Mini FX Digi-Theater
a original concept  by:   Rick Newman /

    Because South Florida is the lightning capital of the United States, I have designed an indoor Special Effects Theater System that could be programmed with numerous self-running educational shows. It would be a fully immersive experience for the audience that would put them in the middle of the action. The system and shows could easily be incorporated into an existing theater or Planetarium. Depending on what equipment is already installed at the venue, the entire system should cost less than $50,000.

   The system would be entirely computer controlled. Show would run approx. 15 minutes and be hosted by a "Virtual Announcer". The house lights would automatically dim, the wind (from built in fans) would start and lightning (from high-powered strobes) would create the illusion of a real storm. Afterwards the lights would come back on, the audience clears out and 15 minutes later the next show would automatically begin. 

Here is a sample of possible shows:

"Earth, Wind & Fire"

The Science of


The Science of


   The shows would incorporate computer controllable fixtures such as simulated fire, lightning, wind, thunder, clouds, fog, etc. 
   The system would also allow the theater to provide high-tech children and adult parties, holiday and themed parties and have the capability to present professional presentations, science demonstrations, award ceremonies, etc. in a modern high-tech environment.

    All of the equipment uses very little electricity, generates little or no heat and is very easy to operate. Once installed, the theater could now be able to accommodate a wide variety of functions and events that may not be presently feasible.

   Several pre-programmed science themed shows that could give guests a great theater experience include: Stars/Astronomy, Hurricanes, Lightning, Oceans, Outer Space, Electricity, Volcano's, etc. It would provide a guest experience that would be compared to Disney and certain World's Fair pavilions with visitors wanting to come back again & again. Kids as well as adults would absolutely love it since there isn't anything like it around.

 In order to experiment and fine tune the production,
I have the following special effects units set up in my garage.

LED Lighting


Special FX (Moving Head) Lighting
Smoke Machine (for Cloud FX)

Low Lying Fog Machine (for Fog FX)


Directional Fans (for Wind FX)
Tactile Transducer (for Motion FX)

Simulated Fire Projector
Simulated Fire FX Unit

Laser System (for Night Sky FX)
Digital Hi-Def Video Projector

coming soon

High Powered Strobes (for Lightning FX)
Manual DMX Light & FX Controller

Special FX, Sound/Light Interface

   On the right is a type of "Tactile" chair that would let the guests feel as well as see and hear the show.

Immersive Tactile Chairs
adds feeling of movement

   An inexpensive way to improve the sound in almost any theater, would be the addition of acoustic panels. 

   They come in a variety of colors and are easily installed onto the existing walls.

   They would also give the room a very high-tech look.

In order to fine tune the production, I have built a miniature version of the Motorola Theater in my garage. Below are a few pictures of how the equipment is set up.

   Everything regarding the production will run on a single laptop computer. To start a show, a staff member would do one simple mouse click and the entire production including video, sound, lights and special effects will run automatically, in sequence via a computer interface/controller. The show could also be set to automatically run every half hour.


Original Design Concept by Rick Newman


Here are links to other original concepts.

Virtual Game Show Robot Exhibit
All-Digital Theater New Now Next  Exhibit
Robot Competitions for All Ages
Robotic Informational Consultant (R.I.C.)

* These are original concepts from Rick Newman / /
They may NOT be used for any reason without the express written consent of Rick Newman.

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