August 22, 2007
| by Rachel Cericola
A home theater might seem like once in a lifetime, but this Central Illinois couple actually got another shot, and wanted to make more of a sentimental statement the second time around.
Their vision includes a late-1930s look at Chicago, with a touch of old “Hollywood” for an added theater experience. This project, titled the Hollywood Theater was aptly named as a nod to the theater of the same name that the homeowner frequented during his childhood in Fort Worth, Texas.
As you walk the stairs leading to this basement theater, it’s like a trip down memory lane circa Chicago in the 1930s. Pass by a brick wall and catch a glimpse of the city’s skyline and the first of several custom-painted murals. A newspaper stand includes an original copy of a 1939 “Chicago Tribune.” Then you see a ticket booth, complete with an authentic change drawer filled with coinage dated prior to 1930.
A motion-activated music system adds to the ambience as it triggers music from that era.
When it’s time for a movie marathon, the homeowners use Universal Remote’s MX-3000 touchscreen to cycle through a vast 1,200-disc DVD collection courtesy of Escient’s flagship DVD/CD Manager and four Sony 400 disc changers. If they’re in the mood to channel surf, there are over 35 high-def channels on their Dish Network and off-air HD systems.
There are seven PSB Image Series speakers and two subwoofers paired with an HDMI upconverting Onkyo receiver handling the audio for the room. The InFocus projector vibrantly displays a 119-inch image on their Da-Lite Multi-Mask screen, which they can customize to precisely fit the variety of widescreen formats and 4:3 material.
With motorized drapes, six Buttkickers, and remote control lighting from a Lutron Grafik Eye, this theater has more bells and whistles than the local school playground.
The theater may transcend the homeowners and their guests back in time, but the electronics always keep them focused on the future.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.