Regional Report West 3

WHO Mark Riddlesperger, Founder and President, LA Propoint


SITE HISTORY After a long-term project working for Universal Studios in Japan came to an end, Riddlesperger returned home to Southern California. Working with a business partner, he opened LA Propoint as a designer, fabricator and installer of stage and show systems, museum exhibits and entertainment modules. The company began in a 5,000-square-foot warehouse just outside downtown Los Angeles. Seeking more space, it moved to a 15,000-square-foot location in the San Fernando Valley, in 2004. Four years later, when the space next door was vacated, the company moved once more, again doubling its size.


WHY CALIFORNIA “Most of the entertainment companies are here in L.A. Our business involves theme parks, museums, sciences centers and theaters. San Fernando Valley is very desirable because the suppliers, the customers and the talent in the industry are all here. So are our customers. We’re near Warner Bros, Universal and Disney and they are all, or have all been clients.”


REASON FOR LOCATION “Real estate is cheaper than in downtown L.A., and you can get larger spaces. We’re between the St. Gabriel mountains and the ocean, which is very appealing, at a location that’s very close to a major commercial thoroughfare serving the region.


Posted by: Warren Strugatch July 28, 2016


  See Forever™ Theater Moving Panels & Sky Portal Camera Mounts Will Enhance New Iconic Building

SUN VALLEY, CA., June 2, 2015 — LA ProPoint, a leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of stage and show systems, has designed, fabricated, and installed two critical guest experience features of the new One World Trade Center in New York.

The first element, which was created in collaboration with the Hettema Group, involves eight moving panels in the See Forever™ Theater. A media presentation is projected onto the panels, which retract in a cascading sequence into the ceiling, revealing the actual view of Manhattan from the 102nd floor of OWTC. When not retracted, each panel is approximately 10 feet wide and 14 feet tall, completely obscuring the theatre’s windows. The panels interlock side by side, giving the appearance of a single skyline running the length of the room (about 80 feet).

The See Forever™ Theater presents a two-minute video presentation that combines bird’s eye imagery and time-lapse shots with abstract textures and patterns to present the unique rhythm and pulse of New York City. More information can be found at oneworldobservatory.com/experience.

The second installation, also created in collaboration with the Hettema Group, features two Sky Portal camera mounts, which are permanently attached at the 106th floor level, on opposite sides of the building. The camera mount structures, which feature stainless steel and high-grade exterior epoxy coating, are engineered to withstand extreme temperature changes, inclement weather, and high winds.

“We are excited and proud to be a part of One World Trade Center,” notes Mark Riddlesperger, founder and president of LA ProPoint. “This iconic building will become a part of U.S. culture, and our panels and camera mounts will be important aspects of the visitor experience. We are grateful to be associated with such a breathtaking and historic structure.”

For more information, please contact Jeannine Schechter Jacobi of Fresh PR at (323) 903-7063 or jeannine@freshpr.net.

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NEW rollercoaster to be featured at Hersheypark

SUN VALLEY, CA., May 26, 2015 LA ProPoint, a leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of stage and show systems, has designed and installed special scenic elements for Laff Trakk, the first indoor, spinning, glow-coaster in the United States at Hersheypark in Hershey, PA.

LA ProPoint fabricated, and installed the rollercoaster’s painted scenic backdrops and steel-framed pass-through elements, which were skinned in painted fabric or painted wood facings. LA ProPoint worked closely with Hersheypark and Raven Sun Creative on the design, taking their concept work and turning them into shop drawings, engineered for the facility and coaster layout.  The effort required 35 days and two installation phases.

The company also created funhouse mirrors, a fortuneteller’s table with crystal ball effects and floating paraphernalia, a palace tunnel, over-sized pass-through picture frames, fire rings, and giant playing cards.

Additionally, all elements in the ride area were UV painted for a black light effect, while queue areas were painted for white light. All black light elements were installed above, around, and through the ride track and ride structure by LA ProPoint riggers.

“We are honored to be a critical part of Laff Trakk, Hersheypark’s 13th rollercoaster, which takes riders on an unforgettable journey through a 21st century fun house,” notes Mark Riddlesperger, founder and president of LA ProPoint. “With the indoor glow lights and installation of iconic fun house items, our contributions will ensure that riders enjoy the rollercoaster experience of a lifetime.”

