What do the words “home theater” mean to you? For some, it’s a really great TV with a surround sound system capable of recreating a cinematic soundtrack in the home. For others, it’s only really a home theater if the room is entirely dedicated to replicating the commercial cinema experience at home, with a projection screen and a row (or rows) of seating, and no windows to mar the movie-watching.
One family in Hidden Valley—near Thousand Oaks, California—had dreams of something more opulent. They didn’t just want to recreate the cinematic experience at home; their goal was to recreate the aesthetic of classic cinemas of a bygone era, a time when going to see a movie was a special event, lavish design was the standard, and the balcony seats were the best in the house.
Rich Design Elements Lend to Personalized Luxury
The balcony is just about the only thing missing from this amazing, 400-square-foot room, whose only obviously modern touch is the Runco VX-22d Projector hanging discreetly from the ceiling. The owners worked with Wilshire Home Entertainment in Thousand Oaks, as well as Cinema Design Group International (CDGI) in Boca Raton, Florida, on the design and construction of the room, which features rich draperies, a lavish color palette, and luxurious motorized reclining theater seating designed by First Impressions Theme Theatres in North Miami to include the family’s crest in rich embroidery.
Other special touches include running lights, illuminated lions’ heads at the end of the chairs’ armrests, and ceiling stars that fade and brighten with a touch of a button.
Wilshire Home Entertainment also included the family crest in the custom graphics for the home’s advanced URC remote control system, which includes an MX-6000 Touch Screen Remote Control in the home theater, and six KP-4000 In-Wall Touch Screens throughout the home.
One-Touch Automation and Control
The one thing the family didn’t want was for any modern electronics to mar the royal and over-the-top décor of the theater, but at the same time, they wanted the latest and greatest modern technology driving it. So Wilshire Home Entertainment designed a state-of-the-art entertainment system—including a Sony Blu-ray player, Integra surround sound processor and amplifier, and best of all, a Kaleidescape video server that stores the family’s movie library and serves up any film of their choosing at the touch of a button—behind draperies under the ultra-wide Stewart CineCurve screen, which recreates the screen shape of classics like Lawrence of Arabia, and features a curved design that improves image quality by blocking ambient light, and a built-in masking system that replicates the dramatic curtain-opening that use to precede the start of the movie in the good old days.
Despite the fact that the gear is all located centrally, and hidden from sight, family and guests can press a button in any room in the house and enjoy video from the DirecTV receiver, or music from the Kaleidescape or URC PSX-2 Personal iPod Server.
Also hidden behind the luscious décor of the theater is a powerful 7.1-channel surround sound speaker system made up of three Niles IW2670LCR speakers behind the screen, four Niles IW770FX Surround Channel Speakers at the sides and rear of the room, for the ultimate theatrical audio experience, and a total of four Velodyne subwoofers—two under the screen and two in the walls—which fill the room with big-screen bass without also filling it with big black boxes.
Despite such ambitious goals for their home cinema system, the results actually exceeded their expectations. It’s not just everything they asked for; it’s everything they dreamt of: on the surface, a truly timeless, opulent, and elegant ‘20s-style movie theater located within their home; under the surface, a technologically amazing 21st Century entertainment system that will deliver cutting-edge video and sound for years to come.
For additional images of this beautifully crafted, customized home theater please visit Wilshire’s Flickr Page.