Cool Homes
Theater Marches to Beat of Its Own Drum
This Tennessee home theater includes its owner's drum set to make plenty of noise, when the theater itself isn't booming with movies.
The illuminated drum set is the first thing you see when you enter the theater. Credit: Joseph Hilliard
Slideshow and Related Content
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March 04, 2009 by Rebecca Day

Donny Hackett designs home theaters, but he’s a firm believer in the multipurpose room.

Take this attic turned theater in Nashville. Hackett, owner of Donny Hackett Theater Design in Hendersonville, TN, was approached by the homeowners at a local Parade of Homes, where his custom theaters were on display.

“My clients said they really wanted a theater but didn’t know where in their home they could put one,” Hackett says. So the designer toured the three-floor home and suggested the top floor, where the Mapex drum set resided. Hackett kept the drums and created a theme around them.

“My client played in a rock band in the ’80s, so we decided to make the whole thing look like a stage with rock-and-roll lighting,” Hackett says. That included a pro lighting truss with PAR (parabolic aluminized reflector) LED can lights and LED rope lighting throughout. Sitting at the drums, the owner can change colors and dim the lights with a foot pedal, creating his own light show.

Hackett made sure the room could be interactive as well, designing a stage beneath the custom-made screen. “They can play music or do karaoke,” he says.

Click here to view a floorplan of the theater space.

Absorbing sound was key to Hackett’s design. He worked with a local acoustician on treatments to ensure that sound from the pounding drums and punchy home theater wouldn’t leak to the rest of the house.

Professional Audio Video Engineering installed the A/V gear and programmed the Crestron remote to handle the power and switching functions and control of Hackett’s motorized and soundproof theater door. Even the ceiling panels—made of MDF and covered with the same fabric as the screen—have a role in the acoustics.

“The panels look like frosted glass, but they’re actually covered in fabric,” he says. “The fabric absorbs the sound, so we didn’t have to worry about reflecting sound issues.”

Click here to view a slideshow of the theater.

Also, check out the short video below to see the motorized soundproof door and James Bond equipment-rack-revealing poster.

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Equipment List

Vidikron model 80 projector
Custom-designed 102-inch screen
Samsung BD-P1200 Blu-ray player

Speakers and Electronics
B&K AVR 307 receiver
LSA tower and in-wall loudspeakers
MartinLogan Descent subwoofer

Crestron TPMC-4XG touchscreen controller
Pro lighting truss and chrome par cans on DMX dimmer pack
Mapex drum kit

Room Design and Installation
Donny Hackett Theater Design
Hendersonville, TN

Professional Audio Video Engineering
Nashville, TN

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