Pop Culture

Photo op! World's largest vinyl record visible from the air

Jan. 15, 2014 at 9:21 PM ET

giant record
Courtesy The Forum
Passengers flying into LAX can look down at what is being billled as the world's largest vinyl record, The Eagles' "Hotel California."

There’s one more reason to be thankful airlines no longer tell passengers to turn off small electronic devices, such as cameras, at the beginning and end of flights.

Throughout January, what’s being billed as the world’s largest vinyl record is spinning on top of The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and the best place to snap a photo is from a plane arriving at Los Angeles International Airport.

The “record” is actually a 407-foot-wide printed vinyl disc and it has been spinning – at 17 miles an hour – since New Year’s Day. It’s there to promote the re-opening of the Southern California concert and event venue after a $100 million renovation and as a tribute to The Eagles, whose “History of the Eagles” concerts begin Jan. 15 and are the first events to be held in the refreshed space. One of the band’s big hits, “Hotel California”, which was released in 1976, is the song being “played” on the rooftop.

About 75 crew members spent their Christmas holiday transforming 5.7 acres of printed vinyl, 2,000 linear feet of curved aluminum and a mile of aluminum truss into the rooftop “record,” “spindle” and “turntable,” according to Pop2Life, the marketing and promotion company that came up with the idea.

But before any of that could happen, the project had to get approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.

“That was due to the fact that The Forum is in the direct flight path for flights arriving at LAX and is only 2.5 miles from the airport, and there are height restrictions on structures or equipment – like a crane – being used to build a structure,” said Erich Murphy, president and CEO of Pop2Life.

The company filed an application with the FAA along with engineered drawings and specifications showing exactly how the record would get built, but Murphy said there were no questions as to whether or not the round, rotating billboard might distract pilots flying overhead.

The Eagles will perform at the Forum Jan. 15, 17, 18, 22, 24 and 25

Harriet Baskas is the author of Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can’t or Won’t Show You, and the Stuck at the Airport blog. Follow her on Twitter at @hbaskas.

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