Harley-Davidson Soda Machine Sweetens Attic Theater
An LED fiber-optic ceiling, 2.35 projection and touchscreen controls also make this attic theater conversion rock.
FINALIST: Home Theater $50,000-$100,000
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February 05, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger

We love it when homeowners express their passions or hobbies in their home theaters. We’d already seen Harley-Davidson show up in one cool theater environment, and here it is again in a completely different context.

For one thing, this New Jersey theater is a dedicated room, and for another it’s not your typical basement project. It’s in the home’s attic space. That in itself was a bit of an unusual challenge faced by custom electronics pro Premier Home Theater of Newton, N.J.

“We were contacted by this owner to help them turn their attic into a theater for the whole family to enjoy. Upon meeting with the owner we realized we would have to get very creative to make you forget you were in an attic,” says Premier’s Robert Kowalski. “We gave the walls a three-dimensional feel by stacking acoustic panels and popping some color in with the amber fabric on some of the panels. We also designed in an LED fiber-optic ceiling to open the space up and take your attention away from the various angles in the ceiling.”

LED star ceilings can certainly bring viewers to a heightened theater experience, and we’ve seen them installed in a number of rooms like this. Halfway through the project, though, this owner wanted to bring in another visual element to add to the room’s appeal: a Harley-Davidson soda machine. It actually worked well in more ways than one, Kowalski notes.

“He was thrilled to find out when it showed up that it matched the room perfectly,” says Kowalski, noting the color scheme.

As far as the actual movie and TV viewing, an important aspect was the aspect ratio. Premier installed a 2.35:1 screen that can mask to 16:9 so the common super-wide CinemaScope and traditional HDTV viewing aspect ratios would be incorporated to their fullest as projected from the high-performance Runco projector.

Special care and attention also went into the equipment rack as well as sub-systems integration. “We were able to build the equipment rack into an unused opening in the wall to provide a very clean look in the room,” Kowalski says. “We also integrated the lighting and HVAC control into the Crestron system so that everything is automated through the TPMC8X touchscreen controller. The client loves the way everything turned out and can’t believe that this used to be his attic.”

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com and Electronic House magazine.

Installer, Equipment List

Systems Design and Installation
Premier Home Theater
Newton, N.J.

Peter Nagel Builders

Runco RS900 projector with Cinewide Lens
Stewart 135” Luxus Fixed 2:35 screen with FireHawk G3 Fabric masks down to 108” 16:9
Triad IW Bronze LCR (3)
Triad IW Bronze Surround (4)
Triad IW Bronze Sub with rack amp (2)
Panamax M1500 UPS
Tributaries Series 5 and Series 7 Interconnect and speaker wire
Crestron TPMC8X wireless touchpanel
Crestron CP2E control processor
Integra DTR8.8 surround receiver
Sony BDPS300 Blu-ray
Integra DHS-8.8 HD DVD
Vudu XL1 movie server
ButtKicker 1000 watt rack amp with 3 buttkickers
Dish Network HDTV DVR
Crestron ILux lighting controller
Middle Atlantic ERK wall rack with custom RSH shelves
Acoustic Innovation Acoustic Panels
Custom draperies by Fine Design

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