May 09, 2011
by Rebecca Day
The lucky homeowner of this 11-seat theater wanted a space that was as comfortable for an action-packed thriller as it was for a Triple Crown race. Rows one and two deliver cinema-style comfort—with contemporary red styling—while the third row offers more informal seating for the sports crowd.
Providing two different experiences was important to the homeowner, so he asked the architect and builder to design separate entrances. One entry is through the bar area where guests stream back and forth while watching a game. For a night at the movies, guests are directed through the foyer past the formal lobby lined with movie posters, where they can grab a bag of popcorn from the popper.
Electronics Design Group (EDG), Piscataway, N.J., designed the rows and risers so everyone would have an optimum view of the screen, a challenge in this room where a large structural pillar is prominent.
On the audio side, computer-aided design software helped the planners deliver balanced sound to each seat. EDG met the owner’s request for exceptional sound with an array of B&W loudspeakers built into the walls around the theater. Front left, center and right channel speakers are positioned above the screen behind fabric grills, while two powered subwoofers are built into the enclosure beneath the screen to provide the crash and boom movie lovers expect.
The owner wanted to enjoy movies in super-widescreen 2.35:1 or 2.4:1 CinemaScope formats, the way many big blockbusters are filmed. So EDG combined a Runco projector and an anamorphic lens, which is used to produce the superwide images. A Stewart Filmscreen masking system ensures the full CinemaScope experience—without seeing black bars when viewing standard movies or TV shows.
The Lutron lighting control system provides various preset scenes for different viewing material. In sports mode, the lights are brighter for socializing. A movies setting dims the lights over 30 seconds so viewers can settle into their seats. When the movie is over, a tap on the remote slowly ramps the lights back up.
All distribution equipment, processors and amplifiers are stored in a rack that sits in an equipment room adjacent to the theater and cooled to preserve the life of the electronics. Source equipment is housed in the theater for easy access. Video components include a Blu-ray player and a Vudu high-definition streaming movie player for video on demand. Music is provided by an audio server and XM radio. A gaming jack is threaded into the system so the video game du jour can be accommodated at any time. Always looking ahead, EDG ensured there’s room in the equipment stack when the owners are ready to upgrade. This should be a simple task for EDG installers, thanks to the company’s labeled wiring diagram. EH