Tag Archives: movie theater

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Death of the movies

The grandkids came last night for pizza, corn on the cob, mushrooms, and shishito peppers out of our wood-fired oven.

It was great fun and a good meal—though the evening didn’t start out smoothly. First, my granddaughter, Lucy was horrified to discover a nest of yellow jackets that had taken up residency in the tubular frame of our outdoor dining table. Paul to the rescue! I duct-taped shut the small holes they entered through but not before one of their angry guardians stung me three times—sending me fleeing for the safety of the screen door guarding Terri and the kids. I later forgot the peppers roasting in the 700-degree oven and they turned to charcoal. Then, one of the pizzas destined for the fire “kind of just fell off ” the peel and onto the deck. This faux pa was followed by some crying, then a spilled water glass across the fresh-baked pies, but soggy pizza and all, a fun family dinner.

The real motivation for visiting with us was the evening’s entertainment: Disney’s new movie, Mulan (a sort of female version of Luke Skywalker). Already a paying Disney Plus subscriber it was a bit of a shock to fork over an additional $28 for the privilege of being among the first to watch it—as we would in theaters—but theaters aren’t open because of the pandemic.

And then it hit me. The death of the movie theater.

Theaters were struggling before the pandemic, dying during the pandemic, and once it’s over and life “returns to normal”, my guess is that the major studios, like Disney, will have found it far more profitable to just charge home-viewers theater rates for all new releases. Once that happens the only remaining advantage of movie theaters is forever gone.

We knew things would never get back to normal. It had just never occurred to me theaters might be among the permanent casualties.

At least most of us can share with future generations how we once gathered together in auditoriums to bother each other with noisy popcorn-munching, cellphone usage, and getting unsettled as guests who couldn’t hold their water visited the loo.

We’ll also be able to whimsically reminisce about missing the shared laughter, gasps, and applause of community.

Asheville, North Carolina ‘s Home Theater and Audio specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Vented boxes

One of the last subjects in this series needing to be covered is the projector and its mounting and cooling.

In my view a home theater is not a home theater I would want to own unless it was based on a projected image. I know some of the large screen LCD and LED TVs are bright and wonderful, but they do not impress me as a movie. I’ll take a projected image every time. One of the hesitations many have with projectors stems from their noise. Unless they are in another room, projecting through glass, they can be quite annoying. My room, unfortunately, would not allow us to place the projector behind a wall. There’s a set of stairs blocking that from happening. Instead, Robert designed and built a ‘quiet box’ with its own ventilation system, optical glass, and access door. First, a bit about the projector in use.

We chose the JVC X700R projector because it is one of a very few projectors on the market making their own optical engine based on technology that really works to my standards. The other is Sony, leaving pretty much every other brand using the Epson engines in their own box. Doing some research on projectors, you pretty quickly narrow it down to one or the other of the two: Sony or JVC. The Epson engines are ok, but not that highly regarded. The Sony’s are excellent but dollar for dollar, and considering the importance of black levels, I prefer the JVC, as recommended by my installer. I don’t think I would make a different choice had I to do it over again today.
The screen I am projecting to is from Screen Innovations and, as I mentioned previously, it is a woven, gain of 1, acoustically transparent product. What that means is I can, and have, mounted the left, center and right loudspeakers in the wall and behind the screen. This is the best way to view a film, duplicating how it is executed in a commercial movie theater. The voices come from exactly the correct position matching the actors on the screen.

But on to the box that we built. Below is a picture showing the box where the projector sits. The chairs are only temporary as we wait for the new couch to arrive.

You can see the entrance to the theater on the left, the door to the equipment room (under the stairs), my collection of media and the popcorn machine. Looking at the quiet box itself, note the clever access door on the side.

Here’s another view.

Notice also the gray panels to the left and right of the media rack. These are custom diffusors we had installed for better sound to treat the room.
Bottom line on the extra hassle with the quiet box. It is so critically important to have a projected image that the extra time and money to design and build this box was worth every bit. It’s dead quiet.

Now, where’s that popcorn..?