John Torres LA ProPoint

LA ProPoint, a design, engineering, fabrication, and installation company for theatrical and theme park systems, has hired industry veteran John Torres as director of design and engineering. Long-time LA ProPoint designer, John Williams, was promoted to creative director.

Torres possesses over 30 years of engineering and management experience, most recently working for Walt Disney Imagineering as a project engineer on Shanghai Disneyland. Prior to Disney, Torres worked for LA ProPoint in 2009 on a Universal Studios Singapore project. Torres also worked as an engineer for Universal Studios Japan. He is a licensed professional engineer and holds a mechanical engineering degree from San Diego State University.

In his new role, Torres will be responsible for managing the design department while lending his engineering chops to assist a growing company that continues to take on large mechanical and show action equipment projects.

“We are excited to have John rejoin the LA ProPoint team during this busy time in the theme park, museum, and theatrical industry,” said Mark Riddlesperger, president of LA ProPoint. “John’s experience will allow us to continue to grow by giving us the ability to take on larger, more complex mechanical and structural projects.”

Additionally, Williams has been promoted to creative director, a new position for LA ProPoint and a natural transition based on his past experience. In this role, Williams will continue to work with clients on the front end, taking their creative concepts and transforming them into reality.

Williams previously worked at Thinkwell and BRC and understands the creative process. “John has always been a leader with LA ProPoint and a front man in client meetings,” said Jim Hartman, vice president of LA ProPoint. “He has the technical ability to understand the reality of a client’s needs while being sensitive to creative intent.”

John holds a BA in theatre design from the University of Vermont and studied in the Masters Program at Carnegie Mellon University in theatrical lighting and scenery.





  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

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

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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


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

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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


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