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Secret Cinema

Big Cinema, Small space - a cinema room with seating for ten hidden behind a regular door.

Secret Cinema

Brief

The estate agents details listed the room as a "Cinema" but it was just another room. We were asked to create a room that justified the desciption. There was to be room for ten people to watch a movie or sports event in comfort without feeling cramped and to feel special while doing so.

Design

The key to the project was getting ten seats into the space (just 4.3mx3.7m) with enough room around them so that there was still a feeling of spaciousness. Reclining leather seats from Ferco ticked all the boxes and with a carefully designed platform for the second row, we were able to ensure that everyone had the space they needed. There is room for the front row to recline and others to still get in and out of the second row which also reclines.

In a small room acoustic treatment is important to reduce unwanted reflections and stop the room from feeling enclosed. The correct treatment allows the audio elements of the design to perform at their best and make the room feel like an open concert hall or intimate club exactly as the producer intended.

The feel of the room is not just the audio and video elements, decoration plays a big part and the use of acoustic panels that add to the theme of the room along with a mural depicting seating carrying on behind the real seats creates a real feeling of space and occation in the room.

Equipment Choice

The room boasts a 5.1 audio solution with the key front three channels provided by Meridian DSP520 in wall speakers and the rear and sub channels provided by KEF. We use the DSP capabilities of the Meridian room correction and centre channel elevation to enhance the speaker performance. Audio treatment is a mix of diffusion and absorbtion panels on the ceiling behind a stretched fabric cover and Artnovian decorative panels on the walls.

Video is provided by a Sony 4k projector and an 16:9 fixed screen. The 16:9 ratio was chosen to make best use of the available wall space and match with expected use of the room of sports events as well as movies.

The room is prevented from feeling stuffy though the use of a ventilation system driven by a Solar & Palau low noise high throughput fan.

Result

As soon as you walk into the room it feels special. The acoustic treatment makes the room feel calm and the lighting and decor work together with the control system to make the experience special every time you sit down for a movie.

I just wanted to drop you guys a quick note to say wow. Wow!! Our new cinema room is utterly fabulous. I must confess I was wary of the idea of squeezing a proper cinema concept into a relatively small space. I thought the visuals could be overwhelming and the acoustics virtually impossible. The design you adopted, and the equipment specified is sheer genius. The experience is totally immersive, and I love the fact that we can hear the subtleties of speech as well as the jaw-dropping, through-body bass when needed for action etc. One of the big surprises for me is how much music we are listening to - the hi-fi reproduction is superb. I thought the room was going to be an over-the-top luxury, used on relatively few ‘movie night’ occasions, but am happy to say you were right in your prediction we would use it a lot more than expected. It’s our go-to for not just movies but boxsets, music concerts and even regular scheduled TV. It is indeed a luxury, but rapidly becoming an everyday one! Many thanks for engineering an absolutely fabulous bonus addition to our new home.
— Mr G
Glastonbury
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