Theater Becomes Family Attraction
An exercise room's transformation into a home theater brings kids back into the homestead.
Click to enlarge. “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” (c) 2006 Columbia Pictures and GH One LLC.
February 12, 2007 by Rebecca Day

You’re the mother of a couple of teenage boys, and you want to keep them close to home. What do you do? Build them their own theater and invite their friends over.

Sights and Sounds of Greenwood Village, CO, won the job of converting the Denver home’s exercise space into a Friday night movie house. As important as good sound and video were to the client, fit and finish were the top priorities. Mont Hartman II, president of the Rocky Mountain firm, wouldn’t have it any other way. “From a resale point of view, she’ll get a lot more value out of the finish of the room than she will out of the equipment inside,” he says.

The company handled the woodwork as well, using acoustic material behind the wood panels to control sound and then covering the speaker openings with fabric. Sights and Sounds trimmed the fabric with molding to give the interior the tailored look the client sought.

Hartman encountered challenges on several fronts. Space was tight, and he had to be able to squeeze in a party of eight while leaving enough room to get to the equipment rack at the back of the room. He also had to factor in Mom’s susceptibility to motion sickness, which can kick in during a big-screen chase scene.

His first solution was to leave aisle space behind the rear row of seats for easy access to the component rack that’s mounted flush into the wall, utilizing space behind the theater for the bulky gear. For the motion sickness, he downsized the screen to reduce fast-moving oversize images. Typically in a room this size, Hartman would specify a 106-inch screen, but here he opted for a 92 incher to present a more comfortable perspective from Mom’s perch in the back row.

As for the stay-at-home strategy, the theater has become the place to be for the kids and several of their closest friends. “The plan’s working well,” Hartman confirms.

Equipment List

Systems and Room Design
Sights and Sounds
Greenwood Village, CO

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