Illuminarium, in partnership with Toronto-based Secret Location, opens its first Canadian location in Toronto’s Distillery District on August 25, 2023. A breakthrough global experiential entertainment company created by worldwide leaders in cinematic and interactive content, architecture, and theatrical design, Illuminarium takes place in the former Fermenting Cellar, an expansive 13,500 square-foot complex at 28 Distillery Lane. It will initially open with two immersive spectacles, along with a 19+ After Dark experience on weekend evenings, and will be adding new shows to the programming schedule regularly.

Illuminarium Experiences are immersive entertainment spectacles presented in custom-designed venues called “Illuminariums.” What museums are to art, cinemas to movies and concert halls to music, Illuminariums are to experiential entertainment. Illuminariums are reprogrammable immersive theaters that surround visitors in a sensory space of sight, sound and scale unlike any other, providing access to the most amazing, but typically out-of-reach, places, people, and experiences to make our planet a more inspired, more empathetic, and more connected place. 

Toronto-based Secret Location is known for its Emmy award-winning interactive VR and AR experiences, that combines cutting-edge technology with immersive storytelling to create incredibly digital projection mapped experiences. Secret Location creates unforgettable experiences that take you to unexpected places.Their work allows people to cross the threshold from reality into fantasy to engage in an experience that feels otherworldly. 

State-of-the-art technology including the world’s most advanced RGB pure laser projection by Christie, LIDAR sensors that blanket the space with interactivity, scent machines, a unique digital sounds space, and programming using the latest video game engines allow guests to feel like they are inside a game or film. By enabling audiences to see, hear, feel, smell and even personally affect the space around them, Illuminarium places the guest “inside” the narrative.  In essence, the experience exemplifies a “Virtual Reality, without the glasses” experience.

The first shows are:

SPACE: A JOURNEY TO THE MOON & BEYOND is an out-of-this-world immersive experience, taking visitors on an extraordinary journey across the galaxy. The exhibition will include interactive and visually-stunning imagery from the James Webb Telescope through the lens of Illuminarium’s high-tech animation systems and 360-degree fully immersive screens. Fly through the latest stunning images of nebula, kick up dust on the moon, see Saturn’s rings up close, and weave through an asteroid belt. A giant leap into the unknown, SPACE will transport you to places you’ve only ever imagined.

WAKING WONDERLAND created by Secret Location, is an interactive adventure that invites you on a dreamlike journey, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Tumble down the rabbit hole and encounter surreal settings and colourful characters. Chase the Cheshire Cat through the magical forest, stir things up in the Mad Hatter’s tea factory, and tiptoe into the throne room to awaken the Queen of Hearts, as you brave our hero’s quest to breathe life back into a dormant Wonderland.

SPACE AFTER DARK allows guests 19+ to enjoy innovative cocktails served by futuristic robots, while surrounded by fantastical dreamscapes that are ever-changing. Through proprietary, state-of-the-art projection and audio systems, the experience offers cinematic, real-time audio and visuals alongside DJs, musicians, and other live performances to create a unique party atmosphere.

Future Illuminarium spectacles will include a WILD Safari Experience, Lite Brite Worlds of Wonder, The Greatest Moments in Rock & Roll, Virtual artist residencies featuring many of the top names from the global music industry, a Prehistoric World Dinosaur Experience, and many more.

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About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.