Pop-Up Digital Heritage Cinema at Greyfriars THI Launch

Banner 9The Digital Building Heritage Group (DBHG) had their AHRC funded show-stand and a pop-up “digital heritage cinema” at the launch event on Thursday 14th May 2015 for the Greyfriars Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) in Leicester, held in the covered courtyard of the Boot Room “bar and eaterie” on Millstone Lane. This was an opportunity for the public to find out about this exciting £1.5M Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Leicester City Council (LCC) funded scheme to preserve and enhance the Greyfriars area of the city. There was the opportunity to see an exhibition covering the area’s historic development, get involved in hands-on activities like lime pointing brickwork with the Lincoln Heritage Skills Center and go on walking tours to see the very fine Georgian buildings which make up this historic part of the city. De Montfort University (DMU) is one of the six institutional partners working with Leicester City Council (LCC) in this five year project and as a founder member of the initiative DMU’s DBHG was showing a range of digital technologies, including laser scanning, fly-throughs of 3D digital models, 3D printed models and design projects which can be used to better understand and sensitively develop historic parts of cities. Until the day before the space had been a car-park for local businesses but with the owner’s consent it was appropriated for the day to allow the launch to take place in the heart of the Greyfriars area. Exhibitors used the car parking bays for a range of displays and in our case this was for the pop-up cinema – which proved to be a great hit (standing room only at times!). A quick (and very unscientific) audience pole put our “Virtual Roman Leicester” fly-through as the favorite screening. The “found” aspects of these semi-outdoor industrial spaces gave the event a uniquely rugged, workshop feel, with people walking in off the street just to see what was happening. Later in the evening there was the formal launch event for the project by the City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby who encouraged building owners in the area to apply for the HLF grants available under this THI scheme and by doing so support the ongoing and highly successful regeneration of the city center. Banner 4

About Douglas Cawthorne

Reader in Digital Heritage at De Montfort University.
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