Design Buzz

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Design Buzz: Holo-Walls - Unique Products for Nightclubs and Bars

Do you own a gentlemens club? If so, are you looking for a new flooring solution for your stages? One of the side-benefits of being in the nightclub and bar design business is the constant flow of new products.

Unique products lead to innovative designs. I always enjoy sharing information about products and service providers who can assist with unique design solutions to nightclub and bar owners. Today I'm going to discuss how innovative holographic films can be designed to give your stripclub, nightclub or bar a unique and cutting-edge appearance.

Holo-Walls: Innovative Holographic Film Products for Nightclubs and Bars

Among the companies who deliver a steady stream of innovative products is Los Angeles-based Holo-Walls (@holowalls). Stage With Holographic Dance FloorLaunched by entertainment industry veteran Kevin McCarthy in 2002, Holo-Walls quickly became the leader in unique and affordable design solutions with McCarthy’s line of holographic films and unique products for nightclubs and bars. McCarthy has taken a simple concept (holographic film) and continually modified it to develop new products and reach new markets. What is ‘holographic film,’ you ask? These dimensional films, composed of thermoplastic polymer, are very self-illuminating and will pick-up most ambient light in any space, and reflect it in a spectacle of rainbow hues with a visual intensity and depth that is, quite simply, extraordinary. McCarthy has developed a line of holographic film products that he sells to nightclubs and bars, such as:

  • Stage flooring
  • Stage backdrops
  • Wall coverings
  • Bar cladding
  • Signage
  • Liquid Fusion floors and tables

Holo-Walls began by selling its holographic films as wall covering products. The films, only 2 mil thick, were (and still are) sold as a peel-and-stick product, applied directly to walls via pressure-sensitive adhesive. The emergence of the ‘Holo-Drape’ (stage backdrops, depicted in the above photo) product, developed in 2005 for the ‘Coldplay’ concert tour, was the lynchpin for the development of a number of other related products. In 2006, ‘Holo-Floor,’ a permanent flooring solution, was developed for the nightclub gentlemens clubs industries, by laminating the film to the back of polycarbonate sheets. Shortly thereafter, a Las Vegas event planner needed a short-term, dramatic flooring solution that gave way to ‘Holo-Floor 2.’ The task of applying the film so it would hold-up to heavy foot traffic for a short period and then be easily removable, was straightforward but not simple. McCarthy, always up for a challenge, developed an adhesive which enables the film to be removed like a ‘Post-It’ note. Although he had never used the film as a direct-contact concept, it endured the rigors of the four-day event. ‘Holo-Floor 2’ is now used for special events everywhere. In 2011 McCarthy added large-format printing for his special event clientele. Customers merely provide the graphics and Holo-Walls prints the self-adhesive film. Most customers install the film themselves; for special events customers in the LA and NYC areas, Holo-Walls will provide a turnkey solution.

Holo-Walls Products: Where and How to Implement? 

The effectiveness of the films is evident even with ambient lighting, as they virtually create their own lightPhoto of Confetti Pattern by Holo Walls show. When used in conjunction with theatrical lighting – especially lasers – the colors that are embedded within the material seem to appear from nowhere. Here’s a partial list that can fulfill many of your gentlemens club, nightclub and bar design needs:

  • Dance Floors – the ‘Holo-Floor’ product (shown above, right) is laminated to the bottom-side of ¼” thick crack-and-abrasion-resistant polycarbonate; the product can be installed with double-face tape or by using 1/8” tile spacers and caulking the joints; fully-adhering this product is not necessary.
  • Bar Fronts – use the same ‘Holo-Floor’ product as above, except with 1/8” thick polycarbonate; this can be installed with mechanical fasteners (stainless steel is a good choice).
  • Wall Coverings – available in over 20 patterns, this product is applied directly to smooth, solid surfaces (such as drywall) and is sold in 38” and 51” wide rolls in 50’ and 100’ lengths.
  • Banners – available in 32” and 40” widths, the same holographic film patterns mentioned above are bonded to 10-ounce black reinforced fire-rated banner vinyl; a four-inch pocket is hemmed at the top and bottom for rod-mounting.

Here are my recommended Holo-Walls patterns for nightclub and bar design, in order of preference:

  • Confetti – my absolute favorite pattern (shown in the photo above, right) for flooring and bar fronts.
  • Eclipse Lens and Metal Mirror Chip – fantastic films when used for flooring and bar fronts; these patterns show exceptional depth, even with 1/8” thick polycarbonate.
  • Holo-Dust – a great, versatile pattern.
  • Diamond Dust – second to none when used with lasers.
  • Northern Lights, Holo-Sheen and Comet Tail – excellent for banners; I don’t recommend this for flooring applications, as it is very difficult to induce color when these patterns are used horizontally, even with theatrical lighting

The confetti, eclipse lens and metal mirror chip are exceptional for flooring applications because the movement created by the interaction of overhead lighting minimizes the notice-ability of the scuffing that tends to occur over time. The holo-lens pattern, although equally effective, is better for bar fronts than flooring because flooring requires pattern-matching.

Other Products by Holo-Walls Products: Liquid Fusion Flooring and Tables

Holo-Walls introduced its line of Liquid Fusion products in 2006. The liquid-encased tiles, used for floors (shown at right) and tables, aredesign-buzz-photo-of-liquid-fusion-table encapsulated with a single- or two opposing liquids that swirl around each other as pressure is exerted along its surface. The interacting liquids create a playful movement of light and color like swirling liquid lava right under your feet. The mono- or bi-chromatic colored tiles leave a diminishing array of color tones with the memory trace of a footprint left behind.

  • Liquid Fusion tiles (24” x 24” (60cm x 60cm) or 31.5” x 31.5” (80cm x 80cm)) are available with a translucent base (for back-lighting) or a solid white base; the product can be installed exactly like the ‘Holo-Floor’ product mentioned above.
  • The newly-introduced LED dance floor, consisting of interlocking 20” x 20” (50 cm x 50 cm) tiles with self-contained LED lighting, has been strongly received by the FEC market.
  • LED Liquid Fusion tables are also a big hit. The tables, which include pedestal and lithium ion rechargeable battery (also available in 110/240V), are available in two sizes: 24” and 31” and either circular or square shapes. The tables are either standard table height or bar height.
  • All Liquid Fusion products are available in an array of colors.

For dance floor applications in gentlemen’s clubs, I prefer to use the liquid fusion tiles on satellite stages, as they don't hold-up well to high traffic.

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