Immersive Harry Potter Exhibition in Atlanta
No, not alchemy. Whether you’re a fan of the books or movies, you can now get closer to the original accessories used by your favorite characters in the movie, and you don’t have to travel all the way to Hogwarts.
“We have a license from Warner Bros. and we worked very closely with the Warner Bros. team to develop the entire exhibit. We went through the archive and chose different pieces, so something from each house.”
It might look like a movie set or maybe a museum, and you can probably tell from the absence of VR headsets that it’s not a metaverse.
“And I think that’s what sets us apart from so many other experiences,” said Tom Zaller, CEO of Imagine Exhibitions, who brought “Harry Potter: The Exhibition” to Atlanta. “You see the original gear and then we have these cool environments and really cool places to take your selfies. But we also have these original gear and costumes, it’s like the Sword of Gryffindor.”
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Imagine Exhibitions took a ballroom in downtown Atlanta and turned it into a Wizarding World.
“My company creates experiences, and that’s kind of the Holy Grail,” Zaller said. “The brand is so powerful and loved by many people. It’s also something that I feel we can turn into an immersive experience.”
Zaller and his team have reached one of the largest fan bases in the world.
It was 25 years ago, readers would learn of an unruly-haired orphan boy who wore round-rimmed glasses and had a strange lightning-shaped scar on his forehead.
The Harry Potter novel series by British author JK Rowling has sold nearly 500 million copies to date.
Harry Potter went to the big screen and became Warner Bros.’ It is the most successful movie worldwide, grossing $1.3 billion.
“We’re faking the movie, aren’t we? because this [where] Where does our license come from,” said Zaller, “it’s kind of a visual world of Harry Potter, and I think the filmmakers have done an incredible job bringing that world to life.”
Strolling through the exhibition in Atlanta, soaking up your favorite scenes from movies and books, sipping a themed cocktail —
The real magic is in the immersive technology lurking in the exhibit, Zaller says.
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“So we know that people want more than just a passive experience – they want to interact, they want to be part of something,” he continued. “And so we know the technology is great, but we didn’t want it to be at the forefront. We want it to feel like magic.”
The intergenerational relevance of characters makes experiences like this one valuable to many fans. It’s a to-do list trip for Chris Cash, who is traveling from Tampa, Florida to bring his family.
“This is something we’ve never done together, you know? We’re all in this business. I’ve been in it for 20 years or more,” Cash said. “They finally got [to where] they can read the books and enjoy the movie.”
“It’s exciting because we can talk about something … it’s hard to find things that we all enjoy and know so much about. And that’s one of those things,” said exhibition visitor Zola Vanderels. “It just makes it fun.”
“My favorite part is the people who always walk by with a smile. And I love it when they like it,” Zaller said.
This exhibition has traveled from Vienna to Paris, Philadelphia and now Atlanta.
Where will the exhibition go next? This is still a mystery, Zaller tells Scripps News.