From Russia with love

Based in Moscow, this unique cinema mixes residential with commercial to give the customers of a new Italian restaurant a VIP movie experience. Amy Wallington finds out more.

Resimerical’ is a term that has been thrown around quite a bit recently. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen the residential and commercial AV and technology lines blur as people are building home offices as permanent or part-time workspaces and adding to their home entertainment areas – staying home is the new going out after all!

Commercial entertainment spaces are having to work hard to convince people to start going out and spending money again. Cinemas in particular are not seeing the huge rush that some people might have expected. They are experiencing much more competition with people’s own homes as there is a wide choice of content available immediately at home at a time that suits the viewer. People consume media differently now and commercial spaces are therefore having to get creative to attract customers back in.

This is one such example: A new Italian restaurant called Coperto has recently opened in Moscow. As an attractive feature of the restaurant, a residential-style cinema has been built in a vacant space attached to the restaurant to give customers a unique VIP movie and dinner experience.

VIP

The idea of VIP cinemas is a new entertainment space which is starting to take hold. A hybrid between a private cinema room and a commercial theatre, it creates an intimate, luxury and high-quality experience to enjoy exclusive content.

Starting in July 2020, the project took nine months to complete and created an entirely new experience for the customers of the new Italian restaurant. Behind the project was Anton Zadnepryannyy, founder of Moscow-based integration firm, Blackroom. He says: “The client wanted to have the ‘wow’ factor for every customer that comes into the room for the first time. High-quality sound and picture was also very important.”

As it was an existing building, Blackroom had to deal with infrastructure such as wire communications and a complex HVAC system passing through the room. “We did a detailed 3D project design to ensure it would all work out installing all cinema systems as well as a separate sophisticated HVAC system,” Zadnepryannyy explains. “Our expertise lies in the area of solving issues within a given room and that’s exactly what we did; we made it all fit and work.”

Resimercial

One of the unique features of this install is the mixed use of both residential and commercial cinema kit. Although Blackroom has a lot of successful experience using Trinnov Audio’s Altitude16 and 32 models in their residential projects, the integrator decided to use the commercial Ovation2 cinema processor instead. “We wanted to repeat that great Trinnov soundstage but with the pro cinema solution. The whole project intention was to recreate the performance of a high-performance home cinema with the addition of DCI and a premiere movie exhibition.”

The owner of the restaurant had no experience with cinema technology apart from visiting other VIP cinemas in Moscow, so Zadnepryannyy was able to guide the client and advise what technology would work best in this particular cinema. “We have a selection of trusted brands and models that we use and have experience with,” he adds. “We had to ensure we kept the client’s budget in mind as it is a commercial project that has to return the client’s investments and earn money. We were able to guide the client all the way for the cinema to get the best AV system within the budget.”

One of the most unique features of this project is the ability for customers to order food and drinks as they watch the film using the service button installed into the armrest of the chairs.

“The whole project intention was to recreate the performance of a high-performance home cinema with the addition of DCI and a premiere movie exhibition.”

The $350,000 room is the first VIP cinema with DCI presentation in Russia, complete with a 9.1 system with eight subwoofers to mitigate any standing soundwaves. The room also features sophisticated acoustic treatment, which is revealed through the use of arty lighting behind the fabric walls. For a premium look, they used luxury room design and finishing materials such as wood veneers, a star ceiling, electric screen curtains, as well as home cinema reclining chairs with three motors and a leather and Alcantara finish.

“Thanks to the client, the budget was good enough to fulfil our original intentions and we were able to build a really unique and outstanding VIP public cinema,” Zadnepryannyy discloses. “It has accumulated the best of two worlds – DCI presentation and a premium home-like comfort with high-end dynamic sound and viewing.”

Challenges

According to Zadnepryannyy, there were many hurdles to jump throughout each stage of the project.

“The room is based in an apartment so it needed some serious soundproofing, so it didn’t annoy any neighbours. The complicated HVAC system installation was also very challenging for this reason. Additionally, the room was only 40m2 and the client wanted no less than 11 recliner seats in there; it took a lot of designing to ensure we could do it.”

The DCI Barco projector also had to be placed in a soundproof metal box behind a special glass window. Little experience with this project made it difficult to set up and programme. Similarly, the integrator had no experience using the Ovation2 product as it has different logic and presets, etc. Help from the manufacturers assisted in solving these issues.

Zadnepryannyy adds: “The curved room ceiling design also added its own challenges, as well as the brightly coloured wood veneers near the screen. We had to implement a velvet optical diffuser to help solve the issue. All the challenges we came across throughout the install were resolved thanks to the great team of experts, builders, contractors and external consultants that we were working alongside.”

Building on the future

The cinema room has been very successful for the client and restaurant. To ensure everything continues running well, Blackroom visits the location every six to eight weeks to check everything.

The integrator has also been commissioned to upgrade the room to 4K and Dolby Atmos sometime in the near future. With foresight to futureproof the cinema, the integrator pre-wired all required points in case the client wanted to upgrade at any time.

Following the success of this VIP cinema room, Zadnepryannyy says he has now received several other requests to replicate such an experience elsewhere.

 

Tech Spec

Apple iPad

Apple TV

Barco DP2K-10SLP Smart Laser Projector

Blackroom Screens Smax-184-235

Convergent Audio Cinema 6.1 Speakers

Convergent Audio Cinema 8.2 Speakers

Convergent Audio DS12 Subwoofers

Convergent Audio DS15 Subwoofers

Dune HD Pro 4K II Media Player

Hyperline Rack

Park Audio DF2804 MkII Power Amplifiers

RTI XP-3 Control Processor

Sony PlayStation 5

TP Link Archer AX6000 Wi-Fi Router

TP Link TL-SG1016 16-Port Gigabit Rackmount Network Switch

Trinnov Ovation2 Digital Cinema Processor

Vertiv Liebert GXT5-3000IRT2UXLE UPS



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