Son et Lumiére Lights Up Downtown

Posted: Oct 07, 2021 04:12 pm Updated: Oct 17, 2023 09:02 am

Modern technology will deliver people and scenes from Pensacola’s past 200 years in an immersive experience that incorporates sound and light techniques combined with a giant interactive display and breathtaking special effects. It’s all part of Pensacola Foo Foo Festival happening in November.


A 3D visual spectacular called “Son et Lumiére” – which is French for “Sound and Light” – is set for the evenings of Nov. 4-7. Transforming the face of the former Escambia County Courthouse on Palafox Street into a canvas for an augmented reality experience, Friends of Downtown Pensacola aims to create a fast-moving, interactive mashup of technology and history where scenes, people and imagery come to life.


The project was created by Friends of Downtown Pensacola and local marketing agency Ideaworks, with support from the University of West Florida’s Archeology Institute. Paintscaping, a Los Angeles-based art/tech company known for such projects, is producing the show. It is being funded through a grant from Arts, Culture and Education Pensacola, also known as ACE Pensacola.


This marks the second time Paintscaping has produced a project in Downtown Pensacola.  In 2014, they partnered with the University of West Florida on a similar project that focused on the history of Pensacola, including events dating from DeLuna’s landing in 1559. Paintscaping holds the Guinness World Record for largest video game display for an Xbox project in 2020.  The company is also known for mapping an operational rocket at Cape Canaveral.


The “Son et Lumiére” art form dates to 1952 when French museum curator Paul Robert-Houdin staged the first such event at the Château de Chambord. Since then, “Son et Lumiére” performances have been conducted at castles, cathedrals, ancient buildings, beautiful gardens and even small villages and other historic sites around the world, including the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Parthenon in Athens and Mount Vernon in Virginia.


Pensacola’s “Son et Lumiére” is free and open to the public. Shows will start every half hour beginning at 7:00pm, with the last show beginning at 9:30. For more information, go to