Theater decor items

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Bill Wheatley, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. Bill Wheatley

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    Hi all…

    Just finished my basement and moved all my HT gear down there and I’m looking to decorate the room with a theater theme. Can anyone recommend some good, reasonably prices places where I can buy some theater accessory items to decorate the room, i.e. signage, posters, concessions, novelty items, etc...

    The type of stuff they have at moviegoods.com is ideal, but the prices are beyond absurd... $750 for a DVD rack shaped like film reels? Yeah, right.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

    Bill
     
  2. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    I've seen some cool stuff from www.hometheatreinteriors.com, but it's a little pricey as well... Just look at the back of those HT magazines...

    I saw one of the film reel tables and it really doesn't look very difficult to make, I just don't know where to get film reels. basically you could just take two empty film reels, one for the base and one for the top and attach spindles like for stair rails between them, put some circular cut glass on top, and some thing to brace the glass in place, all this to make an end table for drinks. just an idea.
     
  3. Jack Ferry

    Jack Ferry Stunt Coordinator

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    I've run searches for film reels, but most of what I found was a little pricy. There's one commercial theater supplier that has a gold plated reel that would look great for most projects. A search or two on google should lead to that stuff. Check ebay also.

    (In my case, I think I found a friend that has one. Still checking. I did learn that one friend had one around for years, and just recently threw it away!!)
     
  4. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    I built my Film Reel tables from a couple of reels that I found on ebay (Goldberg Bros.), a pair of old floor lamps that I wasn't using anymore, and some misc. hardware.

    I just finished a stand for a pair of Drive-in speakers as well. I can't figure out how to post pics from my computer so I'll just point you to another site.
     
  5. mike_bianchi

    mike_bianchi Extra

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    *Long Post Warning*, but good info (IMHO)...

    The reels you want are referred to as "House Reels", also 2000 ft. reels and/or 20 minute reels. Do some searching by those key words.

    Don't get fooled by "shipping reels". These are junk. Films are shipped to theaters on these and as such they are very light for shipping. The nice ones, such as the Goldbergs are "house reels".

    The best one-stop resource for traditional theater stuff is Big Reel magazine. Unfortunately they don't have a strong web presence, but if you go to bigreel.com you can subscribe or maybe even get a sample issue.

    You will find lots of adverts and a large classified section with much of what you are looking for. You might have to go to an urban magazine stand to find a copy of Big Reel.

    As for other decorations, etc. I'll ramble with some ideas. I'm working on my HT and my goal is to complete look and feel of a real theater. I've worked in drive-ins and hard-tops, modern and historic, so I have a bunch of ideas.

    Posts
    You could find some of the traditional chrome posts with the thick ropes (not the chintzy tensa-barrier junk they use today). Look hard enough and you might even score on of the hollow ones where ticket stubs are deposited.

    Drive-In speakers
    Make a nice accent. You can get 2 speakers and the post topper, then mount it on a piece of steel or pvc pipe on some sort of base.

    House Lights
    This is absurdly simple but looks great... Install outdoor rain gutters all around the wall of your HT, about 8-10 inches down from the ceiling. Then lay lights in the gutter and you have house lights! The medium or large bulb Christmas lights work the best - you can do one color bulb or even multi-color for the subdued or the art-deco look.

    Theater Seats
    This are good and bad, as they aren't as comfortable as a couch or recliner, but I'm installing a row of 2-3 just for effect. They often come as seperates - the chair itself and the stands (called standards). The #0 standards are level, not angled.

    Video Game
    No theater lobby is complete without a video game. This is getting carried away but it's possible. I'm building a computer into an old cabinet and loading it with MAME games.

    Standee
    You know, the large cardboard cutouts in theater lobbies. These are usually thrown away. Employees take all the good posters, but nobody wants the big standees. You could cut off just the face and wall-mount it and toss out the box and structure. Buddy up to your local theater manager and you can probably snatch one or more.

    Candy
    I've thought about making a shadowbox with a bunch of boxes of traditional theater candy boxes inside. Movie posters are great on the walls, but you can do other things to tie in your decor.

    Photos
    Besides the candy idea, you can find pictures of historic theaters and their marquees, etc. to hang up.

    Popcorn
    You can get a small popcorn popper from places like Sam's Club, Costco, etc. Way cool.

    Reels
    You're already on to this. Besides a make-up/build-up table, you could also hang two reels on a wall with film loaded up on them, running between. Again, make friends with a local theater manager and maybe he'll give you some old trailers to load on to your reels.


    Ticket Machine
    The old-fashion ticket machines are floating around - the kind with the 1 thru 5 buttons that feed tickets up. Search "Automaticket", the most prolific ticket machine maker.

    Tickets
    Just a stack of old tickets makes a nice knick-knack display.

    Murals
    Know any good artists? I'm considering having some things painted on my walls - such as a projection booth in the back, and maybe a pipe organ on the front wall on the sides of my screen.

    Wild ideas, I know - and you may be restricted by space. But I hope this helps either directly, or indirectly if it sparks other ideas by yourself or other post-ers here...
     
  6. Bill Wheatley

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    Thanks for all the info everyone. And thanks for some REEL good ideas, Mike (ok, bad pun.) I like the video game idea. I actually have quite a bit of space to fill.

    I’ve searched a few other places online and I’m just shocked at how expensive some of this stuff is! I even saw a crappy little paper towel holder that was going for $80 and $200 for a stinking throw pillow! It’s not that I’m trying to be cheap, but I’m not going to pay a 1000% markup for a pillow just because it has a ticket stub imprinted on it.

    I’ll keep plugging away. Definitely keeping an eye on ebay also. I’ll let you guys know what I come up with.

    Thanks,

    Bill
     
  7. Tim K

    Tim K Second Unit

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    check out this thread for just about every theater related item out there. Its a great resource...I just revived this thread from the depths of the forum for the benefit of those who may not have seen it.

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...67#post1983507

    I bought a pair of film reels (goldberg) and built my own table for about $50. All you really need is a saw, a drill, some hardware and paint.
     
  8. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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  9. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    Bill,

    I have just started a business specializing in home entertainment decor. I do personalized plaques for home theater, billiards, bars and whatever else someone may want. My plaques are not framed print-outs either. Your themed plaque and name is carved with computerized precision right into the 1/2 inch thick material. If your interested shoot me an email or you can look me up on ebay under Showcase-Signs. I only have a few non-theater related items on there at the time I write this but you can search for my completed auctions to get an idea of what I offer.
     
  10. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Nick:

    I appreciate you letting our membership know about your business but this type of posting is advertising and something that isn't allowed without paying for the right to do so.

    Parker
     
  11. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    Sorry Parker,

    I've sent an email to you regarding this.

    Sincerely,

    Nick
     
  12. rbrooks10

    rbrooks10 Auditioning

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    My HT has an ancient Egyptian theme. It is a modest theater as home theaters go. Use to be a guest bedroom about 12' x 15' with a two-door closet. Took out the divider between the closet doors and voila an extra 2 feet. Put the 92" screen at the back of the closet once it was painted black; draped the opening with inexpensive faux leather curtains; painted the walls a lovely "Espresso" brown and stenciled Egyptian hieroglyphics around the walls at ceiling height. I also built two torchiers to look like Egyptian columns. There are 4 theater chairs (red leather) and two small club chairs to roll into place should additional seating be needed. The ceiling is black. Everything is automated through a dandy Nevo Q50 remote. For a converted guest bedroom in an average house my theater has received rave reviews from family and friends. Of course, they may flatter me just to get another movie night invite.
     

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