DIY Home Theater Inspired by Metropolis

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Photography by Gualino Photographic Studio

A dystopian struggle between the working and upper classes morphs into a state-of-the art home theater.


Jun. 14, 2012 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Inspiration for home theaters comes from many different places, but a favorite movie seems to be a recurring theme among enthusiasts. We’ve seen Star Wars and Star Trek theaters, Terminator theaters, Tomb Raider theaters and even a Godfather theater.

For Sal in Northern Italy, it was the 1927 German classic Metropolis by Fritz Lang that planted the seed which eventually developed into a two year-long theater building project.

This is Sal’s second home theater project. The first he built in his other home in Southern Italy in 2003. He learned a lot from that experience and declared that no compromise was going to mar this new endeavor.

Sal says he’d been a fan of Metropolis for years and is particularly fond of the futuristic vision of the film set. “I think that imagining the future is the hardest thing in life,” he says. Throughout the space he added elements to pay homage to the classic, including monoliths resembling the city skyscrapers,  a mega poster that represented nine important moments in the movie, custom doors with posters of the movie and many fine details reminiscent of this silent masterpiece of the twenties.

Much of Metropolis the film takes place in the dank underworld of the workers’ city, so it might seem appropriate that the Metropolis theater was built into a basement. However, there’s nothing dystopian about the end result. The theater project, all 300 square feet of it (about half is the theater room) includes a food court with a bar and diner-style seating, a foyer, the theater operations/equipment room and the theater itself. All the work was done by Sal and his father-in-law. The father-in-law was particularly helpful with mechanics, while Sal is well-versed in woodworking, electronics and audio/video systems. An aunt even chipped in by contributing some of the upholstery work.

To get started, Sal used a CAD application for the architectural design and a predictive audio CAD application ensure the space was acoustically optimized. The design takes advantage of acoustic materials including absorbers and diffusers

The biggest problems he encountered in the process were largely structural, but fine-tuning of the acoustics, as well as the system programming, were also challenges.

Once the room construction was completed, Sal set out selecting and installing the equipment. For audio, he selected Rotel amps with an Onkyo receiver for the processing. The Rotel amps feed a set of Klipsch Ultra 2 speakers. The image is provided courtesy of an Epson LCD 3D projector and an anamorphic lens aimed at a Seymour acoustic screen. He controls the system with a Logitech Harmony 885 universal remote.

Sal and his family of two young children all enjoy the room, and who wouldn’t? That doesn’t mean that the project is over. He’s already contemplating an LED projector or maybe moving into 4K.

Check out the slideshow for more scenes inside the Metropolis Home Theater.

Details
Location : Northern Italy
Room Size: 300 square feet (about half devoted to the theater itself)
Project Time: 2 years
Year Completed: 2012
Cost: about $85,000
Photography by Gualino Photographic Studio

 

 


Belkin PureAV F40
ONKYO TX-NR3008
Monster Cable Ultimate Quality THX Certified ULTi600
MULTIAMPLIFICATION:
- 1 ROTEL RB 1080 dedicated to Frontal channel Sx & Dx
- 1 ROTEL RB 1070 dedicated to Rear surround Sx & Dx
- 1 ROTEL RB 1070 dedicated to Back surround Sx & Dx
- 1 ROTEL RB 06 dedicated to Center channel
- 1 Klipsch KA-1000-THX* for passive SubWoofer

THX Certified Monster Speaker Cable
SPEAKER SYSTEM 11.4
KLIPSCH THX Ultra2
2 Subwoofer JBL ES 250 P
4 Klipsch KPT-1201
2 Klipsch RB-61
SUBWOOFER ACTIVE EQUALIZATION:
DSPEAKER-Antimode-8033S
BDP PIONEER 440 - 3D
POPCORN HOUR A300 WITH 12 TB ARCHIVES
HIDEF TV SKYBOX HD

EPSON TW-EH9000 3D Projector
8 pair Epson 3D ELPGS01
CEILING PROJECTOR MOUNT:
DOMOLIFT AUTOMATION -CPM1 - BLACK
SEYMOURAV CENTER STAGE HD SCREEN
ANAMORPHIC LENS PRISMASONIC HD-5000M
SANYO SPW-UC486VEH INVERTER HEAT PUMP 48000 BTU
DOMOTIC CONTROL:
LUTRON Grafik Eye 3104 CE
LOGITECH Harmony 885 Remote



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