Last night, a crowd of about 75 folks gathered with martinis and wine glasses in hand to watch, as advertised, a massive, high-tech advertisement for The Tourist, the new Jolie-and-Depp sexy suspense flick. A movie trailer and stills were projected in "4D" on the facade of the Praetorian Building at 1607 Main Street, within an eye-popping mish-mash of effects meant to make it look as though the building was coming apart stone by stone, covered with propellers or being shot up in a gun fight and then crumbling.
The projection was most effective when standing right in front of the building and when it utilized the building's existing checkerboard pyramid architecture. Scenes meant to look like a Venetian cityscape just looked lumpy and distorted, but shots of dancing revelers projected in the existing windows drew large cheers from the crowd -- most everyone I talked to standing around in the chilly air liked that part best. In fact, one woman actually walked by and said, in her finest twang, "I ain't never seen nothin' like it." Tarnation!
The joke of the evening seemed to be that it was a bit of an early hour to appreciate self-animating buildings. "It might be a little more fun at 2 a.m.," quipped a woman named Lindy, over her glass of white wine. "Not that I ever stay up that late!"
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If you missed it last night, you've got one more chance to catch the multi-dimensional diversion, at 8 p.m. on Friday. A couple of photos of the scene at ground level follow.