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Ahead of the Curve

Winner of Electronic House Magazine’s Silver Award for “Best Theater” and CEDIA’s Bronze “Technical Design” Award!

Winner of Electronic House Magazine’s Silver Award for “Best Theater” and CEDIA’s Bronze “Technical Design” Award!

The clients’ goal for this theater was to have a truly unique room that would assimilate their home’s interior design with a memorable visual presentation for their family and friends.

The clients had an existing distribution system that was installed during the initial construction of the home, but lacked an area for their family and friends to gather and enjoy events and movies together on a large scale. During the planning and design of the home’s distribution system, the clients had observed a dedicated theater in our showroom, and had since visited friends who had dedicated space in their homes for such a room. The experience they had at that time convinced them that a theater was in their future for the home.

When building the home, they included a large storage area with the hopes that it would serve as the family theater when the time came. The room was strictly studded walls and was being used for arcade games and storage when they decided to move forward and begin the design of this unique space. The goal was to have the largest screen appropriate for the space, theater seating for eight as well as occasional/bar seating, and a respectable audio system, all in a space that was unlike the theaters they had seen. 


The Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) and HGTVPro.com partnered to bring you tours of the top designs in the 2010 Electronic Lifestyles Awards. Audio Video Interiors is proud to have been among the top 22 professional home theater designs in the nation!

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Mission ObjectiveBig Screen, Flexible Seating, Respectable Audio

After an initial review, the room was analyzed and it was determined that the dimensions would fulfill the requirement using traditional seating placements. However, the clients wanted a truly unique design and enlisted the design talents of the interiors designer who worked in the rest of the home, as well as the headquarters for their company. A seating layout was drawn and modeled for the space that would meet the clients’ seating requirements and introduced the visual flair the clients wanted. Once we reviewed the proposed layout, it became clear that the largest challenge facing the theater system would be to tune the audio correctly for the room and to work with the room’s low ceiling height and unusual seating placement.

Throughout the framing and staging of the room, several challenges presented themselves that required a refitting of the original design. Due to structural limitations discovered during the initial framing, the ceiling was redesigned as a level surface, with the opening above the seats for visual impact. The ceiling changes also required the screen to drop lower on the main wall to allow for the soffit at the front of the room, which required an additional riser for the main second row to maintain sightlines.  Due to the unique seating layout requested, technical challenges arose to maintain proper technical performance in the room. 


The original design of the room called for the ceiling to be slanted toward the entry point, gradually increasing the height as you approached the screen.

Spreading out the seating as designed created a wide viewing area, which required the use of a moderate gain screen as well as an extended length lens for the projection system. Based on the customer’s main seat, an initial acoustic modeling of the space derived the appropriate placement of the subwoofers, in plane with the front array and behind the micro-perforated Stewart screen. To curb the high-frequency modes, absorbers were placed on the side walls, framed to match the room’s décor.

 To enhance the visual aesthetic, the designer added neon lighting around the screen, the soffit, and under the risers.

To enhance the visual aesthetic, the designer added neon lighting around the screen, the soffit, and under the risers.

Because of the high amount of noise pollution that the neon transformers produce, the units were placed in a service closet in another room in the lower level, far from any AV equipment or speaker and signal wiring. To properly light the room while the system was in use, each lighting zone was separated and integrated into the Crestron system via the iLux lighting controllers. The JBL Synthesis system was used for its unique tuning abilities, to further mitigate the mode issues in the room. To assimilate the new theater into the rest of the home system, the existing distribution system and Crestron panel design were integrated into the new space, along with some new sources and features such as HD gaming and AppleTV. The end result is a room with remarkable visual appeal, a unique seating layout, and spectacular audio and video performance.

System Designer/Project Manager – Joe Calderaro
Sales Engineer – Joe Calderaro
Interior Designer – David Hawkins
ASID Builder – Palmieri Builders
Photography – Robert P. Spore


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