The dome alone required 3,000 tons of steel to hold the external display, made of 1.2 million hockey puck-size LED bulbs that are bright enough to be seen from golf courses outside the Las Vegas Strip even at the peak of day. 

Part building, part glorified billboard, the Sphere’s facade is wrapped with headline- and viral-worthy animations from a blinking eyeball surveying the city and funny faces, to advertisements – said to cost some US$450,000 a day – for the likes of Google, Sony and Intel. 

Cinema on steroids 

Within the enigmatic globe lies an exhibition centre and a show-stopping arena with the world’s largest LED screen. An expansive marvel spanning almost three football fields, the curving 270-degree screen is truly the epitome of cinematic grandeur, virtually extending as far as the eye can see.

As I shuffled along narrow lanes to one of the more than 17,500 seats, it was hard not to feel dizzy from the sheer height of the stands; I pictured a long, nasty tumble if I were to trip.

The only available show during my visit was Postcard From Earth, an environmental documentary filmed by American director Darren Aronofsky of Black Swan fame. 

The hour-long feature, punctuated with sweeping shots of natural landscapes and urban environments, is designed as a technical showcase of the screen’s tech, and it sure delivers.

The film begins with a narrow frame resembling a standard cinema screen, introducing a futuristic scene of astronauts drifting past an uninhabited Earth. As the narrative unfolds, detailing the history of Earth, the display eventually expands to fill the entire 256 million-pixel screen.

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