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 Acoustics, Cinematech, 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.