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Philadelphia revamps historical light show

Courtesy Historic Philadelphia Inc.

PHILADELPHIA — Historic Philadelphia Inc. opened the newly renovated Historic Philadelphia Center and an indoor version of the Lights of Liberty show, called Liberty 360, in late September.

The 11-year-old Lights of Liberty attraction was redesigned with a $10 million capital investment to create two separate shows: A year-round indoor and separate seasonal nighttime outdoor attraction housed at the remodeled Historic Philadelphia Center, across the street from Independence hall and the Liberty Bell.

The centerpiece of the Historic Philadelphia Center is the new PECO Theater, which houses Liberty 360, a 360-degree, three-dimensional multimedia presentation. The show presents an in-depth look at some of Philadelphia’s iconic historic items, led by a characterization of Benjamin Franklin. The production uses cutting-edge visual effects projected on a 50-foot screen wrapping around the audience, as well as an original musical score created by 65 musicians.

In addition to housing the new theater, the Historic Philadelphia Center is the headquarters for all of Historic Philadelphia Inc.’s programming and will be the central box office for special shows and the departure point for Once Upon A Nation tours.

Next summer, the organization will also debut the New Lights of Liberty Show. Updating the original Lights of Liberty, which began in 1999, the new show is the first outdoor, nighttime 3-D show ever created. The show will use light and sounds to re-create scenes from July of 1776, illuminating the facades of some of Philadelphia’s most historic buildings to depict the momentous events that took place at that time.

The outdoor show will last one hour, and beginning at dusk and running every 10 minutes, from April through October.