July 23, 2010 by Steven Castle
The JVC DLA-HD750 projector was selected for its outstanding picture quality and ability to accommodate a Panamorph moving lens system, which is needed to produce the superwide CinemaScope images. The JVC projector and Panamorph motorized lens are situated on a custom-made mounting plate to keep them secure, which is mounted above the back row of old theater chairs, which the owners lovingly refurbished.
Even the old steel lights, which can be operated via the Control4 system, are tethered to poles with snakes of metal conduit—another authentic touch.
A Blu-ray and DVD player is tucked inside a nearby closet for convenience, but the rest of the equipment is located on a rack in a mechanical room.
“We used the Control4 [home control] system to ensure integration with the rest of the house, and for its easy-to-use remote and on-screen display,” says Montjoy.
The Control4 system is also responsible for one of the most important but underrated features of this home drive-in theater: the keypad at its entrance. “We worked hard to make this easy to use,” says Montjoy. “There are three buttons on the keypad that when pressed, set the room up for various functions. When the MOVIE button is pressed, it allows the lights to go all the way down for when the movie is started and for a low-light mode when paused. For the GAME mode, the lights are dimmed but are brighter than in the MOVIE mode, and the pause and play modes change as well. A third KID’S MOVIE button gives yet another mode so that kids can have a little more light.”
Yep, we’ve come a long way from those campy drive-in days of the Fifties and Sixties.
The picture is a whole lot better as well. The video system in this theater is so good, Montjoy says, that when the owner watched Avatar he emailed Montjoy and said that it was better than when he saw it in the theater.
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Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates
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