Old-Time Movie Palace Meets Modern-Day A/V
This lavish theater room looks both back and forward in the movie-playing time capsule.
SILVER WINNER: Best Home Theater $100K-$250K
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May 09, 2009 by Steven Castle

This is one of those “are you kidding us?” rooms. The gold columns, ornate capitals and trim, faux-painted rock walls, red velvet drapes and upholstered walls are meant to recall opulent movie theater palaces of the past.

The equipment is anything but old-fashioned, however. A JVC 1080p D-ILA (Direct Drive Image Light Amplifier) and a superwide Stewart CineCurve screen provide smooth and filmlike CinemaScope-wide pictures, while an Anthem Statement D2 processor and A5 multichannel amps pump out 3,000 watts of power to nine Paradigm Reference Signature speakers (three for the front and six surrounds). In addition, two Velodyne subwoofer amps provide another 6,000 watts for two Velodyne subs.

The Anthem processor, says Tyler Worthington, a theater designer and A/V installer at Worthington Entertainment Systems in Lancaster, Calif., does a fabulous job not only as a surround-sound audio processor for the powerful 7.2-channel system, but as a great video scaler, eliminating the need for an outboard processor to upgrade lower-resolution images to Full HD 1080p resolution. That’s what’s often needed for the stardard-def DVDs in the 400-disc changer and accessible through an Escient FireBall media server interface. There are high-definition Blu-ray and HD DVD players as well.

A Panamorph anamorphic lens is used with the JVC projector to provide the CinemaScope-wide images, and the motorized draperies are used to mask the sides of the screen when regular-old 16:9 widescreen is viewed instead.

It’s all very 21st-century and operated by an RTI T4 touchscreen remote that provides confirmation with a female voice.

One would think the designer of this room had carte blanche—and he did with the design—but Worthington encountered plenty of obstacles.

The original room was much larger and had a vaulted ceiling and an elevator in the middle of the space. So Worthington lowered the ceiling, used the back of the elevator as part of the right side wall—the elevator now exits to the theater’s lobby—and sectioned off a window dormer in the rear to house the projector and the equipment racks.

In addition, all the walls were acoustically isolated. The walls consist of a layer of acoustic soundboard, a layer of QuietRock acoustic drywall, another layer of soundboard and then regular drywall, each layer separated by elastometric glue, an industrial adhesive. Acoustic absorption and diffusion panels top off the wall treatments.

The front and side speakers were painstakingly placed inside the columns, along with the front subwoofers. There are other goodies as well, such as an invisible door to the lobby on the right side and plug-ins for game controllers and other devices on the steps. There’s also a starfield in the ceiling with 800 lights and 16 different lighting modes. It’s just one more element that adds to the opulence of this well-thought-out entertainment space.

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
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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Systems Design and Installation
Worthington Entertainment Systems
Lancaster, Calif.

JVC Pro RS2 Projector
Stewart Filmscreen Cine-W 120-inch Curved Screen w/StudioTek 130
Panamorph UH480 Anamorphic Lens, M480 Automatic Transport
Chief RPA Universal Mouting Bracket, Plate, Extension Pole
Paradigm Reference Signature S6 speakers (2)
Paradigm Reference Signature C5,
Paradigm Reference Signature ADP3 Surrounds (6)
Velodyne SC-15 Subwoofers (2)
Anthem Statement D2 Processor
Anthem Statement A5 Amplifiers
Velodyne SC-1250 Subwoofer Amplifiers (2)
Panasonic BD-30 Blu-Ray Player
Toshiba HDA35 HD-DVD Player
DirecTV HR21 HD Satellite Receiver
Escient MX111 Fireball Media Server
QSC DSP-30 Digital Equalizers (2)
Sony DVP-CX777ES 400 Disc Changer
Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite
Nintendo Wii
Furman Elite 15DMI Power Conditioner (2)
Furman Elite 15I Power Conditioner, (2)
Furman Elite 20PFI Power Conditioner
RTI T4 Touchscreen Remote
RTI XP8 Processor
RTI RM433 Wireless Receiver
HAI UPB Lighting System
Aprilaire 8870 Automated Thermostat
Aprilaire 8811 Protocol Adapter
Monster Cable 500-foot 12GA THX Cert. Speaker Cable
Panamax 20 Amp Extension Cords
Malibu Low-Voltage Lighting and Transformers
Makita Automated Drapery Track System
Canare Custom L4E6S Star-Quad Balanced Cable
Neutrik NC3MX & NC3FX XLR Connectors
Acoustone Speaker Grille Cloth
Pearlworks Architectural Moldings
Architectural Products Custom Cast Columns
Middle Atlantic Equipment Racks
Linksys WRT54G Wireless Access Point,
Linksys 16-Port Gigabit Switch
Fiber Optic Illuminators & 800 Stars

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