Merseyside visitor attraction, the Beatles Story is bucking the downturn by extending into a major second site within the new £10.5million Mersey Ferries terminal building on Liverpool’s globally renowned waterfront.
‘Beatles Story Pier Head’, which has just opened, features a second Fab4Store offering one of the largest collections of official Beatles merchandise in the world and a dedicated area showcasing world class exhibitions.
A highlight of the attraction’s second home will be ‘Fab4D’ – a state-of-the-art four dimensional 40-seat theatre which opens mid July 2009. Audiences will experience a stunning 3D computer generated animation combined with a dramatic 4th dimension which will take them on an exciting multi-sensory 4D journey through the music of the Beatles. It is the first 4D theatre in Liverpool.
Beatles Story Pier Head is also home to the world premiere of White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon, a personal new exhibition, presented by Julian and Cynthia Lennon, showcasing previously unseen Beatles heirlooms. The exhibition runs from 17 June – 31 December 2009.
Despite the tough economic climate, the world’s leading permanent Beatles-themed visitor attraction – which allows people to re-live the band’s meteoric rise to fame – is going from strength to strength with annual revenues up by 60% and an increase in staff in 2009 of 55%.
This major development in the Mersey Ferries Terminal building follows a significant expansion in 2008 when the Beatles Story Albert Dock tripled in size. An interactive children’s Discovery Zone, exhibition area celebrating the solo careers of the Fab Four and themed Starbucks Coffeehouse significantly increased the attraction’s visitor capacity.
The Beatles Story’s new animated Fab4D experience was created by Red Star 3D, a 3D film and CGI effects studio which has won numerous awards, most recently the Best Children’s Film Prize at the Stuttgart Animation Festival 2008 and the Animation for Young Audiences Award at the USA’s Red Stick International Animation Festival. The Fab4D film was created in stereoscopic 3D format, using the same techniques that have propelled hit movies like ‘Monsters Vs. Aliens’ to cinema screens.
Simulation specialists Simworx installed the Beatles Story’s ground breaking 4D effects theatre. Experts in 3D/4D effects theatres, motion theatres, simulation attractions and the provision of 2D/3D film content, Simworx were briefed to create a turn-key 4D effects theatre with a custom film that created a ‘wow’ factor for visitors of all ages.
Jerry Goldman, Managing Director of the Beatles Story said, “The Beatles Story’s expansion in 2008 was incredibly beneficial, both to the business and to Liverpool and we were determined to continue this growth with significant investment in our second site and in the 4D experience at Pier Head. We anticipate even stronger growth for 2010 because of the public’s increasing demand for ‘staycations’ – choosing the UK for family holidays”.
Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel, said: “We want to do justice, not only to the world famous story of the Beatles, but also to the development of tourism in Liverpool and Merseyside. All of our visitor attractions are in the business of creating first class experiences and collectively we are working to strengthen our position as a must see destination.
“I’ve no doubt that the Fab 4D theatre and extended Beatles Story in Pier Head Ferry Terminal will leave a lasting impression for thousands of people who visit Liverpool to soak up some of its musical history. Combine this with The Beatles Story at Albert Dock and we will remain the world’s number one Beatles experience forever.”
Ben Smith, Creative Director at Red Star 3D said: “Creating this film for the Beatles Story was an amazing opportunity for Red Star. We’re very proud to have used our fantastic 3D animation to take audiences on an incredible journey through the music of the world’s favourite band.”
Terry Monkton, Managing Director of Simworx said: “We were delighted to work with the Beatles Story on this unique 4D Effects Theatre project. The attraction’s MD, Jerry Goldman took an active role in the development of the creative concepts for the storyboarding of the film and the scope of supply for the hardware. Our brief was to create a ‘wow factor’ for visitors and as the first 4D cinema in Liverpool, we feel this has certainly been achieved.”
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