The new McCrea Ranch Visitor Center celebrates its history and the lives of its former owners, Western movie hero Joel McCrea and his wife Frances Dee, in part through the latest audio and visual technology from Wilshire Media Systems, a division of Wilshire Home Entertainment, specializing in high-performance home entertainment and commercial audio/visual installations.
The McCrea Ranch in the northeastern portion of Thousand Oaks opened its Visitor Center late last year. The ranch’s 280 acres was donated by the McCrea family to the Conejo Recreation and Park District (CRPD) in 2005. CRPD maintains the ranch and its outbuildings, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
When visitors come to the center, they have the opportunity to view videos on the history of the McCrea family and its contributions to the local area on Wilshire-installed 60″, 22″ and 26″ LCD monitors. Wilshire also installed a projector and drop down screen for an even larger viewing area for showing movies. The system is capable of playing different videos simultaneously.
“The project was eleven months in the planning stages with 10 days of actual installation time,” says Lyn Perry, CEO of Wilshire Media Systems. “We had to make sure our cables and gear was in place before walls were closed and other trades installed their equipment. Another challenge was to create a simple, one button universal remote control program for what is a rather complex AV system. ”
Wilshire Media Systems also made a cash donation to the Joel and Frances McCrea Ranch Foundation, which is raising money to open the ranch to the public. Currently, tours of the McCrea Ranch are by appointment only (805-495-2163, www.crpd.org).
“Preserving our area’s heritage can be done both by protecting historic buildings and open spaces as well as capturing history visually through technology,” says Perry. “We at Wilshire are happy we were able to create a state-of-the-art AV system that will tell the McCrea Ranch story for years to come.”