Greg Mueller Private Screening
***under construction and finished
In the beginning there was junk, and the theater was full of it....
The end of the room we're looking at is were the screen will go. You can
see one of the three speakers that will fit behind the screen, and to the
left of it is the sound rack. On the far left, the projector peeks out
from under a pile of stuff. The house was designed to accomodate the theater,
but for the first couple years of it's life the theater served as a catch-all
from "moving day".
How humiliating for the noble Norelco! As pictured it is broken
down into two basic components, the projection head (left) and the base
(right). Behind it the sound rack and a speaker. Note the series
two B&L anamorphic, which was used successfully at the last theater.
The only bad part of owning a Norelco AA 35/70 is moving it! I have to
resort to an engine hoist and piano dolly (the Egyptian method).
Construction started in the booth, so I would have a place to put things!
The floor was raised about 2 feet. If you look under the saw you can see
the floor joists. I had the basement built with 10 foot ceilings so I could
raise the floor and still have adequate head room. In the center of the
wall is the projection port and the projectionist's view port. Later the
projection port had to be widened because of vignetting. The 6 plug
ins are for the sound rack.
Once construction was done in the booth (at least to a certain point),
I began to fill it up. Shown here is the Norelco assembled with a
test loop in it. On the right the sound rack has been installed. There
is carpet and linoleum on the floor. A 1000 watt Cinemeccanica (vertical)
lamp house rides on the back of the Norelco.
The "auditorium" is cleaner and the screen has been mounted. Just under
the screen the subwoofer peeks out. The screen is 14 ft wide and 6 1/2
ft tall. At this point another problem is made apparent. What to do with
the ceiling? Complicating things is the heat duct and water pipes running
down the left side of the room.
My homemade film transport. The fusion of two designs, the Cinemeccanica
tower (for it's compact size), and the double Mutt (for it's electronic
control abilities). The film is loaded on a reel at the top and pays out
to the left. It goes through the projector and is taken up on the lower
reel. A white roller can be seen riding on the film as it goes to the take
up reel. This arm controls the speed at which the take up reel turns,
using a variac. The film can be rewound by changing one belt and throwing
Homemade make-up table, used for assembling the film onto the large
reels for storage and showing. In it's past life this was a computer printer
table (rescued from Boeing surplus). On the left is the take up arm from
a vintage Simplex projector, driven by a small DC motor. On the right is
a rewind with brake. The splicer is between and to the front. Fastened
on the right side of the table is the control panel. This allows
the operator to run either the tower or the table and by switching polarity
to run the reels forward or backward.
A solution to the ceiling problem. Here, I'm giving the ceiling a coat
of primer/sealer. Right above my paintbrush is the heating duct,
now concealed within the sheet rock. Above my head are the water pipes.
The stepped "art deco" design is carried to all four sides of the ceiling
for symmetry. In the center of the wall the Norelco peeks through. The
projection port has been widened to avoid vignetting.
The ceiling is finished now, painted a dark, dark green and dark gray
for accent. The walls have 2x4s glued and screwed to them and carpet
pad/felt stapled to them for the first layer of sound absorption.
At this point I'm not sure what the finishing will be on the walls, but
am leaning toward drapes. The surrounds are up, and there's a little
platform for the seats to sit on, so you're up off the floor. I'm holding
up a piece of acoustic foam to check the fit between two trim pieces. The
projectionist's port has been finish lined. Carpet will be laid when the
carpet guys get to my turn on the list. I'm still trying to come
up with an appropriate (art deco) ceiling sculpture/decoration/light.
Combination reel holder and bicyble rack, just in case someone on a
bicycle wants to watch a movie. The reels will generally stand by
themselves unless they start to tip or roll. This storage unit stops
the "domino effect" as well as "runaway reel syndrome".
Ken Layton puts the finishing touches on the new lamphouse. The Norelco
now sports an original uncut lamphouse bracket with a Strong Super Lume-X
atop. For my small screening room, I'm only running a 1KW bulb,
but it certainly looks nice on the screen.
At the gala grand opening two of the local lovelies are waiting to
The sound rack as follows: Audio Control RTA, Teac rackmount
CD player, Dolby CP65, space for expansion, QSC DCA1622, SAE A202 for surrounds,
SAE A502 bridged for subwoofer, 2 Kintek power amps in reserve, all wrapped
up in my FAA surplus, Krylon painted sound rack
The auditorium finally comes together. Two rows of Irwin theater seats,
give film fans a comfy place to sit. The back row is 8" higher than the
front row. Around the platform I have used a ropelight so guests won't
trip, coming or going. The door on the right is the entrance and
the door on the left leads to the projection booth. On the back wall is
acoustic foam to deaden the echo. The surrounds are visable in the upper
It's what's up front that counts. After trying for some months
to get my digital camera to work in a low light situation, I finally got
this photo. Barely visable are the screen lights at the bottom of
the screen. The screen area is approximately 13 x 5.5 feet.
The curtains are a heavy velour material that looks theaterish and also
helps immensely to deaden the bad acoustics of the concrete walls.
Greg with his Norelco AAII.
Special thanks to Greg Mueller for the pics.