For more information, please contact Jeannine Schechter Jacobi of Fresh PR at (323) 903-7063 or jeannine@freshpr.net.


Display of Iconic Fighter Plane Takes Center Stage at Renowned Museum

Sun Valley, Calif. September 11, 2014 – – LA ProPoint, a leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of stage and show systems, is installing an iconic F/A-18 fighter jet on the grounds of the California Science Center this Friday, September 12.

The Science Center, which is home to the world-famous Space Shuttle Endeavor, hired LA ProPoint to manage nearly all aspects of the aircraft installation. LA ProPoint disassembled and transported the F/A-18 from Salt Lake City to its fabrication shop in Southern California. The company then cosmetically refurbished the legendary jet and prepared it for eventual mounting on a pedestal just outside the Science Center.

For the physical installation, LA ProPoint poured the slab and installed the pedestal. The F/A-18 is being transported from the company’s shop to the Science Center and will be mounted and unveiled on Friday.

“We were honored to collaborate with the California Science Center on this important project,” said Jim Hartman, Vice President of LA ProPoint. “The Center already is home to some of the most iconic aircraft and other elements of aviation history. With our help, the storied F/A-18 will join this heritage and provide years of amazement to museum visitors.”

For more information, please contact Jeannine Schechter Jacobi of Fresh PR at (332) 903-7063 or jeannine@freshpr.net.

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Newly Reinvented Venue

Can Adjust Seating Capacity Using LA ProPoint Technology

(Sun Valley, Calif.) January 21, 2014 – LA ProPoint, a leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of stage and show systems, has participated in the reinvention of the Forum in Inglewood, CA. The Forum, which recently underwent a comprehensive reinvention, reopened on January 15, 2014 as the largest and most important indoor performance venue in the country designed with a focus on music and entertainment.

For the Forum, LA ProPoint designed, engineered, fabricated, and installed the venue’s Upper Bowl Masking System, which features a series of custom motorized curtain rigs that ring the entire upper seating level of the arena. The system enables the Forum to mask off parts or all of the upper level seating, thus allowing event producers to adjust the venue’s seating arrangements depending on event dynamics and attendance projections.

To create the Upper Bowl Masking System, LA ProPoint provided a permanently mounted Total Structur es truss system with eight separate custom designed and fabricated motor drive units, as well as an additional flexible curtain and truss system with chain motor hoists that can be located as desired to block off portions of the arena for differently configured stage settings. LA ProPoint also provided all of the track and curtain systems for the Forum Club, and other locations throughout the venue.

“It is very exciting to be a critical part of the Forum’s reinvention,” said Jim Hartman, Vice President of LA ProPoint. “With our help, the Forum is poised to regain its unmatched status as one of the nation’s premier venues.”

For more information, please contact Jeannine Jacobi of Fresh PR at (323) 903-7063 or jeannine@freshpr.net.


Striking Installation Will Be the Central Feature of the CalArts Center

[for New Performance] and Trans Arts Production



At the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Villa

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, September 5-28, 2013

(Sun Valley, Calif.) August 28, 2013 – LA ProPoint, a leader in the design, engineering, fabrication, and installation of stage and show systems, has developed a giant 23-foot steel wheel for the upcoming production of Prometheus Bound, which the Getty Museum and [California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)] Center for New Performance in association with Trans Arts will present in the Outdoor Theater at the Getty Villa on Thursdays through Saturdays from September 5-28.

The central element of this version of the ancient Greek drama, the colossal wheel will be installed in the Villa’s outdoor theater and will represent the remote mountaintop to which Prometheus is strapped. LA ProPoint designed, engineered, fabricated, and installed the wheel, which was envisioned by director Travis Preston and scenic designer Efren Delgadillo, Jr. LA ProPoint also worked with DAS Design Works for the engineering of the piece.

“We were honored to create this unique and complex piece,” said Mark Riddlesperger, President of LA ProPoint. “ CalArts’ [Center for New Performance] and Trans Arts are creating a beautiful interpretation of this ancient and beloved drama. We used our skills and resources to create a breathtaking wheel that does justice to the significance of this story and production.”

