OK folks, I've been hinting in these forums over the past year about what I've been building, and now it's done. First, here's what the theater entrance looks like:http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallMarquee.jpg
From the back:http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallFromBack.jpg
And from the front:http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallFromFront.jpg
With curtain up:http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallScreen.jpg
Closeup of the projector porthole:http://www.trubey.net/images/SmallPorthole.jpg
We decided early on to use the JVC QX-1 projector for the 11' wide 16x9 ratio screen. You can see the small projector porthole above the exit sign at the back of the theater. Those black grilles at the back top are the rear speakers while the front has Dunlavy SC-IVs for L/R and a pair of modified Dunlavy SC-IVs for 2 center channel speakers (one above and one below the screen, placed horizontally).
The QX1 delivers 7000 lumens with 2048x1536 resolution, so we actually use only part of the panel when showing full HDTV resolution. The projector is bright enough to watch football games with the lights on, but we always dim the lights for movies. Contrast ratio, color and pixel structure are all great in that the blacks look really black, with nice shadow detail (but not awesome shadow detail, might have something to do with the negative gain screen we have), the colors are superb, and the picture looks continuous, no screen door, no pixel structure, no color blocking (on HD material anyways).
The projector is heavy at 200 pounds, so we bolted a 1/4 steel panel to the concrete ceiling to act as its base - the projector is housed in a permanent hush box with sound deadening flexible lead imgregated foam material on all interior surfaces. We have a dedicated chiller unit blowing cold air onto the projector and into the main AV rack.
One of the architectural requirements (ie we screwed up in the planning) was that the projector was mounted higher than the top of the screen. The QX1 does have a lens downshift, but this only allows the projector to be at the same level as the top of the screen. Most of the remaining distance above the screen was made to work by the fact that we only use the bottom 2/3rds of the LCOS panel (it has 1536 vertical pixels and we only use 1024 even for HD). We still needed to tilt the projector downwards a little bit, but the internal trapazoid corrector works and doesn't seem to impact the image noticbly.
Currently, the only recommended input into the QX1 is HD-SDI (DVI is still several months away), a broadcast video standard. This pretty much dictated the choice of an upconverter to a Teranex or a Snell&Wilcox Ukon. For complicated reasons, we ended up using the Snell, but recently, I had a chance to demo a Teranex and after some A-B comparisons, the Teranex seemed every so slightly better for video quality. I'll post more info if people are interested.
You'll notice the chandelier which happens to clip the top of the image, so we put the chandelier on a winch and steel cable - it lifts up when the curtain goes up to watch a show.
All lighting is controlled by a Vantage lighting/dimmer control system and the electronics are controlled by a Crestron. The Crestron tells the Vantage to do things via an RS-232 control connection.
One of the things I wanted to do is to provide a true cinema experience for movie showing parties. So I have three DVD players. One is used to show the theater intro (Welcome to the Regency Theater, etc.) which was done by Digital Forge, the other DVD player is used to show a movie trailer as a preview of an upcoming movie, and then the third DVD player shows a DVD if we're playing a DVD that night (alternatively, we show movies on the JVC 400 D-VHS player). The main DVD player was modified by JVB Digital to output SDI for the Snell. Anyways, I have a Crestron program that does the whole movie playing experience: raise curtain/chandelier, dim lights, start theater intro, switch DVD source and play trailer, switch source again and play rest of theater into ("Feature Presentation" display), switch source again and show main movie. I have to set up all the sources at the right spots and pause the players beforehand, but it all works.
I opted not to use subwoofers, just using the 25hz woofer drivers in the Dunlavy SC-IVs. The speakers are driven by 4 McIntosh amps. THe big McIntosh 602 is used just for the woofers L/R drivers. Three McIntosh 352s are used for the L/R, center and rear channels respectively. This seems to work just fine - makes music very tight (stereo imaging in the theater is awesome!), wile giving enough rumble for the movies.
Enough for now, more later.