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Theater Crackles with Stone Fireplace, 120 Screen, 7.2 Surround

By Arlen Schweiger
Installers worked around design challenges like an existing stone fireplace and additions such as heavy wood detail and a coffered ceiling.

You'd expect a big multipurpose room to have a cozy, beautiful fireplace. But a dedicated home theater room?

Yeah, it threw custom electronics firm AcousticSmart of Merrick, NY, for a bit of a loop as well. Upon arrival at the client's home, we walked into an open basement with a pre-existing large stone fireplace.

After much discussion with the client a decision was made to incorporate the fireplace into the design, says AcousticSmart's Greg Milligan, who notes that designer Mark Sorin figured out during the planning stages what to do with the fireplace area.

Unlike many family media rooms, there would be no TV installed above itinstead the fireplace would be part of one of the theater's side walls. In that aspect, Milligan says, Sorin noticed that we had two recesses in the walls on either side of the fireplace. Mark saw these two spaces as a perfect place to create cabinets with granite tops to store DVDs and other accessories.

While electronics firm ACS of Colts Neck, NJ, worked to provide the A/V gearincluding a Marantz projector, 120-inch Stewart Filmscreen screen, and James Loudspeaker surround-sound speakersAcousticSmart dealt with the acoustics. That included tackling the homeowner's concerns about sound leakage, which the company solved with its custom panels, soundproofing materials and more.

Along with the fireplace treatment, AcousticSmart also worked in challenging architectural features the homeowner requested, such as heavy wood detail, wainscoting, coffered ceiling, fiber optics, and custom sculpted molding around the screen area. Also a chandelier for further theatrical flair (though the star ceiling adds plenty of drama in its own right).

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