Red Friday: Union Station will become the canvas for thrilling digital display

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The face of Union Station will become the canvas for an amazing digital display that will stretch longer than a city block.

Union Station opened nearly 100 years ago on Oct. 30, 1914. On Friday, the city will kick off its centennial celebration KC Celebrates with a free outdoor party that will include a concert, Chiefs Red Friday pep rally, projection display and fireworks show.

Union Station representatives teamed up with Kansas City’s Quixotic and Bazillion Pictures to create the digital show that will bring Union Station to life through the use of 12 20,000-lumen digital projectors.

The projectors were brought from Colorado to Kansas City for Friday’s celebration.

“You’ll watch the building being built, you’ll relive World War I, and then we’ll go through the highs and lows of Union Station,” Union Station CEO George Guastello told 41 Action News. “You’ll relive the heyday of trains. Trains will be coming out of the building."

Projection mapping will allow historic photos, videos, record disks, a phonograph and trains to appear to float toward the audience in 3D, along with the Titanic. Quixotic released a preview video Thursday that provides a glimpse at what the audience can expect.      

The project was a months-long undertaking for Quixotic and Bazzilion. Quixotic composer Shane Borth even composed a musical score for the project. 

“We’re trying to cover 100 years within this 10 minute segment within this piece,” Quixotic associate artistic director Micah Thomas explained. “Trying to do it in interesting and creative ways has been quite a journey for sure.”

Thomas described projection mapping as a type of “edu-tainment,” meaning it will not only entertain viewers but also educate the audience on the history of Union Station.

“We take the architecture from the building and integrate it into the actual video file that we are projecting onto it, so this video we’re putting up onto the front of Union Station cannot go on any other building,” Thomas explained.

Anthony Magliano is the creative director at Quixotic and one of its founders.

“We really like the idea that we’re creating a moment,” Magliano said during an interview at Quixotic. “It's a 10 minute moment that has a lot of beautiful things packed into it and I think everyone will leave very visually stimulated.”

Guastello said they are expecting 15,000 people Friday. The celebration kicks off at 5 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., a free musical concert will begin, then the Chiefs Red Friday rally starts at 7:30 p.m.

At 8:45 p.m. the digital projection show will start, followed by a fireworks display from the roof of Union Station.    

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