- The HCE Video Series
This story is part of a new segment that we’re kicking off on Theo’s Roundtable, where master home theater designer, Theo Kalomirakis, weighs in on readers’ personal home theater spaces. I thought I’d be the first to toss my hat into the ring, given the response I have received following my filming of my theater a few days ago. Here is an excerpt from my article on Theo’s Roundtable detailing the why and how of my personal theater as well as the video again and a never before seen photo gallery. Enjoy!
A few days ago, and partially in response to fellow writer John Sciacca’s video, I posted a brief walk-through of my reference theater for all to see. (You’ll find the video below.) While I get asked to comment on other peoples’ setups—usually what they should buy and/or how they should set up what they just bought—rarely do I get an opportunity to ask a master designer like Theo his opinion of my “work.” So I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask Theo directly what his thoughts are on my personal home theater. Seeing as how we sort of work together now, I figured he’d have to comment whether he liked to or not.
A little background on my theater, or should I say my theater’s journey. Prior to moving into my new home some months ago, my theaters, like Sciacca’s, have always been part of a larger, more communal living space. In other words, they’ve been media rooms rather than true theaters or home theaters. Not that there is anything wrong with media or multi-functional rooms—there isn’t—but they’re not dedicated spaces. They also come with their fair share of distractions built-in, such as open living spaces, ambient light, outside noises, etc. While I always did my best to overcome these objections, I was never fully able to eliminate them when my theater was also my family’s living room.
When my wife and I were house shopping, one of the criteria that had to be met was that our new home have a space—any space—that I could convert into a purpose-built theater/screening room. I wanted my own dedicated space and she, well, she wanted her living room back. The home we ultimately settled on and moved into had a loft space atop a stacked flight of stairs that measured 12 feet wide by 27 feet deep with 8-foot ceilings. While not all 27 feet of depth was usable space physically—there was a stairwell present after all—in terms of sound and projection, it made for a big room. The useable space—i.e., where I and others could sit—was but 12 by 17. Beyond the stairwell, there was a 6 x 3-foot landing, which would serve primarily as my setup’s “projection booth.”
As much as I love the idea of theaters with a theme, I’ve been in too many that…