Just behind Lee Van Cleef there you'll notice a massive wall panel covered in lights. It's like they based their operation out of a s****y Lite-Brite factory. In the movie, no one ever touches that light panel, it's never discussed, it has no purpose. It's just an artistic touch, a piece of flair. But what the f**k is it? It's like the panels on the 1960s Enterprise, just flashing lights blinking on and off to indicate that yes, we have power and yes, we're wasting it like the dickens.
"Captain, our electricity bill is ridiculous."
I want to believe this light panel has a purpose. Throughout the movie, the lights just change patterns. It's like a bothersome string of Christmas lights that got cubed and some a*****e installed a blinker in the string, so now they all keep turning on and off, just waiting to cause a lazy seizure if you watch them too long.
The story in Escape is that Snake Plissken, a one-eyed fellow who growls more than speaks and who everyone thinks is dead, has to save the president from the terrible prison that is Manhattan. He has only so many hours to do so, otherwise no one gives a f**k, plus Snake will die. So he's motivated. This command center exists to track Snake's progress and extract the president once he has succeeded. Those lights, therefore, are to monitor the health and safety of either the president or Snake Plissken. That's what they do, all flipping on and off every second on what is easily a 3x3 panel set into the wall.