-in-the-dark wall. I’d seen that done with white strobes before, but that blinds people and also washes them away on photos. So we created a luminescent backdrop that is activated by the UV COB Cannon on its slowest strobe setting. That worked out really well and everyone loves playing with it.”
Eric determined that the best fit for the project was ADJ’s Dotz Par. The mirror maze is comprised of 80 individual triangular spaces, each with identical arches on all of their three sides, some of which are filled with mirrors. This creates the illusion of a continuous arched labyrinth in every direction a visitor looks. One Dotz Par fixture was installed in the center of the ceiling in each of these triangular spaces, allowing them to be independently illuminated in any colour.
“The Dotz Pars are extremely bright, have a good even coverage and a nice wide beam angle,” states Eric.
Both Eric and the owners of Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze are happy with the results of their lighting makeover, as it has revitalized the attraction preparing it for another decade of success.
(jim Evan)

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