Ohio Venue Installs USA’s First Permanent GLP Impression X5 System

MGM Northfield Park, found in north-east Ohio is one of the region’s best-attended venues for dining, gaming and entertainment, and is now the first location in the United States to make a GLP Impression X5 a permanent lighting installation.

The 1,820 seater theatre in the complex, known as Center Stage, features all 30 of the fixtures: 12 in the upstage area, 10 midstage and eight downstage. These were supplied by national retailer GC Pro.

Center Stage has attracted artists such as Dolly Parton, Steven Tyler, Tom Segura, Diana Ross, Morgan Wallen, BB King, Ringo Starr, Tom Jones and many more. 

According to MGM Northfield Park’s director of entertainment and venue operations, Alex Trusnik, the latest spend has been dedicated entirely to the lighting upgrade, which replaces a rig that has been operating since the property opened, back in 2013.

“The investment is clear evidence of MGM Resorts International’s commitment to entertainment in Northfield and the growth of Center Stage,” Trusnik said.

He added that the installation took a period of months – from initial design to complete installation – as they considered the best solution: “During the process, I met with our production manager, Austin Brown, and lighting designer, John Middleton weekly to discuss what options would take Center Stage to the next level.

“John brought a dream to the table and through collaboration, we were able to build an impressive lighting package for the room. My goal was to ensure we continue to deliver the best experience possible for not only our guests but also the acts we bring in and their touring crews – night in and night out.”

These fixtures run the full gamut from subtle dynamic looks to full-on ‘flash and trash'

One of Northfield Park’s in-house techs, John Middleton, carried out the research needed. “He was extremely impressed with some of the impression X5’s unique features,” Alex Trusnik said. 

“The networking capabilities and the speed of the fixture, especially the extensive zoom, is what really caught John’s eye and why he brought the option to our meetings. Our infrastructure is built around an ACN network, so those capabilities were a huge selling point for us.”

Other features of GLP’s baseless, compact fixture design include the 19 powerful 40 W RGBL LEDs, which provide enormous output, and the expanded colour gamut and high colour rendering, with Tungsten Simulation and Magenta/Green-Shift options, along with individual pixel control and built-in pattern macros.

“Between these impressive specs, coupled with GLP’s long-standing reputation in the industry, and having the opportunity to pioneer this new technology, the decision to go with the X5s seemed very clear,” Alex Trusnik said.

Trusnik was also pleased with the results from the first live shows using the new system. “The X5s have been battle-tested in over a dozen shows, with programming on dark days. We’ve had nothing but phenomenal feedback from touring LDs so far – all have been very impressed.”

John Middleton also felt the decision to go with GLP paid off: “The rich colour pallet and fast, smooth movement allow these fixtures to run the full gamut from subtle dynamic looks to full-on ‘flash and trash’, which allows me to meet the needs of any genre of performance we might see now and into the future.”

Trusnik concluded that “the X5s certainly pack a punch. They’re extremely unique fixtures that always grab the attention of both touring LDs and our guests. We’ve had nothing but great feedback since installing them and are extremely proud to have the first X5s here at MGM Northfield Park.”