CHICAGO, IL-Looking to give a contemporary, forever-young update to its flagship site in Chicago, IL on the eve of its 50th anniversary, McDonald's chose technology as its fountain of youth. As part of a major facelift to the site in downtown Chicago's main tourist district, the former "rock 'n' roll" McDonald's had already been a major attraction before the addition of some new high-tech hardware.
Prior to the renovation, the restaurant showcased memorabilia from the chain's history, as well as popular culture relics dating back to the time when the first McDonald's opened. Though the memorabilia was moved out of the space to an adjacent building, the restaurant maintains the feeling of its history, but in a much more modern, sleek environment. Two large yellow arches welcome customers on the outside, mimicking the look of the first restaurant, while inside chrome glistens and dozens of LCD screens flicker with memorabilia that is on display in a whole new way.
JESA Nationwide Services of Melrose Park, IL, designed and installed the AV for the two-story space, with the intent of providing customers with a pleasant diversion as they enjoy their meals. With 16 42-inch and 10 15-inch LG LCD screens scattered throughout, customers have multiple viewing possibilities. On the second floor is a dining area with sections dedicated to each decade that McDonald's has been in business. Five 15-inch LG LCD monitors, one in each decade, show news clips from that particular time period. Each section also features some memorabilia to show what McDonald's was like at the time, including music and artifacts.
The main programming on the various larger screens is satellite-fed news television, with McDonald's-centric content created to overset the station's regular commercials. "There are some mosaics of old still images and old commercials from McDonald's, from not only the U.S., but all over the world," explained Chris King, director of operations for JESA. "It runs as a commercial insertion over the television media they are running, or a continuously-running mosaic of all the different images and commercials on some of the screens."
JESA chose Peerless Industries' 42-inch LCD tilting wall mounts to support the screens. "The brackets were made for the unit so once those were attached, they just drop right in the tray and you're done," he said. "It's an excellent mount. It's easy to hang, easy to adjust, and there's a lot of flexibility, so if you need to move anything slightly, you can." That flexibility came in handy, he said, when the distance between brackets needed to be changed to be even, hiding outlets after they had mistakenly been put in the wrong spot. "There was enough play to the left and right because of how they make the mount. We could just slide them over without difficulty."
Because the Peerless mounts have an option of all security screws, which were chosen for the 24-hour McDonald's, King says the screens are incredibly secure. Many of the screens are out of reach, but several are lower down on pillars at eye-level. "You can only use their nut driver to take the thing off," he explained. "Short of ripping it off the wall, the only way to get it apart is with Peerless' security screw. It's very safe."