All Ears

Taking in the sound at Vue.
With a capacity of just 95 people, Vue’s smaller space called for a near-field sound solution that could be strong yet sensitive. “We wanted to be conscious of the boy-meets-girl conversations,” Chesal says, “but we also wanted a sound pressure level that would get everybody rockin’ on the weekends.” Powersoft digital amplifiers power a set of Mach speakers, including eight cabinets and six subs. Each sub contains a single 15” speaker with a band-pass design for smoother, more pleasant bass. “It’s a very even-keeled sound,” says Liakos. “We can make it loud, and people can still talk over it.”
Vue’s Visuals

- NEC PlasmaSync HD plasma televisions
8 - RCA satellite receivers
6 - Sharp LCD monitors
5 - Martin Architectural
Alien 02architectural lights
4 - Martin Professional MiniMAC profile spotlights
1 - Knox Video Technologies MediaFlex 16 video switcher
1 - Martin Professional LightJockey PC

Jump to: Teatro | Vue



Teatro, Las Vegas
Bottling up the moving image.

By Ceci Valdes-Shaw
Photos by Ruel

120 bottles of screen on
the wall… 120 bottles of screen…

The idea of bottles on a wall is usually associated with grating childhood chants, but in Las Vegas’ posh Teatro Bar, the newest nighttime property inside the MGM Grand Hotel, it’s positively sensual.

The concept of watching evocative video images encased in individual glass bottles sprung from the artistic collaboration of world-renowned interior designer Adam Tihany of Tihany Design, and the team of video specialists at Montreal’s Realisations. With help from custom lighting fixture builders Lumid, they conceived and installed a 15’ x 40’ “bottled” video wall inside Teatro.

Tihany’s past projects include hotels, exhibits, and restaurants all over the world, most notably Vegas’ Aureole, where his four-story wine cellar centerpiece, composed of glass and steel, pays post-modern homage to the New York skyscraper. The Realisations team is best known for its work on the Club World Award-winning video system at Tabu Ultra-Lounge, also inside the MGM Grand. They created the moving “fashion imagery” famously projected onto the tables and bar tops, which helped land Tabu on the cover of Time in July.

Tihany’s creativity and Realisations’ past success with projectors set the six-month bottle project in motion. Inserting a video image inside a bottle would not be easy, but they were determined. “We wanted to create an atmosphere of the memories and sophistication associated with a drink,” explained Realisations VP Ron Morisette.

But the team’s first and most desirable screen-and-bottle prototype, using LCD screens, was unsuccessful. “For many reasons, we would have preferred to use flexible LCD screens,” Morisette said. “They’re lighter in weight and therefore would have been easier to work with.” But similar to what happens with a laptop computer, the images weren’t clear when viewed from an angle. A few pounds later, they decided to use CRT screens instead, which displayed a unified image from any viewing angle.

Controlled by WATCHOUT video software, a multi-display production and presentation system for moving image files, the CRT screens were placed on shelves behind a metal sheet wall, painted red to compliment Teatro’s décor. The clear one liter bottles were literally sliced vertically, just behind the neck to preserve the curve, and inserted into bottle-shaped openings, precut into the trusty metal sheet. The sheet ultimately serves as a wall to hide the CRT border, and as a window between the screens and the front of the bottle, through which the six different video tracks are viewed.

But 120 bottles weren’t enough. Realisations decided to throw in a little extra visual effect and installed three Christie LX45 and four NEC LT260K video projectors, supplied by Solotech, in front of the bottled wall, projecting more images onto the already visual-soaked slab.

Teatro at The MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada;

Jump to: Teatro | Vue

Vue, Dayton, Ohio
A laidback lounge gets industrial lighting.

By Seth Ashley
Photos by James Crotty

What could an Air Force base in Utah, a Las Vegas recreation park, and the new Vue Ultra Lounge in Dayton, Ohio possibly have in common? All three feature the same futuristic tool as the heart of their lighting designs.

Commonly used as an industrial architectural fixture, 3M’s Light Pipe employs the company’s prismatic Optical Lighting Film, which reflects light from a single source down the length of a long (up to 64 feet) polycarbonate pipe without losing intensity. Light Pipes work well in architectural applications because they create a soft, even wash of light with no dark spots: This is particularly important to, say, a mechanic working on an F-16 fighter jet in a cavernous airplane hangar. But how does it translate in a nightclub setting?

