Home Entertainment



A Theater for all Reasons

November 19, 2008 By Hope Winsborough 49 comments
A Theater for all Reasons Home Cinema

In downtown Chicago, one family’s home theater brings life to the term “mixed media.”

When the family of one well-known TV broadcaster returned to Chicago, the city they loved most, it was inevitable that their new digs include a state-of-the-art media room.

Working together with Jeffrey Smith of First Impressions Theme Theatres of South Miami, Fla., the husband and wife envisioned creating a venue for home entertainment that is as animated, theatrical and multifaceted as the city itself.

Out of Thin Air Home Cinema

November 14, 2008 By Hope Winsborough 59 comments
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Building a home theater out of thin air requires both adaptation and flexibility.

When a hip, young Los Angeles real estate developer/entrepreneur decided to add a home theater to his Los Angeles-area home, he knew exactly what he wanted—right down to the color scheme and seating configuration.

How to incorporate the theater into his existing home, however, was another question.

Beachy Keen

October 31, 2008 By Louise Farr 168 comments
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A long-time Malibu resident who doesn’t watch television turns his beach house into a flat-screen showcase.

Investment banker William J. Chadwick’s father lived by several rules: “Billy,” he said, "You can play football or play in a band, but you can’t be in the stands because spectators are losers.”

Little wonder that full-grown Billy, who became a football and lacrosse star at St. Lawrence University, has little patience with television.

Best in Theater. Best in Show.

October 27, 2008 By Michelle Paquette 49 comments
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Lights. Camera. Showtime.

From stellar sound systems in traditional and contemporary theaters to themed, old-world movie palace and rustic theaters, each one of these theaters and installations is sure to entice, enthrall and intrigue.

Roman Holiday

October 24, 2008 By Brooke Lange 58 comments
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Every time the owners step foot into their golden home theater, they feel as if they’ve traveled back in time to their Italian honeymoon.

Consider this: A regular everyday person—not a big-name, highly-in-demand interior designer—masterminded every single detail of this elegant private screening room outside of Los Angeles.

While the wife doesn’t have any formal interior design training, she bravely orchestrated all of her home’s interiors from top to bottom.

A Theater of the Senses

October 17, 2008 By Hope Winsborough 44 comments
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Technology and texture unite to foster one growing family’s togetherness.

“The eyes want to collaborate with other senses,” writes Finnish architect and theorist Juhani Pallasmaa. “All the senses, including vision, can be regarded as extensions of the sense of touch … They define the interface between the skin and the environment.”

Custom homebuilder and homeowner John Cioe would no doubt agree with Pallasmaa’s view—particularly since his own family’s comfortable Scottsdale, Ariz., haven is a testament to the importance of sensorial experience to matters of design.

Your Room, Your Way

October 3, 2008 By Brent Butterworth 61 comments
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No, home theater design companies don’t just fill your living room full of foam. Here’s how one firm satisfied three very different clients.

When you mention the word “acoustics,” most people envision a recording studio, or maybe a performance space. They start to think about walls of gray foam in strange crisscrossed patterns.

Eccentrically shaped wooden thingamajigs of unfathomable purpose. And puzzling analysis devices connected to countless microphones. To the uninitiated, acoustics sure doesn’t seem to have much to do with the average American living room - but it does.

Windows Media Center's Ultimate Install

October 1, 2008 By HE Staff 50 comments
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Contest Winner cyberManor shows what's possible with this award winning Sunnyvale, CA home.

Microsoft, seeing the potential of their Media Center in a custom install environment, started a contest for the best install that was based around one of their Media Center PC (or, as the case may be, PCs).

As you can imagine, each entry was based on how well they integrated the Media Center, along with the gymnastics sounding "technical merit" and creativity/originality.

Stylish and Streamlined

September 26, 2008 By Jean Penn 39 comments
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A Kentucky client modifies First Impressions Theme Theatre Inc.’s showroom theater for his own private screening room.

A single man building a three-story riverside home in Bowling Green, Ky., decided it would be fun to be able to entertain his friends in a custom-built home theater whenever the Tennessee Titans and Western Kentucky basketball and football games are on television.

The next step in creating this dream space involved stumbling across a magazine story about First Impressions Themed Theatres Inc. and its custom-designed home theaters.

Masculine to the Max

September 19, 2008 By B.A. Hoffman 66 comments
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A homeowner, who built a private screening room for his family to enjoy, has fallen in love with it himself.

Walk into this gigantic 2,600-square-foot home theater and try to envision the kind of person who would build a private screening room of this magnitude. It’s probably owned by a man, right? It’s extremely masculine in style with polished wall-to-wall woodworking, two bold rows of sturdy-yet-handsome leather recliners, and a red velvet theater curtain with gold tassel fringe.

The no-nonsense design is confident. Bold. Refined. Sophisticated. This is a serious space for serious entertaining. Or is it?

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