Smack bang in the heart of Melbourne, a huge immersive digital art gallery, THE LUME, is being completed in a $15 million development set to jostle for top position among the best in the world.

Set to launch in Autumn 2020, THE LUME will be a permanent 2,000 square metre multi-sensory digital gallery immersing guests in the world’s greatest masterpieces. It weaves imagery from 150 state-of-the-art projectors on a curated tapestry of surfaces all harmoniously choreographed to a dramatic musical soundscape and layered with evocative aromas.

Melbourne-based Grande Exhibitions, with offices in the UK, Italy, Chile and USA, is behind the development along with a small group of private investors. The company’s founder, Bruce Peterson, reimagined touring exhibitions 15 years ago by pioneering advanced, multi-sensory technology to engage audiences more deeply with clever storytelling techniques in a fascinating exhibition experience.

Peterson said THE LUME is the answer to Australians’ growing appetite for meaningful and shared experiences and is proud to bring this permanent next generation immersive art gallery to Australia’s arts and culture capital.

“The cultural scene is vastly changing as visitors demand new experiences. We have been at the forefront of this movement globally as our popular exhibitions have quickly moved from artefact based, to multimedia, to multi-sensory and now to very experiential. Today, we engage many more new audiences through this style of exhibition and experience,” he said.

“I have been hunting for the ideal space for THE LUME for quite a few years,” Mr Peterson said. “We are opening the very first THE LUME in Melbourne as it’s our home city.  This development will be a jewel in the crown of Victoria’s tourism icons and we’re thrilled to be contributing to tourism growth, with great numbers of international and interstate visitors expected to flock to the newest gallery in Australia.

“A unique difference with us is we don’t display original works of art. Rather we tell emotive stories using the moving image and music. We are engaging new audiences to appreciate the arts in a different way and we know from our international experience that it will encourage more people to visit places like the NGV with renewed appreciation,” Mr Peterson said.

Victorians’ involvement in the arts is high, with 95 per cent aged 15 years and over attending cultural venues and events each year, and 6.5 per cent of the population attending cultural venues and events at least six times a year.[1]

They spend $421 million each month on cultural activities, totalling $5.1 billion per year. That breaks down to an average of $104.55 per person each month on cultural activities and is growing at a rate of 10.6 per cent per year.[ii]

Attracting art aficionados and newcomers to galleries alike, THE LUME forecasts annual sales of more than 400,000 tickets and earnings projections of over $15 million, with lower operating costs than others in the sector due to its high-tech efficiencies.

After dark, the space will be transformed into the most unique, high-tech event space in partnership with renowned catering company, Food & Desire, that’s already attracting strong interest from a range of leading ASX brands desperate for what will be one of the largest event spaces in Melbourne.

Grande Exhibitions’ experiences, which celebrate the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, French Impressionists: Monet to Cezanne and Planet Shark: Predator or Prey (currently showing at the Western Australian Maritime Museum), have been enjoyed by more than 15 million people at over 170 exhibitions in 130 cities and 32 languages worldwide.

The company owns and operates the permanent Museo Leonardo da Vinci in the centre of Rome, Italy with plans to open more permanent art and culture attractions globally in the coming years.

THE LUME will operate seven days a week, 365 days a year starting in autumn next year.

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