Egyptian Home Theater
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Montclair, California
Theater & System Design:
Elite Custom Audio Video
5505 Moreno Street, Suite 104
Montclair, CA 91763
Glenn Campbell
Egyptian Home Theater
By Bryan Dailey

Explaining the complexities of cost-no-object home theater gear to a layman can make his head spin, but physically showing him a fantastic system always converts confusion to sheer lust. Seeing the stunning picture of a DLP projector on a 130-inch screen and feeling the thunderous rumble of onscreen explosions while watching the latest blockbuster action flick makes consumers go gaga for the latest high-end AV gear. To display audio/video gear in style, John Gilmore, the owner of Elite Custom Audio and Video in Montclair, CA, decided to have some typical home theater installations in his showroom. Normally, Revolution Home Theater wouldn’t feature an AV store’s showroom, but there is something special going on at Elite. Besides the typical living room set-ups to showcase plasma and big screen TVs, Gilmore wanted a venue for showing how good a dedicated home theater can be. Thus the idea for Elite’s Egyptian Home Theater was born.

The talented crew of installers at Elite created an eight-seat theater inside the showroom, but this is no regular installation. It’s as if you are stepping into an ancient Egyptian tomb as you open the large soundproofed doors that are coated with a faux stone material and carvings of winged beetles. More intricate carvings flank the entryway and statues of Egyptian figures welcome you to the ultimate home theater demo room as you climb the stairs to enter the theater. It is a replica of a theater that was installed in a home on the East Coast, so Elite benefited from not having to draw up the plans from scratch. The pieces for the theater look like they are made from stone and cement, but are actually well-disguised foam, drywall and wood, created by Penwal, a Southern California company that designs and fabricates custom home theater environments. The room looks like it should be boomy and have major echo problems, but it turns out to be an acoustically excellent environment for watching movies and listening to high-resolution music.

Stepping into the large theater, subtle blue light envelops you as the smell of supple leather from the cream-colored Premiere home theater seats wafts throughout the room. These ultra-cushy chairs have cup holders and recline back for the ultimate in lazy lounging movie-watching comfort. The front row of seats in the middle has a pair of chairs that are even more deluxe, with motorized leg rests and recliners. There are no dividers between these two chairs, so a couple could snuggle up together and watch the latest Hugh Grant romantic comedy. Of course, there isn’t much of this touchy-feely stuff going on in the showroom during demos, but it gives potential customers an idea of how they could set up the seating in their own home theaters.

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