This room is the “Sybil” of home theaters, with multiple functions each cooler than the next. Haters can click in disgust if they choose, but there is no denying that having the ability to make popcorn and a Piledriver all while watching “King Kong” swat at planes is pretty darn cool.
The typical theater has seats and carpet, and both are immaculate and typically off-limits outside of popcorn and the occasional Milk Dud. The goal of this client’s theater wasn’t just a cool place to watch TV or have movie night, but to create a place where the family could gather and enjoy a movie without the threat of a snack attack. Don’t worry; sticky mitts are not welcome just anywhere in this room. Beyond the beautiful 110-inch Stewart screen and the eight theater seats lies a kitchen area, complete with a refrigerator, a sink and wet bar, a microwave, cabinetry and six barstools.
“Typically people have trouble distinguishing between a media room and a theater,” says Alan Weissman, sales consultant for Electronics Design Group. “A theater is typically a destination upon itself… a media room is a multipurpose room. This room doesn’t fall into the stereotypical definition of either.”
While those sitting in the cushy theater seats on two rows of risers are immersed in the big screen via buttkickers, those towards the back of the room can be engaged in snack time, all without missing a minute of the show.
Adjacent to the theater is a home office, a playroom and a home gym. To make sure theater viewers don’t disturb the others on the floor (and vice versa), every inch of the room was acoustically wrapped with insulated materials. Even the theater door was designed with a perimeter seal and sweep to confine sound to the theater space.
This was par for the course; however the install did have its share of challenges. Multiple HVAC ducts running through the basement level threatened to blow viewers out of their seats—literally. Instead of dealing with the noise and potential ventilation problems, EDG worked with the homeowner’s HVAC contractor to remodel and reroute the HVAC ducts.
Another challenge involved where to put the audio/video equipment. The client didn’t want to see any of it, but this part of the basement left few hiding places. The homeowners decided that they probably wouldn’t want to cozy up to a blaze while watching action explode on-screen, so they opted to gut the fireplace and make it into an equipment rack. “It already had great ventilation because of the flue,” says Weissman.
Weissman says he’s seen his share of installs, but never one with a kitchen. “They created this whole basement that’s like a whole play area—with this part like stepping into a multiplex,” he says. “Except it’s tuned, calibrated, cozy and self-sufficient.”
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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.