Entrepreneur Phil Trubey has been at the forefront of information technology developments throughout his career. He’s a passionate AV enthusiast, fortunate enough to have built his own home theater, which was designed as an homage to the heyday of grand movie palaces.
Trubey’s Regency Theatre, now 18 years old, has its own marquee and ticket booth, approached from a “courtyard” that evokes traditional European city scenes, including tromp l’oeil (optical illusion) paintings, a shop and a fountain. As visitors approach the ticket booth, the marquee extends overhead, showing upcoming events.
Entering through double glass doors, guests find the lobby and concession stand, before passing into the recreation of a 1920s era theater. Period-accurate brass railings, painted ceilings, red-draped walls and tiered seating all exude carefully curated, luxury design.
Recessed lighting provides a warm glow under the chandelier, which can be adjusted to lower light levels to enhance the projected content.
The original theater specification included a projector and a 146-inch front projection screen, along with Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Building the theater came with some challenges, including cooling and soundproofing the projector. Alongside those architectural and design considerations, there was ongoing maintenance for the projector, lamps and fans.
As the technology aged, organic LED (OLED) TVs and 4K content were beginning to reach the market, bringing higher-quality color, contrast and resolution to the screen. But no matter how good the theater projector was, it couldn’t match the latest flat panels in the living room.
“At the end of the day,” says Trubey, “you’re projecting onto a screen which is never going to be as good as the visual wow of OLED TVs.” He added that going forward it’s “safe to assume you’re going to have a flat panel” for home theater displays.
On top of the hardware, the Regency Theatre’s next generation of display would need to have all the modern entertainment elements users have come to expect, including integrated access to streaming platforms and familiar apps like YouTube, as well as improvements in performance, contrast and brightness.