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Posted December 30, 2013 by Theo Kalomirakis in Theo Kalomirakis
 
 

Theo Kalomirakis: Roxy 2.0

The making of the theater in my loft in Brooklyn has taken longer than the making of some of the most elaborate theaters I have ever designed. Typically a theater can take from two to three years to complete—not for any other reason than because most of them are part of large homes that take a long time to build.

The reasons for the long gestation of my theater were different. (Click here to read Michael Gaughn’s article about my struggles to create my theater.) First, I was stopped by the board of the condominium where I live for a silly reason: I was using wood rather than metal studs to frame it. I fought them on that and I prevailed. If we never use metal studs for our clients’ theaters—because metal can rattle—I was not about to break the rule for my own theater. The next obstacle was sprinklers. I tried to avoid having them—because they would lower an already low ceiling—but I lost that battle. The building rules in New York City are pretty tough, and I ultimately had to obey them. Add to that the recession of 2008, which forced most businesses to spend money only for things that were a priority, and you realize why my theater—a small, clean space of a little over 200 sq. ft.—took so much longer to build than a 60- story building in Manhattan.

Once we had secured all the permits we needed, construction started on what had been the dark, framed shell of a room that for five years doubled as a temporary storage space. The first day the contractor showed up for work was less than a month ago. Now we are three weeks away from completion, and I am more excited than I have been for a long time because of that. Before too long, I will not have to watch movies on the small screen of a 60-inch plasma TV. I will not be distracted any more by ambient light that is omnipresent in my open loft, and, more importantly, by the very disturbing echoes that the loft’s 30-foot-high ceilings create. The new space is cozy, intimate, clean, creatively lit with fiber optics, and soundproofed so I don’t have to invite my next-door neighbors every time I feel like watching a movie!

My new theater is equipped with top-notch technology and accessories from the companies I work hand-in-hand with in our custom theaters: Crestron, CAT, ADA, Digital Projection, Monster Cable, Stewart Filmscreen , SH AcousticsCinematech, Teknamat, and Numinus. The equipment is being installed my good friend Chris Wyllie of Seal Solution. Once finished, the theater will be available to the A/V dealers of the companies whose products are featured in the theater, to show their clients.

The whole construction phase is being filmed by CNBC and will be featured in a documentary about my work in designing theaters that will be broadcast sometime in February. One thing is for sure. I plan to spend most of 2014 in my new theater rediscovering my favorite movies properly seen and heard. I am thinking of calling the theater Roxy2.0, in honor of my first theater, the one that brought my career as a magazine art director to an end and pushed me into a much more exciting career as a home theater designer.

 

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My theater as a work in progress, without acoustical treatments or fabric on the walls, and without the fiber-optic lights adjusted.

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The rear of the theater, three weeks ago.

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The side of the stage, three weeks ago.

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The front of the theater, before the screen is installed.

My theater as a work in progress, without acoustical treatments or fabric on the walls, and without the fiber-optic lights adjusted.The rear of the theater, three weeks ago.The side of the stage, three weeks ago.The front of the theater, before the screen is installed.


Theo Kalomirakis

 
Lead blogger & co-founder THEO KALOMIRAKIS is the world’s most famous home theater designer, and is widely considered the man who created home theater. But he is also a lifelong movie buff with a wide variety of interests in entertainment and the arts. It was his desire to be able to speak out on areas beyond theater design that led to the creation of Theo’s Roundtable, and it is his voice that defines and guides our site.