Western Showcase Theater

The client’s mandate for this theater project was to blend Old West design with his sprawling 24,000ft. ranch’s existing architecture. 9/04/2007 8:00 AM Eastern

Western Showcase Theater

Sep 4, 2007 12:00 PM

The following information is courtesy of the 2006 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Designers' Choice Awards. For more information on how to become a member of CEDIA, or information on its awards program please visit or call (800) 669-5329.

2006 CEDIA Electronic Lifestyles Winner
Designers' Awards: Theme Theater
Silver Technical Design

Definitive Electonic Solutions

The client’s mandate for this theater project was to blend Old West design with his sprawling 24,000ft. ranch’s existing architecture. The proscenium features a retracting “fire screen” mural made from a turn-of-the-century image purchased from Wyoming State Archives. Footlights wash the mural’s surface with an aged sepia look and retract along with the stage over drapes during movie presentations. Having a double-height ceiling was an interesting challenge, running from 12ft. at the low end to 23ft. at the high end, offered up a unique design opportunity to have the aft portion of the theater house a sky dome, a dusk-to-dawn fiber optic system complete with shooting star, constellation, and color fade from sunrise to sunset, and a wagon-wheel floating soffit system complete with special lighting effects throughout. A casual, laid-back feel was requested to lounge in distressed leather-clad full-motion seating, plus the ability to showcase a collection of Western movie posters in custom frames.

One of the largest problems that had to be overcome in this installation was the placement of the Digital Projection 3-chip DLP projector in a lift that fell between the lower-level ceiling and the upper-level ceiling. This was resolved with a perimeter soffit that defined the two distinct ceiling heights and conveniently hid the projector and lift out of sight in new elements. A Stewart Filmscreen 123in.-diagonal Firehawk projection screen provides stunningly vivid images. The client had always wanted a Krell audio system and could not wait to fire it up. The impact and detail the Krell heat system delivers is truly spectacular. The theater actually shakes and rumbles like a herd of wild buffalo running through it on cue.

When not in use, the large-format speakers and DLP video projection were not to be seen. However, unique to this Old West-themed theater is the fact the loudspeakers, hidden behind thin, acoustically-transparent scrim materials, are displayed within small LED lights strategically placed to up-wash the faces of each LCR speaker, subs, and monoblock amplifiers. Dramatically, the speaker equipment appears when the house lights fade to black in the theater, which creates an impressive statement to show off the expensive gear. All large free-standing speakers were built into the architecturally designed interior elements, and aimed appropriately, which then dictated the shaping of the room to make it all come together in a seamless big picture, big sound, and Wild West thematic statement. The wireless Crestron touchpanel control system allows the client to access all the bells and whistles in the system anywhere in the auditorium, including local audio and video, distributed audio, drapes, fire screen, lighting, HVAC, and security.

The main speakers are placed in the columns at the side of the screen and are positioned to deliver the best sound to both the front and back rows. The center speaker and subwoofers are placed below the screen with the center angled up toward the optimum listening position. There were also two 12in. subwoofers built into the riser platform for enhanced low-frequency effects. The rear and side surround speakers are placed in columns around the room. The processors output level was set to reference. The SPL readings exceeded 114db at peak levels although the system was more than capable of averaging 110db of continuous output. The room has its own separate air supply and return from the main HVAC system.

The projector was calibrated to ISF standards via a Sencore Color Analyzer. The audio was calibrated with an Audio Control RTA/SPL Meter. All settings were set using Dolby Digital Standards.

Equipment list

  • 1 APC S15BLK power conditioner with battery backup
  • 1 AudioControl BLD-10 4-channel balanced line driver
  • 1 AudioControl BLR-10 4-channel balanced line receiver
  • 1 Chief Manufacturing SLB-061 projector mounting bracket
  • 1 Crestron CP2E dual-bus control system
  • 1 Crestron STX-1700CXP 2-way wireless touchpanel
  • 1 Crestron TPS-RFGWX 2-way RF receiver
  • 1 Crestron ST-RMK rack mount kit for control modules and tuners
  • 1 Crestron PW-2420RU regulated universal power pack 24VDC
  • 1 Crestron CAEN-7X1 lighting panel
  • 1 Crestron CAEN-BLOCK connecting block
  • 5 Crestron CLX-1DIM4 4-channel dimmer module, single feed
  • 1 Crestron CNX-B8 8-button keypad
  • 1 Digital Projection Mecury 5000HD projector
  • 1 Digital Projection 102-374 projector lens
  • 1 Digital Projection VIP 1000 image processor
  • 1 Hughes HR10-250 DirecTV HD Tivo DVR
  • 2 James Loudspeaker Cinema 12 subwoofers
  • 1 Krell HTS7.1 processor
  • 3 Krell 450Mcx full power-balanced monoblock amplifiers
  • 2 Krell KAV-2250 stereo power amplifiers
  • 2 Krell LAT-1 left speakers
  • 1 Krell LAT-C loudspeakers
  • 4 Krell Resolution 4 loudspeakers
  • 2 Krell Resolution subwoofer
  • 1 Krell Trigger amplifier
  • 1 Krell Showcase DVD player with HDMI
  • 1 Middle Atlantic ERK-4025LRD rack
  • 1 Middle Atlantic VQFP-4D rack fan
  • 4 Middle Atlantic VQFP-4 rack fans
  • 5 Middle Atlantic RSH4A rack shelves
  • 1 Middle Atlantic D4 rack drawer
  • 1 Middle Atlantic AS3-22 rack shelf
  • 1 Middle Atlantic ERK-RR40 rack rails
  • 1 Middle Atlantic CBS-ERK-25R rack caster base
  • 1 Stewart Filmscreen SNDQ123HFHWEZX projection screen
  • 3 Straightwire Virtuoso XLR cables
  • 4 Straightwire Rhapsody XLR cables
  • 3 Straightwire Virtuoso Speaker cables
  • 1 Straightwire Maestro XLR Y-cables
  • 1 Straightwire MEG0010 Mega-Link coax cable
  • 1 Straightwire SDDV160 HDMI to DVI cable
  • 1 Straightwire SDDV015 HDMI to DVI cable
  • 1 Straightwire SDMI010 HDMI cable
  • 200 Straightwire SuperQuad 12/4 speaker cables
  • 1 Straightwire TOS0010 optical cable
  • 1 SVS Lifts Mini 4-3 lift

    Time and Expertise Worksheet
    Task Hours
    Client Interviews 12
    Electronic Design and Engineering: 14
    Proposal and System Documentation Preparation: 7.5
    Project Management: 16
    Pre-wire/Rough-in: 14
    Trim-out: 4.5
    Shop Time for Racking and Testing: 12
    Programming: 60
    Final Installation and Calibration: 140
    Client Instruction: 4
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by your Company: 16
    Interior Design and/or Architecture by Others: 240
    Project Management by Others: 36
    Other time: builder's interior designs, drawings done on paper: 200
    Total Hours to Complete: 776

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