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Fortress Seating

Theater Install Deals with a Funky Foundation
Installation team turns theater plans 90 degrees for a better home theater layout.
FINALIST: Best Home Theater $100,000 to $250,000
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July 24, 2009 by Lisa Montgomery

Basement theaters have a lot going for them. Like a large, blank canvas, a basement theater allows you to design it however you want.

Getting your creative ideas to stick to that canvas can get tricky.

Just ask the owners of this 220-square-foot entertainment room. A strangely constructed foundation floor and walls, plus awkwardly shaped niches and cubbies had them rethinking the original plans for the space.

“They had envisioned the area as a small rectangle where a second row of seats would occupy the cubby in the back of the room,” says custom electronic professional Brain Duggan of Union Place, Excelsior, Minn. Given the type of equipment they wanted, orienting the theater this way “would have been like fitting a square peg into a round hole.”

Duggan’s solution: rotate the layout 90 degrees and utilize the utility room as an entryway to the theater. The shift netted the owners can extra 5 feet at the back of the room—enough space to comfortably accommodate a 115-inch CinemaScope (2.35:1) Da-Lite screen and eight seats split into two rows (every chair was fitted with a tactile transducer so that the seat shakes along with the movie action).

Although the owners gained more square footage, space was still a little tight. To maximize it, the SIM2 1080p projector was tucked into a cabinet at the back of the room and two racks of A/V gear were built into the new Sheetrock wall to the right of the seats and covered with a sheath of fabric.

The screen was given a flush appearance, too. “One of our trademark installation techniques is to install the screen first then build the walls around it,” says Duggan.

A proscenium and motorized draperies enhance the built-in appearance. Union Place also likes to match the colors of the touchscreen to the home theater decor. In this case, browns and reds were incorporated onto the buttons and menus of the RTI T4 handheld remote.

Here’s something else the homeowners never imagined for their theater: When the phone rings upstairs, the theater alerts them by flickering the cove lights.

Click here to view additional photos.

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Lisa Montgomery - Contributing Writer
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.

Installer/Equipment List

Systems Design & Installation
Union Place
Excelsior, MN

Equipment List
SIM2 C3X1080 1080p video projector
Schneider Optics Kino-Linear Sled
Schneider Optics Cine Digitar 1.33x Anamorphic Lens
Da-Lite 115-inch Imager screen
Da-Lite 115-inch Pro Imager 2.35-1.78 masking system
Da-Lite Pro Trim
Triad InWall Bronze/7.2 surround system
Denon DVD-1940
VidaBox Roomate Media Center PC Extender
RTI T4 remote
RTI XP-8 control processor
Chief RPM Elite projector mount
Chief Pan-2 lens support
Monster Power HTS-5100PRO power protection
Middle Atlantic custom equipment rack
Lutron 6-zone Grafik Eye lighting control
Fortress seating
Crowson Technology TES-100 transducers
Crowson Technology A300 amplifier
Numinus fibter-optic LED ceiling panels
N.O.I.S.E block mass loaded barrier
ASI resilient sound isolation clips

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