Illuminarium Las Vegas Opens at AREA15

The new attraction brings immersive experiences and imaginative cuisine to Las Vegas.

The stunning immersive space transports guests to some of the dreamiest destinations. Imagine being fully immersed in a space that takes over all the senses without the need for a VR headset. That’s what Illuminarium aims to do. With the most advanced technology, the attraction is designed to allow guests to move freely in a multi-sensory journey. 

“This is a place that can take you anyplace. It’s a combination of technology, design, content and partners that all come together to do that,” Illuminarium CEO Alan Greenberg told select members of the press at a sneak peek of the attraction. “And it’s a combination of sight, sound and sense of scale. Those things come together with extraordinary content.” 

"WILD" at Illuminarium Las Vegas | WhereTraveler
"WILD" at Illuminarium Las Vegas (©Melanie Lee)

The first Illuminarium location opened in Atlanta only nine months ago before the team brought the stunning attraction to AREA15. Illuminarium has partnered with several high-profile teams to create the stunning space. “Radical Media just won a Grammy two days ago; they won an Academy Award a week ago,” Greenberg said. “David Rockwell designed the first Nobu in Vegas and 20 other places out here as well, and Elizabeth Blau is a true star in the world of food and beverage.” Blau + Associates created an exclusive dining experience for the onsite Lumin Café & Kitchen. 

Greenberg opened Illuminiarum in Atlanta as a sort of test run before prepping the Las Vegas space. “We’re building a global business. It actually started in Atlanta nine months ago; we decided open “off-Broadway” before we came to “Broadway,” which is Las Vegas, to really test things get everything right. So we prepared to come to the entertainment capital. And after Vegas, we’re going to Chicago; we’ve signed the lease on Navy Pier, which is the entertainment capital of the Midwestern United States. And then we go into Miami to the Wynwood Arts District from there.”

We sat down with Alan Greenberg at the media preview of Illuminarium to chat about the experience, the work behind it and the detail-oriented pieces that culminate Illuminarium. 

Preview of "O'KEEFFE: One Hundred Flowers" Las Vegas | WhereTraveler
Preview of "O'KEEFFE: One Hundred Flowers" (©Melanie Lee)

A Look at Illuminarium Las Vegas 

WT: What brought Illuminarium to Las Vegas? 

Greenberg: I think Vegas is sort of a perfect city, and I think Vegas is ideal for us. There’s so much to do in this city, and there’s so much quality, for sure. But I know I’ve talked to enough people that have walked into Illuminarium to know that there is not a room like that in Vegas that combines the best projection systems in the world, the best sound system in the world, a lidar system that creates interactivity, so you’re part of the experience. 

There’s a cause and effect there. I think that’s really unique when you combine that with really stunning content. “WILD” wasn’t shot on an iPhone; it was a $14 million production with four trips to Africa to capture the animals just the right way, using special camera rays. We put six cameras together in great arrays, so we could shoot the 230-degree field of view. You see it about a 200-degree field of view, so it creates kind of a panorama.

WT: How did the team decide on what content you wanted to include?
Greenberg: We began in terms of both “WILD” and “SPACE,” choosing universal things that people dream about doing but maybe haven’t been able to do. An African safari is a dream trip for many people. And sometimes it’s out of reach because it’s too far or too expensive. 

“SPACE” is another perfect example—there’s so much mystery to it. Think about all the stuff that’s happening relating to space today. There’s a huge amount of interest in the moon. And beyond. That’s natural to us. 

We’ve also noticed just how popular art-based spectacles are now. When we came across Nicholas Callaway at Callaway Arts, they presented Georgia O’Keeffe to us with “One Hundred Flowers.” This was the one to do. Why? She’s a trailblazer; she’s an iconic woman; she’s the most famous American female artist of all time. And what she’s most famous for is her flowers and the scale of them. It changed everything in terms of the modern art movement in America. 

Callaway Arts photographed each of these 100 paintings with such care and kind of gigapixel level quality—it was of a quality that we could blow up to 22 feet high, and you can see Georgia O’Keeffe’s brushstrokes. You lose no resolution, and that’s really rare. That’s why we went with O’Keeffe, and then we’ve married her with 12 great songs from great female artists to create this experience with interactivity and scent and so forth. 

Illuminarium is now open at AREA15

Immersive Spaces at Illuminarium Las Vegas | WhereTraveler
Preview of "O'KEEFFE: One Hundred Flowers" (©Melanie Lee)