On stage

Re-creating the ambiance of theatre's from days gone by injects a sense of drama into this private home cinema
Photography by: Ron Israel
View of a home theatre and lobby, large ceiling, interior design, brown
View of a home theatre and lobby, large double wooden doors, book shelves, seat, cream walls, artwork, lights mounted off the wall.

Glamorous surroundings, an atmosphere of excitement and an expectation of a pleasure-filled evening are all part of the thrill of a visit to the theatre.

With these fond childhood memories, the owner of this home, an international film and television producer and director, had always wanted a mini-picture palace in his own home.

"A really good private home theatre is more than just a big screen and spectacular sound. It's about creating an authentic movie-going experience at home," says the owner.

"I wanted my home theatre to re-create the halcyon days of the 1940s, 50s and 60s."


View of a home theatre and lobby, large ceiling, interior design, brown
View of a home theatre and lobby, large double wooden doors, book shelves, seat, cream walls, artwork, lights mounted off the wall.

To do this, the house was extended to make space for a home theatre complete with its own stage, proscenium arches, footlights, wall sconces and comfortable seating. Top-quality picture and sound systems were specified through the advice of Len Wallis Audio.

The new room is almost 4m wide by 7m deep and, in a style reminiscent of the old movie theatres, the proscenium has a wide decorative plaster cornice, painted in a mid-beige semigloss.

Two downlights set into the stage face up at each end of the proscenium arch, highlighting the decorative detailing of the plaster moulding. Brass seashell shades with magenta globes cast light onto the cream and mushroom brocade stage curtains. Adding to the drama are three deep fabric swags across the top of the stage.

"The proscenium and curtains help to create a feeling of anticipation and add an element of excitement. They remind me of visits made to picture theatres when I was a boy," the owner says.

View of a home theatre and lobby, large ceiling, interior design, brown
View of a home theatre and lobby, large double wooden doors, book shelves, seat, cream walls, artwork, lights mounted off the wall.

Maintaining this aesthetic, Wallis concealed all the electronic componentry and speakers. Left, right and centre Orpheus speakers are beneath the stage and other componentry is in a cabinet at the back of the theatre. Two rear speakers sit high on the wall and the Sharp projector is ceiling-mounted. The entire system is controlled through a Crestron hand-held remote.

"So the owner can also enjoy old movies, we incorporated a PAL/NTSC VCR," says Len Wallis.

To ensure the best possible view from each row, the floor is on three levels.

Good acoustic balance is an important aspect of any home theatre, so extra-thick underlay was specified. For acoustic insulation, windows are double glazed and covered with blackout Holland blinds and full-length brocade curtains.

Mar 08, 2005

Credit list

Control system
Crestron
Screen
Galleria with Norvares screen fabric from Lp Morgan
Front speakers
Orpheus
Subwoofers
Velodyne
Amplifier
Yamaha with digital surround receiver
Lighting control
Lutron
Projector
Sharp
Rear in-wall speakers
B&W
DVD player
Yamaha
Curtaining
Silent Gliss
We know the specialists