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Morton Uptown Construction Thread

1669 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  KERMIE
It was October of 2003 when this thing started!

It's been a long road ... too long! Let me start with a statement. I hate contractors!

I'll be short for now just to get it started. I had been planning a theater for 5 years. I have been on here for what maybe 10? longer? no idea it's been forever! Anyway I decided to contact DE and get a plan. Then I started calling contractors to give me bids. I needed to expand on the house so the initial was a bid for the expansion room. I got anywhere from $10K to $80K are these guys looking at the same plan? I settle on a contractor that had good feedback and seemed the most profession, not the cheapest but not bad. A 4 week build took 12 and in the end I had to compromise with him just to get him to finish. Along the way he and I almost came to blows, it was a very bad experience. Before we go into that let's just say that all I asked is for him to follow the plan. He didn't. In the end I had to do a lot of correction myself.

Next we hired out for sheet rock. Another day another bad contractor... never started, never got any money either! I learned to sheet rock.

Let me say I work a job that is 40-50 hours/week and I have a side business that consumes another 20-30. During seasons I coach my son, Little League right now, so that does not leave much time to work on the theater. So here I am 2 1/2 years later 80-90% complete.

What do I have? Lots!

Some hilites:
  • I have a DE designed theater almost completely constructed. Following all of the usual guidelines where possible. Acoustic floor mat, green glue, double rock, no penetrations etc...
  • Some amenities in the theater, Custom built sconces by a premier artist in Houston(he designed all of the metal work at Cabo and that giant sax on Richmond), Electric curtains, 4 different star ceilings in 4'x6' panels(work in progress still), the column bases are getting veneered and stained.
  • I have a small lobby with a custom built candy counter w/two glass display areas, 8 port soda fountain, popcorn machine, hot dog machine etc...
  • I have a ticket booth that is actually my equipment closet the entire front of the TB is hinged to open and allow access. The TB is has an air return above for heat extraction.
  • I have a very nice lightbox and about 25 posters, and custom lighted concession stand pricelist sign
  • More replica movie props than you can shake a stick at, everything from lightsabers to The map fromt he Goonies, Austin Power's Mojo and the Jurassic Park Cryocan!
  • All of my equipment... Sony HS20, Yamaha DSPA1, NHT Evos all the way around, Sunfire sub

I am sure there are a ton of things I'm forgetting... anyway before anyone says anything I've nickle and dimed my way through this, scraped off ebay and been rather thrifty. Also spreading it out over the course of several years has helped in that area. I still need seating... Anyway how about some pics...
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Initial Build
Adding on the room

Wiring for the Grafik Eye

One of the custom sconces... the wood to be covered in black leather the light comes out above and below and halos the M

Front of the room you can kinda see the coves, there are 4...

Riser in the back of the theater

Candy Counter getting installed... no glass yet

Ticket Booth Closed

Ticket Booth Opening
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Looks pretty cool. Sorry about the contractor mess. Looking forward to more pictures.

Hey Sam, nice theater! I like what you've done with the ticket counter, and if you have a replica of the map from Goonies, you are officially my hero. We might as well be from the same hometown. I spent a lot of time growing up a couple miles west of you on I-10 in Channelview (please don't hold that against me - I got out as fast as I could).

Looking Great - share your pain on contrators. I've contracted out 2 jobs over last 5 years and nether did a job to my satisfaction (or to what I could acheve) and it will be a long time before I ever contract out again.

I have told my contractor woes before I'll try and find the thread...
Congrats for making it throught without killing someone. There are some good contractors out there but they're getting harder and harder to find.

I love the custom sconces - very nice touch.
Been a while....any new developments?

Yea I been working on it slowly... regular work has kept me to busy to make progress.


Finished all of the sconces...

Aluminum and wood wrapped in black leather the M has a hole behind for the halo light effect
http://samuland.com/obsessions/theat...s/DSC03178.jpg http://samuland.com/obsessions/theat...s/DSC03192.jpg

Finished ticket booth

Again the the black leather panels aluminum M, the tickets lettering is real 23K gold leaf by Leo's http://www.lionet.com/ , made the velvet curtains.

There is more but no pics right now.... I'll try and get some pics this weekend, but I hung the automatic drapery rod for the lobby, the posterbox, the concession sign and the light cannon. made the drapes for the lobby from so drape panel we got from Ikea, but the hooks we have right now catch, I am going to have to modify them. I put the lighting in the candy counter and wired that up to a touch switch but I have not tucked it all away neatly yet, and lastly I got a cellular no cord blind for the single window we have.
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Looking good. I like the ticket booth idea.
Resurection... Carpet this next week!!! YEA!

pics of the door I made... it's a Safe n' Sound covered and the other side has a 3/4 mdf attached to it with roof felt and batting in between to stop squeaks.

I also installed my flexible neon, pics of it and the illuminator. It has a color wheel turning so the colors are always changing.

Some more images...
http://www.samuland.com/gallery/thea...485_resize.JPG http://www.samuland.com/gallery/thea...487_resize.JPG
http://www.samuland.com/gallery/thea...488_resize.JPG http://www.samuland.com/gallery/thea...490_resize.JPG
I have a slightly off topic question.

How do/did you like the fluorescent tripod worklight? I am thinking of getting one for Christmas, but didn't know if it would put out enough light. I just don't like how hot the Halogen worklights get. I saw a fluorescent one at a jobsite one time but I have yet to find one available for sale anywhere online. It makes me think they are either discountinued or do not perform very well. I actually did find one in Home Depot last week, but I am concerned that since they aren't available anywhere else maybe I don't want one!


PS, Nice work on the theater!!
what are your measurements of your sconces, they look great.
Sam, Great project.

I want to do a similar treatment on your door on the front of my bar.

What thickness foam is that, where did you get your matching buttons, did you hand tie each button? any other tips would be greatly welcomed.
The flourecent light is one of the best tools I have! that thing is great!!!!! Got it a HD for $60 and every guy who's been in my room has gravitated to the light, heck I am giving one as a xmas gift this year!

I can get you exact dimensions of the sconces when I get home but they are something like 14-15" tall... there is a Show us your sconces thread here somewhere I have more pics of them there. They have the underside of the M cut out so the light Halos the M it looks very nice mounted I have experiments with different covers for the top and bottom to project a pattern on the wall as well but until they are in the theater I don;t want to go any further on that

On the door... I got some buttons from http://www.mjtrim.com/catalog/catego...tegory=Buttons but it looks like mine are no longer on there! So what I did was:

1. Cover the door completely w/ batting and leather.

2. measure and mark dimple points

3. Screw washers down to make the dimples( have to be carefull or you will twist the leather. JUst go slow.

4. Dremel out the back of all the buttons( this took forever!) I wanted the buttons to sit down over the screwed washers.

5. Hot glue your fingers off...

...sorry did not take any pics of this process.
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Thanks for the details on the method you used. I think I'm going to try the tie down method. I should have access to the rear. I'll drill holes in the wood and use a long needle and nylon cord.
Thanks Sam, If you could get those measurements that would be great...
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