Octagon Theater Bends Home Theater Rules

Unique design has positive acoustic properties.


Most home theater rulebooks say it’s best to put your speakers, screen and seats inside a rectangular-shaped room. Squares are no good, and neither are circles. But as the custom electronics (CE) professionals at Admit One Home Cinema in Edina, Minn., prove, you can bend the rules and still end up with a fabulous home theater.

Situated directly below a sun room, this octagon-shaped space in an underutilized basement was the last place its owners envisioned having a home theater system. Admit One Home Cinema president Lance Anderson thought differently. “Although it was an unusual shape, I thought it would really make the theater unique in its design; plus the angled walls were great for acoustics.” Anderson explains that bass frequencies tend to get trapped in right-angled corners, and since this room had none, the Admit One Home Cinema team could achieve a nice sonic balance without having to add a slew of acoustical treatments.

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The shape also lent itself well to the addition of a cove ceiling. To create the illusion of a ceiling much taller than its actual near 10-foot-height, Admit One Home Cinema installed a fiber-optic StarScape system from Fiberoptics Technology into the Sheetrock prior to it being mounted to the ceiling and lined the cove of the ceiling with fiber-optic rope lighting (see sidebar).

Although acoustically and visually appealing, the shape of this 529-square-foot space presented plenty of challenges for the Admit One Home Cinema crew. Just try mounting a 12-foot-diagonal screen onto an angled wall. To provide a flat surface for the superwide Stewart Filmscreen CinemaScope display, Admit One built out the front wall 11 inches and extended it 22 inches near the bottom to make room for JL Audio subwoofers and the James Loudspeaker center-channel speaker; the right and left speakers were recessed into specially built columns, and the rears were tucked into the back wall.

A simple set of risers with two straight rows of seats wasn’t going to work, either. Each row had to follow a particular curved radius to complement the flow of the walls.
About the only thing in this home theater that’s typical is the hidden rack of equipment. A Middle Atlantic rack in the adjacent exercise room holds a Kaleidescape media server and an NAD processor, amplifier and DVD player, which feed content to a Vidikron video projector. The rack of components are close enough to the theater to permit convenient loading of discs, but out of sight so that only the screen and the sensational design are noticed.

Admit One Home Cinema Edina, Minn. www.admitonecinima.com


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