Atlanta architects complete 3D scan of Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer [Photos]

Architects from the Atlanta branch of Perkins & Will 3D scanning the interior of the Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?fit=800%2C480&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C720&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?resize=1400%2C840&ssl=1″ alt=”Lincoln Theatre” class=”wp-image-1313683″ title=”Atlanta architects complete 3D scan of Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer [Photos] 1″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?w=2560&ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?resize=800%2C480&ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C720&ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?resize=160%2C96&ssl=1 160w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C461&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C922&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1229&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-5-scaled.jpg?resize=490%2C294&ssl=1 490w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>
Jason Smith (left) and Jason Diamond (right), two architects from Perkins & Will who 3D scanned the interior of the Lincoln Theatre. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

On Tuesday, December 12, architects from the Atlanta branch of Perkins & Will traveled to Bessemer to create a comprehensive 3D scan of the interior and exterior of the historic Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer.

Bham Now tagged along to learn more about the project and see how the technology works.

3D mapping the historic Lincoln Theatre

Architects from the Atlanta branch of Perkins & Will 3D scanning the interior of the Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?fit=800%2C533&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?resize=1400%2C934&ssl=1″ alt=”Lincoln Theatre” class=”wp-image-1313681″ title=”Atlanta architects complete 3D scan of Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer [Photos] 2″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?w=2560&ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?resize=800%2C533&ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?resize=160%2C107&ssl=1 160w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-3-scaled.jpg?resize=441%2C294&ssl=1 441w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>
Architects from the Atlanta branch of Perkins & Will 3D scanning the interior of the Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

In November, a group of local officials, preservationists, restoration experts and others met to brainstorm the best ways to restore the Lincoln Theatre, a historic African American theatre in downtown Bessemer. Several of the attendees were affiliated with the Fox Theatre Institute. Atlanta’s Fox Theatre was saved from demolition in the 1970s and restored to its former glory.

“The Lincoln, the Fox, the Lyric, the Alabama and more theatres are all part of something called the League of Historic American Theatres. It is a wonderful group to be in, because they’re able to share resources and experience we otherwise would not have access to.”

Glenny Brock, The Holland Project

Architects from the Atlanta branch of Perkins & Will 3D scanning the interior of the Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?fit=800%2C533&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1400%2C934&ssl=1″ alt=”Lincoln Theatre” class=”wp-image-1313679″ title=”Atlanta architects complete 3D scan of Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer [Photos] 3″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?w=2560&ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?resize=800%2C533&ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?resize=160%2C107&ssl=1 160w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-1-scaled.jpg?resize=441%2C294&ssl=1 441w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>
Jason Smith (left) and Jason Diamond (right) using the Matterport camera to scan the interior of the Lincoln Theatre. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

As a result of the connection, Leigh Burns—Director of the Fox Theatre Institute—introduced the Lincoln Theatre team to two architects with the Atlanta branch of Perkins & Will who were interested in doing some pro bono work.

“With our Social Responsibility initiative, we have a fixed number of design hours we’re able to donate to good causes. This was a great opportunity for us to pay it forward and use those hours before the year ends.”

Jason Smith, Senior Project Architect, Perkins & Will

Here’s how it works

Architects from the Atlanta branch of Perkins & Will 3D scanning the interior of the Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?fit=800%2C533&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?resize=1400%2C934&ssl=1″ alt=”Lincoln Theatre” class=”wp-image-1313682″ title=”Atlanta architects complete 3D scan of Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer [Photos] 4″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?w=2560&ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?resize=800%2C533&ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?resize=160%2C107&ssl=1 160w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-4-scaled.jpg?resize=441%2C294&ssl=1 441w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>
This Matterport camera was used to scan the Lincoln Theatre. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

To create the detailed 3D rendering of the Lincoln Theatre, the Perkins & Will team used a Matterport 3D camera designed for applications just like this. Once the Matterport camera has been set up and its subject area given enough light, the Perkins & Will team can control the camera via an app on their phone.

“The Matterport camera sits on a tripod, so when you press the button on your phone, the camera spins 360° to capture a panoramic view of its surroundings. Then we move the camera over several feet and take another panoramic capture. We’ve probably done that process 120 times today.”

