Saturday, July 19, 2008

A New Design

(Originally published May 23, 2008)

Having been away from working on the theater for more than a year I've reassessed the design. I had been planning on a fairly traditional Craftsman style interior. But as I looked at it with fresh eyes, I found it a bit boring. I also considered Art Deco (think old movie house) and Frank Lloyd Wright styles but neither of those excited me very much. I have always liked the WOW factor of themed hometheaters. There are some terrific home theaters that have been done in Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and Batman themes, to name a few.

So the new design for the theater is going to be themed after the Nautilus from Disney's classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea! I've always loved this film and the look of the submarine and interior sets as designed by Harper Goff is just spectacular.

Rather than recreate any one room from the Nautilus, details have been taken from several of the sets and incorporated into the theater. The overall layout is unchanged, just the aesthetics of the interior.

Another change has been to the projection screen. It has been increased in size from 100 inches to 120 inches wide. (Size matters!) Now with the wider screen, all three of the front speakers will be located behind the acoustically transparent screen, just like in a commercial cinema. Moving the front left and reight speakers behind the screen also freed up a lot of the visual clutter around the screen. The screen will also now be curved, which will reduce the pin-cushion distortion inherent in wide-screen projection and help create a more even focus from the center to the corners of the screen.

On t he back wall will be the iconic viewport from the Salon on the Nautilus. In the film, the iris would open to reveal the wonders of the deep. Unfortunatly, in my theater, the only thing behind the iris will be drywall, so it will have to remain shut!

On the door is a recreation of the Disneyland attraction poster from the late 50's. Walt Disney had the sets from the movie installed as a walk-through attraction at the park from 1955 through 1964. It was one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland.

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