The CINERAMA Barn
by Paul Samuels
Chatting with guests who have travelled to MD to visit the Cinerama Barn
A Barn transformed into a Home Theater!
This is an 8-seat home theater which I built myself in a barn at the back of the house; its main feature is a unique curved 5ft by 14 ft screen.
The decor is mostly wall drapes, which was a traditional hallmark of Cinerama theaters.
For those who are not familiar with Cinerama process, this is a an ultra widescreen 2.59:1 format capable of impressive panoramic images.
The exterior of the Barn has a sign which I made as rustic looking as possible.
Cinerama works by simultaneously projecting images from three 35mm projectors which work together to project an image onto a massive, highly-curved projection screen; the latter subtends an angle of 146° of arc.
Another rather unique feature of Cinerama is the projection screen built-up structure itself, which instead of being a continuous surface, is made of individual vertical narrow strips - typically 7/8-inch wide; hundred of strips are used to make up the screen surface.
The screen fabric is acoustically perforated to allow for speaker placement behind the huge screen surface. Further more, each strip is also angled to face the audience; main reason here is to prevent scattered light from the projected image on one end of the curved screen from reflecting across the screen surface - washing out the image on the opposite end.
The whole video setup in the Cinerama Barn makes use of multiple projectors which allow for various presentations setups. Among others, I can show 3-panel Cinerama films using three matched projectors to provide an immersive panoramic experience. I can also flatten the screen to accommodate all flat formats, 3:4, scope, etc.
The bottom mask on Cinerama Barn projection screen is removable, thus making it possible for me to simulate an IMAX experience with a 7.5 foot high picture!
For the three-projector setup for Cinerama, I am using three matched Casio XJS-31 video projectors. The full picture goes to all three projectors which are masked to allow only the proper image portion onto its segment of the screen. Image expansion lenses of my design further tailor the picture sizes.
The top single panel projector is a NEC LT85 for wide screen; for CinemaScope, Panavision, etc., I also use a similar image expander. And for 35mm 3:4 pictures, I use absolutely nothing and that picture size works out just fine.
The sound is provided by Techniks SA-EXP140 and Sanyo C4R amplifiers powering four matched Yamaha NS639D speakers.
Submitted on: October 8, 2010
Click here to view other home theaters featured on
Practical-Home-Theater Guide.com Picture Gallery