July 22, 2019

Confusion or Fusion

When Aesthetics and Acoustics Collide in a Theater Design

Private theaters boasting stunning interiors and exceptional performance can be realized with planning, cooperation, and collaboration. Unfortunately this does not always come easily or naturally.

Often various members of a theater project may have different and opposing objectives. The theater designer may be focused on the acoustical environment, the integrator most concerned with the equipment, the interior designer has a style and finish palate in mind, and the clients may even have differing opinions. At some point these disparate objectives must become aligned.

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The New Home Theater Aesthetic

For a private theater to deliver a truly sensational experience, both form and function must be embraced in its design.  Much has been said about the “home theater experience,” and many profess the ability to deliver it. A manufacturer will claim that their product is the answer, while an engineer will point to his ability to provide performance, and a designer will emphasize the importance of the décor.  Though systems and engineering are key components and cannot be dismissed, without equal attention to form we cannot have an unparalleled private theater experience.

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The Home Theater’s Engine

A great private theater is no accident. Theater designers cannot merely show up with the latest top of the line equipment, hang it in the proffered space, and knock out extraordinary results.

In a previous post, I compared the room itself to the chassis of a high-performance machine— purpose engineered for specified results and able to sustain the power and performance that we plan to equip it with. Because we have carefully engineered that chassis, we must follow through with specification, design, and engineering of the engine that will drive it.

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Balancing Form and Function

A private theater is experiential in nature, and there are fundamental elements and attributes required to deliver that experience. Just like a high-performance sports car, it is not enough to look fast; it must have the engineering, build quality, and design to deliver.

Many home theater designers are striving for the wrong goals or have positioned these objectives out of order. One example of this is a home theater designed primarily as a reflection of a theme or style without consideration of the design’s impact on performance. Even when attempts are made to properly design a home theater, if specific knowledge, experience, and skill are not applied, the results will be less than ideal.

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Effective Selling

How to ‘Discover’ Your Client’s Hidden Desire for a Private Theater

Paradise Theater has had the privilege to work with integrators from many regions, who have provided lot of diverse feedback.  One disturbing trend is the perspective that “people just aren’t doing private theaters like they used to,” or that “people aren’t willing to spend the money…”  Yet, a select group of electronic systems contractors and sales designers bring us project after project and continue to raise the standard of excellence in our field. Why the disparity?

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How We Do Windows

Controlling Light and Acoustics in Theaters Containing Glass

Large reflective surfaces in a home theater
require acoustical consideration, and windows
are particularly difficult to treat. If
the window is also a door, such as sliding
doors or decorative single light doors, the
positioning and access/egress issues come
into play, as well.

Large reflective surfaces in a home theater require acoustical consideration, and windows are particularly difficult to treat. If the window is also a door, such as sliding doors or decorative single light doors, the positioning and access/egress issues come into play, as well.

Try as we might, windows will “happen,” due to local building code requirements, architectural standards for a community, aesthetic sensibilities, and client preference. There are, however, exceptions for home theaters in the Uniform Building Code (UBC), and when that doesn’t work, automated shades usually offer your best alternative.

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Cool Homes For Projectors

Hiding One of the Most Conspicuous Components in the Theater

The home theater projector is one of the most difficult components to integrate into a private theater room design. Fortunately savvy home theater designers can overcome most of these design hurdles with proper creativity and engineering. Here are six challenges that I’ve observed, and how to overcome them.

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Lodge Theater Featured in Home Entertainment magazine

FrontLeft_Web.jpgThe inherent risk in designing a home theater—a beautiful-looking space that produces the requisite oooohs and aaaahs—is ending up with a poorly performing room. Add the must have of incorporating the same architectural detailing used throughout the rest of the home and the risk expands tenfold.

But many elements in this mountain lodge—cedar beams, and stone and wood floors—are hard, reflective surfaces, which aren’t always conducive to a great sounding home theater environment.

“We had to come up with creative ways to bring those elements into the theater without degrading the performance,” says home theater designer Sam Cavitt of Paradise Theaters. Many of the design elements of this stunning theater, which guarantee a top-notch performance, are behind the scenes.

Read the rest at Home Entertainment Magazine

Tuscany Theater Featured in Residential Systems Magazine

FrontRight_Web.jpgOur Tuscany themed theater has been showcased in Residential Systems magazine.  The focus of the article highlights the collaboration between various industry trades on the project to deliver a world class custom private theater.

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