Window Cover & Seating

Window Cover
One reason we chose the part of the basement we did for the theatre was that there was only one window to contend with. On the flipside it meant that only one window would be lost in the rest of the basement. I didn’t want to simply cover the window with drapes or a pull-down blind, but I wanted to have something more interesting. I felt that drapes would pull you out of the experience of being in a theatre.

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My wife and I threw around a few ideas and decided to use an 8’x4′ piece of styrofoam insulation to cover the window which was located at the back of the theatre. We wrapped it with patterned wall-paper to give it a much more interesting look. And to ensure that we would still have emergency access to the window, we simply hung it on the wall using impalers.

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As designed, the panel prevents any light from seeping in from the window. but does so by looking more like an art piece than a critically functional piece of equipment. Something much more aesthetically pleasing than drapes or a blackout blind.

Window Cover V2
For whatever reason, the wallpaper started to peal at the edges pretty quickly and I was no longer happy with how it looked. I started thinking about new ideas for the cover and finally decided to wrap the entire styrofoam piece with red fabric. I figured this would look better since I wouldn’t have any seams, and it would also give me a chance to actually add something red to the Rouge Cinema.

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My wife picked out and bought some interior design type fabric which I was happy with. I simply wrapped the styrofoam insulation board and secured the fabric with staples and duct tape. We re-attached it to the wall and I used this opportunity to attach the scatter block acoustical treatments to the surface.

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Seating
I spent a lot of time researching theatre seats. They needed to be narrow enough to fit three seats per row in a 10′ wide space, while leaving enough room for a step onto the riser. They also needed to be leather, with power recline, and cupholders. As cool as the LED lighting looks in photos, I thought it would be impractical to have in a theatre where light control is of the utmost importance.

The amount of theatre seating stores on the internet is overwhelming, but they do include a wealth of information. My main dilemma was finding a place that would/could ship to Canada. I found that there were very few Canadian options, and the local stores had limited selection, or were a bit pricier than I was comfortable with.

After asking for quotes from a number of US companies, but hearing nothing back, I finally got a call from one. The news was not good – shipping alone for the six seats I wanted was $2700. At that point I decided to buy local. We have a local Palliser store and we’ve bought a lot of our furniture there. Since we’ve been happy with the brand’s quality in the past, we decided to spend a bit more on the chairs than we wanted in exchange for the peace of mind of dealing with a local company. Not having to ship something this expensive from the US was a relief.

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We liked the modern look of the HiFi model, and with their narrow footprint of 94″ for three chairs, they would fit nicely in the theatre. I’ve spent a lot of time in these chairs since the theatre has been completed and am happy with the choice. They are comfortable, and seem to be solidly built. The only quirk is that the recline controls are located right where my elbows sometimes rest, causing me to inadvertently activate them. Definitely not a big deal, and would never deter me from purchasing or recommending them in the future.