When nothing short of the best immersive theater experience will do, Visual Concepts is ready to make your dreams come true. This Lord of the Rings enthusiast decided it was time to create an ultimate ‘Middle Earth’ experience. First the room…

The floor is stamped concrete that was finished by hand. If you take a closer look at the design in the floor, the engraving is actually the family’s coat-of-arms. The same coat-of-arms is included in the design of the hand sewn and custom tailored theater seating. There is a concession area full of Lord of the Rings items. When you go into the room you see this beautiful images of Lord of the Rings characters walking, fully illuminated.

The theater walls are lined with claw-like hands holding the client’s collection of medieval knives and swords. Complementing the swords are old-world styled drapes and sets of armor made by a famous Hollywood props designer.

To make the experience come alive, Jacob Abbott and his team at Visual Concepts designed the audio and video with just about the best equipment available. He worked with Pro Audio Technology to develop an audio system to complement the room then added a state-of-the-art StormAudio processor. Wolf Cinema’s laser video projector provides the film-quality images. Kaleidescape manages the content and Control4 integrates operation for one-button control. The ‘windows’ are actually 70” high-resolution video displays.

The goal is a total experience, enabling the audience to forget where they are for as long as they desire, to feel the emotion intended by the filmmaker and sail away. This is how you make movie magic and convey an experience that stays with you for years to come.


You have your Game of Thrones fans who watch the show religiously. Then there are the super fans who want to be transported directly into the world of Westeros — to be completely consumed by the atmosphere — every sound, every visual, and every emotion.

Jacob Abbott, president of Visual Concepts in Nashville, Tenn., knows one of these Game of Thrones super fans very well. The fan wanted a Thrones- and Spartacus-themed theater and Abbott gave him just that.

The customer wasn’t just looking for great sound; he was looking for the clearest, most powerful sound system available–sound that would completely blow him and his guests away when fire-breathing dragons roared overhead, or thousands of horse-mounted warriors clashed on the battlefield.

Abbott and the rest of the team at Visual Concepts were up for the challenge.

The custom theater uses a Wolf DLD-280FD projector to make sure that any show or movie is available in 4K. It also uses a Seymour A/V screen and Helix server.

“Listening and truly getting to know your customer is incredibly important when designing custom home theaters,” says Abbott.

“In my nearly 20 years of doing this, never before have I worked with a more avid movie buff/audiophile that had such cool memorabilia that he wanted to incorporate into the space. We knew we needed to think outside the box — inventive and over-the-top — from the equipment specified, to the automation, and to every last detail in the interior design in order to nail this project.”

Stargate Theaters

A home theater can be a great escape, but how about escaping all the way to the planet Lantea, the fictional home of the TV series Stargate Atlantis?

Home Owner’s very cool theater in Louisville, Ky., has the Stargate — or at least a replica of the one used in the Stargate TV series and movie to commute across the universe. It surrounds a 10-foot diagonal circular screen that shows a 96-inch diagonal image. The circle within the Stargate can also light up blue, mimicking the water that appears in the show’s Stargate prior to transport.

To say the home owner is a Stargate fan is an understatement. He loves sci-fi, and his two Sony megachangers that house up to 800 DVDs can attest to that. The theater, explains Phil Chaney, president of the Louisville division of Visual Concepts, uses a blend of styles from Stargate Atlantis, the original Stargate SG-1 TV series, and the 1994 movie. There are even air pocket doors that open like those on Star Trek and a star dome that shows comets streaking across the sky.

The audio/video system performance more than matches the futuristic decor. Atlantic Technology’s THX series speakers pump out seven-channel sound and are accompanied by two Polk Audio IW155 in-wall subwoofers, while JVC’s impressive RS-1 D-ILA (Direct-drive Image Light Amplifier) produces smooth 1080p images. A second light projector is used to create the water scenes in the Stargate. The audio and video is governed by a Marantz SR8002 receiver, and that’s tied to a Control4 automation system.

And yes, much like the magic of fictional Stargate, a lot of real-world magic went into constructing this theater:

Wave your hand in front of the Atlantis logo outside the theater, and a motion sensor triggers the air pocket doors to open, like on Star Trek. The pocket doors are attached to pneumatic pumps powered by an air compressor.
The Stargate is made from MDF (medium-density fiberboard), with the symbols, or glyphs, of Lexan (a plexiglass-like resin). The glyphs and other effects in the room are backlit with large, old-style Christmas tree bulbs.
Hidden behind the custom-made perforated screen are three Atlantic Technology THX front speakers. Atlantic Technology’s THX in-wall speakers are in the side and rear walls, along with two in-wall Polk subwoofers in the side walls.

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