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True Blue Home Theater

October 23, 2009 By Brooke Lange

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While Smith’s team has installed theaters in upstate New York before, the weather still posed a challenge. “We had to get through mud to reach the building,” he says.
True Blue Home Theater
The theater’s Digital Projection TITAN projector is housed in a rear ceiling beam.
True Blue Home Theater
True Blue Home Theater

“It’s a much more contemporary theater than Jeff normally does,” says Holmes Newman, the home’s interior designer and the owner of Miami design firm Holmes Newman & Associates. Smith worked closely with Newman on the theater’s design direction and color palette, and acted as general contractor to ensure that the room’s insulation and isolation elements were installed properly. It’s Smith’s job to ensure the room-within-a-room construction and the acoustics are orchestrated perfectly.

“It’s a sleek, cool look with waterlike colors—very architectural and understated,” Smith says of the 600-square-foot theater that seats 12 and accommodates the family’s two large-breed dogs with First Impressions’ specially designed CinePetLounger (which is equipped with a built-in stainless-steel “pupcorn” bowl, of course). “There’s also an interesting play on lighting,” Smith continues. “The colors in the wall panels rotate from a nice cobalt blue to an ice white.”

From above, the curvilinear beamwork of bookmatched zebra wood frames First Impressions’ trademarked dusk-to-dawn ceiling, complete with shooting stars and a customized sunrise to sunset color palette that uses upward of 1,800 complementary hues. Below, the light-colored wool carpeting, imported from New Zealand, creates contrast. “You can only go so light [with furnishings and finishes], otherwise you have reflective problems,” Newman says. “We learned that through Jeff ’s technical expertise.”

The theater’s Digital Projection TITAN projector is housed in a rear ceiling beam.

The custom-crafted theater chairs, a blend of First Impressions’ CineRodeoLounger and the CineClassicPillowback chair, feature taller backs to accommodate taller guests. While the contemporary theater seating makes a bold statement, the Wedgwood blue, full-hide European leather lends a comforting softness to the space.

Each theater chair is loaded with must-have accessories: heating and massage mechanisms, electric reclining options, zebra-wood snack trays and stainless-steel illuminated cup holders. “If you put bar ware in the cup holder, the cut crystal really refracts the lighting,” Smith says. “It’s quite stunning.

The bookmatched zebra wood on the ceiling beams above, and on the snack trays below, also finds its way into the back of the theater. Here, the custom bank of cabinetry becomes one with the wall and provides a convenient home for the projector—which is insulated in a custom hushbox with built-in heat-extraction fans—and for the kids’ gaming equipment, including a karaoke machine, an Apple iPod mini player and a Nintendo Wii.

Layers of antique-brown granite alternate with quarter-inch slices of stainless steel to form an interesting pattern in the countertops. Anchored within the cabinetry are all the necessary accoutrements for movie-watching: barware storage, a sink, a microwave oven, an under-counter refrigerator and an ice machine—all of which are insulated and isolated. “You don’t hear the refrigerator or any compressors,” Smith says. “If concession equipment must be in the theater, we muffle it down to zero noise.”

True Blue Home Theater

What you do hear in this home theater is stellar sound, pure and simple. “We got a glowing review from audio designer Mike Chaffey,” Smith says of the recently tuned and calibrated system. “He said ‘it sounded phenomenal—really, really big.’ The owners were ecstatic.”

More importantly, the devoted swimmer who used to pull on his swimming trunks and commute each morning to the crowded public pool can now walk out his back door and pad across the grass to do some laps in his private oasis.

The same is true with the theater: He and his family and friends don’t have to drive 40 miles roundtrip to the town theater, which is often crowded. “In our lifetime, we’ve missed more good movies than we’ve gone to,” he says, adding that he and his wife will soon host their theater-inspiring friends, the Toccins, in their new screening room.

“With the theater, we’ll be entertained for the next 10 years.”


Wow! Beautiful theater.

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