US$18m National Comedy Center plans use hologram technology to resurrect standups

by Tom Anstey | 11 May 2015

The standup routines of legendary comedians could soon be brought back to life after the US’s National Comedy Center (NCC) announced plans for a new US$18m (€16.1m, £11.6m) campus in Jamestown, New York State, which will include the world’s first and only hologram comedy club.

Masterplanned and designed by Jack Rouse Associates (JRA) and interactive specialists Local Projects, the NCC will look at comedians and contributors from across history, offering personally customised experiences featuring top names across the comedy industry. Offering 35,000sq ft (3,251sq m) of attraction space, the centre will include a number of interactive experiences unique to the NCC.

Developed by Hologram USA, the virtual comedic performances will use the same technology which famously brought back Tupac at Coachella in 2012. Classic on-stage routines from some of the most legendary comedians in history will be presented, with holograms taking to the stage in the comedy club environment, offering audiences a lifelike experience unlike that of any other.

“Of all the amazing things we’ve done with hologram technology, this is one of the most exciting ones,” said Alki David, CEO of Hologram USA. “As a permanent home for this advanced form of entertainment, the NCC couldn’t be better. I can’t think of a better way to experience America’s comedy greats than in the live setting they thrived in at their peaks.”

In addition to the holographic performances, the NCC will offer the stage to new and emerging comedians, with additional professional development and educational opportunities on offer. The development has been backed and part-funded by a public-private partnership including the New York State Empire Development.

AECOM acted as financial feasibility consultant on the project, estimating a US$26m (€23.3m, £16.7m) annual economic impact on the region resulting from a projected 122,000 visitors. The centre is set to open in 2016, with a groundbreaking planned for 1 August this year.

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The standup routines of legendary comedians could soon be brought back to life after the US’s National Comedy Center (NCC) announced plans for a new US$18m (€16.1m, £11.6m) campus in Jamestown, New York State, which will include the world’s first and only hologram comedy club. Masterplanned and designed by Jack Rouse Associates (JRA) and interactive specialists Local Projects, the NCC will look at comedians and contributors from across history, offering
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The club will use the same technology that famously resurrected Tupac return at Coachella in 2012  / National Comedy Center
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