“It looks absolutely awesome,” says Luke Liakos, owner of Vue and several other Dayton-area clubs, including Diamonds Cabaret and Total Xposure. “No one else in the country has used it in this type of application.” Vue features five pieces of Light Pipe that illuminate a ceiling cutaway; a 10-foot-wide asymmetrical swath of white that splits the orange ceiling in two. Martin Architectural’s Alien 02 fixtures provide the light source for each section of pipe, and bathe the white ceiling in a near-infinite array of colors thanks to their CMY color mixing capability.

But the Light Pipe isn’t the only thing that makes Vue unique. An interactive video installation and Liakos’ custom-designed décor add to the one-of-a-kind vibe that blends the brazen glamour of Las Vegas with the laidback atmosphere of a hip East Village lounge.


More Stuff, Less Space
When Liakos first decided to open a new club, he set his sights on an 8,000-square-foot venue that suffered from a parking space shortage. When neighborhood residents blocked his request to create more parking, Liakos opted for a smaller 2,300-square-foot location in a residential shopping center near one of his adult clubs. Dave Chesal, entertainment and leisure segment manager of Martin Professional, worked with Liakos to make sure that, in this case, size didn’t matter.

“Because there’s not a lot of square footage, we had to pack a little of everything into a small space,” Chesal says. They agreed not to skimp on the details and to treat the club as if it was situated in a major market. Liakos had an initial budget of $200,000, but didn’t stop spending until he had invested more than $400,000 in his new venture. “We wanted to spend the money to do it right,” Liakos says. “When I do stuff, I like to do it right. I don’t like to half-ass anything, which gives me trouble sometimes.”

The first ingredient was the Light Pipe, a choice that Chesal calls “an innovation in club lighting.” Liakos first learned about the product from Chesal at Martin’s booth at the 2003 Lighting Dimensions International convention in Las Vegas.

“Luke is a pioneer in the sense that he thought outside the box and was willing to accept architectural fixtures as the thrust for the entire lighting design,” Chesal says. The six-inch pipe segments range from six to 15 feet in length, and with their continuous 360-degree spread, they light up the ceiling as well as the crowd below. The Martin Alien 02’s fill the tubes with light from their 6,000-hour lamps, and are operated from a LightJockey DMX controller.

Extra illumination is provided by the bar’s recessed and track lighting, with MR-16 lamps and colored glass lenses. Chauvet’s LED-filled Color Tubes line the bar’s liquor tier and make the bottles appear to change color. And a set of five Martin MiniMAC Profile moving heads broadcast the Vue logo around the space.

She Sees You, Baby
If the lights don’t stimulate the senses of Vue’s patrons, add to the mix 13 NEC 42” plasma screen televisions and a video jukebox. According to Chesal, club video is more than a craze. “Everyday, from the small lounge in Dayton, Ohio, to the huge dance club in Houston, Texas, video is a vital part of the entertainment package,” Chesal says. “There has to be a cohesive bond between sound, lighting and video.”

Camera’s are part of the package too, but at Vue, it’s not Big Brother who’s watching, it’s Big Sister. Images from strategically placed lenses in the bar appear on closed-circuit plasma screen televisions in the women’s restroom, so the ladies can keep an eye on their guy or scout for Mr. Right. There’s even a special bar just for the gals.

Custom-designed carpet from Milliken Carpet and furniture by Grafton Furniture Company unify Vue’s décor in a complementary blue and orange motif. Granite bathrooms, marble bar tops, and two fireplaces are some of Liakos’ finishing touches.
“It’s a lounge suited for New York or London,” says Paul Noah, promotions and marketing director for In Your Face Agency, which handles Vue’s publicity. “Luke doesn’t screw around. When he does something, he does it in a big way.”

Despite Vue’s upscale, tech-savvy appearance, there’s no dress code and everyone is welcome. “We’re not interested in excluding anyone,” Noah says. “You might get away with that in New York, but here we want to include everyone.”

Vue even goes out of its way to include the staffs of other local bars and restaurants with its Wednesday Service Industry Night (SIN) featuring a prize for the biggest bar tab. And for those all-night partiers, Vue reopens at 5 a.m. every Saturday for their Pajama Party, where even the bar staff wears their bedroom attire.

It might not be Vegas or New York, but at Vue, sometimes it might feel like it.

1004 Miamisburg Centerville Road
Dayton, Ohio, 45459


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Copyright 2004 Club Systems International Magazine
Copyright 2004 TESTA Communications