Company that brought Immersive Van Gogh to San Antonio files for bankruptcy — but shows continue
Lighthouse Immersive, the digital production company whose "immersive" exhibits became a buzz during the height of the pandemic, has filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy.
According to Bloomberg News, the company, which put on multiple high-profile immersive art exhibitions across the U.S. including Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, was last profitable in 2021; but attendance dropped off after the pandemic.
Founded in Toronto in 2019, the company helped spearhead the immersive fad, first and most famously with its 2021 Van Gogh exhibit, followed by multiple digital light shows across Texas and the U.S. including Frida Kahlo,Nutcracker, and its most recent, the immersive Disney Animation Experience.
However, in June, the company abruptly canceled the Disney show in Dallas and Houston — a move that appears to have been an omen of the company's financial woes. Oddly, that exhibition remains open in San Antonio through August 13.
Industry publication The Art Newspaper expressed surprise at the bankruptcy given the company's business model.
"Given the high cost of tickets ($35 a piece) and the low cost of using images that had entered the public domain, Lighthouse Immersive's operations were widely believed to be a profitable concept," says the publication.
However, these exhibits were not cheap to produce: Organizers quoted startup costs at a minimum of $1 million all the way up to $15 million to create an immersive pop-up, with expensive gear such as fiberoptic cables and Panasonic projectors.
The company has not revealed its plans nor what will happen to the venues they used in each city; they did not respond to a request for comment.