April 28, 2009
| by Tom LeBlanc
The owner of this home theater had some big demands. “The best was not good enough, only what’s better than the best,” according to Jeffrey Smith, president of First Impressions Theme Theatres.
In turn, he got some good stuff:
- Digital Projection TITAN Reference 1080p projector (MSRP $69,995)
- 14-foot Stewart CineCurve projection screen
- JBL Synthesis Hercules Loudspeakers, which Smith describes as “washing machine-sized”
- Crestron automation system
- Silent Glis motorized drapes in the adjacent lobby
- “Secret” automatic door, which is triggered by the owner pressing his thumbprint on the Crestron touchpanel
Logistically, the fourth-floor project was anything but easy for North Miami-based First Impressions, which acted as designer, architect and general contractor on the Palm Beach job. System integration was done by Boca Raton, Fla.-based Creative Media Designs and Jupiter-based Definitive Electronics.
Due to issues with the staircase and the elevator, the contractors had to bring in a crane to raise most of the furnishings into the palatial home. That means the installers looked on at one point as $25,000 worth of furnishings dangled in mid air.
Smith says the crane required permits and police detail. However, it was all part of meeting the homeowner’s demand for a home theater with “the latest and greatest of everything electronically,” he says.
“Better than Best” Products
The 14-foot Stewart CineCurve screen was chosen to complement the TITAN projector, which features a TheaterScope anamorphic lens and sled. The TheaterScope system allows the native 16x9 projector to display 1.78:1 and 2.35:1 content on fixed-height screens with no letterbox.
For audio, JBL Synthesis Hercules Loudspeakers was selected. “Sitting in a Cinelounger on the live and dynamic floating wood flooring system we used, your intestines ball up tighter than a spool of yarn on gun fire or explosion scenes,” Smith says.
And no home theater is complete without a Batman-like hidden door. Under the “Cinema de la mer” sign in the lobby is a secret automatic door. The homeowner can trigger the door by pressing his thumbprint against a Crestron touchpanel.
The Crestron system offers complete control of all components, including the Silent Glis motorized drapes.
Even with all its quirky hidden door and “better than the best” characteristics, the homeowner wanted a classic look. Smith and his design team strove to deliver the request for old world elegance, rich materials and vibrant colors.
The theater can comfortably accommodate up to 13 people. They’re all good seats, Smith says. He calls the theater’s on-screen images “the most stunning image I’ve ever seen on a screen of this size.”
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