SUN VALLEY — Two contraptions made in the Northeast San Fernando Valley are helping scare the bejeebers out of tourists on the Las Vegas strip. Sun Valley-based LA ProPoint fabricated the metal guts of Eli Roth’s Goretorium, a $10 million horror hotel attraction in the middle of The Strip.

The fabrication and rigging company made the “Human Meat Grinder” and “The Elevator” that are the key components of the Goretorium, which opened in September. No one should be surprised at the amount of make-believe carnage guests experience at Roth’s attraction. After all, he’s the mastermind behind such horror films as “Hostel” and “Grindhouse.”

Mark Riddlesperger, ProPoint’s founder and president, said it took about eight weeks to complete the two components that help usher guests through the mock hotel, which has 24 rooms, including a wedding chapel. The grinder and elevator left Sun Valley in their raw state and Riddlesperger had no idea what they would look like after the gory props were added.

He found out during a private tour of the Goretorium earlier this month while attending a trade show. “It’s creepy and kind of gross,” he said with a chuckle. “When I saw it in the shop it was unpainted. But after all the scenic painting, lights and other parts were on it you can really see what an amazing effect it is.”

The Meat Grinder, located near the middle of the attraction, is a rotating tunnel 12 feet in diameter and about 24 feet long. Guests enter via a steel grate bridge and pass through a grisly mass of identifiable human body parts ground to a mush-like mass by the grinder blades. Reality is a lot more mundane. The body parts are made from mannequins with some reduced to bead foam chunks and composite foam-sawdust meal. The Elevator comes into play near the start of the tour. It’s designed as a freight, or fright, elevator that simulates a free-fall of seven or eight floors.

“It only actually drops by a few inches. It is an air bag system that is programmed to shake, rattle and drop combined with lighting effects and an audio track. That gives you the sense you are dropping.” By the time the elevator door opens again the set has been changed to represent a different part of the hotel.

ProPoint has been in business for about 10 years and has done work at major studios and event venues around Los Angeles and theme parks worldwide. The company has also worked on stages for the Los Angeles Unified School District. “We do a lot of crazy unusual things but certainly this is the creepiest of all the requests we’ve gotten,” Riddlesperger said.

Much of the gore credit goes to Burbank resident Keith Kaminski, the Goretorium’s production designer. He’s been working on the project for about 16 months. The horror genre veteran has created 35 haunted house experiences over the years. This one is much different than the rest, though.

“This is the first one I’ve done that is a year-round attraction so we had to take a different approach to the way we built stuff,” Kaminski said. “It had to be a lot more robust, like a theme park, and the quality of materials much better. Usually we can get away with cardboard and hot glue but this had to be real drywall and steel studs. We pull off as many effects as we can using air, sound, light and water to their best capacity to sell the illusion as best we can.”

The Goretorium is a collaboration between Roth and Las Vegas entrepreneur Robert Frey, CEO of the Munch Group. They seem to be onto something. About 1,000 people a day visit the attraction, he said, and celebrity guests have included rocker Marilyn Manson and Justin Bieber. The three story space at Harmon Center also includes a wedding chapel and Baby Doll’s Lounge, which looks out on The Strip and City Center. The first nuptials take place tonight — a Halloween wedding, Frey said.

“One of our goals was to give a total immersion into the horror experience,” he said. “It’s kind of the most fun you can have being scared.” About 200 actors are rotated in and out of the show in the various horror scenes. Of course there is a fictional back story. The Goretorium is based on the legend of Mr. and Mrs. Delmont, who owned the Delmont Hotel at the City Center. But bad things happened to everyone who entered and some of those experiences are re-created at the Goretorium.

“A girl gets her throat slit, a girl gets electrocuted and people get eaten alive,” he said. Tickets for tourists are $40 and a $60 VIP pass gets you to the head of the line. The experience lasts 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your tolerance level for gore. “When people are getting really scared they tend to move through pretty quickly,” Frey said.


