If you happen to be passing by the Peninsula Hotel on the evening of September 21 and see the Bat-Signal being beamed onto its walls, don’t assume — as one reasonably might these days — that it is a entreaty from anti-extradition protesters seeking the help of the Caped Crusader.
No, the projection will actually be part of a worldwide series of events celebrating the Dark Knight’s 80th birthday.
The year was 1939: Hitler had just ordered a massive naval build-up and was greedily eyeing Poland, American moviegoers were gaga for Stagecoach, and Pius XII had just been named the 260th pope when, on March 30, the playboy philanthropist Bruce Wayne first donned his signature underwear-on-the-outside to fight injustice in issue #27 of Detective Comics.
Since then, “The Batman” has gone on to become one of the most enduring comic book characters of all time, spawning TV shows, films, and lucrative marketing crossovers.
To mark this year’s “Batman Day” on Sept. 21, the Bat-Signal will be projected onto buildings around the world, including Hong Kong’s very own Peninsula Hotel, where the signal will appear starting at 8pm.
(And yes, for those of you paying attention, the Peninsula Hotel heliport was the same one used by Morgan Freeman’s Lucius Fox when he visited Hong Kong in The Dark Knight.)
According to Apple Daily, the firm behind the promotion is Bluman Associates, which specializes in light projections, and previously projected a picture of a fox onto the Houses of Parliament in London to promote The Prodigy’s latest album
In a video interview with the outlet, the company’s owner, Pod Bluman, said that the brightness of Tsim Sha Tsui at night could pose a visibility problem for the Bat-Signal, but not too much.
“I don’t think that it’s going to be very difficult, I think that we have found a very nice building and that we have a very good technical team.”
For those who want to celebrate Batman Day in sweatier fashion, there will also be a four-kilometer Batman Night Run at the West Kowloon Promenade at 6pm on Sept. 21 — dress code strictly enforced.
Apple Daily reports that that event will be run by Hybrid Group, which expects (perhaps optimistically) some 10,000 people to turn up dressed as either Batman, the Joker, or Harley Quinn for the evening jog. Tickets to take part are available online, and cost HK$420 for adults and HK$320 for children.
Unfortunately, the Hong Kong festivities will not include a reenactment of the scene in Dark Knight where Batman kidnaps a corrupt accountant and flies him out of the Two IFC Building.