Jason Diamond, Senior Associate, Perkins & Will

Architects from the Atlanta branch of Perkins & Will 3D scanning the interior of the Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?fit=800%2C533&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?resize=1400%2C934&ssl=1″ alt=”Lincoln Theatre” class=”wp-image-1313690″ title=”Atlanta architects complete 3D scan of Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer [Photos] 5″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?w=2560&ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?resize=800%2C533&ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?resize=160%2C107&ssl=1 160w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-10-scaled.jpg?resize=441%2C294&ssl=1 441w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>
The Matterport 3D camera set up inside the Lincoln Theatre. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

After the Perkins & Will team completed their scans inside and out of the Lincoln Theatre, the data was uploaded to the Matterport website. There, the website will digitally stitch together more than 100 panoramic captures to create a Matterport Showcase—a 3D rendering of the entire property that can be viewed online, similar to Google Streetview.

The best part? The final 3D scan is accurate to within an eighth of an inch.

How this technology will help the Lincoln Theatre restoration

(L to R) Jason Smith, Glenny Brock, Mary Holland and Jason Diamond outside the Lincoln Theatre box office. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?fit=800%2C533&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C800&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?resize=1400%2C934&ssl=1″ alt=”Lincoln Theatre” class=”wp-image-1313698″ title=”Atlanta architects complete 3D scan of Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer [Photos] 6″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?w=2560&ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?resize=800%2C533&ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C800&ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?resize=160%2C107&ssl=1 160w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C512&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1024&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1365&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-16-scaled.jpg?resize=441%2C294&ssl=1 441w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>
(L to R) Jason Smith, Glenny Brock, Mary Holland and Jason Diamond outside the Lincoln Theatre box office. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Once the 3D rendering is complete, the Lincoln Theatre team will be able to take any measurement they need—without having to come back to the physical site.

“This is a game changer for us, and it’s something that we never imagined was even possible. This technology will give us a path to follow, and we’re just looking forward to putting it into action.”

Mary Holland, The Holland Project

That’s not all—the 3D scan will allow The Holland Project team to test different design options for their long-term plan for the historic theatre.

“A theatre like this wants to be able to host as many different events as they can, whether it’s wedding receptions, comedy, cabaret, spoken word, live music or anything in between. With this software, The Holland Project can study the building in three dimensions and test their ideas as part of the design process.”

Jason Smith, Senior Project Architect, Perkins & Will

Support the renovation of the Lincoln Theatre

(Nathan Watson / Bham Now)
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?fit=800%2C703&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?fit=1200%2C1054&ssl=1″ src=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?resize=1400%2C1230&ssl=1″ alt=”Lincoln Theatre” class=”wp-image-1313686″ title=”Atlanta architects complete 3D scan of Lincoln Theatre in Bessemer [Photos] 7″ srcset=”https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?w=2560&ssl=1 2560w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?resize=800%2C703&ssl=1 800w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?resize=1200%2C1054&ssl=1 1200w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?resize=160%2C141&ssl=1 160w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?resize=768%2C675&ssl=1 768w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?resize=1536%2C1349&ssl=1 1536w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?resize=2048%2C1799&ssl=1 2048w, https://i0.wp.com/bhamnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/LincolnTheatre-7-scaled.jpg?resize=335%2C294&ssl=1 335w” sizes=”(max-width: 1400px) 100vw, 1400px” data-recalc-dims=”1″>
The massive original projectors inside the Lincoln Theatre. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The restoration of the Lincoln Theatre is led by The Holland Project, a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2017 by the family of acclaimed actor and Bessemer native Andre Holland. The Holland Project aims to preserve and protect the Lincoln Theatre—as well as the Albano Pharmacy building and other historic Bessemer buildings that may be in danger of neglect or demolition—and to restore these buildings as community assets that enrich the lives of Alabama citizens.

Want to help out with the restoration of the Lincoln Theatre? Follow the Lincoln Theatre on Facebook to be notified about upcoming volunteer opportunities. Tag us @bhamnow to let us know!

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