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Amazing grotto is a festive hit.

SANTA with a difference is making daily appearances at the Mall in Middlesbrough.

The Mall shopping centre has joined the digital revolution in its festive offering.

Instead of having Santa in person, the centre has commissioned a spectacular interactive 3D Christmas film from Teesside firm Amazing Interactives.

The show - the first of its kind in the UK - is proving a hit with youngsters.

A Santa's grotto has been set up near the Corporation Road entrance. Entry costs a pounds 1 donation to Teesside Hospice.

Visitors will don 3D glasses before taking a sleigh ride featuring floating presents, mince pies and elves brought to life by Bogglevision 3D technology.

David McNee, general manager of The Mall, said: "Amazing Interactives have certainly lived up to their name with this one - it is exciting and very different. Children are loving it.

"It's great to have a local company able to produce something so advanced."

The grotto also features a post box for Santa letters, laser lighting and sweets.

The Mall will also have a carol singing contest for schools with a performance each late shopping evening and a top prize of pounds 1,000 in music vouchers. There is also Teesside Hospice's "Tree of Life".

Tim Dear, creative director at Amazing Interactives, said: "We are the only company in the world which develops fully interactive 3D shows and special effects for entertainment. We're delighted to have been able to team up with The Mall to develop a Bogglevision Show for the kids in our home town."

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THRILL OF THE NEW: Visitors watch the grotto show Pictures by DAVE CHARNLEY
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Dec 5, 2007
Words:268
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