Integrating Travel Experiences


The Fiore’s theater takes guests from tropical Cancun to city nightlife, the jungle and outer space. Who needs movies? Photo by Paul Jonasan.

A well-traveled family blends reminders of their favorite spots into their electronic home installation project.

Aug. 01, 2005 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Rick and Terry Fiore and their teenage sons A.J., Rickie and Tony aren’t exactly homebodies. They travel all over in their motor home, from Las Vegas casinos to caves to a place called Rock City Gardens in Chattanooga, TN. Even when they’re home in the southern
California hills, it appears as if they’re still traveling across the United States.

“We’ve been through 100 different caves, so we built caves and hot springs [on our property],” says Rick. “We’ve seen beautiful casinos and other places,” so they have emulated those experiences at their home as well. Rock City features 4,100 feet of rock trails, so the Fiores added some rock pools and a grotto to their own space. There’s even a cave with an underground waterfall.

The adventure starts in the home theater, a 900-square-foot space that takes up an entire second floor. Painted on the walls is a
tropical landscape and some ruins from Cancun, Mexico. An urban night scene in a corner is fronted by statues of the Blues Brothers.

And then there’s a giraffe statue and a spaceshiplike ceiling.

“The room is designed to fit our property with a 300-degree view out the windows in the back of the theater,” Rick explains. “We put
video poker machines up against the windows, and when you sit there at night, it looks like a spaceship console. So we added the
spaceship window in the ceiling. Then we started thinking What would we want to have in a spaceship? And we’d want some tropics, a
casino and some entertainment, so we have the Blues Brothers.”

Not that the audio and video in the theater isn’t entertaining enough. The system was equipped by Hunter Communications of Thousand Oaks, CA, with powerful Anthem amps, in-wall Polk speakers and two 2,700-watt Sunfire subwoofers to accompany the video from a Sony projector. Each seat is outfitted with bass transducers that convert low frequencies into vibrations.

That’s just inside. Outside the home is another theater system that can play in concert with the interior theater, along with a volcano
that doubles as a fireplace and TV stand. Red lights on the volcano’s peak make it look like red smoke is coming out. Numerous outdoor zones serve the patio, grotto pool, Tiki hut and desert oasis. And the speakers are spread out to play the family’s favorite tunes, without interfering with one another. There are even some speakers in a cave.

System Design
Hunter Communications
Thousand Oaks, CA

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