CinéMagique redux: repainting begins

Thursday, 13th March 2008 at 20:38

ImageLike many a classic film, a project has just started at CinéMagique to inject a little more life back into the celebrated movie attraction. Not through Lucas-style CGI, but a simple coat of paint and new colours.,

Purists, fans… relax. Martin Short still bumbles his way through the delightful film, the rainy romance of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg still enchants and Julie Delpy still dashes out onto the Yellow Brick Road in the fantastical finale. But then, the film was never the problem.

The half-hearted “movie theater” entrance to Disney Studio 2 has just begin its first full refurbishment since opening in 2002, with green construction fences currently covering the pillars at the left side and back wall of the waiting area. This isn’t a simple retouching of the paintwork, however. They’re taking the rehab as a chance to refresh and renew the “magique” of this award-winning attraction.

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With the rumoured ‘Theater District’ expansion of the Hollywood Boulevard placemaking still some time from being green-lit, the operations teams at Walt Disney Studios Park need a quick way to entice some of those new guests passing by to visit the Tower of Terror, Toon Studio or Stitch Live!‘ into the 1,100-capacity theatre.

With their new and exciting exteriors, it might be easy for guests to try the new attractions and bypass a classic like CinéMagique. Which is, in fact, exactly what seems to be happening. And, with its rave reviews and countless fans, this is an attraction the people at Walt Disney Studios Park don’t want you to miss.

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The new tips and wait times board at the foot of Hollywood Boulevard introduced a novel extra way to use the unique LCD screens which display the latest showtimes — they now also play brief video clips from inside the Studios’ show-based attractions.

The old tips board, now positioned at the top of Hollywood Boulevard, features new advertisements for CinéMagique and ‘Moteurs… Action!’, another show needing an attendance boost in recent months.

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At Studio 2, the familiar purple and red exterior is now in the process of changing to a fresher — and, you could argue — more old-fashioned, “Hollywood” colour scheme. Whilst, inside the waiting area, the bare yellow wall has taken the purple instead, hiding the emptiness of the space and finally lending the area a slightly more atmospheric feel similar to real-life dark, plush cinema lobbies. Well, we can dream.

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With only some hanging movie stills and old posters to give this area some visual interest, how do you improve that on a tight budget? Well, how about some flashing “strobe” lights? They have begun to replace the static bulbs at intervals throughout the ceiling of the canopy, adding a little “sparkle”… on a shoestring.

The refurbishment also makes sure that the attraction is looking its best for the upcoming press events over the first week in April, a big deal for the park as it relaunches with the two new 2008 attractions and completed placemaking works. Here’s hoping the all-important ‘2’ atop the building will also be given a clean-up.The works are reportedly completely unrelated to the proposed placemaking project in this corner, which, rumours suggest, would include a completely new, completely “Hollywood” façade for the theatre.

[All photos by Photos Magiques (more here)]

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