By Gregory J. Wilcox, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/30/2012 05:00:17 PM PDT



LA Propoint featured in Los Angeles Daily News “5 Towers a new Citywalk star” in the June 2011 Issue

Universal CityWalk debuts its 5 Towers outdoor concert arena Friday night, with the hopes of making it the center of free music in Southern California – and maybe the free world.Five 42-foot high, steel tower sculptures define the concert space in CityWalk’s main plaza, between the movie multiplex and the Hard Rock Cafe. The 31-by-24-foot stage is permanent, and there’s an upgraded, 26-by-14-foot LED monitor mounted above it.”We’ve had live music at CityWalk, probably, for a good 10 years,” said Pat Donahue, director of CityWalk Entertainment. “But the 5 Towers is a game-changer for us. There’s nothing like it in Southern California, and I think it’s going to redefine the way people experience free live music. “You’re immersed in the energy and the whole vibe, and you kind of feel like you’re part of the show,” he said. “The barriers between the artists and the fans are completely removed.”

Motion capture devices will project some concertgoers’ silhouettes on the wall behind the stage. Thousands of light fixtures around the stage and on the towers can be programmed to complement the music and – when nobody’s playing – the music videos that have long been a ubiquitous presence on the CityWalk Jumbotron.

Underground weight sensors will enable guests to control the volume of lights on the towers. And for those who’ve had the happy experience of not being able to hear themselves think when a concert’s going on in other sectors of CityWalk, custom-built acoustical panels were designed to keep sound waves in the arena and minimize echo elsewhere. The purpose of all this razzmatazz, they say, is to focus attention on the music.

And, in the case of “Close to Home” – the Friday night performance series starting July 8 – on the music of up-and-coming Southern California bands. Tonight’s stage christening comes courtesy of Later Days and Elvis Monroe. The latter outfit, which will be performing for the first time in public, is an acoustic rock side project for Bryan Hopkins (singer of Paperback Hero), Ben Carey (guitarist, Lifehouse), Ryan MacMillan (drummer, Matchbox 20) and bassist Matt Nelson (Ricky’s son). Opening 5 Towers is a special honor for Hopkins, who’s been performing on roll-out CityWalk stages for six years and consulted on the new arena’s design. “It’ll be the biggest, most breathtaking outdoor venue around,” Hopkins said. “It will provide an opportunity for big bands and bands on the way up to be seen and heard by so many.”

Singer Cee Lo Green will be next to help launch the venue, with a free performance on July 7. Of course, the free concerts hope to attract many who will be paying for parking and, more than likely, patronizing CityWalk establishments – an increasing imperative as the recession continues to weigh down on tourism. Like Infusion Lounge, the Hollywood-style nightclub scheduled to open there in August, 5 Towers is part of an effort to convince more Valley residents and other locals to spend more time at Universal City. “We’re definitely a place that tourists come to visit,” CityWalk’s Donahue said. “But the 5 Towers now will totally set the tone, and send the message to the locals that this is the place to be when you want to experience free live music every single weekend.”

Hopkins – who lived in North Hollywood for 13 years before moving recently to Sherman Oaks – said 5 Towers is an attraction that should be experienced by tourists and locals alike. “I’ve played in front of 30,000 people, I’ve played all over the country,” he said. “But I am so excited about (tonight). At the end of the day, this will be the largest free stage anywhere. I mean, this makes the Valley the coolest place to be.”


LA Propoint featured in Sound & Communications Magazine’s “92 Seconds on Skull Island” Article in May Issue

Fire on the Universal Studios Hollywood back lot in Spring 2008 wiped out several movie sets,damaged the famous Back to the Future clock tower and destroyed the popular King Kong tram-tour attraction from the 1980s. It was decided not to build a new Kong animatronic but,rather, to update the popular attraction by replacing it with King Kong 360 3-D, an immersive multimedia experience. It opened July 1, 2010, and features a gigantic 3D projection system with two 187-foot-wide by 40-foot-high screens within a football-field-sized soundstage.

Custom Screen

“The full-size mockup at Playa Vista Studios was up almost a year,” recounted Mark Riddlesperger, Founder and President of LA ProPoint. “And they played around with that mockup to finalize the geometry of the screen, do projection studies and sightline studies from the tram, and basically look at all aspects of what the show was going to be. The next step was to actually design, engineer and build the final structure.”

