Underground Theater

A 120-inch screen and a 7.2 sound system rise up from the depths of the Earth.

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This planter rises out of the ground to reveal a speaker for the outdoor home theater.

When the temperature rarely dips below 65 degrees, why not put a home theater outside? The owners of this Florida home did just that, but not in the way you might think. Everything is hidden—underground. Absolutely nothing was left out in the open—not the 120-inch motorized screen or the video projector, nor the seven James Loudspeaker speakers and two subwoofers.

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Installing sensitive electronic gear 3 feet under is not for the faint of heart. The custom electronics (CE) pros at Automated Life, Boca Raton , Fla., dug a subterranean cavity for each piece of the audio/video setup. For each resting place concrete was poured, power and control cabling trenched, drainage piped and a hydraulic system installed. In the down position, a marble plate covers the cutaways of the speakers and subs; the screen stays inside custom designed, weather-hardy fiberglass cabinet.

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Everything slowly ascends into the movie time position when the owners touch a button on a portable Savant touchpanel. At the same time, the projector revs up and the Meridian audio/video processors activate. From the touchpanel the owners can choose to play a Blu-ray disc, pay-per-view movie on satellite or a flick that’s been stored on their Mozaex media server. And if it’s too hot outside, fans which were installed in the same cavities with the rear speakers, blow cool air into the seating area.

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