Florida Integrator Converts Bank Vault into Home Theater Showroom
Boca Theater and Automation and CDGi convert old 8,600-square-foot Wells Fargo Bank into new Technology Experience Center showroom, complete with an acoustical masterpiece ‘Vault Theater’ with 36 speakers inside 18-inch concrete walls and facial recognition entry.
Boca Theater and Automation (BTA) and Cinema Design Group International (CDGi) may have built one of the most unique showrooms in the custom installation industry … it certainly might be the most secure.The two companies, which have been in business for over 25 years collectively, have just completed renovating an old bank building and vault into a Technology Experience Center with a world-class home theater.
Jeff Galea, founder of CE Pro 100 company BTA, purchased an old Wells Fargo Bank building in western Boca Raton to house the new Tech Center. The 8,600-square-foot building is also headquarters to CDGi. The two companies have shared space for over 10 years.
“We reached a turning point that necessitated choosing a new location that would not only accommodate our growing team, but also better serve our customers. We can now showcase the top of the line systems we are proud to provide, and demonstrate the value we bring to these solutions. We could not have taken this company to the next level without the incredible support of our customers, the talented BTA staff, and the close relationships we have cultivated with the manufacturers with whom we partner,” says Galea.
Both companies have long wanted a reference quality theater to introduce their dealers and clients to their proficiency in room design and acoustics. Carey Schafer, VP of engineering for CDGi, states that “The Vault Theater is the culmination of those aspirations. Turning a bank vault into a world class experience is no small challenge! Hiding the in-wall, in-ceiling speakers and 22-inch subs was the first problem. The 18-inch thick solid concrete walls didn’t provide any place to recess them. We dropped the ceiling down to combat this issue and fabricated 6 inches deep, framed acoustic panels and columns as a cloak of invisibility which also provides acoustical benefits, by absorbing some of the standing bass energy.”
With 36 speakers mounted throughout the room, in the ceiling, soffit, front and side walls—the knock your socks off, raw energy, generates a sound experience that is so realistic that you get lost in the moment! The art of design is apparent when you consider that 36 speakers are completely invisible, yet not altered acoustically, in what can only be described as a luxuriously understated interior incorporating fine materials that any person of means can appreciate.
The group decided to keep and display the original vault door as a reminder of the room’s origin. To enter The Vault Theater clients must get through the facial-recognition system to trigger the electronic locks in the Italian made, bullet-proof safety door.
Entering through the original vault opening at the rear of the room, patrons are greeted by a beautiful bar composed of custom maple and backlit onyx. Continuing into the elegantly casual space guests will find a row of traditional, handcrafted leather CDGi Cosmopolitan theater seats, finishing at the front row with a cozy CDGi Harmony chaise sofa. These two rows comfortably accommodate seven adults with an additional four seats at the bar.
The room is tricked out with brand names that are synonymous with the luxury electronic industry. A highlighted gear list includes:
- California Audio Technology (CAT)—36 speakers (78 separate drivers)
- CAT Amps – 16,800 watts of power
- Datasat RS 20 Sound processor
- Screen Innovations 154-inch 2.35:1 screen
- Christie 5000 Lumen Mirage Projector
- Symetrix Digital Signal Processor
- CDGi seating leather and fabric
- CDGi acoustic panels and millwork interior
- Lutron motorized curtain rod with CDGi drapery
- Ercole safe room / bulletproof door with facial recognition entry camera and software
- Kaleidescape Premier movie server
- Prima Cinema movie server
- AMX Professional Control System
- RoseWater Energy Hub feeds all source equipment and the projector with clean power
- Straight Wire custom made balanced audio interconnects and speaker wire
The room was unveiled last week to rave reviews by BTA clients and industry professionals. The company invites all interested dealers and clients to come to The Vault Theater.