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Site Visit: CinemaTech Expands to LA

The new showroom space will enable the Dallas-based company to provide Southern California interior design firms to give clients an in-person, first-hand, demonstration of a wide range seating and interior finish materials well beyond the ability of most firms to stock themselves.

Michael Murphy, CinemaTech president (standing) presided over theater seating options. 

Timed to coincide with the start of WESTWEEK 2017, this spring’s Southern California interior design event, Dallas-based CinemaTech opened its new showroom this week in West Hollywood’s iconic Pacific Design Center. The new showroom space will enable the company to provide designer firms to give clients an in-person, first-hand, demonstration of a wide range seating and interior finish materials well beyond the ability of most firms to stock themselves.

Held in partnership with Joaquin Rivera’s ByDesign Vision & Sound Marketing rep firm, the event hosted 100 dealers on Tuesday and even more attendees from the design world on Wednesday when Stacey Chu, CinemaTech’s Director of Theater Design, delivered a course on theater design.

Rep firm ByDesign’s Joaquin Rivera (second from left) demo’s Barco projectors to showroom visitors. 

While the hardware from the likes of ADA, Storm Audio, SAE, and Atlona were shown for the event, large screen displays from Barco and Planar will remain to show off the benefits of large size flat panel and multi-viewers, the showroom, and, indeed, the company’s main emphasis will be to serve as resource where clients can see, feel and, perhaps most importantly, sit in a wide variety of CinemaTech’s high-end theater seats and couches.

However, it doesn’t end there. While seating was the start of the business in 1999, since 2005 they have expanded into facilitating the full interior aspect of home theater. Indeed, when first entering the showroom you see what appears to be a network connection rack with colored cords, but a closer look reveals that they are swatch books for fabrics, carpet, wall coverings and similar. That’s precisely the point.

Material swatches CinemaTech uses to assist design/installation firms 

CinemaTech already works with a number of the leading LA-based installation firms, with their model being to act as a background resource rather than directly soliciting end-user consumers. As is common in the design industry, the client is billed by the front-facing installation company, who adds their markup to the cost of the interior work.

According to Michael Murphy, CinemaTech’s president, “The mission is not to replace the design/installation firm”, but rather to let them concentrate on business development as well as plan and install the parts of the project they know best.”

The new space will continue to demo the large video screens in conjunction with ByDesign and works with the designer to place and tailor speakers and acoustic room treatment, but again, in Murphy’s words, “As part of a team.” At the end of the day, this resource is meant to help, not compete.

It is worth noting that the Pacific Design Center complex also has showrooms for Crestron as well as two other design-centric showrooms, but CinemaTech is one of the few companies pursuing their type of go-to-market concept. With the opening of the Los Angeles showroom, CinemaTech plans to increase their current business and has moved Matt Denton from Texas to LA to head the new location. Their current standalone 15,000 square foot headquarters and showroom in suburban Dallas will continue to serve customers, as well.