Mt. Sierra College Theater Mt. Sierra College Theater
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Mt. Sierra College
Montclair, California
Theater & System Design:
Elite Custom Audio Video
5505 Moreno Street, Suite 104
Montclair, CA 91763
Glenn Campbell

Mt. Sierra College Theater
By Bryan Dailey

As the lights dim and you sink into the plush seats of this custom theater designed and installed by Elite Custom Audio & Video, it’s easy to forget that a few steps outside the door are the halls of academia. College students make their way to and from classes, yet inside this custom-designed theater at Mt. Sierra College in Monrovia, California, the hustle and bustle of a normal school day is shut out of sight and mind while film students take in a screening of the latest masterworks by one of the school’s next Spielbergs in training.

The theater not only serves as a classroom and a screening room for the students and faculty of the film school, it is also an art gallery for the graphic arts students. Elite installed special accent lighting so that the students’ projects can be hung on the wall and featured for everyone to see. A neutral gray color scheme with dark wooden accents in the room makes a perfect blank canvas for any artwork that is hung on the walls. Knowing that the pieces would frequently be rotated in and out, Elite created custom brackets that attach to the frames or matte boards and then slide into place on the wall. They are sturdy enough to stay in place when the subwoofer is really shaking things up, but are easy to remove without damaging the artwork. The recessed lights that are controlled by a Lutron Graphic Eye make perfect accent lights for the artwork and can also be customized for various lighting scenes, depending on the needs of the staff and students.

The primary challenge in this room, as is common with many theaters, was isolating the theater from its surroundings. Usually this means making sure you can’t hear explosions in a big-budget action movie while one’s spouse is trying to get some rest in the master bedroom. However, the stakes were higher for the Mt. Sierra College theater. Not only did the sound from the theater need to be kept away from the adjoining school offices and classrooms, but it also had to be sequestered from the offices overhead. Mt. Sierra shares space with a high-tech firm that is located on the floor directly above the theater. The convenience of having a school full of bright-eyed, creative students in the same building to recruit for employment at the company makes the shared quarters ideal, but Mt. Sierra had to be sure that their theater would not interfere with this harmonious relationship.

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