In 1862, scientists James Glaisher and Amelia Wren soared to new heights, and inspired worldwide wonder, with a balloon expedition that paved the way for modern meteorology. To celebrate the release of Amazon Prime Video’s The Aeronauts, we created a movie premiere that would itself involve dizzying heights and wonderful events. Welcome to the world’s first Fly-in Theatre—a cross-country screening experience placing visitors smack in the center of the Victorian Fair that launched the Aeronauts to fame in 1862.
The Aeronauts / Fly-in Theater            
Client: Amazon Prime Video

The Experience

Over a hundred staff in period costume kept the audience entertained before and after the screening. Guests had the opportunity to ride a replica of the “Mammoth” balloon from the film, while aerial acrobats dazzled waiting queues. A tightrope walker, juggler, newsies, town criers and bourgeoisie entertained the midway. A sketch artist captured the poses of daring aeronauts, as a fortune-teller divined their hopeful future. Female scientists taught hundreds of kids about meteorology. Visitors made their own coffee with a recreation of the world’s-first coffee roaster. An actual hypnotist helped hundreds conquer their fear of heights. All this on the notes of a Phonograph DJ spinning modern takes on Victorian classics.

The Screening
Every night, as dusk would fall, the event culminated with the nation’s premiere of The Aeronauts—on a screen swooping down from the ether. Eighteen months in the making, the flexible LED screen featrued over 76,000 pixels wrapped 360 degrees around the balloon, allowing us to screen the film to audiences from all directions. Every single pixel was hand-calibrated during cold inflation, and then the balloon was raised with conventional propane to remain rigid for the screenings to surrounding crowds, who recieved audio via loudspeaker and individual headsets.

Design & Art Direction

From set design, to period-accurate costumes, to menu and drink choices, to typography, to illustrations, to period party photography, to entertainment, to wildpostings, to handbills, to giveaways, to an entire newspaper from 1862... everything was meticulously designed to transport guests back to the wonderful atmosphere of the Victorian Era.

The Impact

Over 8,500 guests across seven cities generated 350+ millions of social impressions. Find out more about the initiative on Adweek.