The Temple of Boom


Prop replicas from the Indiana Jones movies are found throughout this home theater.

A few torches, an idol and a little technology helped whip this Indiana Jones-themed room into theater quality.

Oct. 08, 2007 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

You may have to shield your eyes from the ark, but this theater won’t melt your face—at least not in a bad way.

About two years ago, Larry and Colleen Halliday were looking to add a little excitement to their home theater. They made a deal with installer Doug Charrois, who then called in the doctor—Dr. Indiana Jones.

To many in the audiophile crowd, the Halliday’s equipment list wouldn’t be as coveted as the ark itself. The couple is more than satisfied though. It’s got much better acoustics than the Well of Souls, and hey—it’s all about the ambience.

“Larry saw the torches in a store and came up with the idea it would be cool to have a theme of Indiana Jones in the theater they were going to build in their up-and-coming new home,” says Charrois, who was up for the design challenge.

And challenge it was. Much like Indiana, Charrois worked solo at the time of the installation, going by the company name Jade Security. “I found them,” he says. “Working on my own, I would have to drum up my own business driving around new construction areas. Once I found a good size home going up, then it would be my sparkling personality that would take over.”

Charrois may not be as suave as Indiana, but in six short weeks he did all of the design and construction that would bring this theme theater to life.

Enter the 18-by-12-foot theater and you’ll see a familiar face: the Nazi-loving monkey from the original “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Guess the dates weren’t so bad after all, eh? Look up towards the top of the room, and it’s like entering a cave with the top worn out to expose the sky. Next to the door, there is a small equipment room, which also includes wiring for intercom, security, networking and sound.

There’s no giant ark to double as a bar—not that it wasn’t a thought. “[Larry] really wanted to find a full size replica of the ark and have it open and spew lots of smoke and lightning,” Charrois says. “Kind of impossible to do, and slightly no room for it.”

They scaled down the ark, and much to Indiana’s delight, there are no snakes slithering around theater seats. The room does have a few other trinkets to impress movie buffs though, including replicas of the Holy Grail, a jacket, hat, whips, torches and more—including the idol from the opening of the original movie.

However, not everything can be found in either of the first three adventures—or even the sneak peeks of the fourth Indy installment, which are floating all over the Internet. Charrois says the most bizarre addition was the homeowner’s idea: “I don’t know if you can tell but the owner had his face put in the picture on the door.”

At completion, the room had plenty of A/V equipment and three remotes, which included Lutron’s Grafik Eye system for theater lighting. The lighting remains, but since the install was completed, the couple has added a Control4 Home Theater Controller.

Charrois only has one regret: “The hieroglyphic symbols on each side of the stage are ¼-inch MDF that I had cut out with a laser,” he says. “They were all individually sanded by hand and spray painted gold. I originally didn’t do it because I thought it would take too long. Looking back now, it would have looked very cool!”

Since it was finished in 2005, this theater has had a few tweaks, including adding the Control4 equipment, more painting and a few additional props. If they’re planning a sequel, let’s just hope it doesn’t take them almost 20 years.

Charrois is currently the project manager of theater design for True Home Cinema Xperience in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Special thanks to the Home Theater Blog for help with this story.

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