June 02, 2011
| by Grant Clauser
If you could have a fantasy home theater designed after a favorite film, what would it be (keep it clean, nothing with Debby in the title)? I think I’d go with Excalibur or maybe Blade Runner. One lucky Florida resident is getting a dream theater styled after the Disney series Pirates of the Caribbean.
Bobby Bala, president of Elite Home Theater Seating, designed a pirate-themed theater for one client. The theater isn’t built yet, but Bala shared some of the computer designs on his company’s web site to show what’s coming. He noted that the project will take about 18 months to complete.
How did a theater seating company get into theater design? Bala’s background includes video game and computer design. When you combine that with an enthusiasm for home theater, elaborate creations can’t be far behind. In fact, the Pirate Theater isn’t Bala’s first stab at over-the-top design. He first created the design for a Bat Cave-style theater, the images of which are also on display at the company’s web site. Bala said that was done just for fun, and the theater hasn’t been built, but the renderings attracted so much attention, including the attention of this current client, that Bala expects to be doing more of this work in the future.
The main viewing room of the Pirate Theater is designed to look like the deck of a classic pirate ship. Of course, a pirate ship is not necessarily the most ideal setting for experiencing a movie, so Bala incorporated some essential modifications. High deck railings accommodate speakers and acoustical treatments. The wood construction won’t actually be real wood. It will be a synthetic material designed to be acoustically friendly. Thankfully, this theater won’t have to worry about the corroding qualities of sea spray.
To make sure none of the guests need suffer the ravages of scurvy, the design includes a pirate tavern with a custom bar. However, the tavern looks a bit too respectable for the likes of Jack Sparrow. I hope the owner serves a decent rum.
Altogether, this project will cost the owner about $2.5 million.
We’ve asked Bala to keep us in the loop as the project progresses so when can share the finished results with you.
Bala isn’t abandoning the custom theater seating business. On the contrary, seating will continue to be the company’s primary business, and that’s a good thing, because they make fantastic seats, but if you’ve got an idea for an over-the-top theater design, you can reach him here.
Visit the slide show to see more pictures of the Pirate Theater renderings and the original Bar Cave theater design.
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. He's also the author of the book The Trouble with Rivers
. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.