The underlying structure for the custom screens is an aluminum frame supported by steel jacks and covered with luan substrate (lightweight plywood) that was seamed, drywall-mudded and skim coated with a level 5 finish. “Basically, the whole screen is plastered and sanded,” said LA ProPoint Project Manager Andy Hanlen. “It’s a complex toroidal shape, which curves in two directions and makes you wish you paid more attention in geometry class.” The screen is in two halves, on either side of the tramway.

Once the plaster finish had been applied and sanded smooth, two coats of latex primer were applied, and the surface was finished off with Screen Goo. “It was a tricky application,” noted Riddlesperger. “You can’t let an edge of it dry as you go along or you will get a joint. We had two people in the basket of the lift applying the Screen Goo, and two more down on the ground mixing the paint, keeping it mixed and flowing through airlifts, in order to move things along so the people in the lift could remain mobile and fluid and not have to stop. It’s water-based and very metallic; it dries fast.

It is critical that the person applying it understands how to do so evenly, consistently and without blotches during the entire application.” Natural expansion and contraction from temperature swings presented a different challenge. “We couldn’t put in any expansion joints, because Universal required a completely solid, uniform surface,” said Hanlen. “This required that we design provisions into the frame that allow it to move.” “What we built for the final was seven degrees different from the mockup because of crosstalk issues observed by Universal,” said Riddlesperger. “The mockup, which included an elevated platform and a mockup of four tram cars down the middle, was worth its weight in gold. We rigged all the projectors there; we built platforms to give a good approximation of where they would be positioned in the actual venue.”

The screen was built right into the building structure on either side of the tramway. “We laid out the whole thing with SolidWorks design and engineering software, which allows you to manipulate the image in three dimensions,” said Hanlen. “There was also a lot of handwork, and a lot of trial and error and headscratching. Universal built something that has never been built before.”

Since 2002, LA ProPoint has been a leading provider of design, engineering, fabrication and installation of stage and show systems for all aspects of the entertainment industry, from concert halls and theme parks to outdoor amphitheaters and movie sets. Strategically headquartered in Southern California in the city of Sun Valley, the company has a huge reach. Its highly skilled, experienced technicians, fabricators and craftspeople regularly take on far-flung projects from the Hollywood Bowl and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas.



Phil Hettema of the Hettema Group and Bob Farnsworth of the museum, accepted the award on behalf of the National World War 2 Museum in New Orleans, LA.

Orlando, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010 “The annual Thea Awards, presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), recognize and honor excellence in the creation of extraordinary visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places,” says incoming TEA president Rick Rothschild of FAR Out! Creative Direction. “Storytelling and teamwork are the heart of the Experience Design Industry and its projects.

TEA’s Thea Awards celebrate storytelling across the globe – educational and entertaining stories of heritage, history, fiction, fantasy, magic and even hard science – delivered with artistry and the appropriate use of technology at museums, theme parks, world expos, special events and other settings. The Thea Awards also honor teamwork at its very best – the creative handshake between the visionary project owner and the multidisciplinary collective of designers, artisans and technicians who realize the vision.

Also, this year we commemorate the late Harrison “Buzz” Price, who at the very first Thea Awards in 1994 was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In his honor, we’ve renamed it the ‘Buzz Price Award, recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements.’

The Thea Awards Nominating Committee (listed below in the PDF) recommended the current slate of 15 Thea recipients, with final approval by the TEA International Board of Directors. The Awards will be formally presented March 12, 2011 at the 17th Annual Thea Awards Gala, to be held at the Globe Theatre, Universal Studios Hollywood. The Awards Gala, sponsored by Economics at AECOM, is an elegant, black-tie dinner event and is open to the public. Tickets/more information: www.teaconnect.org.

Since 2002, LA ProPoint has been a leading provider of design, engineering, fabrication and installation of stage and show systems for all aspects of the entertainment industry, from concert halls and theme parks to outdoor amphitheaters and movie sets. Strategically headquartered in Southern California in the city of Sun Valley, the company has a huge reach. Its highly skilled, experienced technicians, fabricators and craftspeople regularly take on far-flung projects from the Hollywood Bowl and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas.

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