After many years of planning and reading of posts on the AV forums, construction had finally begun on the Nautilus Screening Room
. The screening room is part of a larger addition to my house so there are (unfortunately) a lot of other concerns that often take precidence over the theater. The theater is being built in what once was a smaller bedroom measuring only 10 feet-8 inches by 13 feet-4 inches. Based on Dennis's acoustic calculations and recommendations the room was expanded to 13 feet by 21 feet, the extra width being taken out of the adjacient living room and the extra length being part of the all new add-on to the house. The existing bedroom had a closet which will be used for the AV equipment and DVD storage.
My intention is to use the theater, not only to watch movies, but as a screening room for my work as a visual effects supervisor. With this in mind, the screening room is adjacient to a new production office space and digital work being done on the computers there will be able to fed into the screening room for projection and evaluation.
I had been planning on a fairly traditional Craftsman style interior design for the screening room. But the more I thought about it the more 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 home theaters. 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 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 right 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 the 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 entrance 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. The door opens out into the living room, when guests enter, the poster will be the first thing they see, setting the theme in their minds.