May 03, 2010
by Arlen Schweiger
If ever a theater is deserving of a red carpet premier night, this is as good a candidate as any. The homeowner was seeking a nostalgic return to his theater experiences of the glitzy 1930s-50s silver screen era; he got that and a lot, lot more.
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The amazing thing? This job lasted four months, and somehow the owner managed the willpower not to check out the progress at any time until it was truly ready. And then he christened it by showing up in a limo for a memorable evening, according to Jeffrey Smith of First Impressions Theme Theatres in Miami.
“You can imagine someone who never saw anything we did before finished product, and what that experience was like,” says Smith. “He wanted it that way I guess. On the night of our turnover of the theater to him, a limo pulls up, the family gets out, and starts their tour of interior design.” The theater was part of a full renovation, and other rooms are breathtaking in their own right, though maybe with not as much force as a the high-performance theater.
“We waited an hour before they finally come up to our level, and the excitement was quite incredible, seeing it all for first time,” Smith continues. “The room looks just like rendering, and he apparently had an idea from visual, he just wanted to wait, and he waited until very end.”
The A/V components are just as rich and detail-attentive as the reds and golds that adorn the massive 28 x 25 x 10 room. A reference-grade Digital Projection International Titan 1080p projector fires beautiful high-def images at the 14-foot-wide CinemaScope aspect ratio Stewart screen, while a JBL Synthesis 7.1 soundsystem—with washing-machine-sized subwoofers—cranks out the soundtracks.
The installation, which theater designer First Impressions did in conjunction with systems installers Creative Media Designs and Definitive Electronics, had almost as much drama as any Scorsese flick. Well, that may be an embellishment, but then again so is this entire room’s slant on the phrase “home theater.” The room is on the fourth floor of a high-rise, and a spiral staircase and marble interior did not make for an installer’s friend to lift washing-machine-sized anything. So cranes were brought in for the large objects and carefully guided them to safe depositing in the room.
And when everything was installed and firing on all cylinders, what did the homeowner make the opening night gala film choice? “Casino Royale was his first movie,” says Smith. “He wanted to hear what it could do.”
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.