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Detail Work

A Closer Look at an Ornate Southern California Home Theater Interior

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Although it’s one of the smallest theaters designed by Cantara Design Group, at 120 square feet, the quality of its finish work really stands out. The dome ceiling detail in a classic movie palace from the 1920s was the inspiration for this design feature.

Cantara Design Group took its name from the Latin root “canto,” which among other things, means “to enchant” or “to cast a spell.” And that’s exactly what the Costa Mesa, CA-integration firm sought to do when designing this relatively diminutive dedicated theater with an exquisite attention to detail.

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A detailed look at a corner of the ornate theater in Southern California.

The six-year-old firm, led by Jason Voorhees and Jim Bras, said they are fortunate to be based in Southern California where clients are still spending money. The client for the home theater pictured here was inspired by a photo that Voorhees showed them from a book of classic art deco movie palaces from the 1920s. “They selected one in Virginia and said, ‘That’s it!’ It had this dome on the ceiling and featured 1,300 seats.”

While Cantara was able to partner with interior designer Lisa Slayman and woodworking specialist Elile Abbass to replicate the “palace’s” interior themes, the size of the room ended up being much more modest, at just 120 square feet.

“This is actually one of the smallest theaters we’ve done, but the quality of the finish work stands out.”

The molding for the dome was ordered from a catalog and when heated, was bent into shape.

The theater’s hardware includes a DPI M-Vision projector, Arcam surround processor, Triad speakers, including three in-wall subs, a Stewart Micro-Perf 120-inch screen with no masking, and AMX for control.

Voorhees said his client still can’t believe how great the room turned out.